The Beauty of Filipina Women Shines Through Megan Young, Miss World 2013 “Aside from extensive preparations and trainings, Filipina beauty queens succeeded because they never gave up on their dreams” Wherever they may be, Filipinos claim that their love for singing contests and beauty pageants is deeply embedded in their culture. The popularity of beauty pageants in the Philippines is comparable to soccer in Brazil or haute couture in France. From major national competitions down to small barangay contests, there is no doubt that Filipinos totally revere them. Beauty queens are considered celebrities in the Philippines. From pageant preparation to actual international competitions, these queens receive unwavering support. In fact, this type of support made Ariella Arida a semifinalist in Miss Universe 2013 after garnering the highest online votes. Diane Necio also won Miss Internet Popularity in Miss International 2011 because of the overwhelming support of the Filipinos. The recent achievements of Filipina beauty queens sealed the fact that the Philippines is indeed a pageant powerhouse. However, the road to what is considered as the “Golden years” of the Philippines in the world of pageantry has never been that easy. From 2000 until 2009, no Filipina managed to make it as a semifinalist in Miss Universe. Since its inception until 2012, the Miss World crown had also been very elusive to the Philippines. THE GAME CHANGERS In 2010, the “drought” that the Philippines has been experiencing in Miss Universe finally ended. Maria venus Raj, a Bicolana of Indian lineage, made it to the top 15. Although the common conclusion was that she garnered a fourth runner-up finish due to her “major major” mistake during the final question and answer portion, it was still considered a huge achievement. It was because of this victory that Filipinas were noticed in international pageants again. After Raj’s victory, the Philippines managed to continue its successful streak in Miss Universe leading to a “four-peat” in the top 5. Megan young, a Filipina American, finally gave the Philippines its first-ever Miss World crown in 2013. It was a long journey for the Philippines, with a first runner-up as its highest placement in history through Evangeline Pascual. Over the years, the Miss World franchise has passed through different organizations, but the blue crown was never won. When Cory quirino took over the Miss World franchise in 2011, the Philippines, coincidentally, finally turned its luck around with Gwen Ruais, a Filipino-French model, bagging the first runner-up title. Big 4 refers to the most exclusive and grandest pageants, which includes Miss Universe, Miss World, Miss International and Miss Earth. For most countries, having one or two placements in the Big 4 is already an achievement. The Philippines, on the other hand, placed in all four pageants from 2011 to 2013. FILIPINA BEAUTY QUEENS IN THE MAKING Beauty pageants are taken seriously in the Philippines. Those who aspire to be beauty queens invest many years of their young lives preparing for a national pageant. Some join several local and regional competitions before deciding to join a national pageant. These competitions are considered stepping stones for them to gain more confidence when competing in a bigger stage. The Philippines has a beauty camp to train future beauty queens. These camps are composed of beauty professionals who train aspirants in all aspects of pageantry. The team is composed of makeup artists, wardrobe stylists, catwalk trainers, speech specialists, fitness trainers, and physicians. They groom the candidates for several months before letting them compete in a national pageant. They go through a lot of physical fitness training and beauty-related courses so they can improve on their weaknesses. Beauty camps also experiment on the right styling for each candidate until they can find the perfect match. Aces and queens headed by Jonas Gaffud (recently featured in BBC News), is considered as the home of successful beauty queens. Janine Tugonon, venus Raj and Megan young all hailed from this camp. Bea Rose Santiago, Precious Lara quigaman, and Karla Paula Henry, winners of Miss International 2013 and 2005, and Miss Earth 2008, respectively, came from the Kagandahang Flores camp. THE “DON’T SAY DIE!” ATTITUDE Aside from extensive preparations and trainings, Filipina beauty queens succeeded because they never gave up on their dreams. venus Raj, for instance, showed her determination to succeed, rising from poverty and emerging into a true beauty queen. She was dethroned at first due to citizenship issues, but she got her title back and made it big in Miss Universe. Angelee delos Reyes, Miss Philippines Earth 2013, also had the same attitude. She was denied entry as a contestant in Binibining Pilipinas twice before she became an official candidate in 2012. However, she continued trying it out at another national pageant and went home with the crown. Janine Tugonon also joined Binibining Pilipinas twice where she only landed as first runner-up in 2011, but took the Miss Universe Philippines crown in 2012. Even Mutya Datul, the first Asian winner of Miss Supranational, became an inspiration after being bashed by many due to her poor communication skills. During her pageant, she has proven that she can still win with her beauty, a touching story and a lovely, engaging personality. THE FUTURE Of PHILIPPNINE PAGEANTRY With the recent success of the Philippines in beauty pageants, we are definitely looking at a brighter year ahead. In fact, the newly-presented Binibining Pilipinas 2014 candidates have strong chances at getting the crown. Candidates who tried it out for the third time, MJ Lastimosa and Diana Arevalo, came back more prepared than ever. Filipina-German Pia Wurtzbach, last year’s first runner-up, is also in perfect shape to finally get a crown. Even in minor pageants, Filipinas have already begun turning heads. A back-to-back victory was just brought home by Rizzini Alexis Gomez and Angeli Dione Gomez, both from Cebu, as Miss Tourism International 2012 and 2013, respectively. As long as Filipinas continue to strive for excellence in pageantry, we can expect more crowns in the years to come. To quote Miss Universe Philippines 2011 Shamcey Supsup, “Beauty is not definite, we define it.” Indeed, Filipina women have defined the standards of beauty with their recent victories. Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.