Among the “major” international beauty contests, it’s the Miss World pageant where the Philippines has only won one crown (so far). But while that’s the case, there’s no denying that the country’s representatives are beautiful, intelligent, and successful in their own right.
With the Miss World organization set to crown a new queen on March 16 in Puerto Rico (early March 17 in Manila) let’s take a look back at the past 10 Filipina titleholders of the prestigious pageant, and what they’re now up to after their respective reigns.
Gwendoline Ruais (2011)
Filipino-French model Gwendoline Ruais was the first representative of the Philippines in the Miss World competition under the management of Cory Quirino. She competed in London, United Kingdom, where she placed 1st runner-up.
After her reign, Gwen became a regular performer at GMA’s variety show Party Pilipinas and a host for Unang Hirit in 2012. In 2016, she joined Asia’s Next Top Model season 4. She placed 11th overall.
In 2017, Gwen moved to Paris, France. In an Instagram post in September 2018, Gwen said that she’s not saying goodbye forever to her MWP family. “If there is something I will always love, it’s getting a new little sister, queen sister every year,” she wrote.
Queenie Rehman (2012)
Queenie Rehman entered the top 15 of the Miss World 2012 pageant held China. As a candidate, Queenie wowed pageant fans with her beatboxing.
After her reign, Queenie became a model, singer, and fitness enthusiast. In 2018, she joined the Century Tuna Superbods Ageless competition. She was also part of the 2019 movie Second Coming, starring Jodi Sta. Maria and Marvin Agustin.
Megan Young (2013)
Megan Young is the first and only Filipino to win Miss World. She was crowned in Bali, Indonesia.
During her reign as Miss World 2013, Megan traveled to various countries, raising funds for Beauty with a Purpose. In a throwback Instagram post in September 2020, Megan remembered her winning moment, saying that “It still feels like a dream.” In 2014, she hosted the coronation night in London, during which she passed the crown on to South Africa’s Rolene Strauss.
Even after her reign, Megan remained involved with the Miss World Philippines organization. Aside from hosting the coronation nights, she also became a consultant for the MWP organization in 2017. It was the year Arnold Vegafria formally took over the franchise.
In January 2020, she married actor Mikael Daez. Megan also currently hosts a podcast called Behind Relationship Goal alongside her husband.
Earlier this July, Megan graced the cover of Harper’s Bazaar Vietnam magazine with fellow Filipino beauty queens – Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach, Miss International 2016 Kylie Verzosa, and Miss Earth 2015 Angelia Ong.
Valerie Weigmann (2014)
Valerie Weigmann made it to the top 25 of the Miss World coronation night held at London.
Valerie, who was an Eat Bulaga TV host and actress before joining pageantry, focused on modeling after her reign. She has since moved to New York, USA and is part of the MSA Models pool of talents.
Hilarrie Parungao (2015)
Hillarie Parungao represented the Philippines in the Miss World competition in China, where she finished in the top 10.
After her reign, Hillarie continued to model and involve herself in charity work with her own organization KATUWANG: A fight Against Child Mortality.
Hillarie now resides in Australia with husband Arllie Donato.
Catriona Gray (2016)
Catriona started her pageant journey with Miss World Philippines. She finished 3rd runner-up in the international competition that was held in Maryland, USA.
Since then, Catriona has been active in a number of causes including Young Focus, through which she was able to raise money for a school in Tondo and Love Yourself, a group dedicated to educating people about the HIV and AIDS epidemic.
Two years after joining Miss World Philippines, she joined Binibining Pilipinas 2018, won Miss Universe Philippines, and later on, Miss Universe 2018.
Catriona also made history by becoming the first Filipino to win both Miss World Philippines and Miss Universe Philippines.
Catriona is currently in a relationship with actor-singer Sam Milby.
Laura Lehmann (2017)
Laura was part of the top 40 of the Miss World 2017 pageant held in Sanya, China. She was also one of the 5 winners of the Beauty With a Purpose, a program where contestants can raise funds for their chosen beneficiary.
After her beauty queen stint, Laura focused on hosting. In 2019, she ventured into acting, with her first movie Elise, starring Enchong Dee and Janine Gutierrez.
In May 2021, Laura married basketball player Von Pessumal.
Katarina Rodriguez (2018)
Katarina, who was also Miss Intercontinental 2017 1st runner-up, had high hopes of being the second Filipino to bring home the Miss World crown. However, in the pageant held in Sanya, China, she failed to enter the top 30. She later found out that her Beauty with a Purpose video had been disqualified.
Her Beauty with a Purpose video highlighted the plight of the children of Marawi as part of the Teach Peace Build Peace movement. Even after her reign, Katarina resumed work in her charitable causes. In May 2019, she was introduced as the spokesperson for Save the Children Philippines.
The model-beauty queen also ventured into acting. She joined the cast of Liza Soberano and Enrique Gil for the television series Make It With You in January 2020.
Michelle Dee (2019)
Michelle ended her Miss World journey with a top 12 placement in London, England. Her top 12 finish is the Philippines’ highest since 2016, when Catriona made it to the top 5.
Michelle continues to model and is an advocate for the welfare of children with special needs. She has had the longest reign of a Miss World Philippines, since the 2020 edition was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
After a two-year reign, Michelle crowned her successor, Tracy Maureen Perez, on October 3.
Tracy is currently in Puerto Rico to compete in the Miss World pageant. She’s vying to be the second Filipino to take home the crown, following Megan Young. – Rappler.com