In the Lime Light: Philippine Beauty

Article by Sherwin funa (Philippines)
Blog Correspondent of ASEAN-Korea Centre

A very significant event happened last September 13, 2011 as 89 most beautiful ladies from different parts of the world reunited for a battle of beauty and brains. Believe it or not, in the Philippines, beauty contests, particularly the Miss Universe is not just a pageant, it is already part of our culture.

The title of being a Beauty Queen corresponds to popularity, admiration and respect and that is the reason why a lot of determined young ladies aspire to be one. It is also one of the fastest ways to get to the top and fulfill their dreams. In today’s pageants, it is not just about meeting the height requirement, walking gracefully and looking magnificent, but to be able to take home the 30 Karat crown with 50 glittering diamonds, you must possess intelligence as well which a candidate can prove during the question and answer portion.

Philippines I think is one of the countries with most number of pageants. Part of Philippine culture are Fiesta’s, whether a celebration of a the Place or a Saints Birthday, all I know is that festivity isn’t complete without a beauty contest, it is also part of every program in party’s or means to raise some funds for a cause. It may be a Female beauty contest or a Gay Beauty Pageant which is also very common in the Philippines.

Miss Universe is the most publicized and the most popular beauty contest in the world, with 600 million viewers. The contest was founded in 1952 by California clothing company Pacific Mills. It was owned and handled by different companies, before  it was acquired by Donald Trump in 1996.

Everytime I got the chance to watch Miss Universe, just like everybody else, I wish for my county’s representative to bring home the crown or at least a longer stay in the contest and be given the chance to expose her beauty, talent and intelligence. Aside from watching out for Ms. Philippines, one of the bias concepts that I have, if not my country, at least for an Asian to make it to the top.

In the record of Miss Universe, my country is one with most number of wins. Philippines is ranked 11 with Two (2) Miss Universe titles (Gloria Diaz in 1969 & Margie Moran in 1973) and 14 runners up placer. But, Philippines is ranked 1 having most number of Ms. Photogenic awards. In the entire Asia, including the Philippines there are 4 who made it in Top 15; Japan in rank 8, India in rank 9 and Thailand in rank 14.

Just recently, the world, most especially the world of every Filipino stopped and all eyes glued on TV when Miss Universe 2011 was aired on TV via satellite. Everyone still have the hang from last year’s Miss Universe, as Ms. Philippines candidate Venus Raj made it as 4th runner-up. For this year’s battle, a lot have the positive vibe on Ms. Philippines candidate Shamcey Supsup to make her mark in the competition. Aside from her obvious pretty face, her signature Tsunami Walk paved her way to the contest. The hope got more intense as Ms. Supsup answered her test in the Question and answer portion very fluent and with substance. And she was crowned 3rd runner-up and Ms. Angola winning the title of being Ms. Universe 2011.

Every country was given the chance to showcase their beauty, culture and reunite as one. No wonder why a lot of people from different countries, including me are so hooked-up with beauty contests.

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