Record high on road to the crowns
By Earl D.C. Bracamonte
The Philippines has become the winningest country on the beauty pageant circuit for 2013. Reigning Bb. Pilipinas International Bea Rose Santiago’s recent win as the 53rd Miss International titlist brings to a grandiose close the country’s bid for the international crowns.
The journey started with a bang when Bb. Pilipinas Supranational Mutya Johanna Datul won the most coveted Miss Supranational title in Belarus. She is the first Filipina, and first Asian, to have won the honors.
With near wins from Evangeline Pascual (1973), Sharmaine Ruffa Gutierrez (1993) and Gwendolyn Ruais (2011), the Philippines finally won the title as Miss World 2013 when Megan Young wowed both judges and spectators in Indonesia. The most elusive title to any Filipina entrant, the crown was finally given to us, since the pageant opened in 1951.
With the exception of Bb. Pilipinas Tourism Cindy Miranda, who did not fare well in the Miss Tourism Queen International in China, the Binibining Pilipinas Gold batch showed a good batting average with Mutya and Bea winning their respective international contests; together with Ariella Arida pacing fourth in the Miss Universe 2013 finals in Moscow.
Even Mutya ng Pilipinas 2013 Koreen Medina made a good showing at the Miss Intercontinental pageant in Germany; placing 3rd Runner-up. Ditto Bb. Pilipinas 2012 Runner-up Ali Forbes, who emerged as 3rd Runner-up in the Miss Grand International 2013 in Thailand.
The other unlucky representative, thus far, is Miss Earth Philippines Angelee delos Reyes who did not make it to the Top 4 in the final round of this year’s Miss Earth competition. She however made it as finalist (Top 8). The only remaining aspirant is Mutya ng Pilipinas International 2013 Dionne Angeli Gomez who will be competing at the Miss Tourism International finals in Malaysia late this year. It is hoped she’ll duplicate the victory of fellow Cebuana, Rizzini Alexis Gomez, when the latter won the said title last year.
To date, the Philippines is the only country to have won in all major pageants – Gemma Cruz (Miss International 1964), Gloria Aspillera Diaz (Miss Universe 1969), Joanna Paula Abinuman (Miss Global Queen 2002), Peachie Manzano (Miss Tourism International 2003), Justine Gabionza (Miss Tourism Queen International 2006), Karla Paula Henry (Miss Earth 2008), Mutya Johanna Datul (Miss Supranational 2013), and Megan Lynn Young (Miss World 2013).
Adding honor to the country are the wins of Aurora Pijuan (Miss International 1970), Margie Moran (Miss Universe 1973), Mimelanie Marquez (Miss International 1979), Precious Lara Quigaman (Miss International 2005), Rizzini Alexis Gomez (Miss Tourism International 2012), and Bea Rose Santiago’s victory this year as Miss International.
The tally board has shown the Philippines winning three of the five major titles (Supranational, World, and International) against Venezuela’s two (Earth and Universe).
With pundits calling the Philippines ‘Country of the Year’ and such epithets as “Grand Slam Pageant Winner,” the future looks bright and rosy for hopefuls and aspirants in a country where even the most remote barangay has a pageant of its own.