Under Bright Lights

(Day 10 – Something you’re afraid of)

There’s something about bright lights and awkward audience stares that would make any girl wearing a tight dress and unbearably high stilettos blank out at even the simplest of questions. Sometimes, we watch beauty pageants and end up being flabbergasted when breathtaking contestants give silly answers to questions demanding more intelligent responses. But really. I think there’s a law somewhere showing the inverse correlation of stiletto height plus meters walked on the runway to the ability of a person to generate deep statements and profound quotations.

I may have been a victim of this law during my third year of high school, when I found myself in that tight dress and those high heels, under those bright lights and those unrelenting audience stares. Why I even entered a beauty pageant is crazy in itself. It’s partially answered here. So there. I entered a beauty pageant and almost blanked out during the question and answer portion. Note the word almost. The word totally will come in some weeks later, during the Miss Cordillera contest. I totally blanked out there.

Okay, back to this pageant.

The question was easy enough. “What was your greatest childhood fear?”

My answer? “When I was a kid, I was afraid of things that went bump in the night. Like witches, kapres, tikbalangs – all those scary creatures.” So deep. So profound.

I relive that moment every now and again. When I do, I often come up with a series of responses that I wish I had given then. Ones that are more meaningful and less… shallow. Like being afraid of growing up. Like being afraid of the uncertainty of the future. Like being afraid of humanity and of every darkness that has entered the world since the Fall. I was afraid of those things back then. Sometimes they scare me still.

But looking back, I think it was one of those top of your head answers you’re likely to give any stranger. I mean, you’re not likely to confide your deepest darkest childhood fears to someone you don’t know on a normal occasion, right? So I guess that was an okay enough answer to give to the judges then.

I won in the end. I found it hard to believe. I still do sometimes. I know it was more than the Q&A portion.

But I guess the next time someone asks me about my childhood fears (or any fear for that matter), I know I’m likely to give one of the deeper answers.

Because I won’t be under bright lights and there won’t be an awkward audience. And I wouldn’t be wearing that tight dress and those unbelievably high stilettos then.

Can you believe it?

(Okay, the heels I wore that night weren’t that high.)

2 thoughts on “Under Bright Lights”

  1. Hi Mari!

    Truth be told, the whole class was so damn proud you won that night. :) After that pageant, we noticed an increase in your confidence levels, so it was a great thing you joined AND won it.


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