Category Archives: Pageant

Thank-you-girl no more, Pia Wurtzbach wins Miss Universe Philippines 2015

Twenty-five-year-old Pia Wutzbach won Miss Universe Philippines after her third attempt at the coveted crown in Binibining Pilipinas pageant.

The 5-foot-8 model and makeup artist, has taken the Bb. Pilipinas-Universe title at the Binibining Pilipinas Grand Coronation Night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum a few minutes before midnight on Sunday, March 15.

Wurtzbach was also named Miss Creamsilk at the event.

Pia's winning form

Pia’s winning form. Pia is from the city of Cagayan De Oro in Northern Mindanao. She began her career at age eleven and became the family’s breadwinner when her parents divorced. Her television credits include the Philippine shows K2BU, ASAP, Your Song, and Aryana.

Janicel Lubina was crowned Bb. Pilipinas-International. The daughter of a domestic helper and a former domestic helper herself, Lubina was featured in a report by Agence France-Presse on the Philippines’ beauty pageant industry.

She was a bigger winner for the night, taking home the Best in Swimsuit and Best in Long Gown awards.

Is Janicel Lubina the next Miss International?

Is Janicel Lubina the next Miss International?

Rounding out the winner’s list are Bb. Pilipinas-Intercontinental Christi McGarry, Bb. Pilipinas-Supranational Rogelie Catacutan and Bb. Pilipinas-Tourism Ann Lorraine Colis.

Runners-up were Kimverlyn Suiza and Hannah Sison.

Jamie Herrell wins Miss Earth 2014

Miss Earth crowned Filipina beauty Jamie Herrell as its titleholder at the coronation held Saturday at the University of the Philippines Theater, Quezon City.

Miss Earth 2014 winner Miss Philippines Jamie Herrell

The 19-year-old beauty from Cebu succeeded last year’s winner, Alyz Sabimar Henrich Ocando from Venezuela.Miss USA Andrea Neu took home the Miss Earth Air title; Miss Venezuela Maira Alexandra Rodriguez, Miss Earth Water; while Miss Russia Anastasia Trysova, Miss Earth Fire.

Jamie’s victory cemented the Philippines’ standing as beauty powerhouse considering that the environment-centered pageant is dubbed as one of the world’s Big Four Beauty Pageants (along with Miss Universe, Miss World and Miss International).

jamie herrel bikini

During the question-and-answer round, Miss Philippines was asked about her plans to help reverse the effects of global warming if she wins the crown.”Global warming has been known to be a long, overdue issue. I will use my title to inspire others, help our environment. And we should start with the kids as they are the people of tomorrow,” she replied.

Beauty with a purpose

Reigning Mrs. Globe Sheryl Lynn Baas is every inch of a beauty queen. She has a flawless complexion. And she exudes sophistication, above and beyond the usual  tale of the tape—tall, graceful and having a striking figure. Continue reading

Mister China Chen JianFeng wins the Manhunt International 2011 title

Mister China Chen JianFeng has won the Manhunt International 2011 title during the pageant finale held Monday, October 10, 2011, in Seoul, South Korea.

JianFeng is 26 years old and stands 6’2″. Continue reading

Gwendolyn Ruais wins Miss World Philippines 2011

Binibining Pilipinas reject Gwendolyn Ruais, 21,  won the title Miss World Philippines 2011 on Sept. 18. The coronation night was held at the PICC. Ruais bested 24 other hopefuls and will represent the Philippines in the Miss World 2011 pageant in United Kingdom. Ruais stands 5 feet 11 inches.

Here is the list of winners: Continue reading

Miss Philippines Shamcey Supsup wins 3rd runner up in the Miss Universe 2011

General Santos and University of the Philippines pride Shamcey Supsup won 3rd runner up in the 60th edition of Miss Universe pageant. The 25-year-old beauty was the only finalist to answer in English during the final Q and A portion. She was asked by American actress Vivica Fox , “Would you change your religious beliefs to marry the person that you love? Why or why not?” Continue reading

Venus in Twitter universe

by Nickie Wang

Maria Venus Raj’s fourth runner-up finish in the recent Miss Universe earned mixed reactions from people who tuned in to the most anticipated beauty contest in the world. She was almost kissing the diamond-studded tiara when something happened in the Q&A portion that made the panel of judges decide to give title instead to Mexican beauty, Jimena Navarrete. Continue reading

Mister International Philippines 2009

posterThe country’s most respected male pageant, Mister International Philippines (MIP) 2009, is now accepting candidates who will compete for a chance to represent the country in the prestigious MISTER INTERNATIONAL 2009 ( search to be held in Taiwan on November 28 2009. According to MIP President, Mike Lim, only twelve finalists will be selected this year to compete for the Philippine title to be held on October 06, 2009. Interested parties may send photos to or For more information, please get in touch with MIP 2009 casting director, Chris Jalandoni, thru mobile number 09194264785.

A candidate must be a male citizen of the Philippines or a primary resident of the Philippines for at least 6 months immediately prior to the local pageant. He must be single, at least 5’11, 18 to 29 years old. A candidate must possess a handsome face and well-toned physique, of good health and unquestionable good moral character. He must never have participated in a previous Mister International Pageant. Interested party must prepare a valid Philippine passport (original and photocopy) for inspection.

Superbods turn cloudy Boracay sizzling hot

dsc05332(From Left) Second Runners Up Rey Talosig and Khai Lim, Grand Winners Theresa Fenger and Van Victor Leano, and First Runners Up Cherry Ann Kubota and Martin Richard.

By Nickie Wang/Manila Standard Today

If you ever decided to visit Boracay then be prepared for every eventuality. Aside from scorching summer events and parties, you might spot or even meet some gorgeous people hanging around or just running at the beach. Be ready with clothes that suit every possibility or you could just let yourself get wet (not with sea water) because like Manila, the weather on the beach island is unpredictable.

No matter how unpredictable the weather was, the winds and the rain were no match to the 20 hot men and women, finalists of Century Tuna Superbods 2009: Bods and Brains Challenge.

On a rainy evening of May 2, guests at the Pearl of the Pacific witnessed the celebration of healthy minds and bodies when 21-year-old Filipino Canadian Theresa Fenger and 24-year-old hunky restaurateur Van Victor Leano were announced grand winners of the Century Tuna search. Both Fenger and Leano received half a million cash prize.

The two-day event kicked off with a welcome dinner at the Sun Village Central where the finalists, 10 dashing men with well-chiseled physique and 10 gorgeous women with whistlebait bodies, were officially introduced to the media and to the guests and sponsors of the event.

The next day, finalists battled it out at five larger-than-life obstacle courses of puzzles and challenges that started at the Plazoleta in Station 2 and finished off at the Pearl of the Pacific beachfront in Station 1. The Superbods Challenge was hosted by Rovilson Fernandez and Reema Chanco. Former Superbods winners Ram Sagad, Patty Ortega, Jon Avila, and Century Tuna endorser Isabelle Diaz-Daza were also there to spice up the event by participating in the challenges.

At 9:30 in the evening, amidst the wet ramp and continuously pouring rain, finalists sashayed before the audience flaunting their perfectly trimmed bodies and beautiful smiles. The pageant started with the introduction of the finalists, followed by the swimsuit competition where women sported bikinis and the men with small-sized board shorts.

The finalists later faced challenging questions during the Q&A. This portion that was facilitated by Joey Mead and Marc Nelson, tested the wit and confidence of each Superbods wannabes.

The judges who made the important decision in choosing the winners were fashion designer Rajo Laurel; film director Sid Moderazo; Cosmo Magazine’s Zo Aguila; lens master Jun de Leon; actress Gloria Diaz; Century Tuna marketing manager Angela Gamboa; and PCNV Communications vice president Juan Ariel Comia.

Rey Talosig and Khai Lim, Cherry Ann Kubota (also Ms. Photogenic) and Martin Richard were the runners-up.

Youngest male finalist Terence Lloyd was voted Mr. Photogenic while basketball player Ervin Vijandre and Patricia Ejercitado went home with People’s Choice Awards. Completing the list of male finalists were Rex Flores, David Nagtalon, Joseph Kidwell, Mychal Nubla, and Laxie Villar. The female Superbods 2009 finalists were Kristina Gonido, Karen McVie, Halley Chiappiazzi, Kate Bautista, Bianca Paz, and Abbey Cruz.

Perfect for canned tuna

On our way back to Manila via Cebu Pacific, we had a chance to have a casual interview with Male Superbods winner Van Victor Leano. The sociable 24-year-old hottie was all smiles when we approached him. He must have perfected the art of befriending people since he personally manages a family-owned restaurant in Las Piñas.

Van, as what his friend fondly call him, trained hard to be part of the competition. He didn’t really expect to win, just like what other competition winners say. “Thankful but my winning was really unexpected.” Armed with Century Tuna Superbods title, he hopes to make it big and perhaps land a career in showbiz.

Van keeps himself fit by getting involved in a wide range of extreme sports and physical activities. His active lifestyle resulted to a well- toned back muscles and broad shoulders, which according to him is his best asset. He loves adventure, plays basketball, and does water sports like wakeboarding and surfing.

“Of course I eat [Century] Tuna every day. Gusto ko ’yung chunks in water para less fat. Aside from tuna, chicken breast, boiled kamote, and egg white. I hit the gym almost every day kung kaya,” Van said and pointed out that he did it only in preparation for the competition, but normally, he goes to the gym three times a week, jogs once a week, and eats everything except oily food.

A graduate of Business Administration major in Computer Application at De La Salle University College of Saint Benilde, the six-foot hunk hasn’t tried ramp modeling but he has been featured in a soda and a fast-food chain TVCs with minor roles. Aside from being included in this year’s finalists of the Century Tuna search, Van was also named one of Metro Magazine’s Smoking Hot Men of Summer.

“If I were given a chance to enter showbiz, why not, it’s an opportunity,” Van expressed and listed Marian Rivera, Angel Locsin, Anne Curtis, and Kate Bekinsale as his celebrity crushes.

As a morning person, he takes care of his skin by putting on some moisturizers on his face by the time he wakes up. He often goes out at night because he manages his family’s restaurant and often stays there until it closes. To all those who would be interested, Van is pretty much taken and in a steady relationship with his girlfriend for more than two years now.

Russian model wins Miss World

Miss World 2008 Ksenia Sukhinovo

Miss World 2008 Ksenia Sukhinova

The 58th edition of Miss World saw a new bevy of gorgeous young women coming from around the globe and  Ksenia Sukhinova, a 21-year-old model from  Russia, bested 108 of them.

Browned-haired and blue-eyed Ksenia was crowned Miss World 2008 in a glitzy event held at Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa  on December 13.

Other winners:

First Runner-Up: Parvathy Omanakuttan (India)

Second Runner-Up: Gabrielle Walcott (Trinidad and Tobago)

The semifinalists were:

Espinoza Marroquin Anagabriela, Mexico; Natalie Olivia Griffith, Barbados; Alexandra Helga Ivarsdottir, Iceland; Tamara Almeida Silva, Brazil; Hannely Zulami Quintero Ledezma, Venezuela; Iryna Zhuravska, Ukraine; Josipa Kusic, Croatia: Brigite Santos, Angola; Alfina Nassyrova, Kazakhstan; Ivonne Orsini lopez, Puerto Rico; Patricia Yurena Rodriguez Alonjo, Spain; and Tansey Coetzee, South Africa.

On the other hand, the crown remains elusive to the Philippines as the country’s representative Danielle Castaño failed to even place as a semifinalist.

Miss People’s Choice Award, one of the Fast Track Events and the last ticket for Danielle and to other delegates, was suspended due to technical problems.

Mutya ng Pilipinas winners


2008 Mutya ng Pilipinas Jonavie Quiray

Here’s the list of winners:

Mutya ng Pilipinas-International – Jonavie Quiray

Mutya ng Pilipinas-Tourism – Jam Libatong

Mutya ng Pilipinas-Overseas Communities – Loren Andre Fermin Burgos

First Runner Up – Katrina Rigets

Second Runner Up – Queency Benaldez

Mutya ng Pilipinas-International, Mutya ng Pilipinas-Tourism Puerto Princesa and Mutya ng Pilipinas-Overseas Communities. Major titlists will be sent to international beauty pageants like Miss Asia Pacific-International, Miss Tourism International, Tourism Queen of the Year, and Miss Intercontinental.

The Mutya ng Pilipinas-International and Mutya ng Pilipinas-Tourism Puerto Princesa won P200,000 cash each, while Mutya ng Pilipinas-Overseas Communities received $2,000. P50,000 each was given to the two runners-up.

This year’s other finalists were: Jessica Paciente, (17), Frances Urrutia, (19) and Riza Selva (19) from Quezon City, Karen O’Hara (22) from Antipolo City, Cresta Medez (19) from Palawan, Pia Burgos (19) from Norway, Arline Nicolas (22) from Laguna, Lizl Rosoles (18), Maria Rebeta (18), Sarah Syed (19), and Kathleen Jebulan (23) from Bicol Region, Angelica Damian (22), Venice Acuna, (18) and Laica Jimenez (19) from Bulacan, Rhea Niones (23) from South Cotabato, Ellaine Esteban (21) from Marikina City,  Jamie Jean “Jam” de la Rosa (23) from Tarlac, Nadia Hollaway (20) from Australia,  and Nerissa Dimaculangan (20) from Batangas.

Mutya beauties head to Palawan



Most women who join beauty contests put on the prettiest smiles whenever they face the camera. A candidate must look perfect whenever there’s a lens trained on her way. She should keep her hair in place that no single strand will be out of place. Her skin must always look healthy and stretch-mark-free with a little help from dermatologists. She must not eat too much so it won’t be hard when she sucks in her stomach when she is wearing a pair of bikini.

It’s really hard to be a beauty queen or even just a contestant of a beauty pageant, but for 24 young women vying for the title Mutya ng Pilipinas 2008, making themselves neat and prim are the basic musts to create a good impression. After all, being in beauty contest is all about making good first impressions, which a contestant will carry until the final night and perhaps to the time when she is finally crowned.

On Dec. 7, the 24 ladies will make the city of Puerto Princesa, Palawan, a place to spot the countries’ new bevy of beauty queen wannabes. Puerto Princesa, dubbed as ‘‘an amazing city in a forest,’’ will host the 40th edition of the pageant that paved the way to beauty titlists like Michelle Aldana, Mutya Crisostomo, Lorraine Shuck, Tetchie Agbayani, Rio Diaz among many others.

On a steamy afternoon at the Garden Terraces Hotel along Commonwealth Avenue, 24 young women sashayed in a red bikini heralding Mutya’s pre-pageant ceremony.

This year’s finalists are: Katrina Rigets (23 years old), Jessica Paciente, (17), Frances Urrutia, (19) and Riza Selva (19) from Quezon City, Loren Andre Fermin Burgos (21) from California, USA, Karen O’Hara (22) from Antipolo City, Cresta Medez (19) from Palawan, Pia Burgos (19) from Norway, Arline Nicolas (22) from Laguna, Lizl Rosoles (18), Maria Rebeta (18), Sarah Syed (19), and Kathleen Jebulan (23) from Bicol Region, Angelica Damian (22), Venice Acuna, (18) and Laica Jimenez (19) from Bulacan, Rhea Niones (23) from South Cotabato, Ellaine Esteban (21) from Marikina City, Queency Benaldez, (18) from Southern Leyte,  Jonavi Quiray (21) from Palawan, Jamie Jean “Jam” de la Rosa (23) from Tarlac, Nadia Hollaway (20) from Australia, Jam Libatong (21) from Cebu City, and Nerissa Dimaculangan (20) from Batangas.

These beautiful stunning contestants will vie for the titles Mutya ng Pilipinas-International, Mutya ng Pilipinas-Tourism Puerto Princesa and Mutya ng Pilipinas-Overseas Communities. Major titlists will be sent to international beauty pageants like Miss Asia Pacific-International, Miss Tourism International, Tourism Queen of the Year, and Miss Intercontinental.

The Mutya ng Pilipinas-International and Mutya ng Pilipinas-Tourism Puerto Princesa stand to win P200,000 cash each, while Mutya ng Pilipinas-Overseas Communities will receive $2,000. P50,000 each will be given to the two runners-up.

One of the radical changes made by the Mutya organizers is staging the pre-pageant and the coronation night outside Metro Manila. Last year, it was held in Olongapo.

The Mutya ng Pilipinas Organization promotes “Beauty Tourism” within the greater Asia-Pacific with the direct participation of the overseas Filipino communities, this being a distinct component of its National Pageant Event.

As the third most important beauty pageant in the land, after Binibining Pilipinas and Miss Philippines-Earth, Mutya ng Pilipinas expands its advocacy by promoting tourism and the environment. It engages itself in endorsing the Philippines as a major and revered tourism destination while redefining Filipino women as beauties with social conscience.

The organization is chiefly headed by its president Roberto de Venecia, supported by the other board of directors, namely, Alfonso Lim Jr., Lauro Amante, director Leandro Enriquez, and Ramona Ty. This year’s pageant is generously supported by Puerto Princesa Mayor Edward Hagedorn.

Mutya beauties will visit the Palawan Subterranean River to advance its campaign as one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature. The national park currently ranks no. 1 on the online voting on the New 7 Wonders of the World Web site. Chocolate Hills of Bohol, Tubbataha Reefs, and Mayon Volcano of Albay are also among the top contenders in the online poll.

Vietnamese model wins Mister International

Mister International 2008 Ngo Tien Doan

Mister International 2008 Ngo Tien Doan

After his second foray in the international male pageant, Ngo Tien Doan, a model from Vietnam has finally won a title being the third Mister International winner.

Sculpted 25-year-old hottie Doan emerged victorious over 29 other contestants from all over the globe who competed in the 10-day event held in Taiwan and culminated on Nov. 24.

Doan is a mechanical lecturer at Can Tho University in Vietnam. He competed at Manhunt International 2007 in South Korea and won the title Mister Physique.

Philippine representative Jeff Surio, who replaced the country’s original delegate Ryan Roberts, was one of the 15 semi-finalists.

Other winners are:

First Runner Up: Mohamad Chamseddine (Lebanon)

Second Runner Up: Zhang Chao (China)

Third Runner Up: Mihovil Barun (Croatia)

Fourth Runner Up: Vincent Cleuren (Netherlands)

Model search ‘Face of the Year’ is back

By Nickie Wang /Manila Standard Today

Being discovered by a talent scout while strolling in a mall, or just sweeping the sidewalk perhaps, or serving a customer in a fast-food restaurant is a far too common an anecdote of models, movie/TV stars now basking in fame and fortune.

A modeling search is the one of the best ways to meet people in the fashion industry for connection. It is also the venue where you can meet the media who can give you free publicity, and or meet producers who could be willing to gamble on you and transform you into a big star.

Face of the Year, a modeling search founded and organized by semi-retired talent manager Jojo Veloso, is back after seven years, but this time, it is under a new management. The franchise of the modeling contest is now owned by budding actor and young entrepreneur James Radd Amado via his Faces International Management Agency.

“I want to try different things. Producing this contest is something new and challenging for me. Although I am a people person, staging Face of the Year is a big task considering that this contest has been in a break for seven years,” 24-year-old James said during an interview at the Great Mall of China where the selection of the contest’s Press’ and Photographer’s Choice Awards was held.

Twenty dashing young men and 20 gorgeous young women sashayed before the press on Aug. 16. Their youthful faces are set to vie for the title 2008 Face of the Year and 2008 Model Discovery of the Year in the grand coronation night slated on Sept. 28 at the Pagcor Theater.

“Our goal is to make this model search bigger than ever. We are eyeing international competitions where we can send the winners. Our agency has been in constant communication with other international agencies. I hope the inter-agency competition we are setting would push through because this could give our talents international exposure,” James explained.

From several hundreds who auditioned, 20 beautiful young girls made it to the official list of candidates and they are Mary Grace Imperial, Maria Aishelle Sanchez, Vanessa-Jane Revilla, Kristine Marie Manicad, Joyce Ann Quizon, Venus Ann Baluya, Ma. Isabelle Mendoza, Jennifer Robertte Fajardo, Divina Beceril, Russelyn Reguin, Allysa Grace Silverio, Roxanne Ortiz, Rachel Luzon, Sarah Misa Hernandez, Elaine delos Santos, Atheena Taccad, Chanela Mira Limpin, Princess Joy Palma, Christine Joy Eugenio and Carla Janine Lao.

