Angeli Dione Gomez, who won the Miss Tourism International 2013/14 crown on New Year’s Eve in Malaysia is finally back in the Philippines. She bested 59 beauties from all over the world to score a back-to-back victory for the Philippines in the 17-year-old beauty contest.
The Cebuana beauty arrived at the NAIA Terminal 4 this afternoon via Air Asia Zest. “She was fetched by a waiting van and brought to the terminal’s VIP room for a brief chat with the press,” reports InterAksyon.com
A homecoming press conference is to start any minute from now. Expect her to make rounds on national TV in the days to come.
Last year’s winner, Rizzini Alexis Gomez of the Philippines, also hails from Cebu.
Kagandahang Flores, the group behind the recently crowned Miss International Bea Rose Santiago ang Miss Tourism International Angeli Dione Gomez, is leaving no stones unturned for this year’s Bb Pilipinas season.
Some of the rumoured girls from this camp are Bb Pilipinas repeaters Parul Shah and Hannah Ruth Sison, and former Miss Cebu winner Kris Tiffany Janson. Will this camp finally capture the Miss Universe Philippines crown?
SCENES of disaster were associated with the Philippines in 2013 as the nation experienced a big earthquake and a deadly super typhoon. The victories of Filipinos in the international arena provided the silver lining during these trying times. As we hope for a better New Year, here’s a countdown to six of the Philippines’ glorious moments in 2013 beauty pageants.
The Philippines had a successful year in 2012 pageants with placements in all of the Big Four pageants. But Rizzini Alexis Gomez capped what was then thought as a “glorious” year by winning the 2012/2013 Miss Tourism International title on the eve of 2013. Who would have thought that last-minute win was a sign of things to come for a historic year for the Philippines in the beauty pageant scene? The Philippines has been winning pageants left and right the whole year. What a better way to end the banner year for the country than to win another crown? Angeli Dione Gomez, another Cebuana, scored a back-to-back win for the Philippines in Miss Tourism International, held on New Year’s Eve.
The Philippine beauty pageant season kicked off early this year with Bb Pilipinas Gold, which marks the 50th year of the most prestigious pageant in the country. I was blessed to have witnessed this momentous event in person. It was a magical night, needless to say, nostalgic after seeing some 70 past title-holders in walk on the red carpet one by one all glammed up and their top form. The production is undoubtedly one of the best staging of Bb Pilipinas in recent history. And what a better way to cap the celebration was to crown what pageant observers deemed as “one of the strongest set of Bb Pilipinas winners in years”.
Male pageants has always been a waterloo for the Philippines, but this changed in 2012 when model June Macasaet won Manhunt International and athlete and once-controversial celebrity Andrew Wolf finished second in Mr World. Their wins gave a boost to the male pageant industry in the Philippines, with the launch of Mister International Philippines and a more rigorous search for the next Manhunt Philippines. The Philippines road to male pageant glory didn’t stop there, as former cager Gil Wagas finished fourth runner-up in Mr International 2013 held in Indonesia. Some would say it was his towering height, good physique and winsome smile that gave him an advantage over the rest, but in one of his interviews after the pageant, Wagas said his secret weapon was his “faith in God”.
The country didn’t run out of placements this year. Aside from the semifinals placements of Cindy Miranda (Top 10) and Angelee delos Reyes (Top 8 ) in Miss Tourism Queen International and Miss Earth pageants, respectively, the country also scored three third runners-up finishes.
Ariella Arida had big shoes to fill following the Philippines’ three consecutive placements in the top five and Janine Tugonon’s first runner-up finish in Miss Universe the previous year. She was bashed to death, many thought she can’t keep the momentum going. But she shut them naysayers when she made it to the Top 16 via fan votes and easily breezed through the competition, finishing third runner-up.
Annalie Forbes, Bb Pilipinas 2012 second runner-up, also finished third runner-up in the inaugural Miss Grand International in Bangkok, Thailand. Proving that the Philippines is a force majeure in beauty pageants, Forbes made it in the Top 10 of the National Costume and Top 20 of the Swimsuit competition held prior to the finals slated on November 19. Koreen Medina, who won the top plum in Mutya ng Pilipinas, followed with another third runner-up finish at Miss Intercontinental, held in Germany. It was the highest the Philippines has ever achieved in the pageant since 1995, when Maria Sovietskaya Bacud finished second runner-up.
The best way to set the stage for the Philippines record-breaking feat this year is with a crown! Mutya Johanna Datul indeed took Belarus by storm after winning the Miss Supranational crown early September. She is the first Filipina to win in the pageant. She had a rough start: she missed her connecting flight to Moscow on her way to Belarus, she had those breakouts and lousy styling. Despite that her winsome smile and positive aura shone through, as affirmed by her Miss Personality award. But many didn’t lose hope. “She’s very genuine on stage, you can see it. Her innate charm just radiates, and you can tell she’s being true to herself,” said Bb Pilipinas runner-up Pia Wurtzbach in an Inquirer report. Indeed, showing the real her was the key to winning the crown. Recounting her closed-door interview with the judges, she said: “I first introduced myself in Russian, and then I said ‘I will go straight (to the point). I want to become Miss Supranational because this is my ultimate dream. I want to become an ambassador, a good example and an inspiration to many’.”
