Beauty powerhouse Philippines ends 2013 with a big bang, starts 2014 with aplomb

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 ReyesMrs. Asia International Tourism Winner – Stephanie MalibiranMrs. 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?


Miss International Bea Rose Santiago thanks supporters, dedicates win to typhoon survivors

Newly crowned Miss International 2013 Bea Rose Santiago posted on Facebook early Thursday a message of thanks to all her supporters, particularly in the Philippines.


“Hi everyone, it’s such an honor to be crowned as the new Miss International 2013. The crown is not on top of my head but it’s in my heart. I dedicate my winning to all the Filipinos who had been devastated by the typhoon and all other calamities. Your prayers helped. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Mwah!    

“My apologies if I can’t reply to all of your messages privately, sobrang dami (too many), but again, I have read all of them and nakakataba po ng puso (very heartening). Sobrang maraming salamat po (Thank you very, very much).

“I miss Philippines na (already). 

“Mabuhay po tayong lahat (Cheers to all of us).”

Bea also recalled her encounter with Filipino staff in the hotel they were billeted and said that the more she loves being a Filipino for the gesture.

She shared online:

“Earlier this week, I was running late and the cleaning supervisor checked my room. Before I left the floor, I asked her if she’s Filipino and she said yes. I said I’m Miss Philippines. That’s my room and smiled. Tonight I saw this on the side of my nicely fixed pjs (pajamas) and pillows!

“Attached was a photograph showing a box of chocolates and the note from the group, which said:

“Dear Miss Bea, Welcome to Tokyo! We hope you’re enjoying your stay…We want to wish you good luck (in) person but we understand you are busy preparing for the pageant today. So instead,…accept our small gift as our…way of showing our support. We believe you can win.

“We wish you all the best of luck. Claim the crown Miss Bea…For the Philippines!”  

Shouts and resounding applause were heard soon after Bea finished her 30-second speech that had her clinch the 5th Miss International crown for the Philippines.

(Complete transcript of her speech in the article Miss International 2013 is Miss Philippines Bea Rose Santiago in this blog.)

Beauty Pageant Grand Slam, a community/organization dedicated to beauty pageants around the globe made effort to post reactions of Philippine queens when they were called as winners.


Evidently, Filipinas show similar demeanor–humility and gratitude at the same time–when the name of their country was called as the winner.

First for this year was Mutya Datul as Miss Supranationl 2013 in Belarus, then Megan Young as Miss World 2013 in Indonesia and Bea in Japan.

While other nationalities raised their arms triumphantly or looked up, Filipinas cupped their hands together and covered half of their faces like in a suspended surprise and prayer.

With praises from other nationalities for the strongest showing by a single country in beauty pageantry, one Filipino netizen commented why the demeanor is similar: “Those Filipinas really don’t expect to win, just to represent the country is an honor. And being crowned is but a big surprise and victory.”


All beauty communities and organizations recognize the Philippines as the Country Performer of the Year, winning three crowns and placing in all other major competitions.

More at or and Another informative site is


Miss International 2013 is Miss Philippines Bea Rose Santiago

Miss Philippines Bea Rose Santiago was crowned Miss International 2013 in Tokyo, Japan Tuesday night besting 66 other contestants from all over the globe.


The model from Masbate became the fifth Filipina titleholder of the 53-year-old beauty pageant–after Gemma Cruz in 1964, Aurora Pijuan in 1970, Melanie Marquez in 1979 and Precious Lara Quigaman in 2005.


Proclaimed 1st Runner-Up was Miss Netherlands Nathalie den Dekker while Miss New Zealand Casey Radley was 2nd Runner-Up. The other two in the Top 5 were Miss Colombia Cindy Aguilar and Miss Hungary Brigitta Otvos.


The girls were judged in their swimwear, dress (or evening gown) and the finale 30-second speech on the topic, “What I will do if I am crowned Miss International.”

Miss Netherlands said, “I’d be more than happy to give back. We should never stop caring. Eventually, we are one world, and one dream. Together, we are one.” She also said that if she’d win she will promote the values the pageant stands for.


For Miss New Zealand: “If I was to be the next Miss International 2013, there are many things I’d like to achieve. I would like to work with the young women of today’s society. There are many ideologies of what you should be or shouldn’t be, rather than embracing who they really are. I would like to use the pageant as a platform to work in reducing inequality.”

Miss Hungary opened, “Good evening, everyone. I would like to thank the most important things that I get in this competition… I’m so happy that I’m here in this stage,” then gave the rest of her speech in Hungarian.

On the other hand, Miss Colombia said nervously and teary-eyed, “I am very happy. Japan is a magnificent experience.”


And Bea’s winning speech?