The official candidates for the male division are Peter Paul Danganan, Marvin Angeles, John Christian Lopez, Christian Wilfred Gonzaga, John Michael Villanueva, Michael Estorninos, Lester Buna, Jervy Arahan, Lennard Marvin Cruz, Luis Miguel Acosta, Rafael Tolentino, Justine Royce Dizon, Mark Unrubia, Paulo Dy, John Paul Regodon, Rafael Morales, Gabriel Inigo Uy Garcia, Peter Vander Muelen, Yuri Novelli and Mc Carlou Timbol.

These 40 good-looking candidates will visit Subic Bay Yacht Club on Aug. 30 to 31 for the swimsuit competition; they will also face another round of scrutiny for the Cover Girl and Cover Boy competition on Sept. 13 at the Elbow Room in Metro Walk Alabang; and another one for the Glamour Award competition at the Sofitel Philippines Plaza Manila a day before the final night.

Winners of the title Face of the Year and Model Discovery of the Year will be the country’s official delegates to the Faces International Model Search to be held in Los Angeles sometime next year.

The winners will endorse Great Mall of China, located along Macapagal Avenue, and Netopia for one year. They will also receive cash prizes, educational plans from STI and contracts under Viva Films.


Miss Real Estate Philippines : A beauty pageant of a different kind

By Nickie Wang /Manila Standard Today
22 July 2008

Summer is over but the temperature is still rising, particularly at the Philippine Real Estate Festival as it presents 24 gorgeous young women vying for the title of Miss Real Estate Philippines on July 25 at the SMX Mall of Asia.

The second annual beauty pageant intensely screened over 200 young women before coming up with the list of official candidates who will represent the country’s top real estate builders and developers.

In the process, these young women will immerse in all areas of the real estate industry. They have been busy with a crash course on the state of real estate, and with seminar-workshops that educate them on why real estate industry is a vital in Philippine economy.

During the press presentation of these real estate beauties at the Lancaster Suites in Mandaluyong City, the media had a closer look at each of the candidates as they strutted their stuff and flaunted their curves in skimpy yellow bikinis.

“Believe me, Miss Real Estate Philippines is more than just a beauty pageant. It’s beauty pageant for a cause. The winner will be the ambassadress of real estate industry in the Philippines. She will help and spearhead the outreach projects that will provide homes to the most disadvantage social sector,” PREF chairman Rosemarie Basa said.

The top 24 who made the official list of candidates are: Theresa Baltazar, Glaiza Bilas, Amit Bhopal, Glenda Cabailo, Ferina de Paz, Shamaine del Rosario, Angelee de los Reyes, Richel de los Reyes, Mirasol Dianco, Paula Figueras, Mean Flores, Jeff Gaitan, Cherry Kubota, Mary Ann Laggui, Andrea Laurel, Christine Mayor, Elizabeth Naluz, Sandra Palma, Jennifer Recto, Katrina Rigets, Alex Roces, Bernadette Solero, Jesusa Torres and Camille Rodriguez. They will face the judges during the pre-pageant on July 24 (also at the SMX).

Filipino-Australian Rose Cel Aguilar, last year’s winner, will relinquish her crown to the winner who will receive valuable prizes that include cash and a house and lot. She will also represent the country in the first-ever Miss Real Estate Asia pageant that will be held in November.

Miss Real Estate Philippines is just one of the components that anchors the 2008 Philippine Real Estate Festival. The rest of the activities will officially open on July 26.

This three-day spectacular event will commence with an exhibit that will bring together 150 of the country’s biggest and most trusted real estate development companies and projects, finance institutions, suppliers, contractors, and professionals.

Other events include: the launch of the 2008 BREW (BizNews Asia Real Estate Who’s Who) Awards; Free seminar-lectures concerning a wide array of topics including identifying practical investments, constructing dream houses on a tight budget, detecting fake land titles, how to avail of housing loans, and even feng shui; Dedicated sessions for OFW groups, real estate brokers, and the Filipino Inventors Society; and Fiesta Pinoy set on the last day of the festival.

Fiesta Pinoy, which serves as the official closing of the festival, will combine indoor games, contest, raffles, disco dancing, mini-parade, and a musical concert for the amusement and entertainment of exhibitors, patrons, and guests.

Eco-friendly beauties in skimpy bikinis

By Nickie Wang/Manila Standard Today

15 May 2008

From being a thank-you girl in the Bb. Pilipinas 2008 beauty pageant, Karla Paula Henry, a 21-year-old guest services associate in a hotel in Cebu, won the coveted Miss Philippines-Earth title during the pageant’s night on Sunday at the Crowne Plaza Galleria Manila’s Grand Ballroom.

