MANILA, Philippines — The 2021 Miss Philippines USA pageant was a showcase of Filipino brilliance and greatness, not only because of the beauty, talent, and wit of the contestants whose roots are from the Philippines, but also because popular Philippine-based singers flew in to share their musical brilliance.
The Philippines’ “R&B prince” Jay-R and Jake Zyrus serenaded the 28 lovely candidates of the 10th edition of the annual pageant staged at the City National Grove of Anaheim in California on Nov. 21. The annual Miss Philippines USA contest is the longest-running Filipino-American beauty pageant in the US.
At the pageant’s culmination, 23-year-old Cheska Angeles from Tracy, California, topped the contest’s adult division and took home the Miss Philippines USA crown. Meanwhile, 17-year-old Ysabella Sapienza from East Brunswick, New Jersey, dominated the teen division and bagged the Miss Young Philippines title. Both winners were born in the Philippines.
Sapienza traces her roots in Legazpi City in Albay. She moved to the US even before she turned 3. The New Jersey resident said she also enjoys soccer, taekwondo, ballet, hip-hop, baton, and swimming.
“My greatest achievement in school would be being a part of the varsity volleyball [team] starting in freshman year,” continued the teen queen.
Angeles was born in Olongapo City in 1998. She is currently working on a nursing degree while juggling jobs as a medical aesthetic treatment specialist and as an online automotive dealer.
“As a working student, I thrive on challenges, and I pride myself on being efficient, dependable, and a hard worker,” she shared.
Organizers said, “the new queens will be active in charitable and community projects. They will be visiting their hometown in the Philippines to promote their advocacy.”
Sapienza’s runners-up were Miss Tourism Sophia Salon, Hanna Uyan, Alyanna Santos, and Lorraine Mendoza. Angeles’ court, meanwhile, was composed of Miss Tourism Bianca Tapia, Ericka Zayas, Samantha Frank, and Khayzel Cornel.
ABC7 news correspondent Tony Cabrera once again took hosting chores and was joined by KTLA TV’s Cher Calvin, also a returning host. Aside from Zyrus and Jay-R, Star Awards Male R&B Artist of the Year Garth Garcia, and international singers Angel Bonilla and Michael Keith also rendered musical numbers.
Emmy award-winning producer of CBS’ “The Talk” Marc Anthony Nicolas, “jeweler to the stars” Ben Baller, and 2019 Miss Universe Philippines Gazini Ganados also attended the ceremonies.
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