– Article by Simeon Singsit
Despite the Philippines’s successful finish in Miss Universe and other international beauty titles, the Miss World crown has been elusive until 62 years later. In 2011, the Philippines almost won the title when Gwendoline Ruais placed second to the eventual winner Ivian Sarcos of Venezuela. In 2012, Queneerich Rehman made it to the Top 15 while in 1993, Sharmaine “Ruffa” Gutierrez placed 2nd runner-up to Lisa Hanna of Jamaica. Philippines got its first Miss World Crown in 2013. Here is a brief review I present on the performance report of Philippines in past 5 years, i.e. 2009-2013.
Marie-Ann Umali (2009)
Marie-Ann Umali is half Lebanese and Filipino. She is a tourism graduate from De La Salle-College of St. Benilde. She had previously competed in Binibining Pilipinas 2006 where she was a semi finalist. At the Miss World contest in 2009, Marie couldn’t shine despite being trained by the best of Binibining Pilipinas team. She couldn’t place in all the fast track events, although it has been reported that she was among the 44 girls who paraded in gold lamé swimwear before the Top 20 were called out. The Miss World Crown eventually went to Gibraltar – Kaiane Aldorino.
Czarina Gatbonton (2010)
Czarina Gatbonton hailed from a small island village of Pamarawan in the historic Malolos, Bulacan. Her Mentor John dela Vega said, “it is easy to ‘fall in love’ with Czarina Gatbonton’s personality. She is like sunshine on a rainy day – an apt description since she is the daughter of a fisherman. When the storms threaten to take away the catch, she comes in with a smile and saves the day. But how could Czarina Gatbondon be so happy growing up dirt-poor? It is a miracle to be sure”
Many pageant fans and critics/experts were shocked at her win in her national pageant (Bb. Pilipinas). She was given the same strategy as given to Venus Raj where she would make a great impression by being positioned as a dusky, exotic stunner. At the Miss World Contest in 2010, it actually worked as pageant fans treated her with surprisingly high regard. But then the fast-tracks came in and she failed to place in any of them. Czarina had her fair share of detractors who felt that she was not sophisticated enough for the international level and there are parts of her still needed to be polished like her communication skills as judging from her video introduction.
Czarina was the last delegate to be send to Miss World by Binibing Pilipinas. From then onward the franchise of Miss World Philippines was awarded to Cory Quirino, a Filipino tri-media personality.
Julia Morley, who personally awarded the franchise to Cory Quirino in Manila, clarified that she had no intention to offend Stella Araneta, the head of the Binibining Pilipinas Charities Inc.. Her decision to hold an individual Miss World contest in the Philippines was to focus more on the organization’s vision, which is to raise fund for their beneficiaries and they can only do this if they will hold a separate contest. “The truth is I needed to give the Philippines as many opportunities. We need to raise funds for poor and sick at the PGH for their ventilation, the antibiotics, more medical equipment. The thing is I want to be involved. I can’t do that if we don’t have an individual contest. I don’t have a voice here before and now I want to be involved, I want to be connected. We have big plans to raise money for the children,” explained Morley
Gwendoline Ruias (2011)
Gwen was half-Filipino and half-French, and had a Business Management degree, major in Marketing in Southville Foreign University. Her motto was to never give up on dreams. At Miss World 2011 Gwen wasn’t even the favorites of many pageant fans or critics. I am pretty sure that She was aware of her detractors. She was tall, elegant, and statuesque. She was very well-spoken in her interview which definitely helped her. Miss World is definitely the best platform where her unconventional brand of beauty have the best prospects of making an impression as Miss World is about celebrating the inner beauty of women whose personality shines and is reflected.
Many pageants were shocked at her extremely high placement and even the 9th place score during the preliminaries, she might lacks conventional beauty part, but it was her grace and charm stood out and help her, one cannot deny that she fared better in the “figure and deportment” and the “intelligence, poise, and personality” portions of the preliminary judging. She exuded an aristocratic presence, justifiably so considering her family on her father’s side were indeed bonafide aristocrats who once welcomed Queen Elizabeth when her grandfather was mayor of Paris, France. Plus, her much vaunted communication skills (she was prominent providing commentary soundbites especially during the video of the Cambridge University visit as aired during the finals even if she was not one of the selected speakers) and her expressing a great attitude and commitment to help others helped win the judges to her side that helped her edge out erstwhile favorite Puerto Rico.
Gwendoline Ruais nearly won the Miss World pageant in 2011, placing first runner-up to Miss Venezuela Ivian Sarcos. MWO chairman and chief executive Julia Morley said there was only a small difference between the scores of Miss Venezuela and Miss Philippines in their fight for the crown. Still, Ruais said she is happy with her runner-up finish.
Queenierich Rehman (2012)
More popularly known as the “beatboxing beauty queen,” Queenierich Rehman represented Philippines to the Miss World pageant, where she made it to the Top 15. She is a Pakistani-Filipino beauty queen. Rehman arrived in Ordos City in China on July 19, 2012 to begin vying for the Miss World crown together with 115 other delegates. Over the duration of the pageant, Rehman was tapped as one of clear front runners along with Australia’s Jessica Kahawaty, South Sudan’s Atong Demach and Mexico’s Mariana Berumen. While she was not able to win the crown, Rehman was one of the most talked-about candidates in the Miss World pageant with her beatbox performance during the talent portion. A video of her performance went viral online, and was featured on Time magazine’s website and on the Huffington Post. Queenierich Rehman was in top 5 of performing talent, top 40 in beach beauty and in top 46 in top model. It was reported that Rehman won the world designer award but was not officiated because of the bitter relation between China and Philippines.
Megan Young (2013)
Philippines had its first ever Miss World Crown when Megan young won Miss World in Indonesia. The winner, Magan Young of the Philippines, deserved to win the title fair and square. She was always one of the favorites, right next to Brazil, in every leader board and performed the best at the final night, therefore being the judges’ choice. Megan placed in three of the five challenge events (formerly called fast track): first in the Top Model category, fourth in the Multimedia category, and fifth among the 11 finalists in the Beach Fashion Final.
The 23-year-old Filipino-American actress and TV host presented the aura of a Miss World-in-the-making. Ultimately, Megan’s winning answer to the question on why she should win Miss World, “Miss World for me treasures the core value of humanity and that guides her into understanding people, why they act the way that they do, how they’re living their lives and I will use these core values in my understanding not only in helping others but to show other people how they can understand others, to help others so that as one, together, we shall help society,”
In my opinion, Philippines is on correct path and will continue to top the chart for few more if the management remains the same and I won’t be shocked if we see another Miss World from Philippines soon again.
Picture credit: OPMB WORLDWIDE page & website, Miss World Philippines page & site, Miss World page & website
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