The country’s triumph at the 64th Miss Universe pageant ended the year 2015 in Philippine pageantry with a big bang and may be considered the country’s second golden year after 2013. Victories in various beauty competitions around the world achieved by Filipinos in a single year in record fashion is one for the books which included wins in diverse competitions for women, men, children, transgender and even scuba divers, highlighted by a rare back-to-back feat.
Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach made her Miss Universe journey in her third attempt at the Bb. Pilipinas national search. Realizing her dream to become Miss Universe was well within her reach, she promised not to fail her countrymen’s high expectations in the most anticipated beauty event of the year.
Wurtzbach brought her A-game in the national costume, interview, swimsuit and evening gown competitions to succeed in capturing the country’s third Miss Universe crown, the most win for any country in Asia and Europe. Famous Miss Universe judge Perez Hilton best described the newest toast of Hollywood. “To me, there was a real beauty and grace and elegance in her, she was Miss Universe.” As Wutzbach said after her merry mixed up ascension to the Miss Universe throne, “After 42 years of drought, it now finally reigns.”
The year’s sling of title conquests came first in the distaff side of women’s pageants, courtesy of dashing police officer Mariano Perez Flormata, Jr. at the Mister International 2014 contest in Ansan, South Korea held on Valentine’s Day, Febr. 14. Besting 28 other contestants from around the world, Flormata’s victory was dedicated to the memory of his batch mates in the police academy who were among the SAF 44 killed during the tragic Mamasapano encounter.
Bb. Pilipinas Tourism Ann Lorraine Colis brought home the Miss Globe 2015 title from among 32 contestants in Toronto, Canada on Oct. 8. Colis, a 22-year-old beauty from Mexico, Pampanga, and a graduate of BS Management degree at the University of Santo Tomas, became the fourth Filipina to win the title.
Angelia Ong achieved a rare back-to-back win at the Miss Earth 2015 pageant succeeding compatriot Jamie Herrell during the finals held for the first time in Vienna, Austria on Dec. 5. Ong, a 25-year-old, Fil-Chinese beauty from Iloilo City bested 85 other delegates to become the third Filipina to win the Manila-based Miss Earth pageant.
Miss Gay Manila 2015 Trixie Maristela bagged the Miss International Queen 2015 in Pattaya, Thailand on Nov. 6. A graduate of European Languages at the University of the Philippines, the 29-year-old, Viva contract artist and winner of Super Sireyna 2015, Maristela is the second Filipino transgender to win the title.
Cindy Madumma, a 27-year-old, nursing graduate from Palawan State University, bested 17 open water scuba divers to win the Miss Scuba International 2015 pageant held at Sutera Harbour Resort in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia on Nov. 27. Madumma drew a landscape painting of Palawan St. Paul Underground River, new wonders of nature during the finals of the pageant that promotes the welfare and wonders of oceans and underwater world through beauty queens.
Bb. Pilipinas Christi Lynn McGarry almost made it a double celebration finishing first runner-up to Miss Russia Valentina Rasulova at the Miss Intercontinental 2015 pageant in Magdeburg, Germany, on December 18, two days before the Miss Universe pageant. The statuesque 25-year-old, Fil-American beauty from New Jersey, USA, who studied at New York’s PACE University’s Lubin School of Business in Marketing and Advertising and a minor in Fine Arts, was named Miss Intercontinental - Asia and Oceania, the same special title she won when she first competed at the same pageant in 2010.
Bb. Pilipinas Parul Quitola Shah, a native of San Nicolas, Pangasinan, was named third runner-up at Miss Grand International 2015won by Anea Garcia of Dominican Republic, held in Bangkok, Thailand on Oct. 25. Shah, a 27-year-old, Filipino-Indian beauty and Nursing graduate of the University of Cordilleras, was also named best in national costume.
Bb. Pilipinas Janicel Lubina, a 5-foot-9, 20-year-old, Tourism Management student at STI, finished in the Top 10 semi-finalists at the Miss International 2015 won by Miss Venezuela Edymar Martinez, held in Tokyo, Japan on Nov.5. Lubina, who said she once worked as house helper in her hometown in Narra, Palawan to help support her family, was awarded the Miss Best Dresser special award for fabulous Swarovski-beaded white evening gown made by famous Filipino designer Leo Almodal.
Hillarie Danielle Parungao, a 24-year-old, freelance print and photographic model also finished among the Top 10 at the finals of Miss World 2015, won by Spain’s Mireia Lalaguna, a first for their country, held in Sanya, China on Dec. 19. Parungao, a student at Trinity University of Asia from Solano, Nueva Vizcaya, also won the Miss World Multi Media special award.
In the Princess Universe pageant exclusively for children and teens, 11-year-old Patricia Angela Cruz bested other teens from five continents around the world to win the title and best in national costume during the finals held at the St. George Palace in Syet Blas in Burgas, Bulgaria. Cruz, who is a student at Chen Kuang High School and wants to be become a lawyer, is the daughter of Mrs. Universe 2015 Superstar Special Award Jennifer Cruz.
Other runner up finishes were achieved by Candice Ramos, fourth runner up at Miss Global 2015 held in Manila on Oct. 22 and won by Miss Australia Jessica Peart; Alfe Marie Nathanile Uy, first runner-up in Miss Asia 2015 held in Kochi, Kerala, India; and Divine Ezrha Canaceli, second runner-up at the first World Beauty Queen contest, held in Incheon, Korea on Aug. 22. Athena Catriz also placed third runner up at Miss International Summer 2015 held in Baranquilla, Colombia in March. Bb. Pilipinas Rogelee Catacutan settled for a Top 20 finish and Top 3 best in evening gown at Miss Supranational 2015 pageant held in Poland.
Mutya ng Pilipinas Asia-Pacific International 2015 Leren Mae Bautista is vying against 60 contestants at the Miss Tourism Queen of the Year International 2015 today, New Year’s Eve. A 22-year-old, Marketing Management graduate of Letran College, the Laguna native may as well win it all the year’s last beauty title already won by Filipinas thrice.
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