Maraming maraming salamat, Ara, Bea, Mutya at Cindy! (Photo credit: Bruce Casanova for Bb. Pilipinas)
Goodbyes can also mean Hellos. And in this case, the four Bb. Pilipinas Gold beauty queens will be saying their farewell to the crowns they so lovingly and successfully held on to for the past year. Tonight, that is.
Come Monday, the four of you will be waving hello to a new chapter in your individual lives. And it is but fitting that I pay this small homage to the ladies who have brought us so much joy and happiness in 2013.
To Ariella Arida:
You had the most highly-criticized reign of a Miss Universe Philippines. Ever. Bashings left and right. Potshots and discouraging remarks from everywhere. Yet, you never closed your eyes and ears from all of these. Instead, you took them all in and used the mudslings to build a fortress so strong that you represented us in Moscow with grace and finesse. It’s as if the unwanted pressures suddenly disappeared. Kudos for overcoming the odds and continuing with the Top 5 placement. A 4-peat is no mean achievement. You have beautifully vindicated yourself. And so, I doff my hat to you, my dearest Ara.
To Bea Rose Santiago:
You nailed the country’s 5th Miss International crown. And for that alone, our most heartfelt gratitude. When you won the Bb. Pilipinas International title last year, the mission was crystal-clear: to settle for nothing but the highest honor in Tokyo. Optimism and confidence sided with you all the way. In the words of poet/artist Pamela Vaull Starr, “Reach high, for stars lie hidden in your soul. Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal.” Your achievement will be forever remembered.
To Mutya Johanna Datul:
You are the Cinderella of Bb. Pilipinas Gold – the simple and unassuming lass from Isabela who entered the world of pageantry without a hint of greater things to come in Belarus. You went to a country which – despite its entirely different culture and practices – warmed up to you like a mother to her precious daughter. And because you stayed true to yourself, the reward came in the form of a crown no other Asian has conquered yet. As the reigning Miss Supranational, you symbolize the spirit of beauty, innocence and simplicity. Life will never be the same. It can only get better.
To Joanna Cindy Miranda:
Notwithstanding the fact that your billing in the quartet may have moved from 3rd to 4th, it doesn’t mean that your importance is diminished in the eyes of pageant followers. We know that you gave your absolute best in Xianning for Miss Tourism Queen International 2013. You made it to the Top 10. And if the Chinese judges did not see in you what we believe is a winner right from the start, then please charge everything to fate and an altogether beautiful experience of carrying the weight of the country on your shoulders. Our pride in you remains unwavering.
Mabuhay kayong apat na namumukod-tanging dilag!
(Long live the four outstanding ladies!)
Mabuhay ang Pilipina na walang katulad!
(Long live the incomparable Filipina!)
Mabuhay ang Binibining Pilipinas!
(Long live Binibining Pilipinas!) :-D