Kylie Verzosa is Miss International 2016

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Kylie Verzosa bagged the Philippines 6th Miss International crown, during the finals held October 27 in Tokyo, Japan.

During the all-important speech round, 24-year-old Verzosa said she is ready to take on the responsibilities of being a titleholder.

“Three things come to mind when I think of Miss International – culture, education and international understanding. These three work together to make the brand of the Miss International Beauty Pageant relevant to the global community and to our time. If I become Miss International 2016, I will devote myself to cultural understanding because I believe that it is with developing in each of us sensitivity to other cultures that we expand our horizons, tolerate difference, and appreciate diversity. All these enable us to achieve international understanding. And I believe I’m prepared to take on this responsibility,” she said.

In an exclusive backstage interview with Missosology right after the pageant, Verzosa thanked all her supported. ” I can not believe it. I’m so happy!”

Asked for her message to Madame Stella Marquez Araneta, Bb Pilipinas chairman and the first Miss International winner from Colombia, Verzosa said: “Do you like my crown?”

Miss Australia Alexandra Britton was named first runner-up. Miss Indonesia Felicia Hwang placed second runner-up and was awarded Best Dresser. Miss Nicaragua Brianny Chamorro was third runner-up and Best in National Costume, while Miss USA Kaityrana Leinbach, placed fourth runner-up.

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The Top 5 of Miss International 2016

The rest of the 15 semifinalists were Miss Argentina Yoana Don, Miss Canada Amber Bernachi, Miss Dominican Republic Cynthia Núñez, Miss El Salvador Elizabeth Cader, Miss Finland Emilia Seppänen, Miss Japan Jyunna Yamagata, Miss Mexico Geraldine Ponce, Miss Poland Magdalena Bieñkowska, Miss Russia Alisa Manenok and Miss Thailand Pattiya Pongthai. PageantFocus

Miss International 2016: Fearless predictions

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This year’s Miss International Beauty Pageant has made a big step toward re-establishing its relevance in this day and age where pageant importance is characterized by popularity and commercialism.

While new pageants were busy luring fans to like their favorite costumes and swipe their credit cards to vote for their favorites, Miss International engaged its candidates in a healthy forum aimed at discussiing the importance of women in today’s society. It also fortified its stronghold of its cultural roots by bringing its candidates to Ikebana and traditional Japanese classes as well as visiting heritage sites. The presence of the 69 candidates sends a message across that despite having diverse cultures, we can all achieve “world peace through mutual understanding”.

As the first of the Big 5 beauty pageants come to a close today, it’s time to pick the best girls who could champion the pageant’s advocacies. Here are my 15 choices for Miss International 2016.

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15 Puerto Rico | Gabriela Berríos
This 25-year-old model has improved a lot since her Miss Universe stint, where she failed to make the semis but bagged Miss Photogenic. Gabriela sweet demeanor and friendly personality are more visible in Japan. She’s also one of the most experienced in the batch so expect her to bring her A-game in the finals.

14 Japan | Junna Yamagata
The host country is fielding a 22-year-old student at this year’s competition and it won’t be a surprise if she makes the cut. Setting aside the homecourt advantage, Junna is relatively prettier compared to her predecessors. She also has the regal bearing fit for a queen.

13 Nicaragua | Brianny Chamorro
A winsome smile that could light up a dark room is this 22-year-old sales director’s best asset. Brianny is also fluent in the English language, which could work well in case she advances in the speech round. She also has one of the most intricate national costumes!

12 Hong Kong | Kelly Yeuk Lam Chan
The moment Kelly landed in Japan, she has already sealed a spot in the semis. This 21-year-old student and model is among the most consistent ladies in the competition. Always in a good mood with a beautiful smile, she could easily warm anybody’s heart.

11 Colombia | Yudi Daniela Herrera Avendaño
This 21-year-old student is probably the most underrated Latina in the competition. Daniela’s distinct beauty and good body definitely deserves recognition. She is always elegant, which is a mark of a Miss International winner.

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10 UK | Romy Simpkins
Another underrated beauty in the pageant is the lovely Romy. While she may not be a popular choice, she’s definitely one of the most active on social media. Aside from that, she is also a good communicator.

New Zealand | Jessica Tyson
One of the girls who are gaining ground as the pageant comes to a close is the 23-year-old Jessica. This beauty with brains works as a journalist, so don’t be surprised if she nails the speech round and pulls off an upset come finals.

