MANILA, Philippines—Another national beauty competition is set to conquer the Philippine pageant scene, hoping to promote tourism and send the message to the world that the Philippines is a safe and wonderful place to visit.
Spearheaded by beauty queen maker Gareth Blanco, the 2012 Miss Tourism World Philippines pageant, to be held Sunday, November 11, at the AFP Theater in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City, is the first national competition launched to select the country’s official representative to the global Miss Tourism World competition.
The Binibining Pilipinas Charities Inc. (BPCI) used to appoint the country’s representatives to the said international contest, among them 2001 Miss Tourism World-Asia Zorayda Andam, who was also Miss Photogenic and first runner up in the national costume competition of the 2001 Miss Universe pageant; and 2002 Miss Tourism World titleholder Michelle Reyes, Zorayda’s runner up in the 2001 Binibining Pilipinas pageant and winner in the 2001 Miss Tourism International pageant.
But if the Philippine franchise had a changing of the guards, the global pageant’s organization also transferred bases. The London-based Tourism World Organization bought the international pageant from previous owner John Singh of Singapore in 2008.
For the national search’s maiden edition, 30 aspirants from all over the country were selected.
Among the more interesting hopefuls is Joy Marie Gangan from Ilagan City. The 5-foot-8 farm worker hopes to emulate her idol Venus Raj’s pageant career and eventually rise from the corn fields and give honor to the country in an international stage.
Gabrielle Cabrera, meanwhile, hopes to continue her family’s legacy of championing Philippine pride through pageants. Her elder sister Gionna Cabrera made waves in the 2005 Miss Universe pageant in Thailand where she bagged several recognitions including the Miss Photogenic award.
Quezon province’s Meryl Angeline King also poses a major threat to the 29 other aspirants. The nursing graduate just recently bagged the 2012 Miss Bicol Tourism title in June.
Other notable contenders are Margaret May Llavor, who has a striking resemblance to Filipino top model and former Miss Global Beauty winner JP Abinuman; and Stephanie Winski, one of the youngest contestants at age 18.
The winner will be sent to the 2012 Miss Tourism World pageant in Thailand on December 15.
The 2012 Miss Tourism World Philippines coronation night will take place at the AFP Theater in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City, on November 11. GMA News TV will air the ceremonies on November 24 at 9 p.m.