Cebuana beauty queens who made it in national, international pageants
CEBU CITY, Philippines – The month of January is Sinulog season. And in Cebu, it also means the local beauty pageant season.
Two of the upcoming major pageants in Cebu are the Festival Queen and Bb Cebu paegants, both happening before the Sinulog Grand Parade on January 19 in Cebu City.
Many Cebuanas who've entered these local pageants have gone on to become title holders of national and even international pageants. Let's get to know some of them here:
After Catriona Gray’s victory at the 2018 edition of the Miss Universe pageant, Talisay City-native Gazini was given the task of gunning for a back-to-back win.
Aside from bagging the Miss Universe-Philippines title, the half-Palestinian Cebuana also won Miss Photogenic and Best in Evening Gown.
She took the opportunity to showcase Cebuano designer Cary Santiago with her hot pink, phoenix-inspired number at the Binibining Pilipinas finals.
Gazini finished as part of the Top 20 in the Miss Universe pageant held in Atlanta, Georgia. She also wore Cary Santiago to the Miss Universe prelims and finals.
Before she made a name for herself in Philippine showbusiness, Pilar Pilapil, a native of Liloan town, walked the Miss Universe stage in 1967.
While she did not place in the Top 10 during her stint as Bb Pilipinas-Universe, she returned to the Philippines to pursue a career in films and TV. She's still active in entertainment today. She also runs her own foundation for women who've suffered from domestic abuse.
Karla Paula Henry
Karla Paula Henry was runner-up of the defunct Miss Cebu pageant before being crowned Miss Philippines Earth in 2008.
The Filipina-Canadian beauty won Miss Earth later that year. Throughout her reign, Karla led tree-planting activities and went around public schools to shed light on environmental issues.
After Miss Earth, Karla became a TV host and occasional actress.
Fellow Cebuana Jamie Herrell was the next Filipina to bring home the Miss Earth crown in 2014.
Herrell got her start in local pageantry in 2013 when she won Sinulog Festival Queen and Miss Mega Cebu 2013. She was also Reyna ng Aliwan that year
Jamie studied acting in Cebu and now a news anchor for One News.
Kris Tiffany Janson
Kris Tiffany Janson joined Binibining Pilipinas 2014, 5 years after winning Miss Cebu in 2009. Kris ended up winning Miss Photogenic, Best in National Costume, and the Binibining Pilipinas Intercontinental 2014 title.
She ranked third at the Miss Intercontinental 2014 pageant held in Germany. After the pageant, she pursued a career in modeling and hosting.
Ilene Astrid de Vera
Ilene won Mutya ng Pilipinas in 2017 before bagging the Miss Asia Pacific International title later that year.
Originally from Mandaue City, she graduated from the University of the Philippines Cebu, with a degree in mass communications. She also competed in Bb Pilipinas and Miss World Philippines 2019.
Eva Patalinjug is a registered nurse from Lapu-Lapu City and was a Sanguniang Kabataang chairperson before she entered pageantry.
She first competed in Mutya ng Pilipinas in 2014. She competed in Bb Pilipinas in 2018 where she took home the title of Bb Pilipinas Grand International. She competed in Myanmar in 2018, but did not make top 10.
Samantha Lo got her start in the local pageant scene when she was crowned Bb Cebu Tourism in 2017. She competed in Bb Pilipinas in 2019 where she won the Bb Pilipinas Grand International title.
Her journey to the international pageant was controversial – she was barred in transit because of apparent issues with her documents. Her parents later admitted that her passport had been acquired via a "fixer." She returned to Manila to fix her documents and eventually competed in Venezuela. She failed to place in the top 10.
Samantha later resigned from her title as Bb Pilipinas Grand International in November.
The Binibining Cebu coronation night will take place on Monday, January 13, while the Sinulog Festival Queen finals will take place on Saturday, January 18.
Jasper Monroe Ylanan is a student of Philosophy at the University of San Carlos and an online English teacher. Aside from beauty pageants, his other obsessions include combat sports, religious art, coffee, and Madonna.