Greetings! I hope you are all doing fine and staying home safe and healthy.
My name is Sophia Sy De Guzman and I was recently crowned as Miss Alberta World 2020 this early March. I’m currently 18 (turning 19 in less than two months) and from the city of Fort McMurray. I have a passion for many things in life and pageant is definitely one of them.
I was born on a small island in the Philippines and was gifted with loving parents. I came to Canada and lived in Fort McMurray from the age of 7. From there I’ve been in school to continuously work hard for what my parents have done to give me better opportunities. Right now I am enrolled in a college in my hometown, Keyano College in preparation to fulfill my dream as a Registered Nurse.
I wanted to experience as much as I could. To explore new things and to widen my taste as I develop to my teen years. As a result of that, I have many hobbies that I move towards if I ever have the time. From elementary to high school, I was involved in various sports, such as basketball, volleyball, and badminton. Therefore, I was rewarded “Female Athlete of the Year 2015” when I was in eight grade. Outside of school, I started to practice taekwondo for several years. I have competed provincially as a black belted student which I received a Gold medal in sparring in the Alberta Taekwondo competition 2018.
Music had impacted me through my conflicting years as a teenager. It gives a form of escape and a relatable feeling, but I don’t just listen to songs daily, I also play multiple instruments, such as the piano, acoustic guitar, and the flute. In my first years living in Canada, I had taken lessons in piano to improve my listening skills and my passion in music. Now I am self-taught and currently learning new things about the many ways it’s played. I only recently started to play the acoustic guitar. It was hard in the beginning, but I never failed to play it continuously until I learned the techniques. Learning the flute was the beginning to me experiencing the teamwork of many people who are into music. It was the start of when I joined an option class, ‘band’ in middle school that lasted until my last year of high school. Though it is difficult to master, the days in those classes taught me that practices will have an effect and that music is something that we can all feel deeply connected to even though we might not know it.
This next hobby of mine that has stuck on me for as long as I can remember and that is drawing. Whether it be traditionally on paper, digital on technologies or painting on various canvases, drawing was one of the hobbies I could not give up. It was another form of escape if I couldn’t listen to music nor play a sport. I could endlessly scribble on my notepad if I wanted to. Lastly, I want to travel. I want to explore and widen my perspective of the world. I don’t like staying in one place and traveling is another form of escape of mine, but it is also a great feeling and lots of joy finding and learning new things.
As I grew up most of my life in Fort McMurray, I am easily drawn to volunteering anywhere. My mother and I wanted to give back to the community that gave us joy and new experiences as Fort McMurray kept growing as a society. Therefore, I volunteered to many association groups, such as our local Food Bank, Canadian Cancer Society, the Boys & Girls Club, Northern Lights Health Foundation, the Waypoints, and the Filipino Canadian Association. Volunteering has taught me to be helpful to others, to be wise and to give out what I can because I know that not everyone can have the life I was given. I was devoted to giving out a helping hand and because of this, I was nominated and selected to be given the award “Top 50 Under 50 2017” in our local, “Your McMurray Magazine.” I would never have thought I would get such an honor to be part of this.
Doing pageants was never my dream as a child because I was extremely shy and not suitable to be a beauty pageant girl. My first exposure to pageants is ‘Toddlers and Tiaras.’ I thought it was cool and it looked really fun. Suddenly, in 2012, a day came where a pageant was being hosted in Fort McMurray and my mom asked if I wanted to try it out. I said sure because I was only ‘trying it out’ and I was convinced I wouldn’t win anything.
Boy I was wrong! Haha!
I won my very first pageant! It seems that I wasn’t shy as I thought, but I did want to keep doing pageants as it helped me build self-esteem and break out of my shell. And I eventually did! In my years of being part of the pageantry, I’ve also been given titles.
In 2016, I was crowned as National Canadian Jr. Teen Miss at the age of 15.
In 2017, I was crowned Canadian Teen Model Miss at the age of 16.
As highschool came around, I decided to take a break from pageants to focus on my studies. After graduating, my mom asked me if I wanted to join Miss World Canada. Of course I said “YES!” and I was extremely nervous and excited at the same time. Getting back into pageants was not easy, but I had the support I needed to prepare in competing. Two months prior to the pageant week, I had the opportunity to be coached from Lisa Harrigan who taught me the techniques and skills expected in the preliminary- Miss World Alberta in Calgary. Then the pageant week came and I met the most amazing and beautiful girls. Though it was only two days of the competition, I felt like we’ve known each other for a long time. The pageant went smoothly as well and I cannot wait to see them again in Miss World Canada this July.
The most exciting part of it all was the crowning moment. As they started to call the delegates who will move on to Nationals, I could not believe my ears as they called my name for MISS ALBERTA WORLD 2020. All the hard work I’ve put into was paid off and I could not have done it without the support from my parents and my coach (Lisa). Now I have a voice to use to bring out my beauty with a purpose. At the same time, I will be preparing myself for Miss World Canada and hope to meet more amazing girls!
My Beauty with A Purpose:
As my dream career is to be a Registered Nurse, I want to dedicate my life to helping others and giving them the needs to help them live a fulfilling life. This relates to my desire to travel around the world. I do want to explore and see the great views and insights in every country, but I also want to help those who are in need- physically, emotionally and mentally. Those suffering from poverty, or in an abusive way. Hence, I am focusing more on the children in this matter.
Therefore, I am passionate to be a Child Advocate.
A Child Advocate supports children who are in vulnerable situations and positions in society. This expands to children who lack the basic needs, education, health and safety. Furthermore, I want to be a role model to the young generation to lead them in the right direction with the right education and support.
To achieve this heavy weighted goal of mine, I would need to stay focused on the path. The world is changing as we know it and it’s up to us younglings to fix the problems we are all facing today. It’s not an easy task, but I know it’s not impossible to do so.
Stay Safe And Stay Healthy<3