2013 a smashing year for PH beauties
The year 2013, just like 2012, was a banner year for beauty pageants here and abroad highlighted by the three major titles won by the Philippines and the successful return of Venezuela in three other beauty contests.
For the first time, the Philippines finally clinched the elusive Miss World crown when actress-television host Megan Lynne Young, 23, of Olongapo City, won in Bali, Indonesia, on Sept. 28, 2013. It was a historic win for the Philippines in the 63-year-old beauty contest, although the country only started to send representatives to the world’s longest running pageant in 1966.
Prior to Young’s victory, the highest ranking the country had achieved in the Miss World pageant was first-runner up won by Evangeline Pascual in 1973 and Gwendoline Ruais in 2011.
This year, the Philippines also notched another international crown after Mutya Johanna Datul, 21, was crowned Miss Supranational in Belarus on Sept. 6, 2013. Although the international pageant is relatively new – only five years old and hardly heard in the Philippines – the contest is fast gaining a reputation as one of the most popular beauty events in Europe. With Datul’s triumph, she holds the record as the country’s and Asia’s first Miss Supranational winner.
Datul’s victory also contributed to another smashing record for the country in beauty contests: the Philippines now holds the record as the country that has won in all major beauty pageants (Miss Universe, Miss World, Miss International, Miss Earth, and Miss Supranational).
Bea Rose Santiago, 23, of Masbate, capped the successful run of Filipino beauties in 2013 by winning the Miss International beauty contest in Tokyo, Japan, last December 17. She bested 66 candidates from around the world.
The Miss International beauty pageant was, however, rocked by controversy for the first time when 2012 titleholder Ikumi Yoshinatsu of Japan was dethroned for her alleged involvement in a scandal with a media executive.
During the 2013 coronation night, Ikumi was barred from attending. Instead, Santiago was crowned by 2008 Miss International Alejandra Andreu of Spain at the end of the competition. Santiago dedicated her victory to the victims of super-typhoon “Yolanda” which ravaged the Visayas last November, killing more than 6,000 people.
Santiago’s win was the fifth Miss International crown won by the Philippines. Past four winners were Gemma Cruz (1964), Aurora Pijuan (1970), Melanie Marquez (1979), and Precious Lara Quigaman (2005).
During the question and answer portion, Santiago was asked: “What will you do if you win the crown?”
She impressed the judges with her answer: “The whole world saw how my country hurt. One by one, other countries helped. You have opened my heart and eyes on what we can do to help each other. I will work to hold the spirit of sympathy and spirit of hope. As long as we work together, there is hope.”
Other Shining Beauties
Three other Philippine candidates also made good in beauty contests when they placed third runner-up in international competitions.
Ariella Arida, of Alaminos, Laguna, won third runner-up in the 2013 Miss Universe beauty contest held in Moscow, Russia, for the first time last Nov. 9. This was the fourth year in a row that the Philippines finished in the Top 5 of the most prestigious beauty contest. Maria Venus Raj won fourth runner up in 2010; Shamcey Supsup, third runner-up in 2011, and Janine Tugonon, first runner-up in 2012.
Professional singer Annalie “Ali” Forbes, 20, also placed third runner-up in the first edition of the 2013 Miss Grand International contest in Bangkok, Thailand last Nov. 19.
The beauty contest, sponsored by the government of the Kingdom of Thailand, campaigns against war. Its first winner was Janelle Chaparro, of Puerto Rico.
Koreen Medina, 18, of Quezon City, also finished third runner-up at the 2013 Miss Intercontinental contest held in Madgeburg, Germany last Dec. 14.
Medina’s achievement was the highest since 1993 when Maria Sovietskaya Bacud placed second runner-up in the same beauty contest, which continues to hold the record for the most expensive crown of all beauty competitions. The crown named Oriental Holy Water is worth US$361,446 (roughly P16,265,070).
Gil Wagas, 22, of Cebu City, placed fourth runner-up in the Mister International contest held in Bali, Indonesia, last Nov. 21, won by Jose Paredes of Venezuela. Paredes was crowned by 2012 Mister International first runner-up Ron Teh of Singapore after Ali Hammoud of Lebanon could not make it to Bali because of his participation in the Lebanese version of Dancing With The Stars.
Venezuela On Top
Venezuelans also finished on top of two other competitions when Maria Isler was crowned 2013 Miss Universe and Alyz Henrich won the 2013 Miss Earth held in Alabang, Muntinlupa City. The two are good friends back home.
Maria Isabelle Zaragoza Mendoza, 19, of San Beda College, was crowned Miss Campus World in Malaysia last Dec. 6. Roland William de Dios finished second for male category of the contest.
Other notable finished in 2013 were Angelee delos Reyes, Top 8 in the 2013 Miss Earth pageant, and Cindy Miranda who was in the Top 10 of the Miss Tourism Queen International in China last October.
Meanwhile, at the start of the worldwide broadcast for the 2013 Miss Universe beauty contest, Thomas Roberts of MSNBC Live and ex-Spice Girl Melanie Brown dedicated the beauty pageant to the Philippines and Vietnam, both affected by super-typhoon Haiyan (named “Yolanda” in the Philippines).
The environment-driven Miss Earth beauty contest, during a live telecast, also thanked the countries that aided the Philippines during the crisis. The contestants joined the disaster relief efforts for typhoon victims.