Filipina beauty queens Maxine Medina and Winwyn Marquez discuss pageant journey and new ventures

16 Jul 2020 | Camilla Suarez

Maria Mika Maxine Medina was crowned Miss Universe Philippines 2016 and represented the Philippines at Miss Universe 2016 and was placed at the top 6 at the event finale. She graduated from the Philippine School of Interior Design and De La Salle-College of St Benilde. She has experience designing residential condominiums. She is currently a member of the Professional Models Association of the Philippines.

Growing up shy and full of insecurities about her skin color, Maxine never thought of joining the modeling industry, much less the pageant world. She wanted to become a volleyball player then. But, at the age of 18, she was persuaded by her photographer cousin to pose for a shoot and that’s when she fell in love with modeling as well as the camera. She participated in Binibining Pilipinas 2016 pageant and, later, in the Miss Universe stage.


Filipina beauty queens Maxine Medina and Winwyn Marquez discuss pageant journey and new ventures


Teresita Ssen Winwyn Marquez was crowned as the first Reina Hispanoamericana Filipinas title in the Miss World Philippines 2017 pageant and eventually won the Reina Hispanoamericana 2017 title in Santa Cruz, Bolivia on 4th November 2017. Marquez is an advocate of education and has a Community Engagement Program that goes to different mission areas and public schools and is part of the GMA Network.

Winwyn always wanted to be a beauty queen and grew up watching Miss International 1979 Melanie Marquez conquer the pageant world. Winwyn realized that the pageant stage is a perfect place to exercise all her passions modeling, performing, public speaking, and engaging in advocacies.


Maria Mika Maxine Medina winner Miss Universe Philippines 2016


In a recent virtual interview, Miss Universe Philippines 2016 Maxine Medina and Reina Hispanoamericana 2017 Winwyn Marquez shared their stories about living in the ‘new normal’ environment and heartfelt pageant journey which is also their new project titled, ‘Beauty Queens’. Maxine shared that she starts her day with her workout regime which leads to doing her household chores and then she carries on with her online business which is a gift of the quarantine. She owns two business pages on Instagram where one is meant for her pre-loved clothes and the other one is marketing her meat products. These small yet impactful activities have added to the positivity for Maxine days during the lockdown days. The diva who is also an actress is trying her hand on Filipino dishes like adobo, sinigang, and caldereta as well. She also mentioned that she has a lot on her plat now but she is very grateful for all the work she has now and believes that during such tough times, work is the only thing that keeps an individual going and is a useful weapon to fight anxieties.

Winwyn agreed to the former Miss Universe and mentioned that the pandemic has taught her to be more sensitive and understanding towards her mental health and give it equal importance compared to the physical or emotional health. Winwyn shared that she has learned to be more careful with her choice of words towards people as she is now aware that it matters to the people who deal with mental illness. She doesn’t want any of her friends or closed ones to go through any such thing which is why she makes sure she keeps a check on them.



The divas mentioned that they are also keeping their food habits in check despite selling steak for Maxine and homemade bread for Winwyn. The divas shared that they both just make sure that they burn the same number of calories they have eaten in order to balance it out. Maxine likes to train with intense cardio exercises. Winwyn, on the other hand, is into weight lifting and yoga. The gorgeous divas also mentioned that when they are not baking or selling stuff online, they are busy making their minds sharp which means that they are taking up online courses that have been very effective towards their time at home. She said getting busy with positive activities is way better than sulking around trying to overanalyze the negativities. “Tomorrow is not promised. We may not be prepared but we need to adapt to what is happening”, shared Winwyn.

Besides baking, working out, reading, and doing all household chores, the divas have been busy promoting their new upcoming series ‘Beauty Queens’ on iWant directed by Joel Lamangan. The series doesn’t only showcase the glitz and glamour of the pageant milieu. It goes beyond the perfect illusion of beauty queens. Interestingly, the show circles around a family of the beauty queen, the depth of individual and collective dreams, and the rigorous process of securing a crown. The beauty queens dealing with the scrutiny, emotional struggles, personal growth, and how they shine like a star when they are on-stage are showcased in the series.

Winwyn plays the role of Cristina De Veyra, and Maxine breathes life to the character of an aspiring beauty queen turned activist, Tingting. Joining them in the series is Miss Universe 1969 Gloria Diaz as Dahlia, the matriarch of the De Veyra family. Maxine and Winwyn are both in awe of Gloria’s queenly nature. They said the veteran actress and pageant virtuoso is a woman of wisdom, and they enjoy learning a lot from her.