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Burnaby-based pageant winner has a passion for humanitarianism

Burnaby's Donna Clacer crowned Miss Philippines International Canada 2022

The newly crowned Miss Philippines International of Canada, Burnaby’s Donna Clacer, says she hopes to use the profile that comes with her pageant title to help raise awareness of humanitarian issues.

Having been a humanitarian advocate all her life, the Burnaby based actor, digital creator and influencer said she is committed to using her digital platform, the Canadian Impact, to help bring about positive change.

Clacer, 22, said growing up in a Filipino-Canadian household, she was always inspired by pageantry. The first time she watched Miss Universe, she was “inspired by seeing all those women from around the world.”

“They’re empowered, responsible, and speak up for what they believe in,” she said. “And they help their communities or their countries.”

To learn more about herself as a person and her larger role in the community, Clacer resolved to explore her passion for pageantry. She first competed in the Miss World Canada provincial qualifier last year. Although, she wasn’t crowned in 2021, she persisted and won the Miss Philippines International of Canada pageant. She now has her sights set on the Miss Universe Canada competition.

“It gives me many opportunities to dive deeper into my culture,” she said.

Having been to the Philippines only twice despite growing up in a Filipino Canadian household, she found it hard to “connect with the roots" of her culture, she said. “So through this, it was eye-opening for me to learn more about what it means to be a Filipino.”

Connecting with her roots

During the process of the pageantry, Clacer found to involve herself in her Filipino community — be it participating in the Philippine Heritage Festival or curating a charity dinner for Young Focus Philippines, a non-profit organization that helps Filipino women and children receive education.

Inspired by the Philippines' mythological goddess of morning, Hanan, Clacer emerged in a "showstopping" gold rhinestone gown with a gold cape for the national costume round in the pageant. 

"[In our] folklore, I came across the character Hanan," she said. "I felt that I connected to [that character] the most because she's goddess of the morning. She brings ... the light in and the positivity in, and I feel that it's the same for me where I'm able to ... educate my community about my efforts with the Greater Vancouver Food Bank and supporting the Canadian poverty line.

"It also connects to me by how I inspire the youth to be the very best version of themselves."

Next steps

"People are the root of the community," she said. "So, I feel like we really have to invest our time and effort into the next generation."

Through her Canadian Impact platform, Clacer is involved in connecting with the Greater Vancouver Food Bank and the Lower Mainland Christmas bureau.

As for the future, she said she is working towards a collaboration with the Good Guys, a youth-led nonprofit organization, focusing on providing healthy food to people on the Downtown Eastside.

"I think it's important to think optimistically, and to look on the brighter side of things," she added. "Because in this world, we need to count our blessings whether they're big or small, we need to be grateful for whatever we have."

To follow more of her journey, visit her Instagram page.

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