After all that has been said and done about the Miss International 2014 stint of Bb. Pilipinas International Bianca Guidotti in Tokyo, please allow me to thank the people who have been part of the journey.
To Jonas Gaffud and the whole Aces & Queens team – thank you for molding and transforming Bianca into the Beauty Queen she is today. To John Cuay, in particular, who spent hours in the gym to insure that she is 100% physically fit and nutritionally guided for the demands of the competition, Salamat;
To Bb. Pilipinas Charities Inc. (BPCI) – thank you for polishing Bianca into an internationally-prepared delegate in more ways than one. To Madame Stella Marquez de Araneta, in particular, whose motherly affection for our Queen helped open her eyes into the world of pageantry beyond the usual frills and trappings we associate with the national crown;
To Mother Gela and Stepdad Osmar – thank you for always staying by her side and taking on the role of Bianca’s #1 Supporters/Cheerleaders, as well as insuring that she keeps her feet on the ground every step of the way;
To boyfriend Vincent (or Greggy, if you will) – thank you for the special love and affection you constantly shower Bianca with. From taking on the task of being her personal driver to keeping her close company during appearances to bringing the whole Santos family to Tokyo for all-around moral support, you have also managed to keep a safe distance so as not to take away the public gaze from our Queen;
To the ‘other’ Godmothers Sheila Baylon and Detsy Laurel – thank you for the unfailing belief in Bianca’s capabilities. Your regular guidance and words of positivity have been helpful in keeping her confidence intact every step of the way;
To Bianca’s good friends in Miss International 2014, thank you for sharing with her the gift of true friendship that made each day in Tokyo worth looking forward to. Special mentions go to her roomie Vanessa Sim of Singapore and BFF Shauny Bult of the Netherlands. And I will add Jhataleka Malhotra of India, Bridgette Taylor of Australia, Kesiah Papasin of Canada and Jessica Servin of Paraguay;
To everyone who followed, believed and backed up Bianca from the time she won Bb. Pilipinas International 2014 all the way to the finals of Miss International 2014, thank you for always making her feel loved. During our chat after waking up yesterday morning, she told me how – out of all the girls – she must have the best love and support from her countrymen. And I can only agree.
P.S. 1-4-3, Bianca. It takes a lot from me to say that. So to have it come out of my mouth only means that the recipient is deserving. 😉