Filipino American beauty Maureen Montagne won the Miss Globe crown on Friday (Saturday morning in Manila), scoring a second victory for the Philippines in major beauty pageants in just a week. Her victory came seven days after Cinderella Faye Obeñita was named Miss Intercontinental.
The 28-year-old Montagne, who was Miss Arizona in the 2015 Miss USA pageant, bested 49 other aspirants in the Albanian capital of Tirana; while the 25-year-old Obeñita, who hails from Cagayan de Oro, won over 70 contestants at the Miss Intercontinental finals held on Oct. 29 (Oct. 30 Manila time) in the Egyptian city of Sharm el-Sheikh.
The back-to-back triumphs also came just weeks after Alexandra Faith Garcia, 27, became the first Filipino woman to win the Miss Aura International title. She is the country’s first contestant in this 16-year-old global tilt, held this year in Antalya, Turkey.
Montagne is the third Filipina to win in Miss Globe after Maricar Balagtas in 2001 and Ann Lorraine Colis in 2015.
Balagtas was the first Asian to win the Miss Globe crown, when the pageant was then on the watch of its founder Charlie See. According to the Miss Globe website, See “delegated” the license of that contest in 2003 to its current organizer, Deliart Association, which is based in Tirana.
Obeñita was the second Filipina to be crowned Miss Intercontinental after Karen Juanita Boyonas Gallman in 2018.
Montagne’s journey in the world of beauty pageants, which began in 2013, at once encompassed both her roots and her adopted country.
That year, she joined the Mutya ng Pilipinas as a delegate of the Filipino community in Arizona and emerged first runner-up.
In the 2015 Miss USA pageant, she finished in the Top 15. Two years later, she placed second in the Miss World America contest.
Representing the Philippines in the 2019 Miss Eco International in Egypt, she placed second, and was soon offered the crown after Suheyn Cipriani of Peru was dethroned the next year due to her pregnancy.
Montagne, however, declined because she had already signed up for the Binibining Pilipinas contest where she qualified for four titles. After that competition’s postponement she vied for just the title of Binibining Pilipinas-Globe.
Montagne already drew acclaim as a front-runner ahead of the finals. She finished second in the preliminary competitions Miss Bikini, People’s Choice and Head-to-Head Challenge, and was among the early qualifiers for the talent award.
Ester Ogechi Gabriel of Nigeria became first runner-up, followed by Melike Bali of Turkey as second runner-up, Jhosskaren Carrizo Smiler of Venezuela as third runner-up, and Hailey Hamelin-Wilson of Canada as fourth runner-up, rounding up the winner’s circle.
During the final round of questions, she was asked about her idea of beauty.
Montagne said: “[T]rue beauty comes from within. To be a Miss Globe is to be a beauty that inspires. What makes us beautiful is our smiles, it is what we do for our community, it is how we give back to others, and it is how we carry ourselves through life.”
“I believe that everyone has beauty inside of them, and I believe it is our duty to share it with the world and to give back and to truly inspire others,” she added.
On social media, Binibining Pilipinas Charities Inc. congratulated Montagne and said the organization and its chair, Stella Marquez Araneta, “are thrilled with your latest pageant achievement. We never doubted that you will represent our country so well internationally.”
Montagne said in an interview after her coronation: “I hope to hit the ground running with my advocacies, and feeding the hungry all around the globe.”
“I can’t wait to celebrate with all [Filipinos]. Thank you for your love and support,” she added.