“The whole world saw how my country, the Philippines, suffered. The agony of my people was felt. But one by one, country to country, came to help. I would like to thank all the nations that helped my country in our darkest hours. You have opened my eyes and my heart on how important it is if we all just support each other.

“If I become Miss International, I would uphold international camaraderie to sustain the spirit for sympathy and to continually share the message of hope. I believe that whatever calamity may come to us, as long as we have each other, there will be hope. Thank you.”

The others that made it to Top 15 were Misses Gibraltar, Brazil, Puerto Rico, Ecuador, USA, Lithuania, Iceland, Russia, Thailand and Spain.

Specials awards went to Miss Aruba for Best National Costume, Miss New Zealand as Miss Friendship, Miss Macau as Miss Internet and Miss Lithuania as Miss Photogenic.


Beauty aficionados all over the world, especially Filipinos, were glued to their computers for the live stream at http://www.ustream.t/channel/mibp and updates on Facebook by Missosology, Beauty Pageant Grand Slam and Global Beauties. Some got the feed thru Rappler.

The panel of judges was composed of Mariko Bando, President of Showa Women’s University; Maria Teresa Lopez, Wife of Philippine Ambassador to Japan; Alejandra Andreu, Miss International 2008 (who bequeathed the crown); Ryohei Miyata, President of Tokyo University or Arts; Hirokazu Hasegawa, Chairman and Executive Director of Hasegawa; Marlene Villela-Talbott of the Embassy of Honduras; Michie Nakamaru, Opera Singer; Mitsuo Katsui, Art Director; Sojitsu Kobori, Grand Master of the Enshu Sado School; Akie Abe, Wife of the Prime Minister of Japan; Akemi Shimomura, Chairperson of the International Cultural Association; Yuki Ikenobo, Headmaster of Ikenobo; Junko Koshino, Designer; and Seiko Noda, Member of the House of Representatives.


Bea joins Filipina titlists Miss Supranational 2013 Mutya Johanna Datul and Miss World 2013 Megan Young, making the Philippines as Country Performer of the Year.

Other harvests by the Philippines in the world beauty arena are that of Miss Universe 2013 3rd Runner-Up Ariella Arida, Miss Grand Slam International 3rd Runner-Up Ali Forbes and Miss Intercontinental 3rd Runner-Up Koreen Medina. Angelee delos Reyes was Top 8 in the Miss Earth 2013 Pageant held in the country and Cindy Miranda was semi-finalist in the Miss Tourism Queen International 2013 Pageant held in China.

Marisse Mendoza was proclaimed Miss Campus World 2013 (a personality contest for Asian students), with Mr. Philippines William De Dios as Mr. Campus World 2013 1st Runner-Up. Gil Wagas Jr. was 4th Runner-Up in the Mister International 2013 contest.


It’s indeed a bountiful year for the Philippines. The wins of these queens gave rays of sunshine to a people who have suffered and endured one catastrophe after another, yet pliant as the bamboo, rise again even after many trials and tragedies.

Bea Rose Santiago’s win sealed the Philippines’ supremacy in beauty and intelligence, not only in Asia but in the whole world.

Bea’s bid for Philippines’ 5th Miss International crown gets stronger

Miss International 2013 and successor to Ikumi Yoshimatsu will be chosen on December 17. And as the hour gets nearer, Miss Philippines Bea Rose Santiago’s bid for the country’s fifth crown is getting stronger. She’s consistently one of the top picks to win the title since Day 1.

For Miss Internet and in Missosology’s Online Voting, only Myanmar is ahead of her, though the gap can be considered wide at 2,000+ votes. The third candidate in the votes is too far to be taken as threat.


Like in most beauty pageants around the globe, fans and supporters sometimes get personal when they comment on other candidates. Bea, in this regard, asked her supporters to do away with negative comments even if they are done in jest, because as she explained, it’s her who’s hurting and having a hard time as every girl in the contest is nice and they’re all friends there.True, there are those who seem to enjoy bashing but majority understood Bea’s predicament.

The support for the country’s delegate is overwhelming at this point, now that Miss Intercontinental is over (see article Miss Russia is Miss Intercontinental 2013, Miss Philippines 3rd Runner-Up in this blog).

Prayers, messages, votes and likes are outpouring for the 22-year-old lass from Masbate.

Miss Universe 2010 4th Runner-Up Venus Raj told Bea during the latter’s send-off party: “You are our Miss International… and we claim it. We know you’ll win.”

“Strong personality, strong-willed, and strong presence,” Binibining Pilipinas 2013 1st Runner-Up Pia Wurtzbach said of her first impression of Bea.

