Miss World-Philippines 2012

Journey to the crown

By Earl D.C. Bracamonte

Since 1951, the search for the most beautiful women from all over the world was motivated by a single inspiration: Beauty with a Purpose. With such a compelling directive, the Miss World pageant has produced a list of women who have been celebrated not just for their stunning good looks but also for their single-minded desire to make a difference in the lives of the less-fortunate.

2012 marks a new page in Philippine pageant history as another Miss World-Philippines will be chosen, under the existing new local franchise-holder to the international pageant rights. In years previous, the title has been part of the annual Bb. Pilipinas competitions.

Leading the nationwide search for Miss World-Philippines, now on its second year, is beauty & wellness guru Cory Quirino, chair and CEO of CQ Global Quest (CQGQ), the new entity owning the local franchise who is determined to give the much-anticipated beauty contest a meaningful purpose. “It's high time to make another Filipina's dream come true. A lady who will embody the true spirit of Filipino womanhood and one who will proudly represent her country while utilizing her innate beauty to inspire, to help and to heal. For this reason, CQGQ's charity gala night that was successfully held at the Dusit Thani Manila grand ballroom last June 19 have chosen a number of recipients as major beneficiaries.”

The dynamic chairman and CEO of Miss World Limited, the venerable Ms. Julia Morley, personally handed the exclusive license agreement herself to Ms. Quirino in January 2011. Accompanied by reigning Ms. World 2010 Alexandria Mills (USA) and 1st Runner-up Emma Wareus (Botswana), they called the reception a 'significant and momentous occasion'.

Ms. Quirino's vast experience in serving underprivileged communities made her a fitting figure to spearhead the pageant. “With more than 15 years as an officer serving Rotary International districts 3810 and 3830, I have found that the focus on community development by the organizers of Miss World is very supportive of my continuing advocacies.

“Miss World-Philippines celebrates womanhood and beauty with a purpose. It takes skill and passion to win the crown. It does not just happen. One has to work hard to earn it.”

The Philippines has yet to win this very elusive international title. The closest the country ever got to winning the crown was in 1973 and 2011 when Evangeline Pascual and reigning Ms World-Philippines Gwendolyn Ruais were proclaimed 1st Princesses and also in 1993 when Sharmaine Ruffa Gutierrez was named 2nd Princess. When 1973 winner Marjorie Wallace was dethroned, the title, together with the duties attached to it, was offered to Ms. Pascual. However, the beautiful Evangeline politely declined the offer.

Since its beginning, the annual worldwide beauty search has been able to assist in the alleviation of the plight of marginalized women and children with Miss World Limited having raised more than US$400 million in support of countless charities.

The country's winner, who'll also be known as pageant spokesperson in shaping a better planet, will go home with P1million from Mr. Raj Uttamchandani of Esquire Financing Corp.

“Esquire supports this premier pageant. We all need to share our blessings and be an inspiration to others. What is good, essential and lasting ring true and close to our corporate philosophy. You need not have much to help others,” enthused Raj, who by the way is very much an eligible bachelor.

Vanessa Claudine Amman (Cebu) was voted Miss Friendship and proclaimed Miss Laguna-World, Brenna Cassandra Gamboa (Batangas) was named Miss Manny O. Wines, while Marie Loraine Dione de Guzman was named Miss Talent alongside Queenrich Rehman (Las Pinas City). The latter also bagged the Miss World Traveller, Miss Prudential and Miss Photogenic awards.

Aside from the night’s minor award recipients, the roster of candidates also include aspirants from Metro Manila and the provinces from all over the archipelago: Kay Wigand (Oriental Mindoro), Rosheila Tungol (Pampanga), Mariz Ong (Isabela), Paula Rica Bartolome (Laguna), Ma. Teresita Alaine Baccay (Nueva Ecija), Maham Ahmed (Pangasinan), Razzini Alexis Gomez (Cebu), Mariver Ocampo (Bulacan), Daphne Tanya Molenat and Lara Lee Sarino (Occidental Negros), Rufaida Babudin (Palawan), Kaye Michelle Agnes (Sorsogon), Fer Mary Baliquig (Bohol), as well as NCR entrants Larah Grace Lacap and Paulina Eliseeff (Quezon City),Vania Valiry Vispo and Carla Terina Lizardo (Pasig City), Maryanne Rose Misa (Paranaque City), Natacha Peugniez (Muntinlupa City) and Ma. Danna Javier (Malabon).

All of the night’s winners each received P50,000. But the luckiest winner of the evening was Ilocos Sur’s representative April Love Jordan who was named Best in Fashion Runway as she fast-tracks her chances of winning by already being part of the Top 12 finalists.

“The Miss World-Philippines winner should not only be beautiful physically but must also be the heart, eyes, and soul of the country. Such is a big challenge. I need everybody’s help. Inspire me so I don't look backward but forward and ahead. Give CQGQ the chance to find her and let it happen for our country,” Ms. Quirino implored, at the close of an intimate colloquy.

The gala night’s panel of judges was comprised of Bb. Pilipinas-International 1991 Patti Bettita, child welfare advocate Kaye Tinza, company executive Charlene Yu Banzal, talent circuit proprietor Arnold Vegafria, and Laguna governor Hon. E.R. Ejercito. Singapore-based jeweller Beverly Tan was also present to personally hand to CQGQ the crown for this year’s winner and her royal court.

The Miss World Philippines coronation night will unfold this Sunday, June 24th 8:30 pm at The Tent, inside the fabulously spruced-up Manila Hotel. The pageant will be beamed live to a nationwide audience through the TV-5 Kapatid network. For more information, simply log-on to their Web site, www.missworldphilippines.com.


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