12 Bb Pilipinas titleholders who entered showbiz

MANILA, Philippines – Through the years, the Binibining Pilipinas pageant has been one of the stepping stones for many ladies who want to achieve their dreams.

Some of the Bb Pilipinas candidates and queens went on to become businesswomen, doctors, lawyers, civil engineers, top executives in companies, accountants, and members of the entertainment industry.

Many of the ladies have been offered a door to show business, and many of them have won awards and recognition.

Pia Wurtzbach was already in showbiz even before entering Bb Pilipinas, but it wasn't until after winning Miss Universe that she started getting the offers she had dreamed of.

Ruffa Gutierrez, who represented the country in the 1993 Miss World pageant and won 2nd princess, was already making a name for herself in showbiz when she joined the pageant.

Here, we rounded up 12 queens who entered the country's show business. Some of them are still active, some are just starting in their careers, while some appear every now and then on television and movies.

LEGEND. Pilar Pilapil has become a character actress after her stint as a beauty queen.

Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

1. Pilar Pilapil, Miss Universe Philippines 1967 - Before she became one of the country's top character actresses, Pilar Pilapil represented the Philippines in the 1967 Miss Universe pageant in Miami Beach, Florida. 

After her stint as a beauty queen, Pilar entered showbiz and starred in a number of movies with actors Andy Poe and the late comedy king Dolphy, whom she almost married. She also won acting awards, including the Gawad Urian for the 1986 movie, Napakasakit, Kuya Eddie.

In 2006, Pilar released an autobiography entitled The Woman Without Face. She has a daughter, Pia, from her relationship with Doy Laurel.

Pilar has also appeared in television shows such Pasion de Amor and A Love To Last. She is currently in the ABS-CBN show The Blood Sisters.

FIRST FILIPINO MISS UNIVERSE. Gloria Diaz is still sought for her thoughts regarding the country's representatives to the international pageants.

File photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

2. Gloria Diaz, Miss Universe 1969 - This list will not be complete without the first Miss Universe from the Philippines. After winning the title, Gloria entered showbiz and starred in many movies, including Ang Pinakamagandang Hayop sa Balat ng Lupa – one of her most popular films after being crowned as Miss Universe.

Gloria has always been asked for her comments regarding the country's bet for the Miss Universe pageant. She continues to be active in showbiz, appearing in various teleseryes and movies.

She is also preparing for another milestone: being a first-time grandmother to the child of daughter Belle Daza with husband Adrien Semblat.

CONTROVERSIAL. Maria Isabel Lopez is not one to shy aware from controversy.

File photo by Loic Venance/ AFP

3. Maria Isabel Lopez, Miss Universe Philippines 1982 - Maria Isabel or Maribel to her showbiz friends was one of the most controversial titleholders in the pageant. She was almost dethroned after the Bb Pilipinas Charities Inc (BPCI) found out that she worked as a sexy lingerie model for a Gerard Peters fashion show, but she was able to keep the title.

After her reign, Isabel entered showbiz through sexy films. Among the films she became known for were Working Girls, Isla, and Kinatay.

She has two children from her marriage to a Japanese businessman. Her daughter, Mara Lopez, is an actress.

In 2017, Isabel made headlines when she posted on Facebook that she entered an exclusive lane for ASEAN delegates. The incident led to the suspension of her driving license – a decision she appealed before the Land Transportation Office.

LOW KEY. Charlene Gonzales-Muhlach has been out of the limelight to focus on taking care of her teen twins Atasha and Andres Muhlach.

Photo by Precious del Valle/Rappler

4. Charlene Gonzales, Miss Universe Philippines 1994 - Charlene Gonzales represented the country in the 1994 Miss Universe pageant held in Manila. When asked how many islands there were in the country, Charlene's "High tide or low tide?" answer became the talk of the town.

It was during the pageant that she did the movie Ikaw Ang Miss Universe ng Buhay Ko with Andrew E and other former titleholders, including Miss Universe Philippines 1993 Dindi Gallardo.

Since then, Charlene has done a number of movies and hosted lifestyle shows, including entertainment talk show The Buzz

She is married to actor Aga Muhlach, with whom she has twins Atasha and Andres. Charlene has been keeping a low profile in showbiz to concentrate on taking care of her children.

CHRISTIAN LIFE. After many hosting stints, Miriam Quiambao has concentrated in being a motivational speakers and her work with various organizations.

File photo by Rob Reyes/Rappler

5. Miriam Quiambao, Miss Universe 1999 1st runner-up - Miriam Quiambao initially was not the  representative to the pageant, but after the original titleholder was dethroned due to citizenship issues, Miriam – who was Bb Pilipinas World – took over the reign. She went on to represent the country in Trinidad and Tobago and bagged the 1st runner-up title.

After competing in Miss Universe, Miriam entered showbiz through hosting shows such as GMA 7's Extra Extra (which became Extra Challenge) and Unang Hirit. She also hosted a number of public affairs shows in GMA such as 100% Pinoy and The Beat.

She also appeared in the movies Walang Kapalit and Patient X, and did appearances on teleseryes. 

In 2012, Miriam earned the ire of members of the LGBT community following her comments regarding homosexuality. In the post, she wrote: "Homosexuality is not a sin but it is a lie from the devil. Do not be deceived. God loves gays and wants them to know the truth."