Karla, with her environmental message: “Be wise enough to use eco-friendly products, appliances and even vehicles to improve quality of our atmosphere,” emerged as the crowd favorite and bested 40 other delegates that had everyone in the ballroom drooling as they paraded in skimpy bikinis in the swimwear portion.

Melanie Felix, a 23-year-old Psychology student who came to join the pageant all the way from the US, was the first Miss Pagcor International Tourism Ambassadress, a title given for the first time in the pageant.

The other winners were Maria Venus Raj, of Legazpi City as Miss Philippines-Ecotourism; Kristelle Lazaro, of Candaba, Pampanga as Miss Philippines-Fire; Marian Michelle Oblea, of Obando ,Bulacan as Miss Philippines-Water; and Marie Razel Eguia, of Dipolog City as Miss Philippines-Air.

The new Miss Philippines-Earth was the choice of a board of judges composed of Earth Institute Asia president Dr. Corazon PB. Claudio, senior managing head of Pagcor Corporate Communication Dodie King, Asian GEM & Tourism Foundation and Cordyn Tours and Travel president Cecile Clemente, costume and fashion designer Eric Pineda, Crowne Plaza Galleria general manager Bridgitte Trattner, Korean Air regional manager Hong Jin, France’s Ambassador to the Philippines Gerard Chesnel, TV host Kim Atienza, Ricky Reyes, and actress Anne Curtis.

This year’s pageant showcased several firsts.

Apart from a new beauty title, Miss Pagcor International Tourism, the winner of which has the duty to promote Philippine tourism abroad, it was also the first time that the contestants themselves acted as the interviewers in the question-and-answer portion of the competition’s semi-finals round. And, instead of holding regional competitions in the provinces and conducting screenings in Metro Manila as it was in the past years, Carousel Productions simply invited local government units to send their respective delegates.

For the other special awards, Miss Congeniality went to Jaydielou Dilidili (Indang, Cavite) while both the Miss Photogenic and Best in Swimsuit awards went to Filipino-American Nikki Martin; both the Miss Talent and Best in Long Gown awards went to Marian Michelle Oblea (of Obando); and the Best in Cultural Attire was won by Ma. Kristelle Lazaro (of Candaba).

Hosting booboos

Comparatively, the show wasn’t as spectacular as last year’s, but the female hosts Ginger Conejero and Nikki Gil were drop-dead gorgeous and did a good job. On the other hand, Rafael Rossel was dapper and we noticed the smile in every bejeweled member of the female gender whenever he was on stage.

The inexperienced Rafael committed several mistakes during the show, which actually started at 8 p.m. with a delayed telecast at 10 p.m. on ABS-CBN. The director had to do some retakes to rectify his errors. After the opening, Rafael stuttered several times complaining that he couldn’t read his lines from the teleprompter. Next, when he made the announcement for the winning delegate for the Best Cultural Attire Award, he referred to delegate from Candaba, Pampanga as Miss Municipality of Canada. Then he shuffled the names of the candidates during the Q and A in the semifinals round reading Miss Municipality of Obando twice. After that, he read “degradation” as “degration” five times during the final Q and A round. He read it properly only once for the last finalist. Finally, he bade goodbye inviting the audience to attend Miss Earth Day.

The winning question

The question for the final round was: “The lack of awareness is a primary reason why the degradation of our environment continues. If you win tonight, how will you teach the ignorant and the illiterate about the ill effects of global warming to our environment?”

Nervous yet was able to maintain her composure, the winning answer of Miss Cebu was: “How will I teach them? It’s very simple, I have a lot of idols with me which is Catherine Untalan and the previous winners who have already taught me in simple ways how to, uhm how to solve our environmental issues, and I would follow in their [foot] steps by maybe writing a book as they have, going to public schools teaching the young ones but most of all, I would encourage everyone in some little ways starting with my own little, starting with Cebu, to uhm to continue and be aware with our remaining pressing problems because we cannot solve one thing if we are not aware.”

That was the exact words of the new Miss Philippines-Earth. Now, it’s up to all of you to decipher that cryptic answer.