NEW JERSEY—The Palawan-born wife of a retired Marine officer was crowned Mrs. Kalayaan in a beauty pageant for married women organized by Pidci.
Unlike most pageant contenders, Margie Wisotsky, 39, didn’t go bare in a swimsuit, didn’t dance and didn’t have to sweat bullets to answer a silly question. All she had to do was come dressed in an elegant gown and fill up a table with her friends – one of the Philippine Independence Day Council’s ideas of a fundraiser for the June Independence Day parade.
“I am excited for this honor,” Margie told The FilAm. “I will do my best to help Pidci carry out its mission to help promote Independence Day activities.”
This is not Margie’s first title. A year earlier, she won Mrs. Pafcom (Philippine American Friendship Committee), a contest with similar goals as Pidci’s. She was to raise funds for the organization’s
activities — and she did.
If she were in school, Margie would be the kid who sold the most number of raffle tickets. She is the “Super PAC” of the FilAm community, the dusky beauty known for being an exceptional fundraiser.
That she is well liked for being a soft touch to people in need makes her an asset to any organization.
Knowing what she does best, Margie founded the Wonder Boys and Girls of NYC, Inc. to raise funds for the poor in the Philippines. “We started as good friends and later, wanted to do something good for our
community,” she said.
“My parents used to say, always help people in need,” she said, harking back to when she was growing up in Puerto Princesa. “Having a good heart and remembering where I come from are very important to
She would not reveal how much she’s raised for Pafcom. All she was willing to say is she would do her best “for the love of helping Pidci.”
“This title is just a bonus,” she said.
Margie said she views beauty contests as an “opportunity to meet people with similar motivations and goals.”
“Beauty contests are a way to express my confidence and inner beauty, in relation to my everyday life. The support that I receive from my family and friends is very important in achieving this goal,” she
Beauty pageants for women of a certain age are becoming popular in the community, said pageant watcher Felix Manuel. “It is a viable means to raise funds for various charitable efforts.”
Mrs. Kalayaan is a first for Pidci, according to its president Fe Martinez. “This has never been done before,” she said. “When these women were asked to participate, they were bound by a common desire to serve the community and help Pidci.”
When she turned 15, Margie came to the U.S. on a petition by her parents. She was a charmer even then, with her alluring looks and skin baked in the island sun.
“Coming to the U.S. made me more independent and gave me a higher amount of responsibilities,” she said. “Although life is very different from home, I got used to it.”
She met her husband, former Marine Danny Wisotsky who is 11 years her senior, at the Officers Club in San Diego, Calif. They met at lunch, and he invited her to dinner the next evening. The pair had a
military-style wedding amid a garden setting. “It was beautiful,” said Margie.
The couple has three children: John, 17; Paul, 14 and Desiree, a budding singer, 11.
“I come from a very large family and my husband is an only child. That’s the biggest adjustment we had to make. I have many friends and I’m very outgoing, whereas Dan is very quiet and conservative. Luckily
the family enjoys the best of both worlds from both my husband’s background and mine,” she said.
Consul General Mario de Leon Jr. lauded Mrs. Kalayaan, calling it more than just a traditional beauty contest.
“The search allows those who have already achieved success in their profession to become closely involved in strengthening our community,” he said.