Ms. Karen Bonifacio, Philsmile’s 2014 Selfie Contest Winner, was born in Aurora, Quezon. At the age of 9, she went to Bulacan at her lola’s place to study. After a year of studying there, she then went to Quezon City.
When Karen was in high school, she was a writer in their tagalog school newspaper. Because of the passion in writing, she was motivated to enroll in La Consolacion College Manila as a Mass Communication student in 2011. In college, Karen was granted with a scholarship and in return she worked as a student assistant in the School of Music and was also a chorale member.
Karen dropped out when she was in her junior year, when she got pregnant. After giving birth, she needed to provide for her family, her scholarship was not sufficient. She started a small business as a seller of wholesale of fish meatballs in Quezon City. It went well as many vendors are buying.
Ms. Bonifacio learned about PhilSmile’s Selfie Contest from a friend and didn’t have second thoughts in joining the said contest. When asked what is her strategy to make people vote for her, she said “Message everyone (her friends) in Facebook, asked them one by one to vote for my picture.” She had confidence in herself because she really wanted to win and finish schooling. We asked her what her inspiration in her pose in the picture is, she said she wanted it to be unique so that people will notice it abruptly and vote for her without hesitancy.
When she learnt she had won the selfie contest, she felt very grateful and happy by the new opportunities getting back to school represent. Karen researched about culinary schools around Quezon City. Karen wanted it her course to be related in her food business since she also has a passion in it. She then chose Commercial Cooking NC2 and Baking in MOST Institute Culinary.
PhilSmile’s CEO Sir Camille Krejci & Dr. Mayla Sampa, Vice President, personally accompanied Ms. Bonifacio to enroll.
Below are some photos of them talking to Sir Rodel Boitizon, MOST Institute Culinary’s President.