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This 69-year-old fashion designer redefines beauty standard as one of MUPH-QC's oldest candidates

By Yoniel Acebuche Published Jan 11, 2024 4:05 pm

A contestant in the Miss Universe Philippines-QC pageant went viral recently for her age, challenging expectations and redefining beauty standards.

Jocelyn Cubales, also known as Joyce Penas Pilarsky, proved that age really is just a number by joining MUPH-QC at the age of 69.

In case you didn't know, the Miss Universe Organization announced last September 2023 the removal of age restrictions across all Miss Universe and associated pageants, which will apply this year. Back then, the MUO only allowed women between the ages of 18 and 28 to compete in the beauty pageant. This is one of the new rules mandated by the international pageant, such as the inclusion of transgender women, divorced women, wives, and mothers.

Pageant veteran

The senior designer is no newbie when it comes to pageantry as she once represented South Asia and was the first Filipina to compete in the 2017 edition of Mrs. Universe. In that pageant, she bagged the "Mother of the Universe" special award for her advocacy and charity work for children and women in the Philippines.

Moreover, she was named Mrs. Philippines Germany in 2000, and Mrs. Asia International, Mrs. Asia International Global, and Mrs. Ecotourism, all in 2014.

Joining MUPH-QC, she said, was thrilling for her. She expressed her joy when the local pageant organizer informed her that she was chosen to be part of the official candidates list.

Although she initially had hesitations, the pageant veteran said nothing, not even her age, would stop her from fulfilling her dreams.

"I was so happy, thrilled and excited. I'm overjoyed because, at my age, I wasn't expecting too much. Now, I am here already as one of the candidates," she told PhiLSTAR L!fe in an interview.

"[I want] to inspire everyone, especially [in] my age bracket, to be heard and believe in themselves that they can share their talents and expertise for others to learn from," Jocelyn said.. "Nothing is impossible. Beauty and grace are not limited to any particular age; dreams do come true if you believe in yourself [as long as] you have the passion to go for it."

A multi-faceted queen

More than the pageantry, Jocelyn has juggled many roles throughout her career. She's a fashion designer, a former flight attendant at Saudi Arabian Airlines, and a naturopathic and alternative medicine doctor. She also loves to sing, write songs, paint, and sculpt.

And in case you didn't know, she acts, too! The beauty queen was also nominated as Best New Movie Actress by the Philippine Movie Press Club in 2018 at the 34th Star Awards for Movies for her role in the 2017 full-length film New Generation Heroes with veteran actress Anita Linda.

She shared the nomination during that time with some renowned local artists, including Maymay Entrata (Loving In Tandem), Yen Santos (Northern Lights: A Journey To Love), Mary Joy Apostol (Birdshot), and co-beauty queens such as Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach and Miss Universe Philippines 2016 Maxine Medina.

More than anything else, joining this pageant at her age is Jocelyn's way to encourage and inspire other women to follow their dreams even in their twilight years.

"[I want] to promote self-love and aspire to live a healthy, happy life," Jocelyn said. "[I want] to send a message to everyone that true beauty is about self-belief, passion, and service to others."

The coronation night of MUPH-QC will be held on Feb. 5. If Cubales wins, she will be the city's representative to Miss Universe Philippines 2024.