Feature story, published in Mindanao Current, 2004


She just turned 19 last September 15, 2004 but Stephanie Kate J. Cawaling holds the most coveted throne of Miss Cagayan. She is the only daughter of Mr. Ricardo M. Cawaling, a soldier, and Myrtel J. Cawaling, a teacher. Standing at 5’4 with vital statistics of 34-25-34, she thinks her edge in winning the crown during the eve of Miss Cagayan in the midst of her fiercely competitive co-candidates is her stamina and the intriguing X-factor that she undeniably possess.

Like most great things in life, winning the crown certainly took a lot of hard work and experience for this young lady. While most girls at age 7 stay in school, started ramping her way to where she is now. These are the titles bestowed on her so far: (1992) 4th runner up of Miss COLS; (1998) 1st runner up of Miss Intrams; (2001) Miss Pilgrim; (2002) Miss Opol, 1st runner up of Miss Talisayan, Miss Tourism of Misamis Oriental and 1st runner up of Miss Teen Cagayan; (2003) National Bikini Babes; and lately (2004) Miss Cagayan.

Kate, as fondly called by her friends, describes herself as a strong, sophisticated, well-cultured woman of faith who projects who she truly is, without masks or strings attached. The best beauty advice that she can give is to be simple and natural. According to her, to be beautiful, one needs only to possess the charisma and the glow emanating from within, that even without make-ups or glamour a woman can be striking and attractive. For her part, she contributes all these factors in her through the love of the Lord. She lives a life of simplicity and she gives all the glory back to the Lord.

Prime Mover

For Kate, Her greatest asset in life is her profound faith and strong spiritual relation to the Lord. She does not only consider this as her asset but also her priced possession as well. God is the prime mover inside her and on all the good things surrounding her. He is her source of strength, courage, and conviction whenever she’s put into the test and the limelight. She considers herself nothing without Him.

The best description she can think of love is still found in the Bible. An ideal guy for her would be someone extraordinary, and by that she means someone who is very sweet, patient, a gentleman to the core and someone who could readily accept her for who she truly is. She has no ideal age for marrying but she’ll consider tying the knot once she’ll be contented with her single life and she’ll find the guy that she would want to live with for the rest of her life.

As for premarital sex, she is strongly opposed to it. Other than the adverse consequences that both will have to face in the end, she also holds the belief that it is still rightful in the eyes of man and blessed in the eyes of God , for a woman to shed blood on the night of her wedding day.

Of beauty pageants

Kate joined beauty pageants because other than the personal and social enhancement she gets out of it, she is also molded into a well-disciplined woman. Along the process of the competitions, she also gained a lot of friends and experience a lot of fun.

The best thing that she can’t forget while joining Miss CDO is the bonding she shares with her equally beautiful co-candidates and the crazy and funny experiences they have in their practices.

To some people, beauty pageants are held in low esteem with the notion that it is a cheap venue for young women to wallow in vanity and peddle shallow superficialities. There are a lot of rumors going on about the integrity of these competitions and the hanky-panky going on between the candidates and their respective sponsors. But there is more than what meets the eye in beauty pageants. What most people do not know is that it takes a woman of strength and courage like Kate to survive a beauty pageant as prestigious as Miss Cagayan while keeping her principles and self-confidence intact, and her faith for the Lord burning -- something that men may not completely understand.

In her own words, she believes that “the women are the stronger sex for they exhibit extraordinary qualities that surpass the attributes of men. Men are powerful and strong, but women controls their power and strength…”


New Miss Cagayan do Oro Stephanie Kate Cawaling ( center ) of Barangay Patag strikes a pose with her princesses following her coronation as winner of this year's search last Tuesday night. Posing for photographers with Cawaling are ( from left ) Kristine Ygonia ( 3rd runner - up ). Imy Beja ( 1st runner - up ).Cawaling. chona Abrogar ( 2nd runner - up ).and Haidee Mondejar ( 4th runner - up ). (ph0t0 c0pyright friendster-cd0)

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