This word alone sums up the pageant performance of the Philippines in 2013. I am claiming Country of the Year honors (my 6th Birthday wish) this early because no other nation comes dangerously close to the list of honors our ladies have assembled.
Two first-time wins in Miss World and Miss Supranational. A 5th crown in Miss International. Fourth-place finishes in Miss Universe, Miss Grand International and Miss Intercontinental. Top 8 in Miss Earth and Top 10 in Miss Tourism Queen International plus Miss International Queen. 5th place in Mister International. A Miss Campus World victory. 2nd place in Miss Scuba International. And the year isn’t over yet with results of Miss Tourism International being awaited come New Year’s Eve. Whew!Mutya Datul started the ball rolling last early September when she was elected Miss Supranational 2013 in Minsk. I must admit that this win was unexpected so it came as a truly pleasant surprise. A couple of weeks later, the exact opposite of surprise took place. Everyone was already anticipating that Megan Young will bring the world to its feet and finally lay hands on the blue crown in Bali. And she did. It was the happiest moment ever. And just when everyone thought we already maxed out with two (2) crowns, a third came wrapped in red ribbons and a Christmas song playing. Bea Rose Santiago gifted the Philippines with a 5th Miss international crown. Placements galore.
Never has there been a quicker succession of top placements. In November alone, Ariella Arida and Ali Forbes both clinched 3rd Runner-Up honors in Miss Universe and Miss Grand International, respectively. Earlier this month, Koreen Medina added another fourth-place finish in Miss Intercontinental. While on the men’s side, Gil Wagas made sure that he did not just clap during Mister International when he scored a 4th Runner-Up position. Not to be outdone to a certain degree are Angelee delos Reyes making Top 8 in Miss Earth and Cindy Miranda’s & Kristina Ibarra’s Top 10 inclusions in MTQI and MIQ, respectively. The smaller tilts contributed their share as well with Marisse Mendoza getting Miss Campus World and Christine Bernasor picking up 2nd place in Miss Scuba International. Galing!Pageant-wise, the Philippines is truly standing in a particularly enviable position right now. And unlike several decades ago during the mid-60s to mid-70s when we experienced the first string of recognized performances in the international level, the 2013 phenomenon is unprecedented because we are talking of just a one year period where the successes were literally collected in lightning speed.
My Christmas wish (here we go again!) is that our 2014 beauty queens (whoever fate will allow to take over) will have iron-clad determination to follow through and insure their firm resolve and discipline to make things happen all over again. It would be an understatement to say that 2013 is the toughest year to follow for them. But with the completely renewed confidence and enthusiasm – plus the eagle-eyed attention other pageant-loving countries are now seriously putting on the selection of our future representatives – there’s really no other way to go but up.
The challenge is now set in stone.
The Rosetta Stone if you will. ;-)