Residents of the Regional Haven for Women (RHW) of DSWD Field Office VII vied for the title of Miss Valentines on February 14, 2024, to celebrate self-love and independence.

Contestants of the Miss Valentines during their lively production number.

For some, Valentine’s Day is a special day to express love in romantic ways. But for the residents of this facility for abused women and their children, this provides an opportunity to show that women in difficult situations can express love for themselves through confidence and empowerment.

The search for Miss Valentine’s focused on showcasing the talent, beauty, and confidence of female residents. Segments of the competition included a talent show, a production number, and the most-awaited question-and-answer portion.

Five (5) residents competed for the Miss Valentines crown.

It is one of the center’s activities for Love Month that aligns with the overall rehabilitation program for residents. The various parts of the competition aim to help residents prepare for reintegration into their communities.

A 25-year-old mother won the competition with her polished talent presentation and response to the question and answer round of how she can express or show love to others. “I believe, and I always do, that respect is the best and a strong foundation of love,” she responded.

Together with her is her 7-month-old child, who has been temporarily sheltering inside the facility.

Center Head Ananisa F. Aviso said that the pageant can boost their confidence, improve self-development, and help them understand the importance of self-care. “While the center gives them the love and care they need; we want to make them feel that the concept of love should start by loving themselves. It is by loving and respecting themselves that they become confident and give respect to others,” she added.

All the winners received special prizes and will represent RHW in the upcoming Miss Juana 2024 search, a pageant during Women’s Month for clients and residents of DSWD facilities.

As of February 14, 2024, the Regional Haven for Women caters to 14 women with various cases of abuse and exploitation and 5 children needing temporary shelter. ###

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