TWO Filipino women took the global spotlight over the weekend by winning the crown in their respective competitions.
Teresita Ssen “Winwyn” Marquez and Karen Ibasco were crowned Reina Hispanoamericana and Miss Earth 2017, respectively.
Marquez, 25, edged out 27 other candidates in the pageant held in Sta Cruz, Bolivia on Saturday night (Sunday morning in Manila). She is the first Asian to bag the title.
Ibasco meanwhile beat 86 others in the competition that was held at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
The two Filipinas were strong contenders from the start.
Marquez, daughter of actors Joey Marquez and Alma Moreno, bagged several special awards in the pre-pageant competition, including the product-sponsored “Miss Ipanema.”
Ibasco won the gold medal for the Asia Pacific National Costume category, Darling of the Press, and Group 2 Swimsuit Competition and the silver medals for Resorts Wear and Long Gown competitions.
Marquez also shone in the question and answer portion of the pageant.
Asked how she would promote the Hispanic-American culture with the prevailing language barrier, Marquez, through an interpreter, said: “Language can be learned but the will and determination to contribute to the organization cannot. It has to come from the heart. It has to be natural. I believe that kindness is a universal language that if you treat people with tolerance, patience and love, you will understand each other.
“The Hispanic culture is not about language only. It’s about love for God, love for country, love for history and culture and love for family. And as a Filipina with a unique heritage, I have instilled that. I am ready to promote the Hispanic culture not just in Asia but in the whole world. It is time to celebrate the Hispanic culture. It is meant to be celebrated.”
Marquez succeeded Maria Camila Soleibe of Colombia.
Reina Hispanoamericana is an annual beauty pageant celebrating Hispanic heritage, language and culture.
The pageant began in 1991 and has been held ever since in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia.
Shortly after her coronation, Marquez posted a message through Reina Hispanoamericana’s Facebook page and said, “I am very happy and I promise to make the Hispanic culture alive.”
Ibasco, meanwhile, had for her court Lada Akimova of Russia (Miss Earth Fire), Juliana Franco of Colombia (Miss Earth Water) and Nina Robertson of Australia Miss Earth Air.
Ibasco is a medical physicist and physics professor at the University of Santo Tomas (UST) where she graduated cum laude.
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