It is a fact that the Filipino is a certified global citizen – not only in terms of having OFWs, interracial marriages and immigrants in all parts of the world, but also in conquering beauty pageants well beyond its own national competitions. There were several ladies with Filipino heritage who came out on top and represented their home countries like Canada (Riza Santos and Renette Cruz), Belgium (Angeline Flor Pua), Australia (Nina Robertson), Austria (Melanie Mader), Sweden (Cloie Syquia Skarne), Guam (Alixes Scott), Japan (Kumi Miyamae), Italy (Mara Morelli), Denmark (Maya Celeste Padillo Olesen) and Malaysia (Scarlett Megan Liew Zi Ling) to name some.
Back in 2001, Angela Perez Baraquio achieved three distinctions – being the first Asian American, first Filipino American and first teacher to win the Miss America crown. She represented the state of Hawaii and is the eighth child of an immigrant couple from the Province of Pangasinan here in the Philippines.
According to her bio, “Baraquio graduated from Moanalua High School in June 1994 magna cum laude. Upon graduation, she attended the University of Hawaii at Manoa where she graduated in May 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education with an emphasis in speech.
Baraquio earned her master’s degree in educational administration from the University of Hawaii in December 2004. During her year as Miss America in 2001, Baraquio’s platform was character education.“
“From August 1999 to June 2000, Baraquio was a faculty member at Holy Family Catholic Academy in the Salt Lake subdivision of Honolulu. She taught physical education, was athletic director and coached basketball, volleyball and track. Baraquio was also choir director of the historic St. Augustine Church in Waikiki.
In 2015 Baraquio was appointed principal of St. Anthony of Padua School in Gardena, California.
Baraquio has worked as a celebrity spokesperson for First Hawaiian Bank, First Hawaiian Center, and the Four Seasons hotel in Hawaii.
Currently, Baraquio and her family live in Anaheim, California.”
Have a meaningful Maundy Thursday, dear readers!