THE PHILIPPINES’ TERESITA Ssen “Winwyn” Marquez, was crowned Reina Hispanoamericana 2017.
The 25-year-old beat 27 other candidates on Saturday night in Sta Cruz, Bolivia (Sunday morning in Manila) to become the first and only Asian to have won the title.
Marquez was a strong contender from the beginning of the pageant and had the crown in the bag after her impressive answer during the question and answer portion.
Marquez asked how she would promote the Hispanic-American culture with the prevailing language barrier.
Using an interpreter, Marquez answered: “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.
Even before the pageant, the daughter of actors Joey Marquez and Alma Moreno has made a splash in the competition by bagging several special awards such as the product-sponsored Miss Ipanema.
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. There are 28 candidates this year.
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.”