At the heart of her story is an ardent advocacy to promote the total development of children of the marginalized poor through a foundation ...

 At the heart of her story is an ardent advocacy to promote the total development of children of
the marginalized poor through a foundation which is the reason for her being where she is right

This is the journey of Filipino-French beauty Gwendolyne Bolivar Fourniol, a top contender to
the Miss World Philippines 2022 crown.
Born to a Filipina mother and a French father, Gwen as she is fondly called, says that joining the
pageant will provide her with a relevant platform for Educational Research and Development
Assistance (ERDA) Foundation, a non-stock, non-profit organization that has been instrumental
in alleviating the plight of underprivileged children through education as well physical, social
and economic aid for 40 years.

Why is ERDA special to the heart of this 5’8”, 21-year-old stunner? “My mother, Sim Bolivar,
was very poor,” she shares. ERDA saved her mom from poverty and gave her access to
education, finishing with an AB Psychology Degree at Philippine Women’s University.
“Eventually, she had the opportunity to work abroad where she met my dad who is a senior

Full circle
In a sense, her mom’s story has come full circle. “ERDA gave my mom a chance at a better
future. Her being able to leave a life of deprivation led to her meeting my dad. I am blessed to
have been born with parents who have been very supportive. Now is my chance to give back,
to explore ERDA as a medium through which I can make a difference in the lives of people
deprived of education as my mom was,” Gwen narrates. “I couldn’t think of a better advocacy
than this, because in a way, I owe my life to ERDA!" Gwen said. That is why she is very active
at charity projects espoused by ERDA now that she is based in the Philippines.

Beauty with purpose
Miss World Philippines is a pageant that is not just about face and beauty but also about
advocacy. Essentially, it is beauty with purpose.
Physically, pageant enthusiasts refer to Gwen’s beauty as unfiltered, oftentimes describing her
face as the most beautiful among all 36 candidates (a lovely mix of the features of Audrey
Hepburn, Rhian Ramos and Anne Curtis).

Adding to her exceptional physical features are her accomplishments and talents. Before joining
her first Miss World Philippines pageant last year, Gwen was pursuing an Economic degree at
Oxford Brooks in London in the UK. She hopes to join an internship program with JP Morgan
after graduation, and is also looking towards launching a French tutorial service in the
Philippines. She speaks, French, English and Filipino and loves to play the guitar and the piano.
Add her noteworthy advocacy at ERDA to the equation and you have beauty that has substance
and purpose.

Another shot at the Miss World title
Gwen is supported by ProMedia, a project management group that is passionate about wholistic
beauty (body, beauty, and brains). At its helm is CEO Paul Izon Reyes, ably assisted by Jam
Aquino, director for operations. Aquino is also the CEO of The Belle Salon. “We, at ProMedia,
stage beauty pageants and body-building competitions. We also train beauty pageant athletes, so
called because they are required to train like athletes,” explains Paul. “We see the true beauty in
Gwen. She has a striking face, inner strength, wit and confidence. Furthermore, she is
passionate about her advocacy which enhances her beauty.”
This is Gwen’s 2 nd shot at the Miss World title representing Negros Occidental, after finishing
strong as one of the 15 semi-finalists last year.

An early favorite at this year’s competition, Gwen earned a much-deserved spot among the Top
10 Beach Beauty finalists held in Boracay last May 17. She also was a Top 5 in this year’s
Talent Competition. A portent of good things to come, perhaps? Because she is back, more
beautiful and passionate than ever.

Gwen hopes that with the Miss World crown, this #ExceptionallyEmpoweredFilipina can
empower people through education which is the greatest equalizer. “If one person can transform
800,000 lives in this country, imagine what so many people can do to help millions more in the
Philippines and around the world.”

Watch the Miss World Philippines 2022 Beauty Pageant on June 5 at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Gwendolyne Fourniol is candidate No. 25.

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