Psoriasis Warrior Pammy Velasco Axed from Beauty Queen Reality Show!!!
If you’ve been following Studio 23’s pageant-cum-reality-show called “Gusto Kong Maging Beauty Queen,” then you know that Pammy Velasco, the poster-girl for Psoriasis, has been booted out. But what was more heartbreaking for me as a guest judge was not her forced departure but her reaction to it. “Okay lang sana kung natanggal ako sa Talent o sa Fitness episode,” she told me between sobs right after our taping, “but I was removed sa Beauty in Truth episode! Eh, nagpakatutoo naman ako. Sobrang masakit, hindi ko matanggap.”
This is how her Beauty in Truth (Q&A) segment ended:
Joyce Burton Titular: Look into my eyes and tell me the truth. what would you choose; to wake up tomorrow to be the winner of Gusto Kong Maging Beauty Queen or to wake up tomorrow and have the most beautiful skin and no more pain?
Pammy Velasco: Mas gusto ko po yung gigising ako bukas na panalo ako sa Gusto Kong Maging Beauty Queen. Kasi, bakit ka ba nandito Pammy? Sumali ako dito daladala ko sa pangalan ko ang lahat ng skin brothers and sisters ko. Pag nanalo po ako, hindi lng ako ang panalo. Pinatunayan ko sa buong mundo na may Psoriasis siya pero kaya nyang makipagsabayan sa mga makikinis diyan. Blessing po skin ung Psoriasis hindi ko siya nakita na pain, siguro before…pero the moment na inaccept ko siya.. inaccept ko siya ng buong puso, ng buong buhay ko… BLESSING SIYA…
Ms. Joyce Burton Titular: I salute you with your cause.
Even on the strength of that answer, Pammy was dropped out of the show. The night she was axed, Pammy broke down and would not stop crying. Not because she was removed but because she felt the judges were saying she was a liar. Being a softie, I was so bothered by her reaction that I took it upon myself to reconnect with her. A few days after her exit from “Gusto Kong Maging Beauty Queen” we had coffee and I got to know Pammy Velasco a little better.
First of all, she is a warrior who has been battling a disease called Psoriasis for 8 of her 21 young years. Many people think its a skin disease but Psoriasis is actually an immune problem with a nasty side-effect: Splotchy, scaly, itchy skin. Thus the confusion.
There are different varieties of Psorias. In Pammy’s case, it manifests as white splotches all over her body much like the common fungal an-an. Psoriasis is not contagious but it is, typically, a lifelong condition.
Pammy says the Psoriasis began when she was only 13 years old. “The day after I joined Miss Intrams sa school, nagising ako with itchy rashes all over my body. Psoriasis na pala yun!” Her life completely changed as she sought treatment and relief as well as social acceptance. Thankfully, her family and her close friends at Laguna College in San Pablo, stood by her side, specially when people would laugh at her or avoid her because of the rashes.
BAWAL ANG PROBLEMA
Pammy says, “Masama sa akin ang ma-depress kasi the rashes get worse. So, iniiwasan kong maging masyadong malungkot. That’s why I said in the Q&A sa show na wala akong malaking problema kasi I have to avoid stress for health reasons.”
But one can only avoid the travails of life for so long. When Pammy was dropped out of the show, she suddenly found herself face to face with depression. “That night hindi ako makauwi. Hindi ko masabi sa Mommy ko na natanggal ako. So I went to my friends in Laguna.” But Pammy didn’t let herself wallow too long in sadness. After finally telling her Mom the bad news, they both came to the conclusion that Pammy was axed because her life was not “ma-drama enough.” And sad to say, there’s some truth to that; these reality shows are all about the drama.
But this is not to put the show down. In fairness to “Gusto Kong Maging Beauty Queen,” the show has its plusses, the biggest one being – it gives non-traditional beauties a chance to shine and share their struggles. And in Pammy’s case, she was able to raise awareness about Psoriasis. “Wala akong regrets sa pagsali sa “Gusto Kong Maging Beauty Queen.” From the online audition to all the challenges, I gave 101%, kahit minsan feeling ko hindi ko kaya. That’s why I cried so hard because I did my best and yet I was removed.”
GUSTO KONG MAGING FLIGHT ATTENDANT!
But is there life after “Gusto Kong Maging Beauty Queen”? Pammy says, “Definitely, yes! Busy ako with photo shoots at may ginawa akong music video for a song called ‘Goodbye Summer’ by Gayuma, a band from
Laguna Batangas. Ako yung lead sa video and you can see the trailer on You Tube, just search the title and band.”
The most exciting thing now for Pammy is her plan to pursue her dream of working for an airline. “My dream job is to become a Flight Attendant but I know my Psoriasis will be a problem. Gusto kasi nila yung makinis diba? Pero hindi ako natatakot. I will still give it a try. I have an interview with PAL coming up and I’ll tell them that if my skin is a problem, I’m also open to working as a ground attendant or ticketing officer. I really hope I make it!”
And so the next season begins for Pammy Velasco, one of the sweetest souls I’ve ever met. She’s the best thing that happened to me in “Gusto Kong Maging Beauty Queen” and in my heart and mind she will always remain a Beauty In Truth!