'Reimagine the Future': IARFA student earns 2021 Mx. UAPSA Crown

FEU Advocate
July 18, 2021 10:07

By Mary Licel Biscocho and Rafa Jane Galeon

Far Eastern University (FEU) Architecture student Jaimee Valerie Jonson bagged the Grand Winner title in the recent Mx. United Architects of the Philippines Student Auxiliary (UAPSA) 2021 in its coronation night aired last July 4.

In an interview with FEU Advocate, Jonson shared how she was moved by the event's motive to be a platform in stirring up conversations about the current societal issues. According to her, stepping onto a nationally-recognized platform is an opportunity for her to promote her advocacy in upholding equal opportunities for children.

"It is true that children are our future's hope but unfortunately, not all children have the capacity to succeed in life," she explained.

Jonson has been teaching children as part of their church ministry since she was 14. She described how she met children who were deprived of education and a good environment, further bereaving them the right to survive different challenges of life.

Acknowledging her previous experiences in pageants, Jonson mentioned how she was moved to face people confidently even at a young age. Further, the influence she got from her church ministry seniors steered her to amplify the voices of the unheard. 

"They are the ones who are teaching us regarding the importance of giving the children equal opportunities, especially spiritual needs," she stated. 

Jonson also explained that she saw how their minds were filled with enthusiasm and big dreams. She added that if these children were given enough concession to foster a principled mind that will spur them to achieve more extensive and nationalistic goals, it would be beneficial not only for their sector but for the country in general.

"If we want to have a generation wherein there's no discrimination, [where] everyone can express themselves, then we have to start on educating our children," said Jonson.

The 20-year-old beauty queen urged that while taking advantage of the children's youthful years to mold a progressive future, society should also do its best to create a good future for them.

After finishing as Mx. UAPSA 2021, Jonson shared that one of her initiatives is to raise awareness and further educate her fellowmen regarding her advocacy.

"As someone who's advocating for it, I can do something for those children but we can do and we can create a bigger impact, a better output if we will all help collective initiatives and actions for those," she said.

In her advocacy video, Jonson quoted the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) to "reimagine the future for every child" by securing vaccines for all children, providing them a revolutionized learning, investing in their mental health, ending discrimination, and adjusting climate crisis. By doing these, she believes that all children would receive equal opportunities that will help them grow.

Although most of today's generation are maximizing social media to express their advocacies, she stressed that it is important to use greater and more extensive platforms “to urge others and beseech others” including the higher-ups and the government because she believes that if everyone will work collectively, then society can do better actions in creating a brighter future not only for the current generation but also for the succeeding years to come.

Due to her unwavering commitment to fighting for what she believes in, she grew to become an inspiration to the youth. Among the stories of battles and triumphs, she adhered to her sole principle. For this reason, she wanted to encourage her fellow men to "always find and always take every opportunity [you] can take to raise awareness and show people what [you] are advocating for."

Further, after seeing the constant struggles that children who lack opportunities and resources face on a daily basis, she knew she had to step up and start being the change that she wanted to see, to raise awareness for them because she believes that if one person takes the initiative to know and appreciate the importance of giving equal opportunities to children, the rest will follow.

Aside from the title, Jonson also took home six special awards. She received the People's Choice Award and was named Advocate of the Year, Mx. Photogenic, Best in Creative Wear, Best in Smart Casual Wear, and Best in Talent.

Established in 1989, UAPSA has been a stage in cultivating different goals and aspirations of all architecture students in the Philippines by organizing its National Congress annually. Its 27th year commenced last July 2-4 with the theme "Pangatwiran: Paggising sa Huwarang Sarili."

The pageant is celebrated annually along with the National Congress organized by UAPSA, the organization of architecture students in the Philippines under the United Architects of the Philippines.

(Photo courtesy of Jaimee Valerie Jonson)