• In search of a Filipina Mrs. Universe

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    GEORGE VAIL KABRISTANTE

    It’s not much of a public that we have on record married women winning several international beauty titles abroad. Acknowledged as one of the very few trailblazers in that respect is Ovette Ricalde, local male counterpart of Stella Marquez-Araneta.

    Unlike the Binibining Pilipinas, however, Ricalde’s candidates are handpicked and groomed for the works before fielding them overseas in his capacity as franchise holder for Mrs. Universe and national director for Mrs. Southeast Asia and Mrs. Southwest Asia.

    He has in his list from 2009 to 2015 impressive names of several married women who had won thus far special awards for said tilt, like Best In Talent, Top Model Award, Intelligence Award, etc.

    In 2016, Obette’s candidate Emma Cordero represented the country in China among more than 50 candidates from around the world. She brought home two of the three top awards, namely, “Woman of the Universe of Mrs. Universe 2016” and “Most Outstanding Beauty Queen in the Field of Universal Beauty 2016” for her song about giving love to poor children. It was a close shave for Emma for the grand title Mrs. Universe.

    Ovette presented Emma recently in a meet-and-greet event with friends from the media. To the uninformed, Emma Cordero is a veteran chanteuse who first broke into the local entertainment scene in the late ‘80s with the moniker Asia’s Princess of Songs owing to her previous singing engagements in key cities of Asia.

    Married to a Japanese national, she owns a big entertainment jazz resto bar in Fukouka. She is a Lion’s Club member both here and in Japan. The position enables her to put a dramatic face to her social advocacies, in particular poverty and domestic violence in large measure to different international conventions around the world.

    From her disclosures, Emma proved she was among other things a woman of substance and consequence when she narrated almost ad infinitum the awards she was bestowed upon both here and abroad for her advocacy in initiating charitable projects for the country. It is her way of giving back to the children in the margins of society the fame and fortune she has accummulated through the years.

    In San Pedro City, her school Our Lady of Fatima caters to children who cannot afford grade school under her foundation NPO Hougin Aiwo Agetai (I Wanna Give Love Foundation) and Emcor Voice of An Angel Foundation.

    The singer believes that beauty, in and out, ought to beget more beauties. She put up her own award-giving body called World Class Excellence Japan-Philippines Award after her win. One mission of which is to groom and field highly qualified candidates high on advocacy and social conscicence.

    With the help of Ovette, Emma has handpicked a native of Bulacan, Myla Villagonzalo-Tsutaichi in her early 40s for the coming Mrs. Universe pageant to be held in Malaysia.

    Married to a Japanese businessman with three daughters, Myla is also an active socio-civic leader and has been last year’s recipient of Quezon City’s Dangal Ng Bayang Filipino for her outstanding contribution in women empowerment thru civic and community leadership locally and in Japan.

    Myla studied the high art of making and wearing kimono for four years from Hakubi, Kyoto Kimono Gakuin University. She is thus known as the first Filipino kimono teacher. Her name is cut in hard wood and kept at the museum of said University.

    Seems like there’s going to be a Filipina Mrs. Universe soon.

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