Santiago was born in Cataingan, Masbate. The eldest of three children, Bea was raised by her grandparents.
She moved to Canada when she was a teenager and became a model under Elite Model Management. She studied Communications at York University in Toronto majoring in Public Relations.
Santiago is no stranger to the world of beauty pageants. She competed at Mutya ng Pilipinas in 2011 representing the Filipino Community of Canada and was one of the Top 10 finalists. She also won two special awards including Best in Long Gown and Mutya ng Pilipinas Overseas Communities.
She also represented the Philippines in Tourism Queen of the Year International in 2012 where she was one of the Top 10 semi-finalists.
But 2013 was her year. Santiago joined Binibining Pilipinas Gold in April where she bagged the Binibining Pilipinas International title.
In an interview with Pep.ph, Santiago described herself as "someone who half-spent her life in the province and in Canada". She added "I have the probinsiyana and the city girl."
Bea's migration helped her learn different languages: Bisaya, Tagalog, English, Masbateño, Ilonggo, Bicolano and a bit of Waray.
Her win comes just over a month since Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines. Prior to winning she dedicated her participation to the victims of Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), she tells Pep.ph, “If I win or make it, that would bring happiness this Christmas.”
Santiago also dedicated her answer during the final round to victims of Typhoon Yolanda, thanking the international community for coming to her kababayans' aid when they needed it most.
This is the Philippines' 5th win in the Miss International Beauty Pageant.
The last time the Philippines won Miss International was in 2005. – Rappler.com
Editor's Note: We earlier said "Cataingan, Masbate in Bicol province" when it should be Cataingan, Masbate in Bicol Region. We regret the error.