“You know right away that she’s there when she enters the room. But what I like about Bea is she has a heart. I’ve seen her cry twice–two different occasions, one reason. If there’s something unfair going on in front of her that she cannot control, that she cannot do anything about, that makes her cry. It doesn’t have to affect her directly but if she can’t help, it frustrates her and it makes her cry. This shows that she’s all-in-one, beauty queen na may puso din (with a heart). Bea, this is it. You’re competing for Miss International. I’m proud of you,” Pia said.

Bb. Pilipinas 2013 Tourism Cindy Miranda and Bb. Pilipinas 2013 Supranational Mutya Datul (Miss Supranational 2013) congratulated Bea in advance and said they believe Bea will make it.


Before she left for Japan, Bea had this to say: “I want to represent our country very well. I want to give a Merry Christmas to the Philippines. I want to close the pageant this year with a slam… Pray for me. I leave it all to God.” 

She explained to TV host Boy Abunda that she does not feel pressured at all–with all her fellow beauty queens winning or placing honorably in their stints.

Strong competitors Miss Venezuela, Miss USA and Miss Netherlands are actually her chums.


With one catastrophe after another, the nation needs badly an inspiration. Although a number of beauties have previously given Filipinos that needed boost, the whole nation is behind Bea Rose in her quest for the country’s 5th Miss International crown.

Voting until December 16, 2013 (Monday) at and

Broadcast schedule: December 17, 2013 (Tuesday), live stream at

2:00 p.m. India
3:30 p.m. Thailand, Vietnam
4:30 p.m. Philippines, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, China
5:30 p.m. Japan
7:30 p.m. Australia

12:30 a.m. Pacific Time California, Nevada, Vancouver
1:30 a.m. Mountain Time Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, Edmonton
2:30 a.m. Central Time Illinois, Nebraska, Kentucky, Texas
3:30 a.m. Eastern Time Florida, New Jersey, New York, Georgia, Ottawa, Quebec

2:30 a.m. Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Honduras, Nicaragua, Galapagos
3:30 a.m. Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, Panama, Peru
4:00 a.m. Venezuela
4:30 a.m. Bolivia, Haiti, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic
5:30 a.m. Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, Suriname
6:30 a.m. Brazil, Uruguay

8:30 a.m. Portugal, United Kingdom, Ghana, Morocco, Ireland
9:30 a.m. Germany, Spain, France, Norway, Netherlands, Nigeria, Algeria, Poland, Switzerland, Italy
10:30 a.m. Finland, Greece, Romania, South Africa, Turkey, Egypt

See related article, Miss International 2013: Bea Santiago vies for Philippines’ 5th win, asks supporters not to bash other candidates, in this blog.

Miss International 2013: Bea Santiago vies for Philippines’ 5th win, asks supporters not to bash other candidates

The Miss International 2013 Pageant in Tokyo, Japan is the last major beauty contest for this year. The successor to current titleholder Ikumi Yoshimatsu will be known on December 17.


Miss Philippines Bea Rose Santiago 

Consistently the top picks among the 72 candidates are those from Netherlands, Philippines, Venezuela, Mexico, Iceland, Sweden, Spain, India, Brazil, Puerto Rico and Lithuania.

Other favorites are Misses Haiti, Gabon, Poland, Finland, Indonesia, Australia, Korea, Honduras, Japan and Gibraltar.


Bea with Miss Venezuela Nicelin Elian Herrera Vasquez

Beauty pageant aficionados are focusing on the Philippines and Venezuela, as both countries have two crowns each—Miss World and Miss Supranational for the Philippines and Miss Universe and Miss Earth for Venezuela. Puerto Rico is the first-ever Miss Grand International winner.

While Venezuela did not place in the other pageants, the Philippines strongly finished in the contests it did not win—3rd runner-up in Miss Universe, 3rd runner-up in Miss Grand International and Top 8 in Miss Earth.

As the torchbearer for the Philippines’ final hurray, Bea Rose Santiago said in her interview before she flew to Japan that she’s not pressured at all to win the crown. Confidently prepared, she said that she will bring storm to the Land of the Rising Sun, referring to the strongest storm ever to make landfall in history last month which devastated Tacloban City and many other areas in Central Visayas.

Barely a week into the finals, Bea asked her supporters not to be antagonistic in commenting on social media. As the world knows, beauty contests are taken seriously in this country and fans and supporters fight tooth and nail for their candidates.


An aficionado commented: Miss USA Andrea Neu surely likes to be with one who speaks English fluently

She posted on Facebook via mobile her sentiments of the brickbats online.

“To all my supporters, please be mindful of your comments about my fellow Miss International candidates. It’s me who’s having a hard time as we hurt other people with the comments even if they’re done in jest. I’m so thankful that I have lots of supporters but I hope for proper demeanor in making critical comments. They are all nice. Let’s just leave the competition on stage and through voting,” she said in Filipino.

