Looking stunning in her lovely evening gown, 25-year-old Rachel Peters walked the stage on a wave of cheers and applause as her name was called in the last whirlwind moments of the Binibining Pilipinas Grand Coronation Night on April 30.
She nailed the live Interview portion with an articulate response that, in the hearts and minds of her fans, made her a shoe-in for one of the crowns among the night’s Top 15 finalists.
The Question: This week, the Philippines is hosting the ASEAN Summit. If you were invited to speak, what would have been your message to the leaders?
Her answer: “I believe that one of the biggest problems that our country faces today is divisiveness – in politics, in religion, and also in culture. And I believe that...is the same across the world. So that is something I want to address. I believe that when people can learn to tolerate each other’s differences and respect each other’s opinion,” she said before loud cheers erupted, “then we will just be a stronger nation, and world.”
Standing next to Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach, who co-hosted the Coronation, Rachel seemed every bit in the beauty titlist’s league. That night, she became Maxine Medina’s successor, the new Miss Universe Philippines title holder.
So who is Rachel beyond the crown?
“I completed my International Baccalaureate at the British International School in Phuket, Thailand, which is a high school,” she shares. After graduating, she moved to Melbourne, Australia where she studied at La Trobe University and earned a Bachelor of Business: Majoring in Tourism and Events.
“Since then, I have been working in the events industry in Manila. I am currently working as an artist liaison for our family business, which is concert promotions. I also write for a website called Cluster. I attend and cover events happening around Manila.”
Things she enjoys
“Ever since living in Melbourne, the coffee capital of Australia, I’ve developed a passion for coffee.” A lot of people can certainly relate to being a tad coffee crazy! She also likes doing things around the house. “I’ve recently have done a couple large home renovations, which I found I really enjoyed.”
“Anyone who knows me knows that I love the beach. The sight of palm trees soothes me and I take every opportunity I get to be by the beach and on a surfboard.” Anyone who’s seen her Instagram photos knows that aside from her bikini-worthy body, she does look good riding the surf. She is clearly in her element when it comes to the sun, sand and sea.
“At the end of last year, I found a way to combine these three things that I love and am currently working towards opening a café on Siargao Island. ‘Bake’ is now in its finishing stages and I can’t wait to invite you all to come and try it!! J”
She comes from a close-knit family
“My parents, my younger brother and I are all very close. They are my best friends, my biggest supporters and also my motivation to do and be good every day.” She notes that what she was most nervous about “being so far away from my family” when she moved from Thailand to Australia after high school.
“It was hard on all of us at first but as time passed, I became more grounded. I put on a brave face, focused on my studies, and got myself a job as a barista in a coffee shop (to fund my travels). I got lost and upset countless times but all the things I went through taught me how to be a strong and independent woman, and I wouldn’t change a thing. This whole experience also made me and my family a whole lot closer.”
Her experiences with Binibining Pilipinas so far
The Binibinis have participated in activities that brought them in contact with children from Operation Smile, Tandang Sora school kids, and even young patients of Rizal Medical Center. They even had a day to spend with some animals at PAWS.
“Being a Libra, I would say I’m very empathetic so I absolutely cherish opportunities like these where in I am given the chance to make someone’s day. Materialistically and financially, I don’t have much to give, but I do believe that the best gift you can give is your time.”
What is being a Binibini to her
“I decided to join Binibining Pilipinas as a positive learning experience to help me grow as a woman, to learn more about myself, to make unforgettable memories and, of course, to make friends to last a lifetime. All of which I’m thrilled to say I have already been achieving. I’m excited for the rest of this journey to unfold and to keep becoming a better version of myself every single day.”
Rachel says she is aware of the prestige of being a Binibini. “The way they walk, talk and exude confidence is something I’ve always admired and it is such an honor to now be able to call myself a Binibini.”
And now, a Queen.
And now, a Queen.
Interview by Annie S. Alejo
Photos by Bb. Pilipinas Facebook Page