Michele Gumabao shares her source of strength
Mark Escarlote on Mar 25, 2020 09:00 PM
It was really God, I know that it was Him because if it was me, I would have never pushed through any of those things -- Michele Gumabao (Photo: Richard Esguerra)
Michele Gumabao exudes confidence, strength and power.
An accomplished volleyball player both in the collegiate and commercial leagues, a beauty queen and a TV personality, Gumabao is an example of an empowered woman.
But just like all of us, she had to go through challenges, adversities and the temptation of just giving up especially during the time when she entered the world of beauty pageant two years ago.
The multi-titled winger recalled her struggles playing for De La Salle University during her collegiate career and how she almost called it quits just days into her participation in the 2018 Binibining Pilipinas in a Lunchtime Chats with James podcast interview.
It was a whole new environment for Gumabao, whose career up until that time revolved around volleyball and the occasional dab into showbiz.
“Everything that I’ve been through – volleyball, beauty pageants – it may all seem impossible, it seemed impossible for me when I first started because it was something unnatural for me,” Gumabao told host Favor Church Senior Pastor James Aiton. “So how I know how everything was just orchestrated for me and I know that. Because that no matter how hard I tried when I was in college, I wanted to quit so many times.”
“And even when I joined Binibining Pilipinas, I know a lot of people don’t know this, but the first two days, I was already out to quit,” continued the 27-year old Gumabao.
That’s when she turned to her unbreakable faith in God.
“It was really God, I know that it was Him because if it was me, I would have never pushed through any of those things,” she said.
Out of the 40 women who joined the pageant, Gumabao won one of the six crowns at stake taking the Binibining Pilipnas Globe title.
Gumabao represented the country in the 2018 Miss Globe in Albania and landed at the Top 15 while bagging the Miss Social Media and Dream Girl recognitions.
Gumabao, daughter of former PBA player and actor Dennis Roldan, made a name for herself in women’s volleyball when she joined the DLSU Lady Spikers with whom she won straight three titles.
Her success continued in the commercial league in the Philippine Superliga, the defunct Shakey’s V-League and the Premier Volleyball League as well as landing a spot in the national team.
But Gumabao, who is now playing for three-time PVL champion Creamline, knew she’s bound for something bigger.
“At first my whole life was just revolving around sports. From being a volleyball player, I became a coach after I graduated. I started my own program for kids. And that's when I realized how everything I've been through from this point is meant for something bigger, and there has to be a purpose for it,” she said.
“And that's when I saw the reward or that feeling that you get when you share your passion especially to the younger generation. That’s what I wanted to do, and that’s how I first started,” Gumabao added. “And through the years, after I’ve met a lot of our beauty queens in show business, I’ve met almost all of them, and I’ve seen how much impact they have in society, how much people look up to them and how their voice is always heard. People just have so much respect for beauty queens.”
That’s was when she realized that being a beauty queen could be the avenue to share her advocacy and to inspire more people.
“It opened my eyes to so many things that I could do more. That being in sports is not just an area that I can be stuck in or I can just move into, so when I joined Binibining Pilipinas, it just opened my eyes to so much more opportunities to share what I’ve been through, to show who I am, and to also share God to a lot more people,” said Gumabao.
Even after her Miss Globe stint, Gumabao still dreamed of representing the country in the Miss Universe.
Just when she thought her chance of vying for the coveted title was done, an opportunity came knocking last year after Binibining Pilipinas parted ways with the Miss Universe franchise, which formed its own pageant.
“As of 2019, I told myself that I wouldn’t join any other pageant again because I can’t join Binibining Pilipinas again even when I wanted to vie for the title of Miss Universe because I won already in Miss Globe,” Gumabao said. “So last year a lot of people were asking me to join other beauty pageants, I was very hesitant.”
“I remember I was in the States around this time last year, and I was just talking to my sisters and I was praying what God really wanted for me back then,” she recalled. “If Miss Universe has their own pageant, then that’s the only time I’m going to join again. This happened late, late, late last year and when they announced then that’s the confirmation I needed to be able to try one more time.”
Gumabao successfully qualified for the inaugural new Miss Universe Philippines early this year.
“I know that there’s so much more things that I have yet to do, I have yet to share about not only my advocacy which is sports, but just to be able to make an impact especially to the youth,” she said. “So that’s really what I’m trying to advocate for now.”
The coronation night was supposed to happen in May but unfortunately with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, all Miss Universe Philippines activities are suspended.
“As of now, everything is suspended up until further notice, until we can get back on track,” said Gumabao. “The coronation night was originally on May 3, now, they announced it's in June second week.”
Here’s the full podcast interview: