Philippines sure to sustain winning streak, maintain powerhouse position with newly-crowned queens

Last year’s feat was amazing for Filipino beauties. The Philippines is, so far, the only country that placed in all major contests worldwide winning three crowns in a single year.

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2014 Binibinis (from left): 2nd Runner-Up Hannah Ruth Sison, Bb. Pilipinas Tourism Queen International Parul Shah, Bb. Pilipinas Intercontinental Kris Tiffany Janson, Miss Universe Philippines Mary Jean Lastimosa, Bb. Pilipinas International Mary Anne Bianca Guidotti, Bb. Pilipinas Supranational Yvethe Marie Santiago and 1st Runner-Up Laura Victoria Lehmann

Mutya Johanna Datul bagged the Miss Supranational crown, the first for the country and for Asia, early in September in Belarus.

Megan Young clinched the Miss World title held in Indonesia, the first for the Philippines in the pageant’s 63-year history, later on the same month.

Ariella Arida placed 3rd Runner-Up in the Miss Universe held in Russia in October, the fourth consecutive year the Philippines landed in Top 5.

Angelee Delos Reyes was in Top 8 in the Miss Earth held in the Philippines in November.

Until the holding of Miss International in Japan in December, the #1 beauty powerhouse position was being contested between the Philippines and Venezuela, as its delegates were proclaimed Miss Universe and Miss Earth.

But with Bea Rose Santiago’s win, clinching the fifth Miss International crown for the Philippines, there’s no doubt that, indeed, Filipinas are collectively the most beautiful and talented women in the whole world.

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2013 Filipina titleholders: Miss International Bea Rose Santiago, Miss World Megan Young, Miss Supranational Mutya Johanna Datul and Miss Tourism International 2013/14 Angeli Dione Gomez

In between the major contests, Annalie Forbes placed 3rd Runner-Up in the first Miss Grand International held in Thailand which was won by Miss Puerto Rico. Koreen Medina placed 3rd Runner-Up in the Miss Intercontinental pageant held in Germany, won by Miss Russia.

Ending 2013 and starting 2014 was the win of Angeli Dione Gomez in the Miss Tourism International contest held in Malaysia on New Year’s Eve. She succeeded Rizzini Alexis Gomez. It was a back-to-back win for the Philippines in the 17-year-old pageant rooted in the neighboring Southeast Asian country.

(See related story in this blog–Beauty powerhouse Philippines ends 2013 with a big bang, starts 2014 with aplomb https://arloc888.wordpress.com/2014/01/01/beauty-powerhouse-philippines-ends-2013-with-a-big-bang-starts-2014-with-aplomb/)

The challenge for the Philippines this year is how to sustain its winning streak. Not only Filipinos had been anxious who’s going to represent the country in various contests, but the focus of beauty aficionados around the globe turned to the country for the holding of Binibining Pilipinas 2014.

Will the Misses Philippines this year be as good as the Misses Philippines last year?

They are, based on the results:

Miss Philippines Universe is Mary Jean Lastimosa (#25). Her third try for a crown finally paid off and it’s the prime title.

Bb. Pilipinas International is Mary Anne Bianca Guidotti (#22).

Bb. Pilipinas Intercontinental, making history as the first to wear the crown, as BPCI got the franchise of Miss Intercontinental this year, is Kris Tiffany Janson (#13).

Bb. Pilipinas Supranational is Yvethe Marie Santiago (#35).

Bb. Pilipinas Tourism Queen International is Parul Shah (#4).

Ending up as First Runner-Up and Second Runner-Up respectively are Laura Victoria Lehmann (#11) and Hannah Ruth Sison (#27).

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MJ Lastimosa being crowned by Miss Universe 2013 Gabriela Isler and Miss Universe 2013 3rd Runner-Up Ariella Arida

The winners were chosen by a panel of judges that include Miss Universe Organization President Paula Shugart, Miss Universe 2013 Gabriela Isler, Senator Juan Edgardo Angara, broadcast journalist Korina Sanchez, ABS-CBN executive Cory Vidanes and Miss International 1979 Melanie Marquez among others, in a glittering ceremony at the Araneta Coliseum on March 30.

(Watch the crowning moment of the new Filipina queens here: http://youtu.be/uVIIVyca8mQ)

From hundreds of applicants, 40 were chosen as official candidates. Then they were narrowed to Top 15.

Rounding up the semi-finalists circle were Julian Aurine Flores (#1), Joanna Angelica Romero (#3), Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach (#8), Emma Mary Tiglao (#14), Zahara Mae Soriano (#16), Mae Liezel Ramos (#19), Kenneth Santiago (#20) and Nichole Marie Manalo (#23).

Special Awardees: Best in National Costume – Kris Tiffany Janson; Best in Talent – Gabrielle Erika Tilokani; Miss Friendship – Racquel Kabigting; Manila Bulletin Readers’ Choice – Ladylyn Riva; Miss Avon – Yvethe Marie Santiago; Miss Photogenic – Kris Tiffany Janson; Best in Swimsuit – Mary Jean Lastimosa; Best in Long Gown – Mary Anne Bianca Guidotti; She’s So Jag Award – Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach; Miss Philippine Airlines Award – Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach; Miss Cream Silk Award – Yvethe Marie Santiago.

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The iconic poster of this year’s Grand Coronation Night

Hosting the affair were Xian Lim and Anne Curtis, anchored by Miss Universe 2010 4th Runner-Up Venus Raj, Miss Universe 2011 3rd Runner-Up Shamcey Supsup and Miss Universe 2012 1st Runner-Up Janine Tugonon.

It was Gabriela Isler herself who asked MJ in the Q & A:

“For you, what is the greatest advantage of being a woman?”

Her answer, “The advantage of a woman is being able to compose ourselves, just like here… we’re standing in front of thousands of people, but we try to compose ourselves. Tonight, thousands of people are standing here celebrating the beauty of a woman – and that is the advantage of being a woman.”

Sorely missed in the winners’ circle is Pia Wurtzbach, who was last year’s First Runner-Up. But as MJ showed, there’s always a third chance. Next year, Pia might be Miss Universe Philippines or Bb. Pilipinas International or any of the three other crowns.

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The Gold Queens (50th year of BBP) from left: Pia Wurtzbach, Cindy Miranda, Ariella Arida, Bea Santiago and Mutya Datul

As former Bb. Pilipinas Universe and blogger (Adventures of a Beauty Queen http://adventuresofabeautyqueen.com/) Joyce Burton-Titular said:

“Remember, that a pageant will NEVER define who you are, unless you allow it to. So if you lose, do not call yourself a loser. You are not! At the same time, losing SHOULD make you feel bad, it SHOULD make you go down on your knees and cry. And yet like a good soldier, learn how to carry your battle scars with pride!

“And please, don’t deny yourself a time to mourn. Mourning is part of the healing process. But get back up and find the path that God has set out for you. Whether it be to join again or to move on to something new. Just move!”

Good luck, ladies, continue carrying the banner for the Philippines and womanhood!

 

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Not competing in WJC: Enough time to heal, rest and practice for Filipino Winter Olympian Michael Christian Martinez

Skipping the World Junior Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria slated March 10-16, 2014, Michael Christian Martinez has enough time to heal, rest and practice for the skating season in August.

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As reported by Steve Angeles of ABS-CBN North America News Bureau on abs-cbn.com, it is due to doctor’s advice that the newest darling of Philippine sports decided not to compete in the event.

His mother Maria Theresa was quoted as saying, “It’s the doctor’s and the coach’s decision. Michael’s doctor has recommended that he withdraw from the World Junior (Championships) since his knee injury has not completely healed yet, and his falls during his current practices are adding to the injuries.”

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Michael Martinez being interviewed by Steve Angeles

Michael placed 5th in the World Junior Championships last year held in Milan, Italy with 191.64 points. Getting the 1-2-3 spots were USA’s Joshua Farris, Jason Brown and Shotaro Momori. China’s Jin Boyang was fourth. 

Filipino-Swiss Alisson Krystle Perticheto who represented the Philippines in the Ladies Division placed 18th in last year’s WJC.

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Now a superstar in the Philippines, Michael is overwhelmed by the support he is getting, which inspires him to work for a medal in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, Republic of Korea.

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“It’s so heartwarming that everybody now acknowledges my talent. Everybody now is supporting me so I’m very thankful for that. I feel very happy, it feels like…feeling ko iiyak ako nang nakita ko ang dami ng suporta sa akin,” he said.

The teener himself reported that out of 2,850 athletes from 89 countries, he was the #1 supported athlete in the Sochi 2014 website.

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“I owe it to all of you my dear friends! I am eternally and sincerely grateful for your continuous support and for all your prayers!!!!! Thank you very much!!” he posted.

Michael, who holds the distinction of the first-ever figure skater from the Philippines and Southeast Asia to have qualified for the Olympics, also got featured in The Best Of Sochi 2014 Olympics video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Ka5nMNUSGA.

On February 26, a day before he left for the US for training, the Winter Olympian was commended by the Philippine Senate for the honor he brought to the country.

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Handsomeness among beauties

Senate Resolution 505 sponsored by Sen. Vicente Sotto III commended Michael for his feat.

“To excel on ice, even if the only ice we produce in the country is from refrigerators, is exceptional indeed,” Sotto said on the Senate floor.

Three Binibinis were also commended by the Senate on the same day.

Described by Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano as the country’s crown jewels, Miss Supranational 2013 Mutya Johanna Datul, Miss Universe 2013 3rd  Runner-Up Ariella Arida and Miss International 2013 Bea Rose Santiago came with their crowns and posed with the Philippine Olympian.

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Between practices and rest, Michael is taking time to meet his supporters in the US, some of whom have put up organizations or foundations to fund his second Olympic bid in Pyeongchang.

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See related stories https://arloc888.wordpress.com/2014/02/24/michael-martinez-comes-home-a-superstar-from-sochi-prepares-for-world-junior-figure-skating-championships-2014-and-2018-pyeongchang-winter-olympics/ and

https://arloc888.wordpress.com/2013/12/01/michael-christian-martinez-banners-philippines-in-2014-winter-olympics/

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.

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“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.

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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.”

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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 http://www.missosology.org or http://www.facebook.com/missosology and http://www.facebook.com/BeautyPageantGrandSlam. Another informative site is http://www.globalbeauties.com.

 

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 http://beautycity.jp/miss2013/prof_philippines.asp and http://359906.tbits.me.

Broadcast schedule: December 17, 2013 (Tuesday), live stream at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/mibp

ASIA
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

USA AND CANADA
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

AMERICAS
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

EUROPE AND AFRICA
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.

Sash factor strengthens Koreen Medina’s bid for Miss Intercontinental 2013 crown

Mutya ng Pilipinas-Asia Pacific 2013 Koreen Medina is in Germany competing in the Miss Intercontinental 2013 Pageant. Reports say she’s one of  the favorites to win the crown.

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On her own, the 18-year-old beauty from Quezon City can give any of the contestants a run for their money–she has one of the loveliest faces especially when she smiles, she may not be very tall but at 5’7″ she’s taller than the average girl, she’s smart, confident and talented.

As representative of Asia’s beauty powerhouse, wearing the Philippines sash is an added factor to her quest for the country’s and Southeast Asia’s first win in the pageant that started in Aruba in 1973 as a teen beauty competition. So far, the Philippines’ highest placement in the Panama-based contest has been 2nd runner-up, with 5 semi-finalists.

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The remarkable feat of the Philippines in beauty pageants this year–Miss World Megan Young, Miss Supranational Mutya Johanna Datul, Miss Universe 3rd Runner-Up Ariella Arida, Miss Grand International 3rd Runner-Up Ali Forbes and Miss Earth Top 8 Angelee delos Reyes–is matched by Venezuela in the persons of Miss Universe Gabriela Isler and Miss Earth Alyz Henrich.

However, Venezuela did not get to the finals in the Miss World, Miss Supranational and Miss Grand International. This makes the Philippines still the Best Performing Country, adding to the four consecutive years Top 5 placements in the Miss Universe.

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As pointed out by adventuresofabeautyqueen blogger Joyce Burton Titular (herself a former Miss Philippines), the downside to Koreen’s candidacy is her youthful look.

Confirmed as the youngest candidate among the 61 candidates, Joyce suggested that Koreen has to groom and style herself to look a little bit older, which she has followed from Day 1, judging from the photos posted on the official web site of Miss Intercontinental 2013, on Missosology, Beauty Pageant Grand Slam and her Facebook fan page.

“I am the youngest contestant but I know a lot of things and I have this conviction and fighting spirit. I can do more and improve more!” ABQ quoted her as saying.

Koreen acts and sings.She’s Coca-Cola Music Talent Search 2011 Grand Champion and the Grand Winner of 2012 My Girl on ABS-CBN.

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Will Miss Intercontinental 2012 Daniela Chalbaud of Venezuela bequeath the crown to Koreen? That will be known on December 14, Saturday at the Maritim Hotel in Magdeburg, East Germany.

Details of the contest at http://missintercontinental.de/contest/.

Miss Puerto Rico is first-ever Miss Grand International, Miss Philippines 3rd runner-up

From 75 candidates (apparently 4 were not around during the preliminary competition), the girls were trimmed down to Top 20. From Top 20 for the Swimsuit Competition, only 10 advanced to the Evening Gown Competition. Then they were trimmed down to 5 for the question-and-answer portion.

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After the final judging, Miss Puerto Rico Janelee Chaparro was crowned the first-ever Miss Grand International in Bangkok, Thailand Tuesday night.

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Declared 1st runner-up was Miss Dominican Republic Chantel Martinez (who also won Best in Evening Gown), Miss Slovak Republic Denisa Pacesiakova 2nd runner-up, Miss Philippines Annalie Forbes 3rd runner-up and Miss Australia Kelly Louise Maguire  4th runner-up.

Rounding up the Top 10 were Misses Brazil, Cuba, Latvia, Venezuela and Sri Lanka. Completing the Top 20 were Macedonia, China (who also won Best in National Costume), Netherlands, Pakistan, USA, Thailand, Myanmar (who was Miss Popular Vote), Ecuador, Zimbabwe, and Colombia.

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The newly crowned Miss Grand International won USD30K and will stay in Bangkok for the duration of her reign at the luxurious The Tower Apartment.

Although live streaming was buffering, it was enough for fans to heat up the forum on YouTube. Non-Filipinos were asking why Pinoys kept bashing each other especially Ali’s use of the word donator instead of donor–thanking Thailand and the rest of the world for the help they extended to the victims of typhoon Yolanda.

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Panama-based Beauty Pageant Grand Slam has declared the Philippines County of the Year for the various wins and placements Filipinos have so far achieved in 2013: Miss Tourism Queen Asia 2013-Christine Racel-3rd Runner-Up; Miss Humanity International 2013-Monica Misena-Top 5; Miss Teen Universe 2013-Patricia Andulte-Top 12; Mrs. Asia International Tourism 2013-Stephanie Malibiran-Winner, Lubesly Tellidus-1st Runner-Up; Miss Chinese Cosmos 2013-Felina Joyce Lim-1st Runner-Up; Miss ASEAN 2013-Clarize Barrameda-1st Runner-Up.

✩Miss Supranational 2013-Mutya Johanna Datul-Winner; ✩Miss World 2013-Megan Lynne Young-Winner;  Miss Tourism Queen International 2013-Cindy Miranda-Top 10; Miss Tourism World 2013-Aiyana Mikiewicz Top 20/MissTourism Asia; Miss Universe 2013-Ariella Arida-3rd Runner-Up; Miss Grand International 2013-Ali Forbes-3rd Runner-Up.

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Ongoing is Mr. International in Indonesia with our candidate Gil Wagas and Miss Earth being held here in the country with Angelee delos Reyes. Bea Rose Santiago will try to get the 5th Miss International crown for the country when she competes in Japan next month.

Photos courtesy of Miss Grand International and Beauty Pageant Grand Slam.