Ms. America '95 Philippine Visit
HEATHER WHITESTONE-McCALLUM
MS. AMERICA 1995
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.PHILIPPINE VISIT
March 18 - 21, 1997
Triumph of the Deaf Against All Odds

Here are some of what leading newspapers in the Philippines said about the only deaf who ever won the Ms. America title.
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"She is not flashy like Thalia but Ms. America 1995 Heather Whitestone will definitely sweep the Filipinos off their feet not only with her beauty but also with her compassion for the handicapped."
- Pam Samia, Peoples Journal
"Heather Whitestone may be deaf, but this does not stop her from pursuing her biggest dreams."
- Manila Bulletin
"Ms. America 1995 Heather Whitestone planed last night and urged Filipinos with hearing impairments to adopt a positive attitude to overcome their handicap."
- Ben Malumay, Peoples Tonight

MCCID shares its great pride and honor by making this special web page dedicated to this fascinating yet humble Christian lady who captivated both our eyes and our hearts, Ms. Heather Whitestone-McCallum.
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Heather flashes the I Love You in sign language to the reporters during a press conference together with Philippine Institute for the Deaf Executive Director and "Double Heather Show" organizer, Ms. Julie Esguerra upon her arrival at the NAIA VIP Lounge. (Tuesday, March 18, 9:15 pm)
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(Left)-Reporters covering the Ms. America visit. (Right)- Heather with her very loving Christian husband, John McCallum.
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Heather shares lighter moments with Ms. Esguerra, Senator Alvarez' wife and one of "Double Heather" sponsors, Ms. Cecile Guidote-Alvarez and MCCID Training Director and her personal interpreter, Jojo Esposa Jr.
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(Left)- Heather poses with her interpreter inside her Holiday Inn Hotel suite.
(Right)-Ms. Carol Cordero, PID Board Director and MCCID Trustee Officer poses with Ms. America. Carol, also a hearing impaired, accompanied Heather during her stay here.
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Ms. Whitestone-McCallum together with husband John are all smiles looking at the parents and deaf students at Philippine Institute for the Deaf. (Wednesday, March 19, 10:00 am)
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(Left)-Heather answers one of the questions of a parent during a mini-conference at PID grounds. (Right)-Ms. America looks intently at the interpreter while John and one of PID student listen.
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Ms. Whitestone emphasizes on something while some MCCID students (in white uniform) and PID parents look on.
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Heather exchanges pleasantries with Manila Mayor Alfredo S. Lim, one of PID Board of Directors during her courtesy call at City Hall. (Wednesday, March 19, 11:30 am)
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Ms. America receives the ceremonial Key to the City of Manila from Mayor Lim.
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(Left)-Heather addresses the City Hall employees. (Right)-Mayor Lim jokes about his love for beauty eventhough beauty doesn't love him.
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Ms. Whitestone explains how she overcame her disability during her television interview at "Dong Puno Live", one of the popular talk shows in Philippines. (Wednesday, March 19, 11:30 pm.)
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.(Sorry, no photos during her "Double Heather Concert" at Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) Little Theater on March 20 and 21. We were not allowed to bring our videocam and cameras inside the theater. Try the PID web site.)
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MS. AMERICA 1995, Heather Whitestone-McCallum

- - Jojo's Personal Annotation - -

            As her sign language interpreter during her four-day visit in Manila, I had a chance to be with her on a personal basis. At first, I was very much scared because I haven't had any experience with American Sign Language before and with MS. AMERICA!!! WOW!!! I learned from Julie that Heather is an oralist. How will I sign to an oralist? I'm a pure Philippine Sign Language interpreter. When I saw her enter the VIP Lounge, I was the first one who shook hands with her. I was enthralled by her beauty. I even signed "Good Afternoon" at 9:30 pm!! How embarrassing!!! When I start to sign to her during the press conference, I did not mouth the words. I learned later that she needs to read people's lips in order to understand them. So I changed my method. A big shift for me but it was worth it. I began to make contact with her.

            What really bothered me most is her very beautiful eyes. We were having an eye-to-eye contact and at times I feel mersmerized everytime I look at her. Sometimes I forgot what I am signing and just feel awed by her charming eyes!!!

            I had a chance to talk with the McCallum couple inside the van while waiting for her call. I learned that they are very wonderful and faithful Christian couple. They shared with me about how the Lord Jesus Christ changed their lives. I also told them about my burdens with the hearing impaired. John comes from a family of Baptist pastors and both of them faithfully attend a Christian church at Georgia. Heather also comes from a Christian family. All of us love Sandi Patti and her inspiring Christian songs. I remember John hoping for some kind of a Christian mission where Pastors and Christian artists from USA come to the Philippines and hold a revival concert and evangelism.

            It was such a wonderful experience for me. I pray to God that they stay as faithful and as wonderful as they are. I hope that I may see them again next time but I would definitely see them when we all go to heaven and meet our Savior and Lord, Kristo Hesus.


Special Thanks to:
Philippine Institute for the Deaf
c/o Ms. Julie Esguerra - Executive Director 
.You can write personally to Ms. Heather Whitestone at
1663 Prince Street
Alexandra, VA 22314
703.684.0555


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