ASIDE from winning in Binibining Pilipinas, what do Bea Rose Santiago, Venus Raj, Diane Necio and the late Melody Gersbach have in common? They all hail from the Bicol region.
Bicol never runs out of beauties, and this may be partly attributed to the fact that pageants seem to have been ingrained in their culture. The popular Miss Bicolandia pageant is held during the Penafrancia Festival, while other cities and provinces also hold well-organized pageants.
This year, the region offers three representatives to the country’s premier beauty contest. Who among them has the biggest chance at winning a crown? Let’s meet them.
Joanna Angelica Romero, Naga City
After graduating from Ateneo de Naga University, Joanna traveled to Manila to work for a hotel. It was hard to live alone and support herself financially, but this didn’t stop her from pursuing her dream of joining Bb Pilipinas. But before this, she represented Naga City in Miss Bicolandia 2010 where she finished 3rd runner-up. She hopes to make her father proud when he comes home from abroad to watch her during the pageant in March. She is one of the least talked about delegates, but who knows this girl might bring it on come coronation night.
Fun facts about her: Joanna is very passionate about music but also spends her downtime surfing the internet. Also inclined to sports, she was a basketball varsity player in college.
Mae Liezel Ramos, Naga City
A local pageant veteran with the Miss Camarines Sur 2010 title and runner-up finishes in Mutya ng Magayon 2013, Mutya ng Ibalong 2009, and Miss Bicolandia 2008 under her belt, Mae Liezel is someone to watch out for in the competition. She has one of the most fluid walks among the girls based on their press presentation performance and her pageant experiences surely played a part in molding her. She might not be a heavy favorite, but watch out! Liezel could give them front-runners a run for their money.
Fun fact/s about her: Liezel is a licensed nurse, but she also plans to become a specialist in Internal Medicine. Her interest in medicine was inspired by seeing “gory stuff” in Discovery Channel documentaries. She loves eating spicy food, and even has sili in her bag just in case the restaurant she is eating in does not have sili.
Yvethe Marie Santiago, Daraga, Albay
Yvethe was Miss Bicolandia 2012 and Mutya ng Magayon 2011 1st runner-up. She also represented the country in World Miss University 2010 held in South Korea where she was awarded Best in National Costume. She’s the most talked about Bicolana in the pageant right now and is one of the heavy favorites for the crowns. This is no surprise because Yvette is a real stunner. She might be criticised for having her nose “enhanced”, but she shouldn’t fret. She is confident, she speaks well, she is charming. She could easily walk away with a crown despite being a Binibini neophyte.
Fun fact/s about her: Yvethe is a family girl who loves to spend quality time with her family. She considers passing the CPA board exam as the best thing that happened to her.
The Bb Pilipinas 2014 Grand Coronation Night is on March 30 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. To get your tickets, click here.