MANILA, Philippines – If it wasn’t for her love of reading, Miss Universe 2011 third runner-up Shamcey Supsup would not have achieved everything she has achieved so far: a Magna Cum Laude graduate from the University of the Philippines, an architecture licensure exam topnotcher, and a world-renowned beauty queen.
Supsup participated in the Philippine Daily Inquirer Read Along last Saturday where she read the story of “Putot,” a dog who felt inferior because he had a short tail, to around 100 students from Optimus Center for Development, F. Benitez Elementary School, and Virlanie Foundation.
In an interview after the Read Along, she said that her love for reading had made studying easier for her and she lamented that kids might be losing their love for reading because they were becoming more engrossed with video games or television.
“What helped me with my studies is because I love to read,” Supsup said. “If as a kid you love to read, when the time comes that you need to study, it’s not difficult anymore.”
“These days kids are more into video games or television,” she said. “Not a lot of kids would go to the library anymore, most of them if they have homework, they go directly to the Internet because it’s all there already.”
Supsup, who was also a valedictorian in elementary and a salutatorian in high school, recalled how they didn’t have a television at home and how her mother had always bought her books.
“We didn’t have a TV at home [and] my mother never bought me video games,” Supsup said. “She always gave me books, like fairy tale books.”
“That developed my reading skills and now I read fast; even textbooks, no matter how thick, are light reading for me,” she said.
When reviewing for exams, Supsup said that she doesn’t memorize and instead treats textbooks as just like stories. “Every time I study, I think of it as just like a story that is fun and not tiring.”
“Sometimes kids already have a notion that books are boring, long, and hard to read,” she said.
Reading during Binibini
Supsup also recalled how she would squeeze in some reading time during the Binibining Pilipinas 2011 pageant where she went on to win the crown and represent the country to the Miss Universe pageant.
“During Binibini when I was still a candidate, all the girls would be doing make up, or sharing stories and exchanging gossip, and then they would see me in a corner with a folder and a highlighter,” Supsup said.
“They would come to me and ask why am I studying. I told them I’m just trying to pass the time reading articles about poverty, government, or whatever,” she said.
Some of them asked to read her articles but later returned them because they found them “boring,” Supsup said.
“I think it helped me because anything can be asked about anything [in the pageant],” she said. “If you love to read, it won’t be difficult to gain a bit of knowledge on anything that they can throw at you.”
“Even if you are no longer in class, reading is still useful wherever you are,” Supsup added.