“I have always dreamed of becoming a beauty queen not because of the glamour, fame or the crown but because I wanted to prove that it isn’t all about just being physically beautiful. Today, a beauty queen is someone who is intelligent, dauntless, purposeful, and has the heart and the will to serve.” – Kassandra Venzuelo, Hara sa FU 2020
This smart and strong woman once confessed that her greatest motivation springs from her mother who is her support system. For her mother, she is fully determined to become the best version of herself in order to inspire people.
Kassandra made history last December 2019 when she won as the first Hara sa FU coming from the Graduate School. Currently taking Master of Arts in Education – Mathematics, she chose to study at Foundation University for its good reputation of giving quality education to all who walk through the institution’s pillars.
A native of Brgy. Taclobo, Dumaguete City, she loves the sight of sunsets and her constant craving is her mother’s own version of spaghetti. As a self-confessed night person, she does work during this time of the day.
“During the preparations for Hara sa FU 2020, I was told I was bubbly but determined and I think that makes me unique as an individual,” Kassandra shared that she has always been optimistic and goal-oriented at the same time.
Her self-determined spirit drives her in pursuing the things she is passionate about and the goals she aspires to achieve for her life. Indeed, she comes as an epitome of beauty and purpose, a heart and soul willing to serve.
When asked on what makes her happy and sad, she shared that a lot of things make her smile. “They are actually the simplest things in life,” said Kassandra and pointed out some of these like – seeing her mother happy, her students grow and achieve dreams, the sunset, the crashing waves in the shore, beautiful flowers and trees and even seeing lovers and friends together. While on the contrary, she recalls painful moments that trigger her tears to fall.
The way she was brought up made a lasting impact in her persona. She was showered with much love yet she was raised to value discipline, hard work, and authenticity. Kassandra felt the support of her family but she was not pampered though. Instead, she was made to stand on her own feet in dealing with her academic journey. She shared that the experience has taught her about the material things but it is about character and the simplest things in life.
“My advocacy is about teaching the youth about life skills. People may see this as something too simple but for me, it is vital to go back to the basics. We have been so focused on huge problems and we forgot that all these problems began from simple ones.” She then added, “Life skills such as decision making and communication skills are very important. Quoting, Ms. Earth Karen Ibasco, she shared, “micro efforts have macro effects.”
Q: What are characteristics/attributes that a Hara sa FU must possess?
A: She must be intelligent, purposeful, passionate, quick-witted, strong willed, authentic, and she must have faith in the Lord. When we usually speak of a Hara, she is not just an embodiment of beauty but of character, integrity and love. So much is expected of her but a real queen isn’t about who she is when others are watching, she isn’t about what she wears but who she is when no one is watching and how she is able to inspire others.
Q: How do you define the Hara sa FU crown? What is its essence and relevance to the community?
A: The Hara sa FU crown comes with intelligence, love, humility and purpose but at the same time, it is a symbol of the dreams of every Foundanite. It is a masterpiece of possibility, dreams and responsibility. The crown is a reminder not just to us who have worn it but to everyone that if only we believe in ourselves, we are capable of becoming who we dream of. And while it tells us that, it is also a constant reminder that we have a purpose.
Q: How did you win Hara sa FU?
A: Honestly, I wasn’t able to answer so fast unlike how I usually do. I pondered and realized, I won because I was true to myself but winning the crown is not my glory alone. I share it with everyone who helped me along the way. I share it with my mother, my handler, make up-artists, trainer, teachers, dancers, friends, my students, my fellow candidates but most importantly, I share it with every single person who has a dream. It is ours.
I want to stress also that I won not because I am a teacher already. I have never seen any of my co-candidates less or more than any of us. It is never about competing with others. It is always about competing with yourself, with your own standards. As I have said, we are worth it and we are with a purpose; we just have to trust the Lord in the process while doing our best. After all, if it’s meant for you, it will be yours.
Q: As Hara sa FU 2020, what do you plan to leave as a legacy for your reign?
A: I want to instill to others that whatever their dreams maybe, their dreams are valid. They are possible and I just want them to remember me as that fly in the wall who believes that each one of us is worth it and has a purpose.
Q: How will you promote FU to the community?
A: Foundation University is indeed one of the best universities and over the years, it has proven that Foundationites are men and women who are able to serve the community and excel in the craft they have chosen. My part is to show the community how FU has molded me and how I acquired a happy student life experience.
Q: What’s the greatest thing you have learned from your mother that you usually share with other people?
A: She has always told me to pursue my dreams and to be humble. My becoming Hara sa FU and an educator are two of the dreams I have achieved because she has believed in me and has instilled in me the fire that my dreams are valid.
Kassandra dreams of being able to inspire other people, pursue my advocacy. She aims to finish her master’s degree then enroll in law school and later on, become a lawyer. Building her own house and travel places are also part of her future plans.