Friday, November 13, 2015

Filipinas Who Made a Mark in Miss World: 1993 – 2015

Here now is the long- overdue Part Two of the list of Filipina delegates who placed or made a mark in Miss World.

Twenty years after the Philippines almost bagged its first Miss World crown courtesy of Evangeline Pascual who did it in 1973, another Filipina placed in the Top Three. Movie star & commercial endorser Ruffa Sharmaine Rama Gutierrez was declared 1993 Miss World 2nd Princess and was also named the Continental Queen of Asia and Oceania.

Earlier that year, Ruffa generated a lot of controversy and even caused the walkout of some candidates and applicants when she was selected as a Binibini official candidate. 

Although Ruffa, undeniably the most popular girl and the heavy favorite who gave one of the best answers during the Bb Pilipinas Q & A, she was awarded the Bb- World crown instead of the cherished Bb- Universe title that she was aiming for. 

On hindsight, it was a brilliant move from Madame Stella Marquez Araneta to send Ruffa to Miss World. In a country fixated and enamoured with Miss Universe, millions of Filipinos were glued in on TV to watch Ruffa’s outstanding performance. 

Overnight, the Miss World brand became a byword among Pinoy pageant and non- pageant fans.

1994 Caroline 'Cara' Villarosa Subijano. The tall and leggy University of Berkeley graduate and 1991 Ford SuperModel of the World- Philippines winner kept the Philippines on the Miss World map by getting the call as the first of the Top Ten semi-finalists.

She would have advanced to the Final Five were it not for the heinous gown that she wore for the finals. Her white evening gown was reported to have suddenly disappeared and was nowhere to be found hours before the Miss World finals. 
From this Bb Pilipinas gown to this horrendous gown during Miss World finals
1996 Daisy Reyes almost did not get to fly to Bangalore, India to compete in Miss World that year. She was dethroned for a day but got her title back after treshing out a problem with Bb. Pilipinas Charities Inc. 

Although she didn’t win over the judges, she did capture the hearts and the votes of her fellow candidates when was voted as Miss Personality (the equivalent to Miss Friendship).
 Daisy’s Miss World 1996 intro
 Daisy with fellow Bb 1996 queens                                
Venezuela- trained Lalaine 
1999 Lalaine Edson. Imagine what could or would have happened had Miriam Quiambao, original winner of the 1999 Bb Pilipinas- World title been sent to Miss World instead of Lalaine Edson? 

The title- swapping was an offshoot to the dethronement of Janelle Bautista, the original Bb. Pilipinas- Universe winner. Miriam did a wise and popular move; she declined the chance to go to Miss World so other girls would have the same chance and opportunity that she had been given.

Despite the training in Caracas, Venezuela, Lalaine failed to advance to the semifinals. 

After the pageant, she was nowhere to be found and she never bothered to return to the country.

Year 2002 was to be the start of four consecutive placements for Miss Philippines in Miss World.  Katherine Anne 'Kathy' Ramos Manalo, famously known as the older sister of Pamela Bianca Manalo, 2009 Bb Pilipinas- Universe winner, silenced her detractors with a slimmer & fitter version of herself when she appeared during the Miss World finals. She finished in the Top Ten
Kathy Manalo did us proud in 2002

Originally planned with Nigeria as pageant finals venue by virtue that the reigning queen Agbani Darego was from Nigeria, the pageant was moved to London at the last minute because it caused a riot that resulted in more than a hundred deaths.   

2003 Maria Rafael 'Mafae' Verdadero Yunon made the country proud not only for her fashionable wardrobe and unforgettable red evening gown with matching strappy heels but also for landing in the Final Five. 

Earlier, she was selected as one of the Best Ten for the Beach Beauty Challenge of the pageant. She is the niece of Desiree Verdadero who was Miss Universe 1984 3rd Runner Up.

In 2004, Miss Cebu 2003 Karla Rabanal Bautista not only made the Top Five, she was also one of the five girls chosen as Beach Beauty Challenge finalists, Top Ten in Miss Talent and one of the girls handpicked by the organizers to face the media during the Miss World Press Conference. She also won the Continental Queen of Asia and Oceania special title. 

