Panay Pinay: Why beauty pageants love Pinays

By , on November 9, 2013


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More than the crown and the sash and the giant arm of flowers, being a beauty queen entails dozens if not hundreds of responsibilities during her reign and sometimes even after she’s passed on the crown.

The crowned beauty must accomplish more things by 9 AM than most women will accomplish in a week, for example: getting a workout to maintain that beauty queen bod. She also has a long list of media appearances and interviews lined up, volunteering chores and ambassadress tasks for various worthy causes and advocacies that they are expected to champion while looking their best. I myself have wondered if beauty queens ever sweat. Beauty queens are also expected to be the perfect examples of femininity: beautiful, smart, kind, and civic-conscious. From the perfection of their hair to the perfection of their impromptu speech, they are supposed to look and sound flawless.

Even runner-ups are not spared from beauty queen errands. Albeit less than the winner’s list, runner-ups also bear enough workload to make any woman look losyang, but not them. No, sir. They definitely do it with enough grace and beauty that would make Martha Stewart proud.

With so many duties lined up for one year since their coronation, it is important to point out how many FIlipinas accomplished their fair share of beauty queen errands — and for good reason.

Exotic Beauty

From the subtly bronze complexion of Pinays to expressive and deep eyes and dark, ivory hair, it’s no wonder we’re quite a beauty to behold. Add some make-up to make the Pinay’s delicate features pop and you’ve got a sure stunner on stage.

Even former United States President Richard Nixon was not immuned from Pinays’ award-winning beauty. He said of 1969 Miss Universe Gloria Diaz, “The Americans conquered the moon, but the Philippines has conquered the universe.” In the same year, American astronaut Neil Armstrong landed on the moon and made “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

That Smile

A beauty queen’s best accessory, other than her crown, is her smile. From the curve of their not-too-plump-not-too-thin lips (with the most gorgeous shade of lipstick to compliment their skintone) and their perfectly white and straight teeth, angels sing in unison whenever a beauty queen smiles. Filipinas nailed The Beauty Queen Smile by simply radiating their innate joy.

In fact, as proof of that universe-conquering smile, beauty pageant analysis site Missosology.org said that the Philippines has the most number of “Miss Photogenic” awards.

Toned Physique

Filipinas, by nature, are quite petite. Blame it on (or thank) the Malay race. The Philippines is also a tropical country, so burning calories by simply breathing under the hot tropical sun is enough for most Filipinas (don’t stone me). However, beauty pageant contestants confess that they workout in order to achieve a body worthy of the coveted crown and the results are absolutely worth it. But let’s admit it — they don’t need much work.

2013 Miss World Megan Young shared a few weeks ago that she achieved her Miss World body by working hard with a few gym trainers. She reportedly worked on her “problem areas,” which are her thighs and shoulders.

“Once we got rid of the flab, her natural beauty came out. She has a long neck and small, lovely face,” said Jonas Gaffud, Young’s gym trainer.

Pretty Witty

Filipinas aren’t just pretty, we are resourceful and often quick on their toes. Just ask these crown-winning answers from several Miss Philippines in the past.

Then 18-years-young Gloria Diaz was full of confidence when she answered the question, “If a man from the moon landed in your hometown, what would you do to entertain him?” Smiling and as if simply conversing with a friend, she answered, “Oh! Uh, just the same things I do. I think if he has been on the moon for so long, I think when he comes over he wants a change, I guess.” Her wit and candor earned her the Miss Universe crown.

Remember in 1993 when Ruffa Gutierrez breezed through her Q&A and quoted Saint Antoine de Exupery without batting an eyelash? Yeah, we remember, too. To the question, “How would you tell a girl who’s suffering from low self-esteem to feel better about herself?” Ruffa answered without missing a beat, “Well, I’ll tell her to believe in herself because it’s not only physical beauty that’s important but also inner beauty. Like what the Little Prince said, ‘What is essential is invisible to the naked eye.’ And I believe that character and personality are more important than physical beauty.”

2011 Miss Universe runner-up Shamcey Supsup stuck to her guns and managed to finish the Q&A portion unscathed after being asked a rather controversial question. Well, controversial because of her answer. The judge asked, “Would you change your religion to marry the person you love? Why or why not?” To which she answered, “If I have to change my religious beliefs, I would not marry the person that I love because the first person that I love is God, who created me. And I have my faith and my principles and this is what makes me who I am. And if that person loves me, he should love my God too.” The thing I like most about Shamcey’s answer is the confidence in her delivery that didn’t come from her wit, but from her deep-seated conviction.

When asked, “How many islands are in the Philippines?” Binibining Pilipinas contender Charlene Gonzales answered the question with another witty and unforgettable question, “High tide or low tide?” This one-liner quickly became a quotable quote.