12 Questions with Gayle Yu

9:00 AM

(This interview has been made last April 7, 2015. With excerpts from her LifestyleBohol cover story, A Woman of the Earth, published April 12, 2015)

Statuesque, alluring with her prominent oriental features, smart, confident, and self-assured — Gayle Suzette Yu is, without doubt, a picture of a beautiful Boholana.  Aside from those attributes, she also happens to be a writer, a blogger, a registered nurse, and now, a beauty queen.  Considering the aforementioned, Gayle is not just a comely lass but a representation of a modern-day Boholana who is capable of becoming anything she aspires to be.

More than a month after her landslide victory in Miss Philippines Earth Bohol 2015 search, Gayle is now set on a journey to shine brighter than forty other contenders from all over the country vying for the MPE crown.   While the national tilt will be a much tougher battle ground for Gayle. In fact, she is yet to win a medal or a special award.  Her strong Chinese looks is not everyone’s cup of tea and she is among the least hyped candidates among the batch.  But Gayle is determined, in fact very determined to make the province proud.

The entire province is continuously backing Gayle in her bid to become the next Miss Philippines Earth.  And the numbers do not lie.  Gayle currently leads the race to become MPE 2015’s Face of Colour Collection.  As of this writing, her official headshot has gained a decent 2,291 likes in Facebook and 566 votes on the MPE website while her Eco-tourism video has already been viewed 3,149 times, with 129 up votes, and 710 likes on the MPE website.  Moreover, her eco video has been consistently lauded. In her Facebook account, the MPE delegate shared that reigning Miss Philippines Earth, Miss Earth 2014 Jamie Herrell went to her just to sing praises on her video.

Watch here eco-video.

The support that she is getting continues to push her to go out there and triumph the challenges the pageant has beset upon all of the candidates.  But it is from her mom, the late Grace Esperanza, where Gayle draws much of the needed inspiration.  Her mom was also a beauty queen back in her younger years, having been crowned Divine Word College’s Miss Commerce and a Miss Bohol runner up back in the 70s.  However, it is her being a mother to Gayle and her four other siblings that molded the young beauty queen into the woman that she is right now  — kindhearted, gentle, and sweet.

Gayle with her her mom, Grace Esperanza and dad,
Mayor Junie Yu of Calape during her college graduation.
From Gayle's Facebook account.
Gayle’s environmental advocacy in coastal resource management is what she brought to Manila for the national tilt.  It is an advocacy close to her heart; her hometown, Calape, her father being the father to all Calapenhons, is acknowledged as one of the municipalities with the best coastal resource management.  She wishes to inspire the rest of the country with what Calape is capable of becoming.

“An eco-warrior should be two things: sincere in her environmental advocacy and of her concern for Mother Earth and open to new ideas and other people's suggestions,” Gayle says of what a true Boholano eco-warrior is and should be.  Since the start of her Miss Philippines Earth 2015 journey as the candidate from Calape vying to represent the province, she has been consistent in being what she preach.  With her unmatched determination, Gayle is surely to soar high even in her underdog status.

From Calape to the Philippines, Gayle Suzette Yu comes as a reflection of what a Boholana is and should be — a woman capable of being whoever she wants to be through hard work and determination.  Now an earth warrior with an advocacy cemented by her strong will and sincerity towards the cause, Gayle is definitely a woman of the earth.

1. Describe yourself using the last letter of your first name. 
Gayle: "Energetic.  Eco warrior. Environmental advocate."

2. If you are not a nurse, a writer, or a beauty queen, what would you have been?
Gayle: "Lisuda ani uy! Gitangtang naman jud nimu tanan.  Siguro...Radio DJ.  Kana bitawng maghatag-hatag ug advice."
(This is so difficult! You took away everything.  Maybe...a radio DJ.  The one that gives advices.)

3. What's the sweetest thing a guy did for you? What is the sweetest thing you did for a guy?
Gayle: "Iya kung gisurprise sa akong 19th birthday.  Sa amo tung klase unya nag-reporting.  Gipahunong ra ug kalit ang nagreporting kay naa lagi daw kuno'y namatay.  Unya taod-taod, naay ningsulod nga nagdala ug balloons, unya dako kaayo nga teddy bear, then mingsud si Nick, nagdalag bouquet of flowers unya card.  Iya diayng gisabot amung tibuok klase pati among teacher. Actually gishare to siya nako sa Holynamian Confession."

(He surprised me on my 19th birthday.  It was during our class and there was a reporting.  The reporter was suddenly asked to stop because somebody allegedly died.  Moments later, someone entered our classroom carrying balloons, then a giant teddy bear, then Nick came in, bringing a bouquet of flowers and a card.  He arranged it with my entire class and our teacher.  I actually shared it at Holynamian Confession.)  

