Kumusta! My name is Lianacris Uy Panaligan and I am contestant num 11.
I graduated with my AA from Elgin Community College and BS Health Systems Management from Loyola University Chicago. Throughout undergrad I dreamed of becoming a physical therapist, but the lockdown inspired me to dive deeper and explore my passions. I love working in social media marketing, because of the stories we can share with each other.
Growing up as a minority and in the far suburbs, I didn’t have the opportunity to explore my own culture and interests. I was inspired by friends who embraced theirs, yet I felt like I still didn’t have a space where I could truly be myself.
That changed when I moved to Chicago for college, and traveled to the Philippines without family for the first time.
I was inspired when I saw how much bigger the world was from what I knew. Since then, I made it my mission to always go after what I’ve wanted to do, including to become more in touch with my roots and to express my own story through my passion for dance.
Having these two things drive my experience in the world, I learned that it’s your perspective that shapes your reality. I’m always learning about what it means to be Filipina. To be Asian American. And wherever I go, dance creates a feeling of “home” for me, while experiencing new communities and cultures.
I am thankful to have the opportunity to participate in this pageant, because I want to encourage everyone to embrace who they are, where they come from, and what they believe in. It is never too late to get to know yourself, your culture, and to follow your dreams and hobbies. By being yourself, you can help others be who they need to be.
Salamat kaayo sa inyong tanan!
[Follow my pageant journey on TikTok: @ lianacrispanaligan11 ]