For Bea Rose Santiago, keeping the faith helped her win the Miss International crown. “Miss Japan told me, ‘You’re funny. Every time you go up and leave the stage, you pray.’ I told her that is my source of power,” she was quited as saying in an Inquirer report. “Even the Latina—they are all Catholics—I gathered them all and we formed a prayer circle. I speak English so I pray aloud. Prayer is a lot powerful if you do it together.” Santiago is no stranger to pageants. She was crowned Mutya ng Pilipinas Overseas Communities in 2012 and went on to place in Miss Tourism Queen International of the Year. This experience surely helped her ace Bb Pilipinas and Miss International. Aside from that, Santiago was glowing on stage and her sincere and heartfelt speech surely sealed the deal for her.
The supreme moment for the Philippines in 2013 pageants is Megan Young’s victory in Miss World. What was once a dream for Filipino pageant fans to see the actress-TV host compete in a major international pageant finally came true. Despite having only two weeks to prepare, Megan was ready for battle and was well-received by pageant enthusiasts around the globe. Different pageant sites named her as one of the girls to beat. Pageant guru Ines Ligron even tagged her as “one of the best Miss Philippines ever”. True enough, her performance proved she is the best delegate the country has ever sent in Miss World. She aced the Top Model challenge. She was fifth in Beach Fashion and was fourth in Multimedia. She also ranked second in the official Miss World poll. No wonder she topped the overall leaderboards, making her one of the Top 10 finalists during the finale. When asked why she should be Miss World, Young said “I treasure a core value of humanity and that guides people why they act the way they do. I will use this to show other people how they can understand each other … as one, we can help society.” The rest, as they say, is history. The Philippines bagged the elusive Miss World crown. But what really gave (and still gives the chills) was when Megan Young spoke in her native tongue , teary-eyed, when asked what she feels as the new Miss World: “Salamat sa mga kababayan ko. Mahal na mahal ko kayo.” One would feel the victory wasn’t only Megan’s; it was a victory for the Philippines. PageantFocus
The Philippines ended a successful year in the pageant scene with another international crown, as Angeli Dionne Gomez was crowned 2013/2014 Miss Tourism International on New Year’s Eve. This marks a back-to-back victory for the Philippines in the 17-year-old beauty contest.
The 20-year-old Cebuana beauty bested 59 beauties from all over the world to become a “travelling ambassador in promoting informal international relations between countries to spread the message of peace, goodwill and friendship”. Last year’s winner, Rizzini Alexis Gomez of the Philippines, also hails from Cebu.
Completing the winners circle were:
First runner-up (Miss Tourism Queen of the Year): Sunidporn Srisuwan of Thailand
Second runner-up (Miss Metropolitan): Sarah Czarnuch of Australia Third runner-up (Miss Tourism Global International): Michelle Alexis Torres of Dominican Republic Fourth runner-up (Miss Tourisn Cosmopolitan International) Thaarah Ganesan of Malaysia
The Top 10 finalists were:
Vietnam, Phan Hoang Thu
Bosnia & Herzegovina, Aleksandra Kovacevic
Ukraine, Oleksandra Timonina
Portugal, Sara Monica Matias da Silveira
Zimbabwe, Dananai Ratiozo Chipunza
THERE are the premier beauty pageants — Miss Universe, Miss World, Miss International and Miss Earth — and there are those that are newer, younger, even considered to be smaller.
These “smaller” pageants nonetheless celebrate beauty and unity among nations. They may be less popular, but they also matter.
Miss Tourism International: The New Year’s Eve pageant
Miss Tourism International was inaugurated in 1994 in Malaysia in a bid to promote the country’s tourism industry. The pageant is organized by D’ Touch International Sdn Bhd.
The reigning queen is Cebuana beauty Rizzini Alexis Gomez of the Philippines.
Who’s wearing the Philippine sash? Eyeing a back-to-back feat for the country with this year’s pageant is another Cebuana: Angeli Dione Gomez. The recently-crowned Mutya ng Pilipinas Tourism is a film graduate from Toledo, Cebu. She also joined this year’s Bb Pilipinas pageant.
Angeli was also named Reyna ng Aliwan 2012 and Miss Resorts World Manila 2012 4th runner-up.
Hall of Fame The Philippines has won the Miss Tourism International crown twice: first in 2000 with Maria Esperanza Manzano, and second in 2012 with Gomez.
Miss Tourism Queen International: Enhancing tourism development
Run by Singapore-based Exclusive Resources Marketing Pte Ltd, Miss Tourism Queen International (TQI) aims to enhance tourism development, friendship and international culture exchange among participating nations. The TQI Organization held its first world final competition in Sri Lanka in 1993. The pageant has been held in China since 2004.
