No country has ever produced too many winners before in beauty contests like the Philippines did in 2013. Saddled by natural calamities and disasters in different parts of the archipelago, the Philippines has been recognized one after the other in the beauty arena with the wins of Mutya Johanna Datul as Miss Supranational in Belarus, Megan Young as Miss World in Indonesia and Bea Rose Santiago as Miss International, the last and final major pageant held last December 17 in Japan.
Miss International 2013 Bea Rose Santiago during her victory parade in Makati City last December 27
In between those wins, the Philippines prominently figured among the Top 5 with Ariella Arida as Miss Universe 3rd Runner-Up in Russia, Annalie Forbes as Miss Grand International 3rd Runner-Up in Thailand, Angelee Delos Reyes as Miss Earth Top 8 in the Philippines and Koreen Medina as Miss Intercontinental 3rd Runner-Up in Germany.
Just before 2013 closed, Angeli Dione Gomez was crowned Miss Tourism International 2013/14 in Malaysia, taking the crown and title from fellow Filipino beauty Miss International 2012/13 Rizzini Alexis Gomez. Yes, it’s back-to-back win for the Philippines in the 17-year-old pageant. As the emcee noted, “This is the first time where the country repeats itself (in the pageant).”
“The first thing I plan to do is to meet my family whom I have not met for about one month and have a nice breakfast with them,” Angeli told Malaysian and international media just few minutes after New Year’s Eve.
For the common question for the Top 10 candidates, “How do you promote world peace?” Angeli answered that she’ll “promote world peace through tourism, because we are promoting the cultures of every different countries (sic) and to know the way of their lives and by that we can attain world peace.”
As the new Miss Tourism International, the film director-wanna-be from Cebu is tasked as traveling ambassador in promoting informal international relations between countries to spread the message of peace, goodwill and friendship.
The others who made it to Top 5 were Miss Thailand Sunidporn Srisuwan, 1st Runner-Up (Miss Tourism Queen of the Year International 2013/14); Miss Australia Sarah Czarnuch, 2nd Runner-Up (Miss Tourism Metropolitan 2013/14); Miss Dominican Republic Michelle Alexis Torres, 3rd Runner-Up (Miss Tourism Global 2013/14); and Miss Malaysia Thaarah Ganesan, 4th Runner-Up (Miss Tourism Cosmopolitan 2013/14).
Half of the Top 10 were Miss Vietnam Phan Hoang Thu (who was also named Miss Southeast Asia), Miss Bosnia & Herzegovina Aleksandra Kovacevic, Miss Ukraine Oleksandra Timonina, Miss Portugal Sara Monica Matias da Silveira and Miss Zimbabwe Dananai Ratiozo Chipunza.
Special Awards went to Miss Proton Elegant – Portugal, Miss Beautiful Skin – Singapore, Miss Friendship – Uganda, Best in Talent – Armenia and Miss Tourism International 2013 Great Ambassador Award – Hongkong.
Other contests where the Philippines won or figured prominently: Miss Campus World Winner – Maria Isabel Mendoza, Miss Teen Expoworld Universe Winner – Amber Delos Reyes, Mrs. Asia International Tourism Winner – Stephanie Malibiran, Mrs. Asia USA Winner – April Denise Belcher, Mr. Campus World 1st Runner-Up – Ronald William De Dios, Miss Scuba International 1st Runner-Up – Christine Paula Love Bernasor, Miss Tourism Queen International Top 10 – Cindy Miranda, Mister International 4th Runner-Up – Gil Wagas.
Asia’s Next Top Model 1st Runner-Up-Stephanie Retuya, Miss Chinese Cosmos 1st Runner-Up – Felina Joyce Lim, Miss Southeast Asia 1st Runner-Up-Clarize Barrameda, Mrs. Asia International Globe 1st Runner-Up – Lubesly Tellidua.
Miss Humanity International Top 5 – Monica Misenas (also People’s Choice & Continental Queen of Asia), Face of Beauty International Top 10 – Maureen Wenceslao (also Best in Interview & Online People’s Choice Award), Miss Asia-Pacific World Top 15 – Czarina Rosales (also Best in Talent, Miss Asia Pacific World Star, Best Model, The World’s Most Beautiful Super Talent), Miss Tourism World Top 20 and Miss Tourism Asia – Aiyana Mikiewicz, Miss United Continents Miss Photogenic- Christina Montero Devries, Mister Asia 2nd Runner-Up – Alvin De Joya, Miss Teen Universe Top 12 – Kimberly Hakenson and Miss Teen International Miss Congeniality – Patricia Andulte.
Year 2013 was indeed a fruitful year for the Philippines, which is now touted not only as the beauty powerhouse in Asia but in the whole world, eclipsing Venezuela which won the Miss Universe and Miss Earth titles but did not place in the other Big 4 contests, Miss World and Miss International.
As the Year 2014 opened, Philippines already started with a big buena mano.
Related story in this blog: Will Angeli Dione Gomez be the first Filipina queen of 2014?