8 fun facts: Meet Bb Pilipinas International 2017 Mariel de Leon

Alexa Villano
8 fun facts: Meet Bb Pilipinas International 2017 Mariel de Leon
Meet Kylie Verzosa's Miss International Philippines successor!

MANILA, Philippines – The pressure is on for Miss International Philippines 2017 Maria Angelica “Mariel” de Leon.

One of the favorites to win a crown during the Binibining Pilipinas 2017 pageant, Mariel is now set to compete in Miss International 2017 in Japan, where the reigning titleholder is no less than her predecessor Kylie Verzosa.

Get to know lady we’re cheering on for a back-to-back win for the Philippines at this year’s pageant! Here are a few fun facts about Miss International Philippines 2017 Mariel de Leon.

1.  This is her second time competing in Bb Pilipinas.

Mariel joined the pageant in 2013, at the age of 19. Even then, she was considered one of the favorites to win. Mariel placed in the Top 15 that year, while Ariella Arida won the Miss Universe Philippines title.

FIRST ATTEMPT. Mariel during her first attempt at getting the crown at Bb Pilipinas 2013. File photo by Manman Dejeto/Rappler

2. She’d rather stay at home than go out.

In an interview with Rappler, Mariel said, “I’m a homebody. I just like staying and spending time in the living room with my family and of course my dogs.”


Bye for now America! I love you and I'll see you soon. Can't wait to get back to Manila and finally see my babies!

A post shared by Mariel de Leon (@mariaangelicadl) on



3. She’s an aspiring beauty guru.

Mariel told Rappler: “I love watching makeup videos. Someday I hope to make my own videos and post them online.”

Makeup: Jake Galvez Hair: Fidel Tango #makeupbyjakegalvez #hairbyfideltango #makeup

A post shared by Mariel de Leon (@mariaangelicadl) on



4. Aside from watching makeup tutorials, Mariel also loves to people-watch.

I love absorbing my surroundings and watching people around me. If I could just sit in a nice little cafe all day and just watch people, I would,” she said.

5. Her parents are actors Christopher de Leon and Sandy Andolong. 

After Mariel’s win, Sandy posted these photos on Instagram, thanking Mariel’s friends, family, supporters, and mentors. “Thankful and grateful to our loving and faithful God almighty. Our princess is now a queen,” she wrote. 


6. Mariel is an opera singer, and is part of the group The Opera Belles.

Her parents’ work as actors have shaped her love for the arts. (READ: You may recognize these 3 Bb Pilipinas candidates)

Movies and music helped shaped how I think and who I am today. Besides those factors, my dad being a hippie and my mom being artistic added to that too. Everyone in my family is into arts, actually, but each have their own specialty,” she said.

OPERA SINGER. Mariel performs during the talent competition of the pageant. Photo by Rob Reyes/Rappler

7. Miss Universe 2010 4th runner-up Venus Raj and Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach inspired Mariel to join the competition.

Venus Raj with Pia Wurtzbach during Sunday's coronation night. Photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

“The beauty queen I look up to is Venus Raj. I love her, because I think she exudes confidence, elegance, and beauty while still remaining humble. I also love how she is a Christian and isn’t afraid to spread the word of God and isn’t afraid to show her love for Him,” she said.

A month before the competition, Rappler asked why she decided to try her luck at the pageant again. She answered: “It was this just this year when I realized that I should try again. I was definitely inspired by Pia [Wurtzbach] and I felt something in my heart. It was like a spark that just went off,” she said.

8. Mariel is aware of the pressure for a back-to-back win at Miss International this year, but she’s choosing not to think about it for now. 

I don’t think about the whole ‘back-to-back’ pressure. Winning Miss International has not even sunken it yet, so it’s hard to think about my future as Miss International Philippines. I also don’t want to pressure myself. I just want to stay focused and happy. But I know for sure that I will do my best as Miss International and I will give it my all,” she said.


This is the night that changed my life. The night the lion came out! It made it even more memorable because I was crowned by Kylie Versoza! Miss International was always one of the crowns I was dreaming of because they represent ethereal beauties who are strong but gentle, compassionate, intelligent, kind, and are willing to take action to change the world. God has answered my prayers. His love is amazing! Thank you, Father! Thank you Nanay, Tatay, and my siblings for supporting me since day 1. Without you guys, I am nothing and I wouldn't be the woman I am today. We have all always shared so much love with each other and I am so grateful for all of you. God has blessed me with the best parents and siblings ever! I love you all. Thank you to my friends, my relatives, and Ate Esai for always being so excited for me and for always supporting me through this whole journey. Thank you also to my boyfriend for always sending me loving and kind words whenever I felt down and for always making me feel like the most beautiful woman in the world! To my 'Titas of Manila' group! Tita Toni, Voltaire, and Tito Rhett. Thank you for always having my back and always giving me advice. Your guidance has helped me push through the competition with flying colors! To my Aces & Queens family. I am so grateful and over the moon to be part of your family since 2013. You helped mold me from a girl to a woman… A princess to a QUEEN. The Aces & Queens are the best beauty queen makers in the whole world but the real queens are all you mamas and papas! You sacrifice everything in your part yet never ask for money, or anything for that matter, in return for all those training sessions. You just ask us to do our best, not for you, but for ourselves and our dreams. I am so blessed to be in such a generous and loving group. You do this out of your love and passion for beauty pageants and for us, your anaks. Without Aces & Queens, I wouldn't be where I am today. I wouldn't be a beauty queen. I am Mariel de Leon, your Binibining Pilipinas International 2017!  #DeLeonRoars

A post shared by Mariel de Leon (@mariaangelicadl) on


Were you cheering for Mariel during the Bb Pilipinas 2017 coronation night? Share your well-wishes with Mariel in the comments below! – With reports from Voltare E. Tayag/ Rappler.com 

More Bb Pilipinas 2017 on Rappler:

Post-Bb Pilipinas 2017

Coronation night:

Leading up to coronation night:

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Alexa Villano

Alexa is one of Rappler's Lifestyle and Entertainment reporters, covering local entertainment news to a wide range of topics from beauty pageants to reality shows.