In 2012, the pageant was set for December 11 to 29 in China but was cancelled for undisclosed reasons. There is no word yet on when and where this year’s pageant will take place.
The reigning queen is Kantapat Peeradachainarin of Thailand who won the title in 2011.
Who’s wearing the Philippine sash? Joanna Cindy Miranda gave up her hosting stint at TV5’s “Wil Time, Big Time” to chase her dream of becoming a beauty queen. Her sacrifice paid off, as she was crowned Bb Pilipinas-Tourism last April. With her doll-like beauty and healthy figure, this 23-year-old Tourism cum laude graduate won’t have a hard time getting noticed in any international pageant.
“Even though I didn’t win Bb. Pilipinas-Universe, the pressure is still very high. Pinays are known in the pageant industry and the people’s expectations of the Philippines are really high,” she said in an interview with the Varsitarian, UST’s official publication.
Hall of Fame Justine Gabionza won the Philippines’s Miss TQI crown in 2006.
Run by Elite Asia Pacific Word Group, Miss Asia Pacific World is a beauty pageant, talent competition and supermodel search rolled into one. The contest, which started in 2011, works toward making its winner “a global star.”
Winners of this infant pageant spend months in Korea for talent management training. The reigning queen is Himangini Singh Yadu of India. The 2013 pageant will take place in Seoul, South Korea on October 30.
Who’s wearing the Philippine sash?Mary Joy Siazon, 21, from Northern Luzon will represent the country. Standing 5 feet 8 inches, Mary Joy represented the Philippines in Miss Yacht Model International in 2012.
Hall of Fame Philippines’ Next Top Model Cycle 1 winner Grendel Alvarado made it to the top 15 in 2012 and was named Best in Evening Gown.
Miss Intercontinental: Glorious beauty of diversity
An annual contest run by the Panama-based World Beauty Organization, Miss Intercontinental began as a local teen pageant in 1971 to promote tourism in Aruba. It is dubbed “the UN of glamour and beauty.”
Daniela Chalbaud of Venezuela will crown her successor in Cairo, Egypt in November.
Who’s wearing the Philippine sash? The Philippines has yet to win its first Miss Intercontinental crown. Up for the challenge is 18-year-old Koreen Medina, who was crowned Mutya ng Pilipinas-Asia Pacific International last July 26. Her win did not come as a surprise since she had won various sponsor awards prior to the finals.
Koreen joined “Pilipinas Got Talent Season 2” and was named grand winner of the Coca-Cola Music Talent Search Finals in 2011. She was also the grand winner of “My Girl,” the beauty pageant segment of the defunct ABS-CBN show, “Happy Yipee Yehey.”
Hall of Fame The highest placement the country has ever achieved is Maria Sovietskaya Bacud’s 2nd runner-up finish in 1995.
Miss Supranational: Uniting the world through beauty
Miss Supranational is a 5-year-old pageant run by the World Beauty Association. True to its name, the pageant aims to transcend borders by uniting the world through beauty. This year’s pageant will be held on September 6 in Minsk, Belarus, the home country of the reigning queen, Ekaterina Buraya.
Who’s wearing the Philippine sash? At the Bb Pilipinas 2013 coronation night, Mutya Johanna Datul sashayed with grace and elegance in her glittering long gown, en route to bagging the Best in Evening Gown prize. From that moment, she was destined to win the crown, until she answered her final question.
This was expected, though, because she had been vilified online for weeks prior to the finals for her English-speaking skills. Nevertheless, her dream to become a beauty queen still came true: she was named Bb Pilipinas-Supranational. It was the right decision to send her to Miss Supranational since there is no Q and A segment there.
In one of her interviews, Mutya said she is working on improving her communication skills and that she is determined to bring home the crown. This girl is among the top favorites by pageant fans to win the crown, alongside Brazil’s Racquel Benetti and Puerto Rico’s Desiree del Rio.
Other Pinays in the pageant Mutya, for sure, won’t have a hard time adjusting in Belarus as she will be joined by two more Filipinas in the pageant.
Marie Molo Peter and Suzette Hernandez, both Bb Pilipinas alumni, will be representing Norway and Canada respectively in this year’s Miss Supranational pageant.
Marie placed 2nd runner-up in this year’s Miss Norway Universe pageant. This 22-year-old competed in Bb Pilipinas 2012 and in Miss Humanity International in Barbados. Today, she is among Miss Universe Norway Organization’s show walk instructors in the training courses for fresh candidates.
Vancouver-based Suzette is no stranger to pageants. She was first runner-up in Mutya ng Pilipinas 2010, a Bb Pilipinas 2011 candidate and Miss Universe Canada (MUC) 2012 Top 12 finalist. Aside from that, this 26-year-old is an experienced ramp model and an avid traveler. In her profile page for MUC, Suzette says she “believes that anything is possible through hard work, perseverance and determination.”
Hall of Fame The Philippines’ highest placement so far was Elaine Kay Moll’s 3rd runner-up finish in 2012.