Miss Ganda Pulis: Her Life, Her Advocacy

The epitome of Waray-Waray resilience and beauty, Police Corporal Arla Ray Octaviano Paciencia was crowned the PNP Ganda Pulis—the first-ever national beauty pageant held by the Philippine National Police in 2017, in celebration of women in the police service and in recognition of their contributions to the community. 

With confidence, Arla and her team flew to Camp Crame in Quezon City where she represented the region in the competition. A veteran of beauty pageants, she has built a trail of crowns in her wake. In 2009, she was crowned as Miss Colegio De Sta. Lourdes of Leyte Foundation. In 2011, she capped the Miss San Jose Tacloban City title and less than a year later, she bagged the Tacloban City Grand Sta. Cruzan 1st Runner Up and the Miss Leyte Pintados 1st Runner Up awards.

Just when life seemed generous, Arla was struck with misfortune. After a series of medical tests, she was diagnosed with an auto-immune disease characterized by the formation of irregularly-shaped patches on her skin. Initially, she suffered stigma, social withdrawal, and poor self-image. 

But with unwavering resolve, she persisted and kept moving forward. Arla chose to rise above adversity and refused to dwell on her fall. Staying true to her nature, she finished her studies with honors (class valedictorian and cum laude) then joined the ranks of the Philippine National Police.

Early in her career as a policewoman, Arla jumped from one assignment to another. But these challenges did not deter her will; they made her even stronger. As she gained more knowledge and developed more skills to better mold her character, she found her purpose in life – to serve and be an inspiration to others. Rising above life’s often difficult tests, she dedicated her life in the service of her fellowmen.

True to form, Arla was commended for her dedication to service when she bravely rescued and saved an old woman who sustained serious injuries in a remote barangay in Naval, Biliran. And just recently, she graduated class valedictorian in her financial management class by the PNP Finance Service in Quezon City.

She is indeed beautiful by all standards of pageantry but her inner beauty shines even brighter. After winning the Miss Ganda Pulis title, Arla busied herself with attending various events all over the country.  Despite this, she dedicated time for her true calling. She has been involved in several outreach and drug awareness programs, medical missions, and visitations to hospitals in the region. She even celebrated her birthdays with cancer patients confined at Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center.

Moreover, Arla embraces the importance of seeing beyond what meets the eye. This is evident in her favorite quote—”It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” (The Little Prince)

A devoted Christian, Arla is always guided by God’s teachings. She said, “We can do all things with God who strengthens us and many are the plans of men but his will always prevails. For He intends to prosper us and not to harm us. He plans to give us hope and He promises us all a better future. With all that, my success will be his, my life is his, and my pride is for his greater glory.” 

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