KOTA KINABALU: A 20-year-old Rungus-Filipino lass turned heads when she stepped into Le Meridien Hotel here to audition for Miss Universe Malaysia 2018 recently.
Born with various-sized mole-like birthmarks all over her body, aspiring beauty queen and motivator Evita Patcey Edgar Delmundo knows she possesses a unique beauty that will make everyone stare.
“I am used to (people staring). Sometimes, I find it quite amusing. The girls at the registration counter were surprised when they saw me. They told me I was brave to try out for an audition and wished me luck,” she said when contacted.
Evita was born with what is believed to be the rare condition known as ‘Giant Congenital Melanocytic Nevus’.
Due to her appearance, she said she had low self-esteem at a younger age and often got bullied at school. Her schoolmates would tease and call her names like “monster” and “giant Chipsmore”.
“Firstly, this is not a disease. They are just normal moles. I have met with skin specialists and they told me it is not a skin disease.
“In primary school, no one wanted to be friends with me. I remember a teacher having to ask two girls to accompany me during recess, and they were whispering ‘why do we have to treat her like a princess?’
“It broke my heart. I told them that they don’t have to follow me and they went off immediately. Basically, I was a lonely girl,” said the petite beauty queen aspirant, who stands 160cm tall.
Evita, who is the second child among five siblings, said she only realised that her birthmarks were a blessing in disguise when she entered secondary school.
Due to her unique physical features, she said students at her secondary school were more accepting of her, although she felt it was probably because her mother was a teacher at the school.
“No one teased me and for the first time, I felt like a normal human being. I did feel a little insecure, but when I was 16, I joined a church spiritual camp and that was when I fully realised that my condition should not be an obstruction for me to live life.
“I learnt to accept my birthmarks and love myself. I slowly gained confidence to show off my uniqueness and I started to be more active by joining singing competitions. My friends realised my changes and they supported me,” she said.
Evita said she had always admired women in beauty pageants and that her desire to join a competition grew stronger after watching Pia Wurtzbach being crowned Miss Universe 2015.
Now, she aspires to be an empowered woman and expresses her desire to engage with young people and non-governmental organisations to fight childhood bullying.
“At the Miss Universe Malaysia audition, I was happy to see Elaine Daly. The judges asked me a couple of questions, like how would I promote Malaysia if I won Miss Universe Malaysia? It lasted a few minutes and the judges said they hoped to see me again.
“I’m just keeping my fingers crossed. If I don’t get through, there’s always another platform,” said optimistic Evita.
Evita became widely known after Instagram account @malaysianbeautypageantfc posted her photo in their gallery. Since then, Evita has garnered 28,000 followers on her Instagram account @evita_delmundo.