It’s that time of the year again when beauty pageants provide us with much-needed distractions from all the bleakness around us. Though the euphoria may be fleeting, we’ll take it. To paraphrase Rachel Tensions (RuPaul in To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar), “Proof that in the Philippines, a thing of beauty is a joy for…exactly 12 months.”
So for now, here are the beautiful people bringing pride and happiness with their city, national and international titles. May their reign be fruitful, meaningful and profitable.
Mister International Philippines 2022—Myron Jude “MJ” Ordillano, 23, an aspiring actor from Parañaque City, was declared the winner on June 27 at Okada Manila. MIPH national director Atty. Manuel F. Deldio also awarded MJ’s court: Mark Avendaño of Biñan, Laguna as first runner-up, Leyte’s Michael Ver Anton Comaling as second runner-up; Kitt Cortez of San Juan City and Andre John Cue of Cagayan de Oro as third and fourth runners-up. My personal bet, Godfrey Nikolai Murillo of Macabebe, Pampanga, won Best in Formal Wear and Mister Photogenic and finished in the Top 10.
A Pinoy Disney Prince if there was one, MJ will compete at the 14th Mister International to be held here in October.
Miss Aura Philippines 2022—Micca Rosal of Agoncillo, Batangas, won the inaugural local edition held at Saint Francis Place Shangri-La Plaza, Mandaluyong City, on June 25. CEO/Owner of MAP Katniss Griffiths and national director Rowee
Lucero are hoping Micca will replicate the victory of our own Alexandra Faith Garcia, the current global winner, as Micca competes at the 17th Miss Aura International 2022 in Antalya, Turkey, this September.
Miss Elite 2022—Shanon Tampon, 25, emerged first runner-up at the Miss Elite 2022 held in Soma Bay, Egypt, on June 11. The model and pageant veteran also won Miss Elite Asia and Best in Evening Gown. Quoting Queen Latifah, she posted on her Instagram: “Let your inner queen’s voice come through loud and clear. Be strong, be authentic, be You, and you’ll do her proud.”
Miss World Philippines. Seven titles were distributed this year: World—Gwendolyne Fourniol; Supranational—Alison Black; Eco International—Ashley Subijano Montenegro; Reina Hispanoamericana—Ingrid Santamaria; Eco Teen—Beatriz McLelland; MWP Tourism—Justine Felizarta; and MWP Charity—Cassandra Chan.
Of these “Exceptionally Empowered Queens,” Alison, a ballerina from Las Piñas, is the first to compete internationally at Miss Supranational, with the finals on July 16 Manila time.
Queen of Cagayan de Oro 2022—Full disclosure: I was a judge when this transgender pageant, organized by Barbie Lindelle Neri, declared its first winner, the ravishing Bembem Radaza. “When I was younger, I always dreamt of being a beauty queen. Growing up, pageantry has been my love and passion. Coming from the City of Golden Friendship, I took the pride of representing our city to national and international pageants prior to the birth of social media,” she said.
Embem’s next quest will be the Queen Philippines Pageant 2022, the brainchild of couturier Cary Santiago with co-presenter Bea Zobel de Ayala Jr. The coronation night will be on August 20 at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel.
Miss Global 2022—Shane Tormes, from Atimonan, Quezon, won this pageant on June 11 in Bali, Indonesia. As the first Pinay winner, the international title is a fitting finale to Shane’s storied pageant journey.
Miss International Queen 2022—A clear favorite upon her arrival in Thailand, the Cebuana beauty follows in the footsteps of fellow Pinay winners Kevin Balot (2012) and Trixie Maristela (2015).
On finals night on June 25, Fuschia Anne Ravena posted: “A transwoman once said, ‘We have to be visible. We should not be ashamed of who we are.’ Tonight we claim our power and take our space as we celebrate diversity, visibility, and love.”
But by the morning after she won, she was in disbelief, saying: “It honestly still feels like a dream. Everything hasn’t sunk into me yet. It’s amazing how well-received and welcome I am here. As much as I love and enjoy my time here, I cant wait to be back home. The Philippines, see you very soon!”