Friday, June 21, 2024

Dreams Do Come True

By Sarah Madison Repollo | September 6, 2023

“A dream is a wish your heart makes, when you’re fast asleep…

Alyssa Ordoñez is one such dreamer who witnessed her aspirations come to life. 

At the height of the Founders’ Day festivities, the Miss Silliman crown searched for a new victor. The university waited on bated breath as the announcer stalled. Weeks of photoshoots, events, and interviews were leading up to this very moment. 

“And the winner is…” 

Two girls stood, hands tightly woven together, at the center of a stadium as time suddenly stopped.

the Institute of Clinical Laboratory Sciences!”

On the 26th of August, Alyssa took home a major win for her department. Screams shook the stands, but Alyssa was deadly calm. 

“My mind went blank. It hadn’t sunk in yet that I’d won, but I was happy because the people around me were,” she said. 

Still reeling from the announcement, Alyssa’s thoughts flashed back to her journey to victory.

The 77th Miss Silliman was born in the year 2003. Residing in Dumaguete City her entire life, she came to be a part of Silliman University upon entering senior high school. 

Like anybody, Alyssa has dreams. She spent her childhood admiring the women of Miss Silliman, and she too wanted to stand on that stage someday. Little did her younger self know that her time to be crowned would come. 

“What if this is meant for me?” she began to ponder once she was in college. Eventually, her second year rolled around and screening for Miss Medical Technology began. It was not in her plans to audition, but her dream resurfaced. The screening room called out to her, and thus began her journey to becoming Miss Silliman.

The pageant was a flurry of activities. Flashing cameras, wardrobe changes, and even the media coverage—but all of these were not the highlights for Alyssa. 

While it may be all too easy for pageants to become a hostile environment—since, at the end of the day, it is still a competition that everyone wants to win—Alyssa’s most memorable experience was every moment spent with her fellow candidates. To Alyssa, her bond with the girls broke through all the stereotypes. 

“Everyone was so proud of each other,” she stated.

The girls made things easier for Alyssa, but the competition was not as simple as it looked. Believing in herself proved to be a near-impossible feat for our winner. 

“I’ve always doubted myself. Sometimes, it’s easy to think that I don’t deserve to carry the ICLS banner, let alone the entire university with me,” she explained. 

Furthermore, the Miss Silliman Press Launch posed difficult questions for the candidates. This was the first time Alyssa realized that people were watching—the girls had a platform. Her fear doubled, but Alyssa’s support system wouldn’t let her doubt cloud her judgment. 

Having people there at her side is what kept her going. Her family and friends cheered her on, happy to be there no matter the pageant’s results. A friend of hers messaged at the competition’s height, saying: “Proud kaayo mi nimo, Lys.” 

And those words changed everything.

In the present, Alyssa is very busy. Since her coronation, she has been invited to judge four local pageants and emcee for one orientation so far. On top of everything, she is still working to make her future profession a reality. 

When asked what career she was thinking of pursuing, Alyssa enthusiastically replied, “Medicine!” The path to becoming a doctor is a long and arduous one. Many tap out before the going gets tough, but Alyssa isn’t a quitter. Tenacity is required to deal with the pressures of a pageant, but it is also a trait necessary for those in the medical field. 

Having won the competition, there is no doubt that the 77th Miss Silliman will achieve her dream to become a doctor. After all, she is well-versed in the challenge of having all eyes on her. Whether that be in Lamberto Macias Sports Complex or in an operating room, she will definitely succeed. 

The next year of her reign is to be ruled by change. Alyssa is incredibly passionate about her desire to help. Charities like Doctors without Borders and even the Miss Silliman outreach program Save the Green Earth all further pushed her to want to change people’s lives. 

She also aims to implement her advocacy called Susi sa Kalusugan, a project meant to improve the overall health of Filipinos. When translated, it means “the key to health.” 

“Filipinos usually only go to the doctor when showing symptoms. It is important that we prioritize prevention over cure,” she added. 

To Alyssa, consistent checkups are the key to early prevention of diseases. Her program includes health-related lectures and performing all types of screening tests—for blood pressure, blood sugar, hematocrit, and a urinalysis for the underprivileged. 

Alyssa dreams big. She dreamt of joining the Miss Silliman pageant—and she won. She dreamt of becoming a doctor, and is now a third year pre-med student. Alyssa hopes to help others, and she is set on actualizing Susi Sa Kasulugan in the next year. For the sake of her dreams and the dreams of all those she wishes to help, it may do us all good to hope for her dreams to come true as well—especially in her upcoming reign. 

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