My real-life answer to a beauty pageant question

Remember the question that was given to Miss Philippines during the 2011 Miss Universe?

“Would you change your religious beliefs to marry the person you love? Why and why not?”

And she answered: “If I had to change my religious beliefs, I will not marry the person that I love because the first person that I love is God, who created me. And I have my faith, my principles, and this is what makes me who I am. And if that person loves me, he should love my God too.”

I think it’s wonderful how she answered it – based on what she really believed in and not what she thinks everyone would like to hear. Well, maybe there were some points in her answer that other people did not like or did not appreciate. Perhaps her answer to that question did cost her the crown (as Miss Universe), but at least she did not sell out or compromise her beliefs.

I find it relevant to know our stand regarding these very real situations. Not everyone has the same beliefs and practices as us, whether it be religious, political, social, among others. We don’t have to force everyone else to think or believe the way we do, but we don’t have to bend to everyone else’s beliefs too.

I am steadfast in my faith, a practicing Catholic all my life. I don’t have anything against anyone of a different religion. I have so much respect for people who have such great conviction with their faith, regardless of what they believe in. Love, affection, and respect should not be bounded by religious differences.

But if we’re talking about romantic love, I would probably hold back. I would hesitate to fall in love with someone of a different religion. I would like to be with someone and marry someone who has the same beliefs as myself. I would not like to change my religious beliefs for the one I love, or for anyone else. My faith is my relationship with the God I believe in, and nobody in this world should get in between that relationship.

There are also practical reasons why I prefer to be with someone in the same faith. In a committed relationship or a marriage, differences can cause misunderstandings and conflicts. Although some good relationships are able to work through these conflicts, my faith is something that I don’t want to risk or challenge, especially in what should be my most intimate relationship with another human being. I would not like to force someone to give up their faith for me, and I would not like to do the same for someone else. Also, I prefer not to have a reason for my future children to grow up with a chance of having any degree of confusion with their religion and faith because of the religious differences of their parents.

I am not vying for a beauty pageant title, and I don’t need to make others subscribe to this belief of mine. There may be a lot of people who would think the same, and maybe a lot more who would think otherwise. Honestly, this belief of mine have been previously put to the test, and I really did walk away from the romantic possibility early on. It surely saved me from a lot of complications.

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