OUT OF MISS WORLD
Images by Rxandy Capinpin
Styling by by Austin Contiguerra
Make-up by Hanna Pechon
Hair by Patty Inojales
It was a cold day in December when Phoebe Denight Palisoc put her best stiletto forward in front of a global audience. Young and fearless, she was Miss World Guam in Maryland among more than 100 international beauties in the 2016 Miss World pageant.
It’s kind of a big deal considering Phoebe only graduated from high school, Harvest Christian Academy, and turned 18 this year. No doubt, the bar’s been set high, and the sky’s the limit for this 5-foot-7-inch beauty from Tamuning. Uno Magazine got to sit down with this month's cover girl who shared the deets on how it all went down.
Congratulations and a job well done on repping our island in Miss World in December! Can you take us back to the beginning and tell us why you decided to venture into the world of pageantry?
I was interested and I specifically chose Miss World because of the community involvement. We were able to choose a charity and raise money. That was really important to me. I was really excited to be able to do that and have that opportunity through Miss World.
What charity did you end up choosing, and how did you help?
I chose the Guam Memorial Hospital Volunteers Association because of my great-grandmother. My great-grandmother was actually a volunteer. It was really nice to be able to follow her footsteps. I worked with Infusion to create a cupcake and a drink so that every time someone purchased it, money would be donated to the volunteers, the Pink Ladies. It was really amazing because they're the sweetest women I know.
Does that mean you want to be Pink Lady?
I actually became a member once I turned 18. I'm going to start volunteering on Saturdays where I go and read to patients. It makes their stay a little bit better.
You were still a high school student when this all went down. How did you manage a high school career and a pageant at the same time?
Oh yeah, I graduated this year back in May. I was a high school senior when I won and when I went off into the international pageant. It was really crazy, but it was a good experience. I was actually the youngest contestant, 17 at the time. Everyone else was a college student. In the international pageant, there were three other 17-year-olds, Italy, Moldova, me, and I can't remember the other country. But that was among 117 contestants! It was pretty cool.
It was hard. I would go to volleyball practice, then I’d go to rehearsals after that. Afterwards I’d go home and I still had a lot of homework to do, and of course, I wanted to keep up my GPA and my ranking. I lost a lot of sleep, and in the end, it was truly worth it to have that experience at a young age. It's taught me a lot, and I've grown a lot from it. You have to be very disciplined, and time management was very important.
What were a few of the highlights of your experience?
I think the most memorable part of that whole experience was the women I was able to meet. My roommate was actually from the Cook Islands, and we just clicked instantly. I was really close with my [other] roommates, Miss World Fiji and Miss World England. It was really cool to meet people I probably would’ve never been able to meet if I hadn’t joined the pageant. My pageant mom was Kim Santos, and she was Miss World 1981 from Guam, she actually won the international pageant in 1981. I ended up meeting her and her whole family. It was so nice to meet her.
The Guam pageant circle seems to be bustling again. What's your take on the industry?
I think a lot of it has to do with social media. A lot of it is being posted, and they're able to reach more people now. I think beauty pageants are more than what the stereotypical idea of them are. It's really about being a role model for young girls and giving back to your home. It's about being confident in who you are. It's not just about being beautiful now. The current Miss USA is a scientist in Washington, D.C., she's intelligent and beautiful! Beauty pageants have changed the game with their contestants. It's more than just the looks. It's really about who they are as individuals.
Congratulations are in order, again, this time for being on the cover of Uno. How did it go at the shoot in Manila?
I was so excited, and it was a great shoot. We worked with amazing stylists and photographers, and I really love being in the Philippines. It was a day shoot with so many different outfits and looks. I've never experienced anything like it, so it was really cool. My dad went with me to the Philippines, and he's Filipino, and it was really cool because he speaks Tagalog.
Where are these experiences leading you?
I love runway modeling. I started at T-Galleria when I was 15. That opened up a lot of doors for me. Modeling has always been a passion for me. Modeling for an elite agency would be really amazing. I'd also like to join more pageants as I get a little older. They're great experiences, and I feel very comfortable on stage.
How does that affect your sense of style?
I really like high fashion, it's one of my favorite modeling looks. It's what they do in Paris and New York at their fashion weeks. High fashion has always been my favorite go-to look.
What does the immediate future hold for you?
I received the Merit Scholarship and will be attending the University of Guam this fall. It was a huge blessing. I'll be studying nutrition and dietetics. I plan to come back to our community and give back where I could branch off and specifically work with athletes because I'm also an athlete. Also, I would specifically focus on people who have diabetes, obesity, and heart disease because those are real problems facing our island. And I enjoy working with people, so I'm really excited for the future.
You've led a pretty impressive life in a short 18 years. What drives you to do what you do?
I've always just been a dreamer. I've always had goals and ambitions, and joining the pageant made me feel more confident in myself. It also opened up so many doors. I've been able to meet so many people, and travel to so many places through the Guam Visitors Bureau, and I like to be able to work. I really like working, and I just enjoy life's experiences. I have a lot of different passions that I'm excited to keep pursuing in the future. The pageant was definitely one of those big life experiences.
Uno wants to know....
Name, nickname, preferred reference:
I have a lot of nicknames, and my favorite is the letter "P" or "Phoebs."
Current binge-watching addiction:
Song on repeat:
Harry Styles, the love of my life. I guess the "Sign of the Times," but his whole album is on repeat, I love him so much.
Major food craves:
I love fruit, I eat fruit all the time.
Favorite local restaurant:
Proa's my favorite place. I probably eat there once a week a few times a month. Their Hibachi Style BBQ with red rice is my favorite. After volleyball games, that would be my go-to place to pick up dinner before I go home.
Beach or pool:
Mild, Medium or pika:
Medium. It's a little in between.
Single, taken, it's complicated:
Biggest fear or phobia:
Just bugs — cockroaches and the occasional wolf spider in your house, the ones that give you a mini heart attack. I'm not scared of heights or anything else, just bugs, and my dad kills all the bugs.
About the Author
Guam born and raised, this contributor has an affinity for island life, people, food and culture. Got a story idea? Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.Follow on Twitter More Content by Lacee A.C. Martinez