8 Venezuela | Jessica Duarte
A back-to-back has never happened in Miss International history and it is an enormous task that the 24-year-old Jessica is facing. It is not impossible, especially if you come from a powerhouse country; however, she needs to double the effort as she appears timid at times. This serene, unassuming beauty is a dentist by profession.

7 Ghana | Cindy Kofie
The first from her country to compete in Miss International, hopes are high that this 19-year-old student will make it to the Top 5. Who wouldn’t love her energetic and youthful personality? The possibilities are endless for this gorgeous girl!

6 Mexico | Maria Geraldine Ponce Mendez
If the Miss International pageant night started on the first day of arrival, Geraldine would have won the race. This 22-year-old student is one of the most prepared delegates, and is definitely ready to keep the placement streak going for her country in Miss International.

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5 Finland | Emilia Seppänen
This 22-year-old model is always well-dressed, her styling on point and she behaves like a true queen. While her communication skills is not that outstanding, a doll-like beauty like her is Miss International’s cup of tea. She could pull off a big surprise come finale.

4 Peru | Danea Juanita Panta Vargas
Insider reports say Danea is well-loved by the Miss International organization. Who wouldn’t? She has one of the best bodies in the competition, plus a strikingly beautiful face and expressive eyes. This 26-year-old experienced model seemed to be fading into the background at first, but is now slowly, but surely making her way to the top.

3 Philippines | Kylie Verzosa
22-year-old Kylie is an easy standout: she’s fresh, bubbly and is a good speaker, too. However, Kylie seems to have reached a saturation point in the middle of the pre-pageant activities. Some say she’s fortunate to be competing in a relatively weak batch (had she competed last year she would easily be overshadowed by Edymar Martinez and Jennifer Valle). But the real battle begins when Kylie hits the stage because she is a total performer!

2 Poland | Magdalena Bieńkowska
Magdalena has the girl-next-door look and a sexy body. Her serene beauty is a breath of fresh air. She exudes so much sophistication that translates into performance. She is a sweetheart and basically has the qualities of a good ambassador of goodwill. Though not the best speaker, she can compose her thoughts instantly. This 23-year-old student’s doll-like features for sure will bring Poland back to pageantry world’s map.

1 Indonesia | Felicia Hwang
Felicia neither have the most beautiful face nor the sexiest body. She isn’t the most fluent in English. She isn’t the tallest. But this a 24-year-old model and entrepreneur has the humility and determination which are qualities of a true queen. She has improved a lot since her Puteri Indonesia days. She always appears well-dressed, styling always on point. Hate her all you want, but you can’t deny she is a major force to reckon with in the competition. Indonesia just won their first international crown yesterday, and they might just win their first Big5 pageant title today. Haraya

Miss International 2015: Fearless prediction

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The 55th Miss International beauty pageant is now on its homestrech. But before we witness the crowning of the first Big4 queen of 2015, here is my final list:

 
Miss International 2015: Honduras-Jennifer Valle
One of the prettiest faces in the competition, Honduras’ Jennifer Giselle Valle for sure won’t be ignored. She was set to compete last 2013 but opted out due to personal reasons. It seemed that this is the right year for Jennifer to compete as she has been a standout since Day One of Miss International 2015. Her experience in previous international pageants (Miss World 2012, Reina Mundial del Banano 2012 and Reinado Internacional Del Cafe 2013) will surely play to her advantage come finals. But one of her assets is that she is has good communication skills, which could work for her during the public speaking round of the competition.

1st Runner-up: Philippines-Janicel Lubina
Fondly called by pageant fans as “Cinderella”, Janicel Lubina’s story as a former house help turned pageant queen made waves in both local and foreign media. But aside from her humble background, what makes this beauty a top contender are her killer curves and top-notch stage presence. Some say she has been losing steam, but videos of the rehearsals prove that Janicel has maintained her winning form and aura. Despite some saying Janicel’s weakness lies in her communication skills, it couldn’t be denied that she’s one of the strongest candidates the Philippines has ever sent in Miss International.

2nd Runner-up: Venezuela-Edymar Martinez
After missing the semis in the last two years, Venezuela is back with vengeance. Edymar has been the top favorite since she was crowned Miss Venezuela Internacional and didn’t disappoint. Her styling has always been on point. She always make sure she gets noticed in a positive way. But what makes her all the more appealing is her good behavior. Those who were able to rub elbows with her in Japan tell me Edymar is very humble. That’s a true mark of a queen!

