Leah Salterio

Evangeline Pascual from beauty queen to actress to motivational speaker

May 25, 2024 Leah C. Salterio 89 views

EvangelineHER statuesque beauty made her bag the Miss Republic of the Philippines 1973 title that made her represent the country in the Miss World pageant that same year, when she won first runner up.

It didn’t take long before Evangeline Pascual became an actress for Sampaguita Pictures, appearing as leading lady of Fernando Poe, Jr., Ramon Zamora and many other stars. She was doing eleven films a year.

The transition in Evangeline’s life was quite drastic from a teener who played basketball to being a beauty contestant. It was a stretch for a very young girl.

She left her hometown in Orani, Bataan and went to Manila. She lost her childhood friends and classmates.

She became a radio broadcaster on DWIZ. For two decades, she did online counselling that dealt with love and life, joined by Aster Amoyo.

She became a young widow in her 30’s left with three children – two boys and a girl. She never remarried since even if the dying wish of her father was to see her settle down anew.

“So far, so good,” Evangeline said. “All my three children finished college, even with two degrees.” That prompted Evangeline to return to school at Loyola School of Theology.

“So many men, so little time. I dated, but never really remarried. There were many guys giving me gifts, flowers, pizza. Some guys were even married. My daughter asked once, ‘Mama, where are the men?’ I said they are with their wives.” (Laughed)

“I didn’t go for live-ins. I love you when I see you. I go out on dates. I’m harmless. I received indecent proposals. I even received marriage proposals. I didn’t believe them. I wasn’t sure if they were true and sincere.”

It didn’t become her wont to break a family. “When I was younger, men were younger. When I was small and Christmas trees were tall, now I’m tall and Christmas trees were small.”

Evangeline simply listened to the guys. One was even showing her his Cenomar (Certificate of No Marriage) to prove he is not married.

“I do not negate anyone,” she said. “I do not say, ‘Get out.’ It was fun to listen to them. I get flattered and elated. That doesn’t happen to all women.

“My only classification was ‘marunong sumayaw at marunong kumanta.’ I do ballroom dancing. I do zumba, foxtrot, tango. I do a lot of work out. Not yoga. I can walk 15,000 steps. I don’t go for any passive activity.

“I can be the most boring date. Soup pa lang, busog na ako. You don’t need to give me steak. But I have what I need today. I’m okay. God is good. I travel. I just came from Australia. Last year, I was in the US.

She brags about her 92-year-old mom who remains gracious to date. She was born to shop. She stays in Bataan and still quarrels with her children.

Evangeline is the middle child in a brood of seven children, the only beauty queen in the family of doctors and politicians.

Today, aside from acting in teleseryes, Evangeline is a regular motivational speaker and actively giving talks to spiritual groups. Last May 18, she spoke before a Catholic Charismatic Community for Oasis of Love.

In June, Evangeline will be talk anew before the Manila Dental Chapter and very active toastmaster.

“Before, I would give three-day workshops for beauty pageant candidates. Whenever I got invited or called to do trainings for contestants, I would do that,” she granted.

Then, I will also judge a few beauty pageants. But there are a lot these days. Sometimes, one after the other. Times are changing. A lot has been changed. Iba na talaga ang panahon. Minsan nga, the same winner, but for different contests.

“There are professional contestants. Gano’n naman ang trending. So to each his own. The pageant organizers welcome it. There’s nothing wrong. It’s different. Time for change. That’s okay. If it’s different, that means, it’s new.”

Evangeline understands the contests or pageants lately. “I still get to judge local contests, like Miss World or Miss Earth. During my time, I was told right on my ear that beauty contests have become irrelevant.”

Yet, that was more than four decades ago. “If they are saying it today, that’s the same thing,” she said. “There will always be a sector who will contradict the (beauty) contest.”