Katarina Sonja Rodriguez, only 24 years old, captivated pageant fans all over the country and even landed on top of unofficial polls naming the favorites to win a crown. She has now succeeded last year’s titlist Jennifer Hammond and proclaimed Binibining Pilipinas Intercontinental 2017.
Perhaps as a portent of things to come, Katarina gave her definition of a winner during the Interview portion of the Grand Coronation Night on April 30.
To this Business Management and Philosophy major from De La Salle University, winning is more about “the responsibility that comes along when you win and how you execute the job after you win. I think a winner is somebody who knows how to inspire others...”
So who is Katarina beyond the crown?
Competitive and active
“I am an indoor cycling instructor at Saddle a Row studio & competitive long distance runner. Also a professional model since 2014,” she shares.
Moreover, she notes, “I am a black belt first degree in Tae Kwon Do, (have been) dancing ballet for 10 years and love to read, draw, and surf. I'm very adventurous. I love reptiles especially snakes. I love trying new sports and doing anything under the sun.”
Setbacks have made her strong
“I’d have to say a huge (challenge in my life) is being bullied, whether it’s people talking about me behind my back, or over social media. It's something that's been happening since I was 14 and I know it happens to a lot of people. I'd definitely say I'm tough-skinned. My parents raised me to understand that the opinion of people who speak negatively do not matter. Anyone who has nothing nice to say more than likely feels not so nice about themselves. Words a person uses are often a reflection of themselves.”
She shares that her experience being bullied “has helped me try to understand others, to feel sorry that they are probably going through something, and do not know any better how to deal with it than to put others down. It's helped me to genuinely be kind, to care for others, to not judge anyone myself, and not speak ill of any other person.” It is because of this that she says she keeps “a very small circle of best friends.”
Her Binibini journey so far
She has enjoyed her journey to the crown. “I'm learning every day and becoming more patient, empathetic and, well, queenly. From how I dress to how I speak, to joining the other girls on our outreach activities, the experience is truly eye-opening. I look forward to every moment because being a Binibini continues to mold me into becoming a true woman.”
What being a Queen means to her
“I'm looking forward to inspiring others and being inspired by people I'll meet. It's truly something to know you have the power to make a difference and actually use this position to its fullest to give back to every soul I come across...”
Interview by Annie S. Alejo
Bb. Pilipinas Official Facebook Page
@katarinarodri (Katarina Rodriguez Instagram Page)