3rd Runner-up: Brazil-Isis Stocco
Another one of the most anticipated delegates is Brazil’s Isis Stocco. Although at first she seemed to be fading into the background, it couldn’t be denied that she is one of the most beautiful in the batch. Her elegance and beauty for sure won’t be ignored.

4th Runner-up: Canada-Kathryn Kohut
While I think that the battle will be among the first four girls I mentioned, I think that Canada could be this year’s pleasant surprise. Her experience in Miss Grand International for sure has helped her improve her stage presence. But what will set this girl apart from the rest is her gift of gab. She knows how to express herself well and that would give her the advantage come finals night.

6. Mexico-Lorena Sevilla
7. Hungary-Linda Szunai
8. USA-Lindsay Becker
9. Japan-Arisa Nakagawa
10. New Zealand-Hayley Rose Coombe

11. Denmark-Mette Riis Sørensen
12. Kenya-Eunice Onyango
13. Ecuador-Daniela Armijos
14. Hawaii-Brianna Acosta
15. Thailand – Sasi Sintawee

Underdog wins Miss International 2014

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Many pageant observers did not see it coming that Puerto Rico’s Valerie Hernandez would bag the Miss International 2014 title. She did not figure in many pageant websites’ prediction list, which included Mexico’s Vianey Vaquez, the Netherlands’ Shauny Bult and the Philippines’ Mary Anne Bianca Guidotti. But the 21-year-old student and model proved that underdogs could win the competition.

And last Tuesday, November 11, Valerie shed tears of joy as she was being crowned by the outgoing queen Bea Rose Santiago. She is the second Puerto Rican to win the title. The first was Laurie Tamara Simpson who was also crowned in Tokyo, Japan in 1987.

During the speech round, where the Top 10 finalists were asked about their message if they become the winner, Hernandez said: “I think it’s not just crown, it’s not just the title, it’s one of the hardest responsibility. As Miss International, I want to send a message of love, peace, and unity.” She did not give the best speech, but her understated elegance and queenly stance must have captured the judges’ attention. She also gave solid performances in all three rounds (national costume, swimwear and evening gown). Aside from that, she was well-styled throughout the finals night.

Runners-up and special awards
Completing the Top 5 were first-runner up Zuleika Suarez of Colombia, second runner-up Punika Kulsoontornrut of Thailand, third runner-up Victoria Tooby of the United Kingdom and fourth runner-up Milla Romppanen of Finland.

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The candidates from Argentina, Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, and Panama composed the rest of the Top 10 finalists.

Miss Colombia won the Best Dresser (Best in Long Gown) and Miss Friendship awards. Other winners of special awards were Miss India Jhathaleka Malhotra (Miss Internet Beauty), Miss Indonesia Elfin Rappa (Miss National Costume) and Miss France Aurianne Sinacola (Miss Perfect Body).

Disappointments
While Hernandez’ win came as a surprise to many, the biggest letdown of the night was the exclusion of top favorites Miss India, Miss Netherlands and Miss Philippines in the Top 10. Miss Netherlands has a stunning face but was lackluster on stage. Miss India was a fashion victim in her baby pink ball gown. Miss Philippines gave pretty decent performances all rounds but was lacking the charisma and freshness that she had during her Bb Pilipinas days.

On the technical side, changing the format from Top 15 to a Top 10 did not help in making the finals show more engaging. The whole pageant was a snooze-fest and having all 70-plus candidates walk the ramp in national costume, swimsuit and evening gown was dragging. Add to that the limited use of the English language during the duration of the show. The pageant definitely needs to work on improving its finale production.

Miss International 2014: My fearless predictions

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One of these 10 ladies, I believe, will win the Miss International crown tonight. Here’s my final choices for the upcoming pageant.

01India

MISS INTERNATIONAL 2014: INDIA
Jhataleka Malhotra was a favorite from the start. She is very classy, wears appropriate clothing, and always comes out prepared. She was one of the standouts in the press presentation with her intricately designed national costume. But what makes Jhataleka a winner? She has a beautiful face, the queenly sophistication, and the gift of gab that could help her ace the speech round. She is undoubtedly “the one to beat” this year. India has never won the Miss International title and this could be the moment the country has long been waiting for.

