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"Beauty Queens Advocate for Decent and Affordable Living"

The glaring sun was no match for the passion of some 40 radiant women who braved the heat just to help — in their own way — make the country a better, more beautiful place to live in.

Candidates and alumnae of Binibining Pilipinas attended Habitat for Humanity Philippines’ first ever “Women Build,” held last 28 February, Saturday, at Habitat’s Bistekville 4 community in Payatas, Quezon City.

 The 34 beauty queens contributed their time and effort to build new homes for informal settlers. Proving that beauty also comes from within, these women participated in cement mixing, bricklaying, and hollowblock-hauling.

“We believe in making a positive impact in society, and we are grateful to Habitat for Humanity Philippines for giving us this opportunity not only to help build homes for the less fortunate, but also to advocate for decent and affordable shelter in line with empowering the women in the community,” says Stella Marquez-Araneta, President of Bb. Pilipinas Charities, Inc.

The activity is organized in time for “International Women’s Day,” which is celebrated worldwide to commemorate the achievements of women.

By celebrating International Women’s Day, Habitat for Humanity’s aim is to likewise advocate and empower women by giving them more opportunities to rebuild lives. Female participants learn basic construction skills — skills that, in the past, were something only men learn — and in turn help build homes and communities.

“We are happy to be partnering with Bb. Pilipinas in providing better homes for our less fortunate brothers and sisters,” says Charlie Ayco, CEO and Managing Director for Habitat for Humanity Philippines. “We hope this experience would not only be enriching and eye-opening for the candidates, but also be a platform for them to campaign for lasting change.”

The Philippines currently has a housing backlog of nearly 4 million families, with four out of ten families in urban areas living in slums. Habitat for Humanity Philippines is seeking to lessen this backlog — and in turn alleviate poverty — by partnering with various sectors of society to ensure that those in need would secure decent shelter.