FILIPINO beauty queens continue to dominate the international pageant stage after a runner-up finish at Miss Globe and a back-to-back win at Miss Earth and Reina Hispanoamericana.
Actress and dancer Teresita Senn Marquez, popularly known for her screen name Winwyn, was crowned Reina Hispanoamericana 2017 on Saturday night (Sunday morning in Manila) in Sta. Cruz, Bolivia, making her the first Asian to compete and win in the 26-year-old beauty pageant.
Marquez bested 26 other beauties in the competition that celebrates Hispanic heritage and culture. She succeeded Maria Camila Soleibe from Colombia.
During the pageant’s question-and-answer portion, Marquez was asked how she would promote the Hispanic-American culture with the great difficulty or barrier of language.
Marquez answered: “Language can be learned but the will and determination to contribute to the organization cannot. It has to come from the heart. It has to be natural. I believe that kindness is a universal language that if you treat people with tolerance, patience and love, you will understand each other.
“The Hispanic culture is not about language only. It’s about love for God, love for country, love for history and culture and love for family. As a Filipina with a unique heritage, I am ready to promote the Hispanic culture not just in Asia but in the whole world.”
The 25-year-old beauty is the daughter of TV and movie actors Joey Marquez and Alma Moreno, and the niece of former Miss International Melanie Marquez.
Meanwhile, in the Miss Earth 2017 pageant held at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City on Saturday night, 26-year-old medical physicist Karen Ibasco edged out half-Filipino Nina Robertson from Australia (first runner-up), Juliana Franco from Colombia (second runner-up), and Lada Akimova from Russia (third runner-up) to win the country’s fourth Miss Earth title. The crown was passed onto her by Ecuador’s Katherine Espin who won the title last year.
During the final round, all the contestants were asked the same question by pageant host James Deakin: “Who or what do you think is the biggest enemy of Mother Earth and why?”
Ibasco’s winning answer was: “The real problem in this world is not climate change. The real problem is us because of our ignorance and apathy. What we have to do is to start changing our ways, to start recalibrating our minds and redirecting our steps because together, as a global community, our micro-efforts will have a macro-effect to help save our home, our planet.”
In another pageant held on Friday in Tirana, Albania, 24-year-old cadet pilot Nelda Ibe finished second behind Miss Vietnam Khanh Ngan. Her runner-up finish was the Philippines’ best performance in the Miss Globe beauty contest since 2015 when model Anne Lorraine Colis won the crown.
Three more Filipino beauty queens are eying international crowns: Showbiz scion and opera singer Mariel de Leon is in Tokyo for the 57th edition of Miss International; model and TV host Laura Lehmann is in Sanya, China, for the annual Miss World; and Camarines Sur beauty Rachel Peters is flying to Las Vegas on Nov. 12 to vie for the Miss Universe 2017 crown.
The pageant season was kicked off by Miss Grand International 2017 held on Oct. 25 in Vietnam where Philippine bet Elizabeth Clenci placed second runner-up.
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