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02 NETHERLANDS
If there is an award for the best face in the competition, Shauny Bult is the winner. Her serene beauty is a breath of fresh air from a sea of fierce faces. She exudes so much royalty and finesse, and this translates into her outfits and performance. She is a sweetheart and basically has the qualities of a good ambassador of goodwill. After her non-placement in Miss Earth years ago, Shauny is keen on bringing home a crown this time around. She is a good follow-up to last year’s first runner-up Nathalie Den Dekker so winning isn’t far fetched.

03 MEXICO
If the Miss International pageant night started on the first day of arrival, Vianey Vázquez would have won the race. She is the most prepared delegate, and is definitely ready to bring her country back in the map. She was among the favorites in her national pageant, and has improved and matured a lot in terms of beauty and personality. While many are saying that Vianey’s weakness is her communication skills (given that this year, the girls are expected to talk in English only during the Top 10 speech, she won’t surely settle for anything less. After all, Mexico is a strong sash in Miss International.

04 PHILIPPINES
I will never forget the first time I saw Bianca Guidotti face-to-face. That was after the Bb Pilipinas 2014 coronation night and she was walking to the parking area minus the big hair and heavy make-up. I called her and congratulated her. Even though she was carrying a lot of bags and looked really tired, she still stopped walking to reach for my hand. That simple act made me love her. She has been a hit-and-miss in the competition and the not-so-good wardrobe could ruin her chances. Despite that her natural beauty still shines through. The humble, sincere and and optimistic Bianca that I loved is still there and it shows in her performance. A back-to-back victory has never happened in the pageant’s history, but it is definitely not impossible.

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05 UNITED KINGDOM
Mix Ariana Grande and Iggy Azalea and you get Victoria Tooby. She exudes a youthful glow that shouldn’t be ignored. But what I like most about her is that she always comes out well-dressed, her hair fixed and with a wide smile that could brighten up a dark room. The possibilities are endless for this gorgeous girl!

06 COLOMBIA
Insider reports say Zuleika Kiara Suárez is well-loved by the Miss International staff. Who wouldn’t love her sweet, energetic and youthful personality? I liked her most during the national costume presentation where she came out looking fierce and stunning. I have apprehensions in putting her in the Top 5 given that this pageant is not traditionally not into women of color. But if there’s one who should make it all the way to the top, it should be Zuleika.

07 THAILAND
From Miss Earth to Miss International, Punika Kulsoontornrut has surely mastered her craft. It seems evident through her wardrobe, styling and how she behaves in the pre-pageant activities. She is an overall package: face, body, catwalk diva all rolled into one. While in my opinion she is bordering overacting in her actions, one can’t deny she came prepared. That deserves to be recognized.

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08 FINLAND
Milla Romppanen is an underrated beauty. She is always well-dressed, her styling on point and she behaves like a true queen. A doll-like beauty like her is Miss International’s cup of tea. I wouldn’t be surprised to see this girl making her way to the semis.

09 USA
Samantha Brooks is one of my sentimental favorites. This statuesque brunette is effortlessly elegant and that could be her ticket to giving USA its third consecutive placement in the pageant, But what I like most about Samantha is her dedication to the medical industry. Both of her parents are cancer survivors, and now she works in a hospital. She holds a degree in biology and plans to purse a master’s degree to become a physician’s assistant.

10 GUYANA
Some might think Ruqayyah Boyer is overrated, but for me she is underestimated. She has worked hard for this and even flew to the Philippines from South America to get “formal” training. She is amiable, eloquent and eager to succeed. And with the gorgeous gown she will be wearing for today’s finale, she will surely become a threat in the contest.

Vote for Bianca Guidotti in Miss International 2014 Online Poll

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Bianca Guidotti in Ginza shopping district

The Miss International 2014 beauty pageant has already kicked off this week in Tokyo with more than 60 candidates from all over the world vying for the coveted pearl crown.

This year, the pageant has revealed a new format and a number of new special awards.

“Instead of the traditional Top 15 or Top 12 that pageant fans all over the world have grown to know of, this year, only ten delegates will go on to the next and final round, which is the prepared speech,” Missosology reports.

No Miss Photogenic awards this year, but the pageant will continue to awards Miss National Costume. They added three new special awards: Miss Perfect Body (swimsuit), Miss Best Dresser (evening gown) and Miss Internet Beauty (for the girl with most number of votes in the online poll).

To vote for Miss Philippines Bianca Guidotti in Miss International 2014 Online Poll, follow the instructions below:

How to vote
1. Go to the Miss International website (http://miss-international.org/eng).

