Life N Style Central Beauty in Focus: Fashion Meets Passion for Janela Joy Cuaton
Report: Anton Eder | Media Correspondent
Managing Editor: Raymund Thom Golez
Photos: Anton Eder; Jerry Ilao | Official Photographer
Images Credit: Janela Cuaton FB Page
MANILA, Philippines – While other beauty queen-wannabes may have joined the Miss World Philippines 2017 in their quest to wear a crown on their heads, one contestant truly embodies the real “Beauty With a Purpose” meaning which followed the heart of advocacy of Miss World Organization. Let me share the story of a young lady named JANELA JOY CUATON.
Janela Joy Cuaton has Visayan roots; her father is from Southern Leyte while her mother is from Masbate City. But she transferred to Doha, Qatar because her parents became migrant workers there. The Cuaton family had modest beginnings, and Janela’s parents, strives hard for them to have a better life. Janela was in high school when the family had a better financial standing. She then began to see the poverty around her, and wondered how she could lend a helping hand.
When she was 15, she began her modeling career in with Trinity Talent Qatar in Doha, Qatar. At that tender age, she realized that she could raise funds to help her fellow Filipinos, especially those living in Leyte and Masbate, her parents’ hometowns. As Janela built wider connections as a model in Qatar, there were younger ladies who approached her and asked her to train them on how to become a model.
That was when Janela organized and spearheaded the FASHION MEETS PASSION PROGRAM, with 2 main goals in mind:
•to have a modeling workshop that will help young ladies gain self confidence that will lead to having a better personality
•to raise funds from the modeling workshop so that FASHION MEETS PASSION’s profits could be given to the marginalized sector in the Philippines
With Janela’s persistence to help her countrymen, her FASHION MEETS PASSION PROGRAM (FMP) was able to stand the test of time. The program’s volunteers, along with the Cuaton family, have organized 4 seasons of the said program that extended help to the following beneficiaries:
•For FMP Season 1 – Janela Cuaton and the FMP Team were able to feed 1,200 people on Saint Bernard, Southern Leyte. They were also able to give 700 school bags and other school supplies and food packs.
•For FMP Season 2 – Janela and the FMP Team went to Asilo de Molo, a home for the aged in Iloilo. She dedicated this outreach program to her late Lola (Grandma) Loly. The team brought smiles to weary, old faces when they gave some personal care packages and food. They also had a short program and Janela’s young and vibrant FMP Team cheerfully shared stories to Asilo de Molo’s elderly folks.
•For FMP Season 3 – Janela and the FMP Team went to the National Children’s Hospital, Manila and gave some food and financial assistance (from the proceeds of the modeling workshop) to the children who are unwell.
•For FMP Season 4, which finished just a few weeks ago, Janela and the FMP Team donated the proceeds of the modeling workshop to Igang Elementary School, Masbate.
Aside from her Fashion Meets Passion program, Janela also makes sure that she would be able to assist OFWs in Doha, Qatar who get abused by their employers. She was even able to assist one OFW in returning to the Philippines. We chose not to name the people who received assistance from Janela’s Fashion Meets Passion Team, not because there are too many of them, but because we decided not to be too boastful. My goal, as an editor of Team Janela, is to let people know that her advocacy has existed years before she began joining and winning beauty pageants.
Janela decided to study college in Manila. She became one of the models of Titan Talent Management, Inc., and it was then when her interest in joining beauty pageants began. People who saw her potential to become a Philippine ambassador of goodwill and charity continuously encouraged her to join national pageants. She became a part of Kagandahang Flores Beauty Camp, the leading Beauty Camp in the Philippines which produced Precious Lara Quigaman (Miss International 2005), Jamie Herrell (Miss Earth 2014), Bea Rose Santiago (Miss International 2014), Mary Jean Lastimosa (Miss Universe 2014 Top 10 Semi-Finalist) Parul Shah (Miss Grand International 2015 3rd Runner Up), and Angelia Gabrena Ong (Miss Earth 2015).
In 2015, Janela was crowned as Mutya ng Pilipinas Tourism International which also paved a way for her to represent the Philippines in the Miss Tourism Metropolitan International 2016 where she won as first runner-up. And now, she’s up for a greater challenge and responsibilities to live up to the real essence of Beauty with a Purpose on her quest for the Miss World Philippines 2017 crown.