It’s a fact that no one was truly prepared for the changes that the pandemic has brought. What was supposed to be a promising and exciting start of a new decade turned out to be a year where families spent more time at home, than they ever have before.
Like anyone who was suddenly forced to stay safe at home, life for Binibining Pilipinas Grand International 2016 Nicole Cordoves also slowed down. As a busy working woman and go-getter, she admits that she was not used to being at home all the time. However, similar to how everyone found something new about themselves as they adjusted to the lockdown, Nicole also discovered new passions, new learnings, and likewise realized that there is so much still, to be grateful for.
For the past nine months since the quarantine started, Nicole shared that despite being cooped up at home, the pandemic actually also forced her to upskill herself. In fact, she shared that there were a lot of things that she never thought she could do well, including cooking and gardening, and because of the power of the internet, she was able to do just that.
“All that I’ve been doing since March is to learn as much as I can from a lot of rich sources online, particularly on YouTube. I never thought I would learn so much in such a short amount of time. I used to just stay on my phone or binge on Netflix when I’m not doing anything, but one thing good that came out of this pandemic is I learned to utilize the power of the internet more and increase my knowledge on things that interest me. I’ll say I’ve become more dependent on the internet, and I am just so glad that I was able to upgrade my home internet plan easily with the PLDT Home Super Speed Deal. It’s fast, reliable, and very affordable,” shared Nicole.
New life in lockdown
When the community quarantine was announced, Nicole confessed that she wasn’t as surprised because it was necessary to keep everyone safe and protected. She said, “There were already warning signs prior to the lockdown and I had a number of events getting cancelled due to health protocols. I was actually more surprised by how the lockdown dragged on, I didn’t think we’d lose an entire year because of it.”
So to keep herself busy indoors, Nicole has been putting her cooking skills to the test and trying new recipes. She also shares that she’s thankful to have a reliable partner in PLDT Home Fibr so she can watch more of her favorite YouTube content and remain productive at home – from learning how to better clean and organize her home to editing her own videos for her channel.
Upgrading technology and upskilling oneself is important and necessary
When it comes to her realizations during the lockdown, Nicole shares that “Though the pandemic is something that really brought so much suffering and heartache to millions around the world, it did however make all of us become closer together at home. And with everyone being forced to stay at home for their own protection, having the right internet connection speed is a necessary tool. I was able to keep up with balancing work from home and doing interviews online in the past nine months because of my reliable connection.”
Nicole admits that upgrading your internet connection at home is a must, especially for households with multiple-device requirements. She explains that her increased internet bandwidth usage at home especially for video calls for online classes, live hosting or off-site taping at work, or streaming her favorite Netflix shows, she knew that she needed an internet connectivity with reliable and higher speeds that would cater to her daily digital needs.
“I need to be online all the time, so I upgraded my PLDT Home Fibr internet with their Super Speed Promo,” she quipped. PLDT Home’s Super Speed Deal promo gives subscribers a convenient and same-day upgrade of up to 2x their internet speeds for as low as Php 99 additional on their monthly plan.
A newfound love for plants
Since the pandemic, she also became a certified plantita. Or in her case, she likes to call herself as a halamom. She shares that she now has a corner in her room that’s filled with indoor plants that also serves as her go-to background for her Zoom calls and meetings.
“It all started with indoor plants that progressed to actually growing my own food on my balcony. Today, I harvest my own sili, sitaw, and kamatis,” said Nicole. In fact, she even made a series on her IGTV dedicated to her halamom journey to update her fans and fellow plant enthusiasts.
The return to Bb. Pilipinas as a mentor
Nicole also kept herself busy and productive at home by mentoring the Bb. Pilipinas 2020 hopefuls with Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray. But due to the pandemic, adjustments to their training also had to be done where workshops were held online via Zoom calls instead.
“It was challenging since online workshops can leave out a lot of things that are essential to public speaking like non-verbal communication, gesture, body language. So, we dedicated our modules to focus on content instead, and the girls blew us away,” she recounts. “In true Binibining Pilipinas fashion, they came and they conquered.”
A life-changing experience
As she talks about coaching this year’s Bb. Pilipinas candidates, she recounts her own experience and how being part of the competition changed her life. Nicole says, “I wasn’t expecting Bb. Pilipinas to change my life in such a big way, especially since I didn’t really get the top crown. But I do owe where I am now to the organization for giving me the opportunity to host the pageant that gave birth to my career.”
Nicole further shared that it is such an honor for her to be mentoring this year’s forty candidates by sharing and imparting on them everything that she has learned from her own Binibining Pilipinas journey.
“Since my time in Binibining Pilipinas and even before that, I made it a point in my life to continue to further my knowledge by continuously improving myself. Being a mentor now to these ladies, all of them beautiful and deserving queens in their own right, feels so validating and empowering. I only hope that imparting my experience and knowledge to them helps equip them with what they need to achieve their dreams and live their best lives,” continued Nicole.
High hopes and well-wishes for the new Miss Universe hopeful
Nicole admits that she sees a queen in Rabiya Mateo, this year’s Miss Universe 2020. “When I saw her preliminary interview, she immediately became my bet! She spoke so naturally while courageously sharing her own opinion. She’s already an amazing queen who can really connect with people on a real level,” she shares.
And knowing that the journey to get the crown is heavy and burdensome, Nicole aptly gives Rabiya a piece of advice, from one queen to another: “When it gets dark, I hope she remembers that she is the light. Your destiny is in your hands, make it a beautiful and memorable one.”
Know more about how you too can upgrade your digital lifestyle at home just like Nicole. With the Super Speed Deals promo, PLDT Home gives subscribers the added convenience of upgrading their internet speeds by simply dialing 170 for PLDT, Smart and Sun or (02) 80000170 for other network (toll charges apply). Visit www.pldthome.com/superspeed and find the best internet speed for your home.
Karina is not your ordinary supermom. She juggles her time bonding with her three amazing kids while being in the loop on the latest happenings in the tech and lifestyle scene. Follow me on Instagram (@digitalfilipina) regularly visit www.digitalfilipina.com for daily dose of updates not just for moms but for everyone!