2. Click “List of contestants and voting form” below. The page will lead you to the roster of candidates (http://miss-international.org/eng/contestants).

3. Click on the “Profile” button of your favorite candidate. This will lead you to her profile page (http://miss-international.org/onlinepool/1903?lang=eng).

4. Click on the “Vote” button. A window will pop-out to confirm that your vote has been cast.

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Can I still vote after this?
Yes. Only one vote per IP address per day is allowed.

Until when can I vote?
Voting ends on November 10. The contestant with the most number of votes will be named Miss Internet Beauty during the finals on November 11.

Philippine Senate honors Bb Pilipinas Gold queens

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The Senate has adopted resolutions commending Bb Pilipinas Gold queens Ariella Arida and Bea Rose Santiago for their victories in their respective international beauty pageants last year.

Arida finished 3rd runner-up in Miss Universe 2013 held in Moscow, Russia. Meanwhile, Santiago brought home the Philippines’ 5th Miss International crown after winning in Tokyo, Japan.

In her Instagram account, Arida thanked the Senate for the recognization, adding that it is “the best gift ever.”

Last month, the Bb Pilipinas Gold queens were also commended by the House of Representatives yesterday for their achievements in their respective pageants. Arida was also cited for providing “hope and inspiration to the Filipino amidst a time of tragedy.” She competed in Miss Universe a day after the country was hit by Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan).

Good job, Bb Pilipinas Gold batch! Thank you for bringing honor to the country. 🙂

Bb Pilipinas 2014 ‘super’ final screening on Saturday — or worse Monday

2010 Miss Universe 4th Runner-up Venus Raj takes a selfie with the 2014 Bb. Pilipinas hopefuls at Gloria Maris Banquet Hall, Gateway Mall.  Photo from Bb Pilipinas Official Facebook page
2010 Miss Universe 4th Runner-up Venus Raj takes a selfie with the 2014 Bb. Pilipinas hopefuls at Gloria Maris Banquet Hall, Gateway Mall.  Photo from Bb Pilipinas Official Facebook page
2010 Miss Universe 4th Runner-up Venus Raj takes a selfie with the 2014 Bb. Pilipinas hopefuls at Gloria Maris Banquet Hall, Gateway Mall. Photo from Bb Pilipinas Official Facebook page

It’s Saturday (January 25) or Monday (January 27) for the announcement of the lucky 30 (or 40) girls who will vie for the Binibining Pilipinas crowns.

The official candidates were supposed to be named yesterday, January 23, but the screening committee reportedly decided to postpone the announcement to give time to several girls to complete their requirements.

In the first place, the BCPI should not have accepted incomplete requirements. The deadline for submission has been extended (from Dec 30 to Jan 15) so that must’ve been long enough for the girls to complete their documents. Second, the BPCI should have also scrutinized the applications first before starting with the screenings.

But as pageant fans, we have no other choice but to wait for that “final” final screening and the announcement of the official candidates. After all, it is better to have a slow but sure process, instead of disqualifying (or worse, dethroning) a girl for any problems with her documents.

House of Representatives honors Bb Pilipinas 2013 queens

Mutya Datul, Bea Santiago and Ariella Arida at the Batasang Pambansa. Photo by Llanesca Panti (@llanescawrites)
Mutya Datul, Bea Santiago and Ariella Arida at the Batasang Pambansa. Photo by Llanesca Panti (@llanescawrites)
Mutya Datul, Bea Santiago and Ariella Arida at the Batasang Pambansa. Photo by Llanesca Panti (@llanescawrites)

Miss International 2013 Bea Rose Santiago, Miss Supranational 2013 Mutya Johanna Datul and Miss Universe 2013 third runner-up Ariella Arida were commended by the House of Representatives yesterday for their achievements in their respective pageants.

Santiago won for the Philippines its fifth Miss International crown last December, while Datul was the first Asian to bag the Miss Supranational crown last September.

Arida was cited for providing “hope and inspiration to the Filipino amidst a time of tragedy.” She competed in Miss Universe a day after the country was hit by Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan).

A copy of the resolution posted by Ariella Arida on Instagram (@araarida)
A copy of the resolution posted by Ariella Arida on Instagram (@araarida)

The Philippines’ DEFINING MOMENTS in 2013 Pageants

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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.

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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.

05BbP
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”.


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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”.

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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.

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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.

01Megan
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

This article first appeared on Missosology.