Miss International 2013 winner Bea Rose Santiago is “humbled and happy” that her wish to win a prestigious beauty pageant has been fulfilled.
At her first major press conference since returning home from Tokyo, Santiago was greeted by other Filipino pageant contenders like Ariella Arida, who was third runner-up in this year’s Miss Universe competition, and Santiago’s mentor, Precious Lara Quigaman, who was Miss International in 2005.
Santiago joined the “golden batch” of beauty queens as the Binibining Pilipinas pageant celebrated its 50th year.
“It was hard for me to compete in the international pageant because all of them are so nice and sweet. I did not know how I was going to be competitive when the girls I was competing with were all so nice to me,” she said.
This Christmas, the 5-foot-9 Santiago sees herself “without make up and eating lechon.” “I also plan to go to Mass this Christmas, even if it’s late, I will still try to go.”
The 23-year-old also looks forward to experiencing firecrackers on New Year’s Eve. Pyrotechnics are banned in Canada.
Santiago is from Masbate but her family migrated to Toronto, Canada when she was 16. She studied Communications, majored in Public Relations at York University.
She became a model, the only Filipino to be signed by Elite Management in Canada.
Quigaman, Arida and her other beauty contenders expected that she was going to win the international beauty title.
“I’m really happy that Bea Rose won. I was telling her, when I met her I said she was going to win. She was so down-to-earth and humble, she even asked my blessing before she went to compete in Japan,” Quigaman said.
“You have a strong positive energy. I told you so,” said Arida.