Although she didn’t win the main crown of Miss Grand Philippines 2023, she still considered her victory significant.

Her performance in the swimsuit and evening gown competitions stood out as she projected herself impressively to the audience and judges. During the evening gown competition, she had a surprise element to prevent her dress from being immediately visible. She started with a black robe with a hood, and only during her walk did she remove the robe to showcase the beauty and sparkle of her bejeweled revealing gown.

She made it to the Top 15 and eventually became one of the Top 10 finalists. During the speech of the Top 10 finalists, where they presented their advocacies, Herlene was serious in her delivery but still maintained her trademark humor, letting out a loud “Wooooh!” due to nerves. She also had an English interpreter to comfortably respond in Filipino.

In the Q&A portion of the Top 10 finalists, she answered a question about the problems faced by the youth, focusing on education. She used the Filipino language to express her opinion on the issue. The audience laughed when her English interpreter translated her response.

In a press interview after the pageant, Herlene shared how she inspired her fellow candidates. They told her that she was their inspiration to join the pageant because they realized they could speak in Tagalog, which they previously thought was not allowed. She expressed pride in being herself and stated that it was a starting point for Filipinos to not be afraid of speaking Tagalog in any competition.

She also addressed the fact that she is not a typical beauty queen, saying that there are no limits to being a beauty queen. If you have a purpose in your advocacy or anything you can offer, it is limitless. She appealed to the bashers who were not satisfied with her performance, emphasizing that love should prevail over hate and admitting that nobody is perfect.