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Regina Hahn-Siy: On Opportunities And The Rewards of Motherhood

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Regina Hahn-Siy, Binibining Pilipinas 2009 2nd runner-up, was never pressured by her mom, Miss Universe 1975 4th runner-up Chiqui Brosas’ fame in pageantry.

There are often expectations on the shoulders of sons and daughters of showbiz and public figures, most especially when they follow in their footsteps. Some welcome the pressure but others often buckle down. In the case of beauty queens whose daughters join pageants after them, the focus is times two especially when their moms did well on the international stage. But there are those who managed the expectations. Binibining Pilipinas 2009 2nd runner-up Regina Hahn-Siy was one of them when she auditioned for the pageant. Regina is the daughter of Chiqui Brosas, who placed 4th runner-up in Miss Universe 1975.

In her own words, Regina opens up to Modern Parenting about what it was like auditioning for the pageant, the opportunities that came, and how life has been for her as a mother and wife.

Regina Hahn-Siy on screening for Binibining Pilipinas 2009

“As most stories start, mine began with my mother. I am the firstborn child of a beauty queen who chanced upon the crown by jumping at opportunities, chasing dreams but more importantly, by just being herself. Growing up, it all seemed natural to her. She never tried to fit into any type of stereotype and was always true to who she was and what she believed in. She was just my mom, who also happened to be the Chiqui Brosas.”

The opportunities that opened up

“It was only natural that she raised me with a similar mindset. To be me and chase my dreams. Whether that meant becoming a beauty queen was never in focus. And so I grew up in the most traditional way. I focused on school, found some hobbies, and partied with friends. Nothing out of the ordinary. But being the daughter of a beauty queen opened a few doors. Every so often I would get an invitation to cast for a commercial or join a fashion show. I always viewed it as an exciting opportunity and went for it.”

“One day in my late 20s, I was invited to model for a Pitoy Moreno fashion show. There I met some lovely girls who were planning to join the pageant that year. Once again, I took the opportunity and joined, mostly on a whim and for the experience. It was, after all, the last year I could join due to my age.”

Binibining Pilipinas 2009 Screening

“I distinctly recall being asked during the audition if I was pressured by the success of my mother. In all honesty, I answered that I wasn’t. And I was shocked that the panel seemed offended. I was confused by their reaction at that time since I truly meant no disrespect. I was extremely proud to be my mother’s daughter and even more thankful to be given the opportunity. But I truly did not feel pressured, not because of pride but because of how my mother raised me. I owe it to her who not once made me feel like I had to follow in her footsteps.”

regina hahn-siy and chiqui brosas
Regina and mom, Miss Universe 1975 4th runner-up Chiqui Brosas. Photo from Regina Hahn-Siy

Regina Hahn-Siy on mom Chiqui’s reminder

“She never hyped her success. Instead, she focused on encouraging me to be my best, forge my own path and follow my own dreams, wherever that might lead. I didn’t realize it then, but I have come to be extremely grateful to her for this. To me, it shows the selfless love that I aspire to give to my own children.”

“Throughout the pageant, my mom took a back seat. She wanted me to take it on my own. There was no force, no lobbying, and no pressure whatsoever. What I do remember was her advice to take in the moment, enjoy it to the fullest, learn from it, and be intentional about what I want to do after. I did just that and am grateful as it has contributed to who I am today.”

“For a girl who had very little professional background on stage, I learned little things and big things. Like the best kind of makeup for my facial features, or how to walk in super high heels. I also learned how to move forward despite nay-sayers. Or project confidently even when my heart felt like it was beating out of my chest. I learned how a smile is any person’s biggest asset. Or how competition is fleeting but how one projects their inner self is what will be remembered. I made friends, some of which I deeply treasure up to this day. It was an incredible time in my life and I am so grateful for it.”

Regina Hahn-Siy on working as a data engineer

“What not many people know about me is that before the pageant, I was a professional working as a data engineer. I had invested in my studies, leading up to completing a course in Computer Science, landing a job in telco, and eventually an international post in a global organization. I felt good at what I did, humbly proud of how hard I worked to get there and looked forward to the opportunities it presented.”

“The company allowed me to take a short break to join the pageant, and I was grateful. But soon after, I went back to building the career I started. I look back thankful for my choices. It has taken me many places, challenged my mind, helped me know myself better, and continue to mature.”

“Today, I continue to grow my career in the same field. One thing I have learned throughout my experience is that life is a combination of precisely these experiences. The people you meet, situations you are faced with, and challenges you take on. While we don’t have much control over the opportunities we are presented with, what we do have is control over how to respond to these opportunities. Over the choices and decisions we make that mold our lives.”

Happy as a wife and mother of 3

“Today, I am happily married with three wonderful children. And out of all the experiences I have had, motherhood has by far been the most dynamic, challenging, and rewarding. I approach motherhood the same way I approach life. It is an amazing journey that should come with no pressure or expectations. It took me a long time to realize this. But it was a turning point the moment it clicked. If I remember the advice of my mother during the pageant; simply take in the moment, enjoy it to the fullest, learn from it, and be intentional about what I want to do with it.”

“My children are people. And as they grow, they continue to gain more and more independence to forge their own paths. They will be faced with experiences that are beyond my control. I do not see it as my role to shield them, force them, or pressure them toward a certain way of life. Instead, my role is to support them, guide them, and give them the freedom to experience life for themselves. I admit that sometimes, it is scary to give so much freedom and independence to our children. How much is too much? Will they take it and go the wrong path? However, if I really think about it, freedom is what allows us to explore and enjoy life. It is what allows us to learn without limits. And it is what allows us to grow and eventually be the best version of ourselves.”

“Independence allows us to pave our own future and grow our personal capabilities in the process. I am thankful for this kind of selfless love allotted to me and I wish the same for my children.”

Regina Hahn-Siy on looking back

“If I look back on the pageant days to who I am today, it has been a wild ride of many unique experiences and lots of learning, exploring, and growing. It never stops. And I am so glad about this. It makes life exciting and limitless. Every turn is a new adventure. I hold close to my roots and the foundation by which my mother raised me. Be yourself, chase your dreams—you deserve it.”

Read more stories of life after pageantry on Modern Parenting

The Women Who Serve ‘Moms’ and ‘Sisters’ to Reigning Beauty Queens

6 Beauty Queens from the 2010s Who Are Now Moms

Sandra Lemonon and Sol Mercado Are Engaged, Expecting First Child Together