Aim higher, Alexie Mae 

By Alex P. Vidal 

“Make big plans; aim high in hope and work, remembering that a noble, logical diagram once recorded will not die, but long after we are gone be a living thing, asserting itself with ever-growing insistence.” —Daniel Burnham

HIGHLY regarded Iloilo City bet Alexie Mae Caimoso-Brooks, 23, may have failed to bag the Miss Universe Philippines 2024, but her national exposure and experience will undoubtedly bring her notches higher from what and where she was prior to the pageant.

She can use the stint as a springboard to attain her bigger ambition in life other than being crowned the most beautiful and talented woman in the Philippines this year.

Even without the pageant title, the gates of opportunities and possibilities are now wide-open for the young Alexie Mae, a beauty and talent from the Municipality of Leon and the first black and androgynous woman to represent Iloilo.

With a gift in track and field, Alexie Mae, who had a sterling performance in the 2022 Vietnam SEA Games, may train her guns at the Olympic Games in Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy in 2026; Los Angeles, USA in 2028; and Brisbane, Australia in 2032.

She has all the advantages and chances of making it big or hitting pay dirt in the world of sports with her experience, skills and unique physique.


The failure to win the Miss Universe Philippines 2024 shouldn’t dampen her spirit to go for higher goals like winning the Olympic Games gold or becoming an actress, entrepreneur and model like her predecessor and fellow Ilongga, 2020 Miss Philippine Universe Rabiya Mateo, 27.

Her fellow Ilonggos will always remember how she made them proud of her achievement and modest background, her struggle and sacrifices, her Cinderella-like childhood, her values taught by Lola Baseng, and how she rose from a virtual unknown to the toast of community after clinching the Miss Iloilo title early this year.

We thank all the Ilonggos, including the local government units (LGUs), the ever-supportive tourism offices and all government officials in the municipality of Leon, city and province of Iloilo for their all-out support of gallant and very capable Alexie Mae’s quest in the prestigious national beauty stage.

  1. O. Wislon said, “You are capable of more than you know. Choose a goal that seems right for you and strive to be the best, however hard the path. Aim high. Behave honorably. Prepare to be alone at times, and to endure failure. Persist! The world needs all you can give.”


The Governments of the United States and the Philippines co-hosted the sixth Indo-Pacific Business Forum (IPBF) on May 21, 2024, in Manila, reported the U.S. Department of State.

IPBF is the premier U.S. government commercial diplomacy event in the region, connecting CEOs, project developers, government officials, and sources of financing for priority infrastructure in emerging Indo-Pacific economies.

Through keynote remarks, plenary panels, breakout sessions, and business matchmaking, participants shared their insights on the latest trends, opportunities, and solutions to support critical projects across all sectors.

This year boasted the largest in-person IPBF since the onset of the pandemic with over 700 senior government officials and business executives from the United States, the Philippines, and across the Indo-Pacific region convening in Manila.

This is also the first year that the IPBF has returned to Southeast Asia since we co-hosted with Vietnam in 2020.


Extreme heat continues to bedevil many households due to El Nino phenomenon. Below are the four signs that air condition needs some TLC.

  1. Warm Air. On a hot day, warm air blowing out of your vents is cause for panic. Is the thermostat switched to cooling mode? Set it lower than your home’s current temperature and if warm air is still blowing, it might be a busted compressor. Make that call.
  2. Insufficient Airflow. Often a sign that your air filter is clogged or you’ve got a broken motor, this is the most obvious sign that your AC unit isn’t working correctly. To get proper airflow you might consider trying an energy-recovery ventilator, which exchanges stale air with fresh air, or employ zoning systems. Or better yet, call an HVAC professional.
  3. Water Leaks. Whether it’s refrigerant or condensation, the only liquids you want accumulating in your home this summer are cocktails. Pooled water or an active leak around your air conditioner means you’ve got a problem that’s really “not cool” — damage to your home.
  4. Unusual Noises. Rattling or buzzing noises suggest a loose part and can be easily fixable. But a whistling or grinding noise is different and usually only gets worse. Time for a professional tune-up.

(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two daily newspapers in Iloilo.—Ed)