VOLLEYBALL star Michele Gumabao hopes to inspire the youth to keep chasing their dreams — even if the world says ‘no’ to them.
The former La Salle star, who was a member of the team that won three successive UAAP titles from 2011 to 2013, made a bold choice when she decided to join the Binibining Pilipinas pageant in 2018.
Then, in January 2020, the Creamline star stepped out of her comfort zone again and decided to join Miss Universe Philippines.
“I know that there’s so much more things that I have yet to do, I have yet to share about not only my advocacy which is sports, but just to be able to make an impact especially to the youth,” Gumabao said in an interview with James Aiton of Favor Church.
“So that’s really what I’m trying to advocate for now,” she added.
While most of her fans cheered her on, some were still not yet convinced that the opposite spiker can win a crown in a beauty pageant.
Known for her swag on the court, Gumabao paid no attention to haters when she first threw her hat into the beauty queen ring. Instead, she poured out her focus and energy on her preparations, and then eventually bagged the Binibining Pilipinas 2018 Miss Globe title.
The outspoken volleybelle shared how she managed her time to fulfill her duties as both an athlete and beauty queen.
“It's difficult because it’s hard to balance,” said Gumabao. “I’m still a volleyball player, I still have my duty to my teammates and to our management that I have to play.
“I have to do it in a way that I can turn my physique into a beauty queen and still be able to play. It’s kind of hard because naturally, I’m built as an athlete and it’s way different when you’re up on stage against women are really naturally slender,” she added.
Nevertheless, people still had mean comments to say.
“This is one of the areas where a lot of people are criticizing and giving their comments about me, but it’s something that I’m used to,” she shared.
Added Gumabao: “Even in volleyball, a lot of people were telling me, ‘She’s too big to be a volleyball player.' [I]t still happens."
But she's not the type to back down from any challenge.
To the volleyball faithful, Gumabao has endeared herself to her fans with her no-nonsense attitude and she’s about to bring that game in the pageantry of her upcoming tilt.
“Now, no matter how much criticism, it just really doesn’t rub me off in a negative way anymore,” she said.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the May 3 coronation night of the Miss Universe Philippines has been moved to the second week of June.