"No offense to the LGBT but the Truth is the Truth that comes from God. Take it or leave it. We will all face the judgement seat of God."

Miriam married Italian businessman Claudio Rondinelli in 2004 but the two got divorced in 2006. She is now married to Ardy Roberto, a Christian author and motivational speaker. 

FOMRER QUEEN. Bianca Manalo during the homecoming special for Pia Wurtzbach.

File photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

6. Bianca Manalo, Miss Universe Philippines 2009 - After representing the country in the Miss Universe pageant, Bianca entered showbiz and starred in a number of television shows, including Juanita Banana, My Super D, and On The Wings of Love, where she became known as Manang Tiffany, the sister of Leah played by Nadine Lustre.

Bianca was most recently seen in FPJ's Ang Probinsyano. She is also one of 3 Manalo sisters to win a title in the pageant. Older sister Katherine was Bb Pilipinas World 2002, while younger sister Nichole was Miss Globe 2016 3rd runner-up. Her aunt Nini Ramos was Bb Pilipinas International 1968. 

MAJOR MAJOR. Venus Raj's placement puts the Philippines back on the pageant spotlight in 2010.

File photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

7. Venus Raj, Miss Universe 2010 4th runner-up - Thanks to Venus Raj, the Philippines was placed back in the pageant map after she won 4th runner-up to Ximena Navarrete of Mexico. She hosted a number of shows including Umagang Kay Ganda. She is also a frequent co-host for the Bb Pilipinas pageant.

Last year, Venus finished her MA in Community Development at the University of the Philippines. She was also host of the Miss Universe pageant's red carpet in Manila last January 2017.

Philippians 4:8 ...whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable---if anything is excellent or praiseworthy---think about such things. . Oh nothing but thankfulness in my mind and heart for my God, my Father for He is such a good good God. Good night everyone and may the peace of God which surpasses all understanding guard your hearts and mind in Christ Jesus. A post shared by Lara Quigaman Alcaraz (@laraquigaman) on Feb 28, 2018 at 8:48am PST

8. Precious Lara Quigaman, Miss Internatonal 2005 - After Melanie Marquez's 1979 win, it took almost 3 decades before the Philippines could win again in the Miss International pageant. Precious Lara Quigaman went on to become the 4th Filipina to win the title in 2005. 

After her reign in the Japan-based pageant, Lara did a number of movies and television shows. She is curently part of Bagani, where she plays the sister of Ganda (Liza Soberano). She is married to actor Marco Alcaraz.

MENTAL HEALTH. Kylie Verzosa made her reign as Miss International memorable by campaigning for mental health issues.

File photo by Rob Reyes/Rappler

9. Kylie Verzosa, Miss International 2016 - Kylie Verzosa became the country's 6th Miss International in 2016 – 3 years after Bea Rose Santiago took home the title in 2013.

It was during her reign that the lady from Baguio City actively campaigned for mental health awareness. She shared in a number of interviews that she suffered depression before becoming a candidate for the Bb Pilipinas pageant.

Kylie also became a model mentor for Philippines' Next Top Model. She also scored a number of endorsements for various brands such as Bayo, Samsung, and Wilkins. After her reign, she signed up with Viva Artists Agency and hosted the 2017 Metro Manila Film Festival Awards Night. She was also a leading lady of Coco Martin in Ang Panday.

NEW DOORS. Maxine Medina is giving showbiz a try and has been enjoying so far.

File photo by Rob Reyes/Rappler

10. Maxine Medina, Miss Universe Philippines 2016 - Maxine, who finished Top 6 in the Miss Universe pageant held in Manila, made her debut in showbiz last 2017 through Jose Javier Reyes' movie Spirit of the Glass 2. Maxine previously told Rappler that she has been taking acting workshops to prepare herself for possible acting projects.

She was recently seen in the afternoon drama Hanggang Saan, where she played the role of Georgette opposite Arjo Atayde. 

NEW BEGINNINGS. Mariel is set to go full blast in showbiz after her reign on March 18.

File photo by Martin San Diego/Rappler

11. Mariel de Leon, Bb Pilipinas International 2017 - Even before she became a beauty queen, Mariel already gave showbiz a try by being part of an opera group and appearing in a few shows and movies.

Following her win as Bb Pilipinas International, she was approached to be one of the leading ladies of Coco Martin for Ang Panday. Mariel is set to star in another movie with Lovi Poe under Ralston Jover, and has signed up with LVD Artist Management under Leo Dominguez.

AGELESS. Alice Dixson is as beautiful as ever since she competed in Miss International 1986.

File photo by Rob Reyes/Rappler

12. Alice Dixson, Bb Pilipinas International 1986 - Jessie Alice Dixson won the title of Bb Pilipinas International 1986, and became known for the Palmolive commercial "I Can Feel It."

After doing the commercial, Alice's showbiz career went into full swing, and she appeared in movies and television shows. She was briefly based in the US and Canada, but after her divorce from her husband, she resumed her career in the country.

She is currently in FPJ's Ang Probinsyano. She also had heads turning as one of the ageless women featured in the Century Tuna Superbods campaign. – Rappler.com


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