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Fab Pinays: Beauty Queen Talks │

Jaycon Yaneza

By Jaycon Yaneza

Ever since Philippines sent its representative to international beauty pageants in the 50’s more than a dozen of fabulous Pinays have brought pride to the country. It was proven in the world of international pageantry that Filipinos have a penchant for beauty pageants and beauty queens. Filipino fans all over the world cheer their Pinay representative competing in an international beauty pageant. Pinays on the other hand are eager to join beauty contests from the baranggay to the national level competitions. Count boxing, showbiz, basketball and politics, beauty pageants are now among the country’s national pastime.

Beauty pageants have been an object of various criticisms specifically from progressive women’s groups. Pageants, instead of advancing the causes of various women’s liberation movements, have been a potent tool in reducing women’s bodies, issues, and being into a commodity, in favor of the fashion and cosmetics industries’ interests and businesses. In the Philippines, responses on the relevance of pageantry in advancing women’s causes are diverse and oftentimes quixotic as ‘Miss Philippines’ in international beauty pageants stands both as an object of national pride and a cultural text. will examine this Filipino’s love for beauty pageants and beauty queens and to know more our beautiful Pinays who brought home the crown and pride to the country.

We made history in 2013 by winning our first Miss World crown (Megan Lynne Young) held in Bali in Indonesia and our first Miss Supranational (Mutya Johanna Datul) in Belarus. The Philippines won 3rd Runner-Up (Ali Forbes) in the 1st Miss Grand International pageant in Thailand earlier this December. Last November the country finished 3rd Runner-Up in Miss Universe (Ariella Arida) held in Russia. A week before the Miss Universe pageant, we finished in the top 10 of Miss Tourism Queen International (Cindy Miranda) in China. This December, Bea Rose Santiago bagged the Miss International crown in Japan. Koreen Medina won 3rd Runner-Up and Queen of Asia & Oceania at Miss Intercontinental  2013 in Germany this December. made a compilation of the country’s feat in international beauty pageants. Philippines through the decades has been a consistent title holder in various pageants. In fact, Philippines is the only country in the world that won all the major crowns in the arena of international pageantry (Miss World, Miss Universe, Miss Earth, Miss International, and Miss Supranational.)

  • We have five Miss International title holders: Gemma Cruz (1964), Aurora Pijuan (1970) , Melanie Marquez (1979),  Precious Lara Quigaman (2005) and just this December Bea Rose Santiago (2013)
  • We have four Miss Asia-Pacific title holders: Maria del Carmen Ines Zaragoza (1982), Gloria Aranas Dimayacyac (1983), Lorna Villanueva Legaspi (1989), and Michelle Zulueta Aldana (1993).
  • We have two Miss Universe title holders: Gloria Diaz (1969) and Margarita Moran (1973).
  • We have a Miss Tourism Queen International title holder –Justine Vinluan Gabionza (2006)
  • We now have two Miss Earth titleholders – Karla Paula Henry (2008) and Jamie Herrell (2014).
  • We have three Miss Tourism International title holders: Maria Esperanza Manzano (2000), Rizzini Alexis Gomez (2012), and Angeli Dione Gomez (2013). got the chance to interview Miss Philippines-Earth 2013 Angelee Claudett Francisco Delos Reyes before the pageant last December 7 (Venezuela got the crown; Delos Reyes made it to finals) and Binibining Pilipinas-Universe 2007 Anna Theresa Licaros on their insights on local and international pageantry and a peak of their lives as fabulous Filipinas:

Angelee Delos Reyes is from Olongapo City. She is 5 feet and 7 and a half inches tall, a registered nurse (graduate of Columban College) by training. Angelee has been joining beauty pageants since 2004; she currently works as the Marketing Department Head of the Lyceum of Subic Bay.

Fab Pinays: Beauty Queen Talks

Miss Philippines Earth 2013 Angelee Delos Reyes

Jaycon: How are you preparing for Miss Earth 2013?

Angelee: I practice, pray, and focus.

Jaycon: Did you always aspire to become a beauty queen?

Angelee: As a child, no. But I was molded to be one as I was exposed to the world of beauty and brains when my adviser in first year high school made me to represent our class as muse; that’s when it all started.

