AS the year draws to a close, another Binibini is set to make waves in another international pageant. Binibining Pilipinas-International 2013 Bea Rose Monterde Santiago, 23, is now in Japan along with 71 other contestants from around the world to vie for the 53rd Miss International Pageant on December 17 to be held at the Shinagawa Prince Hotel in Tokyo, Japan.
The statuesque Bea hopes to be another source of inspiration and joy for Filipinos who are still reeling in the aftermath of typhoon Yolanda. Born in Alabang, Muntinlupa, she spent her grade school and early high school years in Cataingan, Masbate before her family moved to Toronto, Canada when she was 16. “I am Bisaya, from Masbate, and my province was also affected by Yolanda. While I cannot go there personally to help them, I want to dedicate my campaign for Miss International to them. I am going to Tokyo not as Bea Santiago but as Miss Philippines and I am hoping to win the crown for the country,” Bea declared during her sendoff press conference at Sachi Restaurant at the Araneta Coliseum last week.
Bea has undergone months of rigorous and expert training in personality development, Q&A, Nihonggo lessons, social graces, gym workouts, pasarela, hair and make-up, and a one-on-one coaching with Miss International 2005 Precious Lara Quigaman-Alcaraz.
She is ready to storm the Miss International stage. While asserting that her own brand of personality will make her stand out in the competition in Japan, Bea admits she also looks up to Miss International 1979 Melanie Marquez-Lawyer. “I am fascinated with her not just as a beauty queen but as a person who is so real and so not afraid to love!” she confesses.
Bb. Pilipinas “sister” and reigning Miss Supranational Mutya Datul also thinks Bea will return to the Philippines victorious. “Bea is the perfect package. She’s got a fit and well-proportioned body, a beautiful face, a good heart and a smart mind. I advised her to enjoy the experience, be friendly and show the real Bea Santiago that everyone loves,” Mutya said.
The Philippines is the most successful Asian country in Miss International having won the coveted crown four times: Gemma Cruz in 1964, Aurora Pijuan in 1970, Melanie Marquez in 1979 and Lara Quigaman in 2005. To vote for Bea and increase her chances of bagging the country’s fifth Miss International crown, visit www.miss-international.org.
Meanwhile, Mutya ng Pilipinas-Asia Pacific International 2013 Andrea Koreen Garcia Medina, 18, will vie for the 42nd Miss Intercontinental Pageant tomorrow night. Koreen, a budding actress, is up against 60 other contestants worldwide at the finals to be held at the Maritim Hotel in Magdeburg, eastern Germany. The reigning Miss Intercontinental is Daniela Chalbaud of Venezuela.