A Beauty Chat with Choy Symes

By Sashi Neelya

Philippine-born Choy Symes, has worked her way through the beauty pageant industry to become the National Director of many reputed beauty pageants in Australia. Now she’s getting ready for the launch of the much awaited national pageant, Top Model of the World Philippines 2016 in Melbourne. 

Founder of The Face Australia Promotions and Management and National Director of Little Miss Universe Australia, Mutya ng Australia, Prince & Princess Australia, Face of Australia Miss Plus Size, Mr United Continents Australia, Mister & Miss Asiaworld Australia, Top Model of the World Philippines, Miss Asia Pacific International Australia, Mrs/Miss/Teen Australia Heritage International

 “Where Beauty Begins and Dreams Come True”

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Article By Sashi Neelya

Photographed by Hector Calara

Philippine-born Choy Symes, has worked her way through the beauty pageant industry to become the National Director of many reputed beauty pageants in Australia. Now she’s getting ready for the launch of the much awaited national pageant, Top Model of the World Philippines 2016 in Melbourne. This is the ‘first’ of such renowned national Philippine event to be entirely launched outside Philippine as most pageant and model search are done in Metro Manila. So this is her beautiful story of making beauty queens in Australia.  

Let’s start our conversation with Choy with her fondest memory of the Mutya ng Australia events

From all the various beauty pageants I have organized so far, Mutya ng Australia is my most favorite pageant as I have successfully produced winners in the top 5 in two consecutive years. First I was given a chance to submit a beauty pageant proposal to get the right to run Mutya pageant here in Australia. Then given two years probationary right before I get the partnership. That’s how it all began.


What’s the mission of The Face Australia Promotions and Management and what are you trying to bring into the world/beauty pageant industry through this?

This is not just another beauty pageant organizer, our mission is to introduce the diverse culture through beauty pageants with the assistance of creative and innovative thinkers. It is principally run by me with the assistance of Hector Calara and a few friends. We open a platform to motivate all relevant talent people in different professionals to shine and improve their career through our every event.


We know that you are so excited and working hard these days for the launch of “Top Model of the World Philippines 2016” in Melbourne, one of the major projects in the year 2016. Let’s share more details about it Choy?

The motivation of "Top Model of the World Philippines" (TMWPh) is to promote closeness among the overseas Filipino communities.  In its desire to further enhance the Filipina as a multi-talented person, it wants to show the world its exceptional character and distinction, a person who will always nurture her roots and be proud of it.  Top Model of the World Inc. in the Philippines is proud of its association with Face Australia and final is expected to happen in early July 2016. The winner will represent the Philippines in the forthcoming Top Model of the World 2016 competition.

The event will certainly draw attention and participation from dominant pageant operators in various jurisdictions among the overseas Filipino communities. At this stage, we are coordinating with them and the media launch is done by Asia Journal Publications Group, based in Los Angeles, California including other media partners in the Philippines. Any interested parties can direct their queries to me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


What are the other events done and lined up by The Face Australia to rock Melbourne this year?

-          Miss Asia Pacific Australia 2016-  August 2016

-          Top Model of the World Philippines – July 2016

-          Face of Australia Heritage International 2016 – September 2016

           Miss Teen Princess Australia 2016 – November 2016


     Choy, you have come up in your career as a National Payroll Manager in a well-reputed organization. Beauty pageants are just your part time hobby. How did you get into this industry?

       I never had the plan to run a beauty pageant, it just happens by accident. It’s started with a charity event happened in the Philippines as I represented a Rotary Club in the West, when my husband was the President of it. After that I organized successful various charity events joining with a Charity Club named Share Me A Dream Bisayan Community Club of Victoria Inc. Then I was given a chance to help out in a local Filipino Beauty Pageant and ended up running it in the following year. Added other pageants, one by one after starting my event company Face of Australia. I enjoy this so much, that planning and organizing a beauty pageant becomes naturally easy to me.


       What matters to you most as a beauty pageant organizer?

       It is not about money or big profits. Sending candidates to International pageants with good results is such an inspiration that you become a bridge to make their dream comes true. It gives me more drive to work harder and make my beauty pageantry continually improving so I can produce more Beauty Queens and Kings.


What has been the biggest difficulty so far?

I would love to run a big budget beauty pageant here in Melbourne, but since I just started with this Industry it is difficult to find sponsors and support from other people


What's your favorite part of a Beauty Pageant?

Discovering new beauties and talents. My aim is to charge my candidates with passion and enthusiasm about feeling good. The participants of the pageant, don’t only have the chance to overcome their shyness and gain experience to be more confidence but to get opportunities to work with different people, learning their diverse culture in the process.

Men generally have limited opportunities and less interest when it comes to this industry, how do you manage being so motivated in that limited space to bring them on the ramp/stage?

I just use my charm to persuade them to join. I have started nominating candidates to represent Australia in an International pageant and hoping for good results so then I can show them that Male Pageantry is also as exciting as the Female pageantry.

The Face Australia is not just a one popular beauty pageant organizer; they involve in many charity programs too…

You can only appreciate a beautiful soul if they have a beautiful heart. Running beauty pageantry is giving me the chance to meet new people, connections, and supports. I use these connections for my charity projects. Linking beauty pageant with charity gives more meaning for all the hard work that I invest. It is a win-win situation, I produce beauty queens and make their dream come true at the same time I was able to help indigent families thru my charity projects.


Let’s talk a bit more about yourself… 

What does fashion & beauty mean to you?

You don’t have to wear expensive brand to become fashionable and beautiful. What is important that you confidently feel beautiful no matter what you wear.

How would you describe your personal style?

It’s versatile as I always like switching from one look to another. I love wearing gorgeous high heels shoes, it gives me more confidence.

How about your interests of fitness and personal grooming?

Never a gym fanatic but I love ballroom dancing to get fit and feel beautiful.


Favorite way to relax and de-stress?

Siting on my favorite couch in my room (I call it the Filipino Room) and watching Filipino drama.

What’s next for you professionally?

To own a modeling school or agency and produce more International pageants in Australia


Here’s the very first question comes at last. You are originally from Surigao City, Philippines, what’s brought you here and how your life changed with that?

When I came to Australia for a visit as an invitation of my sister, I met my now husband at a Philippine Independence Ball. Australia has given me so much personal and professional blessings. All blessings don’t come easy, have to work hard to gain what I want in life. I learned to never give up, try till I succeed with many failures and that made a big change in my life.

Any last words?

I would like to extend my sincere thank to my team and friends, without their support I won’t be here. Hector Calara who always believes and support me to all my projects without expecting any returns. Gabby Louise Martinez my best trainer and choreographer, Sarah Symes my daughter and beauty pageant adviser, Felina Fyfe, Terry Kane, Edith Feliciano, Roy Esagunde, Myka Baculi, all my beauty queens and all my candidates, candidate’s parents and supporters; especially my hubby Steve and my son Adam who understand why I am always out.


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