Bea enjoins her supporters to vote for her at

The 22-year-old pretty lass from Masbate spent half of her teen years in Canada but said she’s staying put in the country and vowed never to leave again, happy and contented with her life among friends and relatives.

The Philippines has produced four Miss International winners: Gemma Cruz in 1964, Aurora Pijuan in 1970, Melanie Marquez in 1979 and Precious Lara Quigaman in 2005.


The Miss International 2013 delegates

Unlike Miss Universe and Miss World, explains that this pageant is not based on looks alone.

“The contestants are expected to serve as ‘ambassadors of peace and beauty,’ showing tenderness, benevolence, friendship, beauty, intelligence, ability to take action, and most importantly a great international sensibility. The ultimate goal of the Miss International beauty pageant is to promote world peace, goodwill, and understanding,” the web site says.


Miss Photogenic is Miss Lithuania Elma Segzdaviciute

Miss International (organized in 1960) is part of the Big Four international beauty pageants. The other three are Miss World (1951), Miss Universe (1952) and Miss Earth (2001).

Though Miss World and Miss Universe are more popular, all four are considered the most coveted titles in international pageantry.

Miss International’s slogan is Love, Peace and Excitement to the World.


Online poll

A parallel Miss Internet 2013 is also being conducted and votes can be cast at until December 16.

Missosology, an organization dedicated to beauty pageants, has its own online poll at

Leading the pack is Miss Myanmar Gonyi Aye Kyaw with7000+ votes, followed by Miss Philippines with 5000+ and Miss Haiti Clara Luce Lafond at 1000.

Catching up are Miss Tahiti Ohana Huber, Miss Gibraltar Jamielee Randall, Miss India Gurleen Grewal, Miss Mexico Lucero Miroslava Montemayor Gracia, Miss USA Andrea Neu, Miss Nepal Shritima Shah and Miss Poland Katarzyna Oracka.

Euphoria continues to hover over ‘beautypageantlandia’

Not only Filipinos are euphoric about the recently concluded Miss World 2013 pageant in Bali, Indonesia where Miss Philippines Megan Young captured the crown and title, but the whole “beautypageantlandia” is abuzz with excitement as Miss Universe and Miss International are soon to be held.

Beauty Pageant Grand Slam, an organization dedicated to beauty contests all over the globe, has come up with “who’s your bet?” for candidates from Latin  America in the forthcoming Miss Universe 2013 pageant. It also made listings and analytics of winners in the five major global beauty contests–Miss Universe, Miss World, Miss International, Miss Earth and Miss Supranational. The sixth contest is Miss Tourism Queen International.

The Philippines is by far the only country that has won all six crowns. It has two Miss Universe titleholders, 2 first runner-up finishers and several other runners-up placements; four Miss International winners; one Miss Tourism Queen International; currently Miss Supranational; and after 62 years, finally, the blue-beaded Miss World crown.

While other franchisees conceded defeat as early as the first day of the contest when they saw Megan, according to Miss World Philippines organizer Cory Quirino, there is a small sector that opposes Miss Philippines’ victory. Foremost was one Devina Dediva who posted on her Facebook account, “Miss Philippines is Miss World? What a joke! I did not know those maids have anything else in them Ha Ha Ha.”

The post went viral and Filipinos (even some non-Filipinos) answered. She had the temerity to reply, “[Filipino women] are poor, smelly from cleaning toilets, and uneducated… [Filipinos] are less privileged everywhere! [I am] surprised one can win. What a joke those people cleaning our toilets won Miss World.”

Dediva, allegedly based in Singapore and studied at Manchester University, spawned a different FB account–Devina Dediva Haters. Netizens in turn posted their dislike and hatred of her postings. Some UK, US and Middle East residents shared their feelings, too.

The social media, particularly Facebook, is supposed to foment friendship, strengthen ties and encourage discussions. Promoting racism or bigotry should be taboo because the world is now interconnected as one with the advent of Internet and mobile technology.

Devina Dediva’s account has been removed by Facebook. If you click the link to the account or type the name, an error message pops up –ERROR 403 – FORBIDDEN. It explains, “403 errors usually mean that the server does not have permission to view the requested file or resource.These errors are often caused by IP Deny rules, File protections, or permission problems. In many cases this is not an indication of an actual problem with the server itself but rather a problem with the information the server has been instructed to access as a result of the request. This error is often caused by an issue on your site which may require additional review by our support teams.”

One post said, “bless her soul, if she has one.”

Notwithstanding this issue, with two crowns already won, the Philippines  is set to capture the third Miss Universe crown thru  Ariella Arida on November 9 in Moscow, Russia and Bea Rose Santiago for the Miss International title on December 17 in Tokyo, Japan. Joanna Cindy Miranda is also on her way to make history in the Miss Tourism Queen International on October 3 in Xianning, China. Justine Gabionza won the title in 2006.