Pageant enthusiasm

The Big Four winners of 2012 (Graphics by Drew)
The Big Four winners of 2012 (Graphics by Drew)

“Mention something about you that would surprise people.”

Without batting an eye, I said, “I’m a beauty pageant enthusiast.” The HR officer almost dropped his cup of coffee. The two other newbies were grinning. “Let’s just say I have an eye for beauty.”

* * *

I can still vividly remember watching the telecast of Miss Universe 1999. The show was very festive, and I almost jumped off my seat when Philippines was called in the top 10. Miriam Quiambao almost made it, but she lost to Botswana’s Mpule Kwelagobe. But the most memorable moment was when Miriam tripped in her sky blue Halston evening gown during the preliminaries. She tripped her way to people’s hearts. Until now, she remains the best Filipina delegate in Miss Universe for me.

* * *

I never missed a telecast of Miss Universe since 2007. It was heartbreaking to see the Philippines missing the cut until 2009. So it was totally expected that Filipinos would go crazy over Venus Raj’s top 5 finish in 2010. Of all the editions I’ve seen, 2010 remains the best in terms production value.

* * *

My fondness for beauty pageants led me to Missosology, a forum dedicated to pageants. There, I interact with people from all over the globe who share the same passion. I regularly write threads about pageants and post them there. My dedication finally paid off last month when I was promoted to Pageant Expert status.

* * *

To be honest, I was never a fan of Venus, Shamcey Suspsup and Janine Tugonon. Venus’ beauty isn’t my cup of tea. Shamcey was a diamond in the rough when she was crowned. Janine’s body was in bad shape when she rejoined Binibini this year. But what sets them apart from the rest is their determination to succeed. Venus fought for her crown against all odds. Shamcey worked hard to improve her styling. Janine hit the gym almost everyday to achieve her pageant ready body. That’s more commendable than having a flawless face.

* * *

The first time I saw Janine was when she was crowned as Miss UST in 2010. Back then, she wasn’t my favorite, but she caught my heart because of her good answer to the final question. When she joined Binibini in 2011, I was among the minority who believed she has the goods to make it. Many thought she was too raw and ordinary, but I was right when she made it to the top 15and even ended up as 1st runner-up. I had second thoughts, though, when she decided to rejoin last year. Her body was obviously a disaster. However, I can’t deny that her styling had improved. Although I was rooting for MJ Lastimosa, I had Janine as my alternate for the crown. She was heavily bashed, but it seemed the bashing served as her inspiration to succeed. Look at her now. She’s just classy.

* * *

I can’t give a concrete reason as to why I fancy beauty pageants. I like the thrill of predicting the outcomes, analyzing each girl’s potential and defending the relevance of pageants at this day and age. But one thing’s for sure, I appreciate a real beauty when I see one.

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