Jaycon: How has life changed for you after winning Miss Philippines-Earth 2013?

Angelee: I had greater influence to touch people’s lives and influence them to ‘go green’ and care for the environment. Of course I am flattered also that more people appreciate me too.

Jaycon: Miss Earth is the only international beauty pageant that has its advocacy to promote the protection of Mother Earth. What are your thoughts on the havoc brought by typhoon Yolanda in the Visayas?

Angelee: I am very sad that it happened here in our country and many people died. I am happy to see how other countries are concerned with the people’s welfare. Bangon Pilipinas.

* * *

Former Binibining-Pilipinas Universe Anna Theresa Licaros is from Cainta, Rizal. She was was born in Mandaluyong City and her family hails from Cuenca, Batangas. She stands at 5 feet and 9 inches tall. A certified Pinay ‘beauty and brains’, Anna Theresa graduated Summa cum Laude from the University of the Philippines with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communications. She took up Bachelor of Laws in UP and graduated cum laude. She is a lawyer for Meralco and a TV host and newscaster for TV5. Anna Theresa married her former law firm colleague John Paul Lim just last year.

Anna Theresa Licaros

Former Binibining Pilipinas Universe and now a practicing lawyer, Anna Theresa Licaros

Jaycon: How was your Bb. Pilipinas 2007 experience? How did you prepare for Miss Universe? What did you feel when you won Miss Photogenic and of Riyo Mori of Japan who won the Miss Universe 2007 crown?

Anna Theresa: It was one of the most fruitful and challenging experiences of my life. A fellow UP law student saw me during registration week and asked me if I wanted to try out modelling. He gave me the calling card of Jonas Gaffud, and encouraged me to visit Jonas’s office to do a VTR. When I got there, Jonas suggested that I join the pageant instead. He offered to train me because he saw that I had never done modelling before. I asked my family about it and when they said I should try it out, I did. I went on training with Jonas and his team and joined the pre-screening for Binibini, January the following year. I qualified and went on to join the pageant for the next couple of months and ended up Binibining Pilipinas-Universe.

I went on training for catwalk/pasarela and went to the gym regularly. My coaches and I also watched past beauty pageants for guidance. Mrs. Araneta took care of my styling and wardrobe then.

Pinoys are very enthusiastic and supportive fans and I was really lucky to have them. I felt happy and proud to have won Ms. Photogenic and I gladly shared that victory with my fellow Filipinos.

The winner is a reflection of the organization that runs the pageant and it is not for people to agree or disagree with their choice. I think Riyo really stood out and did a great job during the pageant and she held herself as a great Miss Universe. Safe to say that her work after the pageant convinced me that she deserved her crown. She was different and beautiful in her own way.

Jaycon: Any plans of joining another pageant in the future, like Mrs. World or Mrs. International?

Anna Theresa: No, it never even crossed my mind.

Jaycon: How do you feel that people regard you as the brightest Binibining Pilipinas winner of that decade?

Anna Theresa: I feel very flattered. I never imagined that my academic honors would earn me such a privilege. I’d like to take this opportunity to say that what we beauty queens do when we compete is not easy; and when some of us struggle harder than others, it is not conclusive of her “brightness” or otherwise.

Jaycon: How has Bb. Pilipinas changed your life? What impact has it contributed to your hosting stints and work as a lawyer?

Anna Theresa: Binibini has opened several doors for me, to say the least. It has also brought me a lot of self-awareness and confidence. It has taught me to be more open-minded, inclusive and critical, and to be less judgmental of others.

Jaycon: What are your thoughts on the havoc brought by typhoon Yolanda in the Visayas? On how the government handles the situation?

Anna Theresa: The government says it is doing the best it can. I think people should remember who are in power now and remember the quality of their public service so as to make better choices in 2016.

Jaycon Yaneza

Jaycon Yaneza is an AB Literature graduate of UST. He is an Ustetika winner and conceptualized one of the pioneer teleseryes on Philippine television. He has written for Manila Bulletin and Icon magazine. Currently a Language Education student at JRU Graduate School, he works full time in the BPO industry in Ortigas Center, Pasig City, Philippines.

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