SOLAR Entertainment sports reporter/ producer Monique Cuyugan Tuzon, who has interviewed sports stars both here and abroad, joins the Miss World Philippines 2018 pageant and she’s candidate number 14. Opera singer and actress Fides Cuyugan is her grandma. “Pinsan siya ng grandfather ko,” Monique says about Fides. “She helped train me in classical singing when I joined Miss Asia Carolinas in 2012 in the U.S. and I won.”
Mo (her nickname) was born in the U.S. on May 6, 1993 then her parents returned to Manila and she stayed here for 11 years before going back to the U.S. again. The eldest of two sisters and two other stepsisters, she now holds dual citizenship as both Pinay and American. Her parents eventually separated and at 18, she became independent. She joined the Miss Asia Carolinas pageant in North Carolina and her prize was a scholarship in college.
She now has a mass communications degree from the University of North Carolina in Charlotte. NC is famous for the novels of Nicholas Sparks like “The Notebook”, “Message in a Bottle”, etc. and she says she has visited all the places mentioned in Sparks’ novels.
How determined is she to win? “I’d do whatever it takes to win. They told me I look a bit fat at 130 lbs. so I intend to lose 10 more lbs. before the pageant’s finals at the MOA Arena on October 7. I’m also training with Aces and Queens of Jonas Gaffud.”
Who among local actresses does she favor? “I’m not really that familiar with all of them but I really admire Anne Curtis, not only as an actress but also the way she handles her entire life and career.”
Would she be willing to try showbiz also? “I’m open to it, I’m easy to train, but my dream really is to be a lifestyle reporter or host, especially about cooking since I love Filipino food. My grandma is Kapampangan and I just love her kare-kare and embotido.”
How many boyfriends so far? “Only two. I had one in the States, a Caucasian but we broke up. Then I met a half Filipino-half Indian guy in Sinulog and we’ve been on since January. He’s training as a pilot with Cebu Pacific.”
Aside from her stunning good looks, one advantage of Mo over the other candidates is her being very articulate since she’s so used to speaking in public. We’re sure she’ll easily excel in the Q&A portion. Her advocacy is supporting the LGBT community’s quest for equal rights. “My two stepsisters are both gay and my uncle, who’s my best friend, is also gay, also two aunts who are both gay rin. Marami rin akong kaibigang gay so I really support them all.”