First, it was modeling, then hosting and recently, pageantry. Maureen Wroblewitz may foray into a plethora of career choices but acting is her passion.

It has always been her dream ever since she was young, Maureen admitted in an exclusive Zoom interview with The STAR.

The Star Magic artist and Miss Universe Philippines 2021 fi rst runnerup during the presscon for winners.

“Whatever happens, I’m always gonna go back to acting. I hope I get to do that. Acting is my passion. Being a beauty queen is living my purpose,” said Maureen.

She finished first runner-up at the just-concluded Miss Universe Philippines 2021 (MUPH). Prior to her first pageant experience, she became the first Filipino to win Asia’s Next Top Model (ASNTM) back in 2017 and briefly did a hosting stint in the noontime show Eat Bulaga! in 2018.

“The reason why I didn’t do it back then (acting) because I was so shy. I knew that I would have to do interviews and that was terrifying, (the) speaking (part), it’s so funny how that has changed. I’m fine doing interviews as long as I can live my dream,” she added.

Last June, she signed a deal with ABS-CBN’s talent management arm during the Star Magic Black Pen Day.

She is keen on taking challenging roles, especially a kontrabida, and hopes to work with “a lot of great actors,” particularly Anne Curtis and Kathryn Bernardo.

It was announced last August that she is set to star in a romantic film Runaway, set in New Zealand, with Kit Thompson.

Aside from acting, she would also like to focus on activities that promote her advocacy which is Breast Cancer Awareness. It is something personal to her because of her mom who passed on due to the disease. Maureen was only 11 years old at that time.

“Because it is October, I’m focusing on Breast Cancer Awareness. I’m working with ICanServe Foundation and I hope to be able to spread awareness of breast cancer and early detection because that is your best protection,” said Maureen.

Maureen with costar Kit Thompson in a scene from her upcoming debut movie Runaway, which was shot in New Zealand.

She continued, “So, I hope that through this advocacy I can save lives. Because after my mom passed away, I have gone through so much, I’ve dealt with so many things, struggled and I don’t want anyone to go through that in losing their mom. But also the other way around, (which is) losing a daughter. Because for me, the daughters and mothers are the light of the house. And I don’t want anyone to lose that person in their life.”

Meanwhile, the 23-year-old Filipino-German model and beauty queen said she’s proud of her feat at the MUPH 2021.

“It was a new experience for me because I was a newbie in the pageant scene. I did training only for two to three months. But it was fun because we were able to really have that sisterhood and the friendships that we built from having or choosing this Miss Universe Philippines journey,” shared Maureen.

Even though there were a lot of health regulations during the pageant, the candidates were “still able to bond and really get to know each other.”

“And I remember telling myself that it is not about the destination but it is about the journey. I really told myself to enjoy everything and I did. And I’ve made so many memories. I was able to enjoy everything that was part of this journey and I’m very grateful for that,” she furthered.

The pageantry world has changed her “in a good sense — it really brought out a better version of me, brought out the best in me and brought out a lot of confidence.”

By joining the MUPH, she was able to “get out of my comfort zone.”

“Through this experience I have been able to find my gift and that is my voice. And that is what I also talked about in one of my answers. It is the voice that I would like to use to make a difference in people’s lives. It changed me in a positive way. It made me confident,” declared Maureen.

Good news is, she is not totally shutting the door on pageantry.

“I’m not closing any doors. I’m just really seeing and waiting for the right moment. If I’m busy and something crazy happens and something, you know, my destiny changes… I’m waiting for the signs because I don’t want to force anything,” she told The STAR.

During her MUPH journey, she opened up about her battle with depression and anxiety but she is “feeling much better” now.

“It can be really hard when you’re competing with yourself because of the pressure that you put on yourself and the expectations that you have. It is important to talk and really be able to talk about everything helps you be aware of your situation,” revealed Maureen.

She sought professional help because of her mental health struggles. “I have professional help. I also have the help of my family. And I think it’s very important to talk about that, there’s no shame. If you need help, you need to realize that yourself and that is growth. The moment that you realize that you can’t do it alone, you need help, it doesn’t show that you’re weak but it shows that you are very strong.”

Meanwhile, Maureen’s sweetheart, singer Juan Karlos Labajo, always reminds her to “remember the whys” in shaping her career path.

“The advice is to really remember why you’re doing it. It’s important to remember that because you get lost with your expectations. And then you get disappointed but you need to remember why you’re doing it. The reason why I joined Miss Universe Philippines is because of my purpose and my advocacies. I knew that whatever happens, that is one thing I would focus on,” explained Maureen.

Showbiz is her passion while beauty pageant is her purpose, “Passion and purpose — they kind of go together,” she said.

Kudos to Maureen for breaking out of her comfort zone.

Speaking of which, if there is one thing that she would like to add to her answer during the Q&A portion at the MUPH 2021 coronation night, it would be: “I have talked about getting out of your comfort zone. It means to grow as a person. It is terrifying but it really works. It really makes you grow and it brings out the best in you. And you’re able to be the best version of yourself just by getting out of your comfort zone.”

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