Karla makes the Top Five in Beach Beauty

 Carlene :  The Girl to Beat
in Miss World 2005


Just a few months after being crowned Bb Pilipinas- World 2005, Carlene Aguilar created a loud buzz online when she was picked by pageant fans and experts from around the globe as the girl who had the strongest chance of being crowned Miss World 2005.

Her Oriental beauty, porcelain skin and previous pageant experiences (winner of the first edition of Miss Philippines- Earth held in 2001, Miss Earth 2001 Top Ten Finalist, 2003 Miss Internet 2nd Runner Up) made Carlene the top fave even before the Miss World Pageant got underway. 

Weeks then days leading to the pageant finals, London bookmakers and pageant websites were unanimous in putting Carlene on top of their prediction lists and fearless forecasts.

It was   not to be. Carlene just buckled under the intense pressure to deliver during the pageant finals  that was judged for the first and only time by a panel composed of former Miss World titleholders. 

Carlene could only manage a Top 15 placement and a relatively unknown Miss Korea who won the Best World Designer award for her gown even managed to snatch the Continental Beauty for Asia special award from Miss Philippines. 

For the record, Carlene is the first and the only Filipina to have competed in two of the four major international beauty pageants in the world. 

2006 Anna Maris Igpit. The 2005 Miss Bohol winner from Panglao, Bohol may not have made the final cut but she was a Beach Beauty Challenge finalist and in a poll conducted by Gwiazdy, the leading Polish newspaper, readers picked the morena beauty as one of the Five Most Beautiful Miss World Candidates from more than a hundred beauty delegates.

voted by Poland's leading newspaper as one of
five most beautiful Miss World ladies
2008 Danielle Castanos replaced controversial You Tube sensation Janina San Miguel who resigned from her Bb Pilipinas- World title for still unconfirmed reasons. Danielle made the Top Ten of Miss World’s Beach Beauty pre- pageant event. 

 Danielle did well despite the last- minute preparations
2011 Gwendoline Ruais may  just be the poster girl for steely determination. After she failed to get the judges’ nod for a Bb Pilipinas crown in 2010, the very tall Filipina- French mademoiselle resurfaced a year later for the inaugural edition of Miss World Philippines, organized by the new franchise holder & National Director Cory Quirino.
almost but not quite.  
After being named the Philippine delegate for the 2011 Miss World, she went to the international finals armed with confidence and with the poise & charm of a Filipina.

Aside from duplicating the 1st Runner Up finish of Evangeline Pascual and being named Asia’s Continental Queen of Beauty, she also made her mark in many of the pre- pageant challenge events: 2nd RU in the Top Model event, Top 5 of Beauty with a Purpose and Top 20 in the Beach Beauty contest.  She returned to the pageant in 2013 as Miss World web presenter

2012 Queenierich Rehman The Pinay of Middle Eastern descent placed in the Top Five of the Talent Challenge with her showstopping beatboxing. She made it to the Top 15 in the Ordos, Mongolia finals. 

Queenierich during the Top 15 announcement

Finally, after 48 years of disappointments & near- misses, the Philippines finally struck gold with Megan Young who won in Bali, Indonesia. 

Installed as the heavy favorite even before she landed in Indonesia, Megan reinforced her frontrunner status with a well- received triumph in a field of more than 100 beauty delegates including Miss United States Olivia Jordan who is now competing in Miss Universe 2015 with Pia Wurztbach. 

Megan placed in the Top Five in three Challenge Events including the Best Model Challenge which she won. 

2014 Valerie Weigmann Hopes were high that the half German Filipina with Dresden doll features would duplicate the triumph of Megan Young. It was not to be and her Miss World journey concluded with a Top 25 finish. Not bad at all considering that more than a hundred beauties competed for the crown in London.
 Victorious Valerie as Miss World Philippines 2014

This year, all eyes are on Hillarie Danielle Ang Parungao whose impossibly perfect facial beauty screams Miss World! With the scrapping of the swimsuit competition from the Miss World pageant and with emphasis on facial beauty, charm and the interpersonal skills of an ambassador, hopes are high that Hillarie will make a splash in Miss World! 
 High hopes for Hillarie
Keep posted here for updates on Miss World 2015

Thanks to Sir Tony Paat & other photo archivists

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