beauty pageants

Santa Cruz’s Aliya Rohilla is Miss Manila 2024

Jairo Bolledo

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Santa Cruz’s Aliya Rohilla is Miss Manila 2024

MISS MANILA. Santa Cruz's Aliya Rohilla is Miss Manila 2024.

Miss Manila

The new Miss Manila bested 23 other candidates during the glittering finals night hosted by two Miss Universe titleholders: Catriona Gray and R'Bonney Gabriel

MANILA, Philippines – Santa Cruz’ Aliya Rohilla has been crowned Miss Manila 2024 during the pageant night held at The Metropolitan Theater in Ermita, Manila on Saturday, June 22.

Rohilla succededed Miss Manila 2023 Gabrielle Lantzer. The new Miss Manila bested 23 other candidates during the glittering finals night hosted by Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray, Miss Universe 2022 R’Bonney Gabriel, and Kapuso actress Gabbi Garcia. Gabriel and Garcia recently hosted the Miss Universe Philippines 2024, while Gray is set to host the upcoming finals night of Binibining Pilipinas 2024.

Aside from the crown and title, Rohilla also bagged P1 million as her cash prize. The twenty-two-year-old winner is a freelance model who knows how to speak Arabic and Bicolano, aside from Filipino and English. Her interests include soccer, airplanes and fighter jets, as well as watching crime and historical documentaries.

Prior to joining Miss Manila, Rohilla participated at Miss Fit Philippines 2022, where she placed as 1st runner-up. She was also named as Daragang Mayon grand winner in 2023.

Rohilla’s court is as follows:

  • Miss Manila Tourism: Leean Jame Santos, Manuguit
  • Miss Manila Charity: Xena Ramos, Santa Ana
  • 1st runner-up: Jubilee Acosta, España
  • 2nd runner-up: Daniella Moustafa, Tayuman

During the swimsuit round, the candidates paraded in red, shiny swimwear. For the evening gown portion, the contestants stunned in their interpretation of modern terno. Most of the candidates wore ternos with butterfly sleeves. The eventual winner, Miss Santa Cruz, wore a crystal encrusted green terno decorated with black draping.

The candidates were cut down to 12 and then competed for the night’s first question and answer (Q and A) portion. During the segment, reigning Miss Universe Philippines Chelsea Manalo asked Rohilla: “If you were given the opportunity to improve one thing in your community, what would it be and why?”

With confidence, the eventual winner highlighted the importance of giving support to women: “I would say that a lot of young women and girls in my community cannot maximize their potentials because of lack of resources. So I would take initiative towards creating programs for them to hone whatever skills they have. Because [at] the end of the day, they have dreams, and I have dreams that’s why I am here. If no one believes in me, if no one gave me the resources that I needed, I wouldn’t be here today.”

After the first Q and A round, the 12 semifinals were narrowed down to five to answer the final question. All the five finalists answered the same question: “What is truly worthy of a woman’s time?”

“Something that is truly worthy of a woman’s time would be her purpose. I think living a purposeful life means having that sort of destination to your journey in this lifetime because without purpose is like sailing a ship without an anchor,” the new Miss Manila said as her response to the final question.

Miss Manila is an annual project organized by the Manila local government unit. According to their website, the pageant aims “to look for a Manileña that embodies the values of empowerment and leadership to deliver meaningful contribution to her life and to her fellow Manilans.”

Aside from this year’s grand winner, the last editions of Miss Manila saw the participation and victory of candidates who already joined other national pageants, like Angela Okol, who was crowned Miss Manila Tourism 2023. Prior to that, Okol joined Miss Universe Philippines 2021 and then Miss Philippines Earth in 2022. Okol was later disqualified, along with two other candidates, from the Miss Philippines Earth pageant due to their height.

She then joined Miss Manila the following year. –

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Jairo Bolledo

Jairo Bolledo is a multimedia reporter at Rappler covering justice, police, and crime.