"This batch is promising," says Cory Quirino about the 25 ladies vying for the Miss World Philippines title.
At the presentation of candidates held on August 18 at the Midas Hotel, she beams about possibly winning the Miss World crown at last.
She continues, "Nakita niyo naman, di ba. They’re very fresh and natural. They’re smart and sweet."
Throughout the pageant’s 60-year existence, our country never won.
In 1973, Evangeline Pascual was offered the title after Marjorie Wallace, the first American winner, got dethroned for dating several men during her 104-day reign.
In 1993, Ruffa Gutierrez emerged as the Second Princess.
This time, the lady behind Miss World Philippines is determined to make the Filipina beauty finally shine.
"We will train them. And it’s going to be rigorous. Yung iba kasi, repeaters, pero marami ring ’virgins’—meaning, it’s their first time to join. Makikita mo, may mga nanginginig pa.
"But I’m very positive they will all do a good job during the actual pageant. I will personally hold sessions about empowerment and wellness. Kahit nga yung question and answer, tutok talaga," says the national director of the pageant.
When asked about our chance of bagging the title, she replies with a big smile, "Mataas, siyempre! We have a good chance this time kasi, sa screening pa lang, we really made sure na makakuha ng beauty and brains. They all excel in their chosen fields. Very competitive sila!"
Is there going to be "pulitika" in the selection of the winner?
Cory quickly replies, "No!"
In most pageants—local or international—reported cases of partiality have been one of the most common problems.
But the beauty and wellness guru assures the public, "It’s not gonna happen. Isang factor diyan yung pagpili ng judges, and we chose credible people.
"Isa pa, yung mga girls, ang babait. Parang walang competition."
ACTIVITIES. On September 10, the candidates will be flying to Puerto Prinsesa, where the contest will officially begin. The Swimsuit competition will take place with the Underground River as backdrop.
Cory adds, "We also want to promote tourism, ang ganda ng Pilipinas."
The pre-Pageant gala night is slated for September 13 at the Manila Hotel.
Prizes at stake during the Grand Coronation night: one million pesos, a crown and scepter worth over half a million pesos, and a condo unit courtesy of SM Development Corporation (SMDC ).
"May isang texter na may chance manalo ng condo unit! Vote lang your favorite candidate," Cory announces.
Without much ado, presenting the 25 candidates:
1. Samantha Nerville Purvor
2. Julian Savard
3. Karen Joyce Peñanueva
4. Irene Gabriel
5. Rogelie Catacutan
6. Richelle Therese Borja
7. Charlotte Melissa Tyler
8. Gaydra Rama
9. Martha Chloe Mcculley
10. Princess Tiffany Carbungco
11. Mercy Malaluan
12. Elaine Kay Moll
13. Gwendolyn Ruais
14. Joey Albert Short
15. Jaysel Arrozal
16. Loucelle de Jesus
17. Erin Lane
18. Donna Maricel Cardino
19. Mica Angela Angeles
20. Jayanne Marie Aldanese
21. Mae Liezel Ramos
22. Ma. Paula Bianca Paz
23. Christine Kate Adi
24. Helen Nicolette Henson
25. Erina Ann Lightholder