Mentor defends Maxine Medina from bashers

enablePagination: false
maxItemsPerPage: 10
totalITemsFound:
maxPaginationLinks: 10
maxPossiblePages:
startIndex:
endIndex:

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Miss Universe Philippines Maxine Medina is criticized by some netizens for what they say, is her lack of fluency for the English language — but her mentor quickly came to her defense.

In a viral video taken during her send-off party on Tuesday, Medina was asked about her advocacy.

During her interview with the media, and as transcribed by CNN Philippines, she said: "My advocacy is about the youth who has HIV, specifically the youth. 'Coz I would like to feel them the help, the hope to give them access to education, living the life they should, you know. There's something in me that I really wanted to do also is to ensure that there's out there a little child, a girl, who's just like me — a simple girl who don't know that she can be a beauty queen."

One netizen said he'd love to hear her speak in Filipino, adding he is not underestimating her, but would rather hear the beauty of the language during the Miss Universe pageant.

Another netizen also said they can see Medina's efforts to learn the language but she cannot express herself in English, so she might as well speak in Filipino during the competition.

Medina's mentor, Mark Abalos, addressed Medina's critics in an Instagram post on Thursday.

He said the Filipinos should stop comparing Medina's communication skills with other Filipina beauty queens.

"We are second language speakers of English. Errors are normal...At the end of the day, it's just a beauty contest. Maxine will still be beautiful. She'll still be designing interiors. She has a beautiful life ahead," her language coach said.

Abalos added Medina has improved a lot and is doing all she can to become a better version of herself.

"I know that she has what it takes to represent our country. I am very lucky to have trained one of the most beautiful persons that I've known in this lifetime. In this world full of critics, can we just be supporters instead?" he said.

I am writing this post to finally break my silence as one of Maxine's mentors. When I learned that I'm going to work closely with Miss Universe- Philippines, I knew that there will be setbacks along the way. For seven months, we had to meet and spend time together to get things done. We had to work on her personal growth and communication skills simultaneously. I feel bad because of the online bashing that is happening at the moment. It is not something new to me but just to give you a different perspective on the matter, my research (Abalos, 2012) on attitudes of Filipino English language learners show that the interpersonal, sociolinguistic, and sociocultural contexts have to do with how individuals communicate. Situations may be viewed negatively by people who are not completely aware of the process of acquiring and learning a second language in formal and informal learning environments. Larsen-Freeman, Tananuraksakul, and Roh have written on particular aspects of this area of study. You may want to read first before you comment. Maxine has improved a lot. She is hardworking and she's doing her best to become a better version of herself. Please stop comparing her communication skills to previous representatives and candidates. We are second language speakers of English. Errors are normal. Even first language speakers of English commit mistakes, too. At the end of the day, it's just a beauty contest. Maxine will still be beautiful. She'll still be designing interiors. She has a beautiful life ahead. How about you? For those who keep on sending me messages of "concern" and "support", I never doubted Maxine's capabilities. As a language and communication practitioner, it is an honor to be given this responsibility. I know that she has what it takes to represent our country. I am very lucky to have trained one of the most beautiful persons that I've known in this lifetime. In this world full of critics, can we just be supporters instead? Maxine's pageant activities started today at 10 AM with an interview shoot from the Miss Universe team. Show your love by using the #4M4MU when you post pictures and messages of support online. Maraming salamat po. Para sa bayan.

A photo posted by Markisms  (@laoshifusensei) on

 

Former Miss Universe queens Gloria Diaz and Margie Moran told Medina not to be afraid to answer in Filipino.

Medina said she is choosing to answer the Q&A portion in English, saying she has been practising hard for that particular part of the competition.