Last night, the Filipino pageant world crowned another queen. Gwendolyne Fourniol won against 35 other candidates for the Miss World Philippines 2022 crown. She succeeded Tracy Maureen Perez and will represent the Philippines in the Miss World 2022 pageant. Get to know her with these fast facts:
Her name has a special meaning
While she is fondly called Gwen by her loved ones, she is also very proud of her name. In her introduction video, she said the name “Gwendolyne” means “pureness of the soul” and that her father chose it to encourage her to be benevolent and generous.
She’s only 21 years old
Gwen was crowned queen just a few days shy of her 22nd birthday. She was born on June 11, 2000, so she’s a Gemini.
She has Filipino-French heritage
Gwen was born to a French father and a Filipino mother, and she has two brothers. She grew up in France, but in 2019, she moved back to the Philippines and has been living independently since. Her dad is working as a senior analyst in Belgium, while her mother is working as a nurse in London.
Her mom encouraged her to be a beauty queen
In a press conference, she shared that she didn’t have aspirations to enter pageantry. In fact, her mother was the one who encouraged her to give it a try. She debuted in the pageantry world in the Miss World Philippines 2021. “I grew up in France and pageants are not as big there as they are in the Philippines. I did not have that dream of becoming a beauty queen growing up. … The first time around, I was very alone because I was very new.”
Gwen is fluent in English, Filipino, and French. She used her language skills to be a French tutor and is hoping to establish a French tutorial service in the country.
She’s taking up economics
Before joining Miss World Philippines, Gwen was pursuing her bachelor’s degree in economics from the Oxford Brookes University in London, England. She said she is hoping to finish her schooling soon and join an internship program at JP Morgan.
She used to be an army cadet
According to Gwen, she spent two years as an army cadet in the UK. “The camp was extremely tough,” she reminisced after a day at a shooting range. “But today brought back so many wonderful yet strenuous memories which I wish to create more like these in the future!”
She’s a strong advocate for education
Before she even began her pageantry journey, Gwen was already a strong advocate for education. She partners frequently with the Educational Research and Development Assistance (ERDA) Foundation, which has helped over 800,000 Filipino kids. The foundation is close to her heart since her mom Sim was actually a beneficiary of the ERDA Foundation. Gwen’s mom earned her degree in psychology, put her siblings through school, and eventually worked in France, then the UK.
In the final Q&A round, Gwen was asked about education, specifically how the country could cope with an education deficit accumulated due to the pandemic. She answered: “As an advocate of education, I do agree that during the pandemic, we have suffered the most but the children who have the lack of access to education have suffered the greatest. Working hand in hand with ERDA Foundation who empowered the marginalized Filipinos, I believe by uniting benefactors and encouraging our children and allowing them to go back to school, especially during this pandemic, will make this world a better place because education is the greatest weapon against poverty.”