(Read Gayle's confession here)

"As for the sweetest thing I did for a guy, I made a giant card.  Very personalized to siya nga card.  Nag-collect ko ug birthday greetings for him man akong gicompile.  Ako unta siya i-surprise sa iyang klase unya ning-absent diay kay nagduwag DoTA. Mao to adto ko sa internetan ning-surprise niya."

(As for the sweetest thing I did for a guy, I made a giant card.  The card is very personalized.  I collected birthday greetings for him and compiled them.  I was to surprise him in his class but he was absent because he was playing DoTA.  That's why I threw the surprise at the internet cafe.)

Gayle during the SM Eco Fashion Show
Photo from Miss Philippines Earth
official Facebook page.
4. What will you trade for world peace?
Gayle: "My education has always been important to me and this is what I would trade for world peace.  I would rather be uneducated in a peaceful world than be the smartest and do nothing for my world to have the peace it deserves."

5. Who is the nicest fairytale villain?
Gayle: "Definitely Maleficent.  I know most people who watched the movie would give the same answer, too."

6. Now, let me ask you Jamie Herrell's winning question last year.  Do you think we, human beings, have been good children to mother earth?
Gayle: "I think we, human beings, have been bad children to Mother Earth.  This is why I strongly believe that we should do more in taking care of her.  It is also very important that we influence everyone to do the same."

7. Name one thing you like and one thing you don't like about pageants.
Gayle: "One thing I like is being a representative of a place, showcasing their municipality to the whole country.  What I don't like is the competition.  The fact that it is a competition and you have to fight with your pageant sisters."
Good friends since college, here's a twofie during
our catching up date at Gelateria Milano last December

8. What's the best lesson you learned from Tita Grace?
Gayle: "The best lesson I learned from Mama is to be always nice to other people without expecting any return because you don't know when you'll be needing their help.  Kay si Mama kay grabe jud kaayo mutabang."
(The best lesson I learned from Mama is to be always nice to other people without expecting any return because you don't know when you'll be needing their help.  Mama greatly helps.)

9. What is your dream proposal?
Gayle: "I just want a sweet romantic gesture nga sincere.  And gusto ko, nakapananghid na siya sa family niya ug sa family nako.  Man, gusto lang ko nga naay pictures and video.  Gusto ko nga naay muvideo sa moment."
(I just want a sweet romantic gesture which is sincere.  And I want it that he has already asked permission from his family and my family.  I also like that there are photos and videos.  I want someone to capture the moment in a video.)

10. Why should people visit Bohol?
Gayle: "Bohol is not just a tourist destination.  Dili lang siya nga muadto ka sa Bohol nga mutan-aw sa mga sites.  You experience the community, the Boholano community.  You realize that this community exist...that you can live a simple life with wonderful people around surrounded by the beauty of nature.  Simple lang imung life diri.  Ang pagkaon nato, makita ra.  We have the best sa yuta ug sa tubig.  It is like asking me, 'When you stayed in America, what did you miss in Bohol?'"
(Bohol is not just a tourist destination.  You just don't go to Bohol to see the sites.  You experience the community, the Boholano community.  You realize that this community exist...that you can live a simple life with wonderful people around surrounded by the beauty of nature.  Your life is simple here.  You can find your food anywhere.  We have the best from both our land and water resources.  It is like asking me, 'When you stayed in America, what did you miss in Bohol?')

11. What's your favorite street food?
Gayle: "That would be tempura."

12. What is that one Philippine tourist destination that best represents you?
Gayle: "Bohol's Chocolate Hills best represents me.  At first sight, you may find it boring and say "they're just like any other hills" but when you take time to climb up the stairs going to the viewing deck, you will witness its breathtaking beauty."

Got a question to ask? I've got two ways: Like Deejay Writes on Facebook and comment your question on the 12 Question's official photo. Don't forget to share the photo so your friends will know this exists too. You can also follow me on Twitter (@deejayisawriter) and Instagram (@deejaywrites) and tweet me your question using the hashtags #deeJAYwrites and #12Questions.I will be choosing the best questions.

Vote for Gayle to be Miss Photogenic here.
Vote for Gayle's eco-tourism video here.
Vote for Gayle to be MPE 2015 Face of Colour Collection here.


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DEEJAY WRITES is a proudly Boholano lifestyle and travel blog by LifestyleBohol in-house writer Deejay Arro. Launched in June 2014, DEEJAY WRITES ranks among the Top 200 Entertainment and Lifestyle blogs in the country and has been consistently receiving positive feedback from readers..