Little Miss Philippines

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3 years ago

The Miss Universe pageant has just concluded this year and the winner of the 2020 Miss Universe is Miss Mexico, Andrea Meza. Our country's bet Miss Philippines Rabiya Mateo finished as part of the Top 21 Finalist.

It's the 11th consecutive year that the Philippines is part of the finalist. This started with Venus Raj as she placed Miss Universe 4th Runner-up 2010, followed by Shamcey Supsup who won Miss Universe 3rd Runner-up. The next year was Janine Tugonon who placed 1st Runner-up in 2012 who is deserving to win the title that time, you can watch her performance on YT. Next up was Ariella Arida who placed 3rd Runner-up in 2013.

After consecutive times that the Philippines place in the top 5, the next year, 2014, MJ Lastimosa finished as a top 10 finalist. The year that came after is the most dramatic Miss Universe that I've witnessed as Pia Wurtzbach was announced as 1st Runner-up at first, only to find out that Steve Harvey made a mistake in his pronouncement. The Philippines through Pia Wurtzbach bagged its fourth Miss Universe crown after Margie Moran in 1973. It was so exciting, so exhilarating win for the Philippines!

The year after, Miss Universe 2016 helped in the Philippines. Maxine Medina placed in Top 6 in the pageant. Next was Rachel Peters who was part of the Top 10 during the Miss Universe 2017 pageant.

Then comes 2018, it was Catriona Gray who represented the Philippines in Thailand. For me, she was by far the most confident and most prepared Miss Philippines representative who is well-remembered through her slow-mo twirl, lava walk, and lava gown.

Miss Universe representatives of the Philippines from 2010 to 2019

In 2019, Gazini Ganados represented the country and finished as part of the Top 20. In the just concluded Miss Universe, Rabiya Mateo also had the same fate as she finished as part of the Top 21. For me, Rabiya though is deserving to have been part of the next part of semi-finalists or even part of the top 5 or this year's winner if not for the difference in the format of Miss Universe this year. But still, placing in the semi-finals is something to be proud of.

The Philippines is truly a pageant-loving country. When I was younger, about 4 or 5 years old, I actually wanted to join Little Miss Philippines, a pageant/talent search for young girls which started in the year 1984. This is a segment of Eat Bulaga!, a very popular noon-time variety show in the Philippines.

Little Ms. Philippines became a stepping stone to enter showbiz by launching the careers of some of the country's most successful female stars. Some of them are Aiza Seguerra (4th runner up in 1987), Jessa Zaragoza under her real-name Richelle Ann Palmario Mallari became the titleholder in 1987, Francine Prieto also joined, she won in the daily round but didn't continue (1988). In 1989, Kathleen Go Quieng (co-star of Aiza Seguerra in Eh Kasi Bata) and Diana Zubiri under her real name Rosemarie Joy Garcia became a grand-finalist.

In 1990, Camille Prats, Lady Lee, and Maybelyn deal Cruz joined and became grand-finalists. Other notable personalities are Patricia Ann Roque (1992), Pauleen Luna and Melissa "Mumay" Santiago (1995), Julie Ann San Jose (1998), Dindin Llanera (1999), Kim Domingo (2000), Sanya Lopez (2001), Kathryn Bernardo (2002).

Other personalities are Sam Bumatay (2003), Celine Lim (2003), and Ella Cruz (2003/2005). The year after, Issa Pressman and Bianca Umali joined too (2004). In 2012, Ryzza Mae Dizon bagged the title of Little Miss Philippines.

It was a long list of personalities - some won, some didn't, but still had their career sparked up in Little Miss Philippines.

I, too, wanted to have the same fate (or so I think when I was younger). One of the major sponsors of the segment was Enervon C with the tagline "I love Enervon C, Masarap kasi." When I was young, I thought that whenever my MamaLola buys Enervon C vitamins for me, I will be able to join the Little Miss Philippines contest. Now, I realized that the pack of Enervon C was used as proof of purchase in a raffle draw of the same segment. Its TVC was misleading to my young, innocent mind. You can watch the TCV below.

It's just so fun to reminisce that at a very young age, I dreamt of becoming Little Miss Philippines. Now, I know this dream is nowhere in sight, but I am glad that my pageant-loving spirit is still there, supporting the very ones who are representing our country in the pageant stage around the world.

Ako po si Raysel P. mula sa Bayan ng Bautista, Pangasinan na nagsasabing "Ang batang mabait, pinagpapala ng langit. Ang batang makulit, pinapalo sa pwet." I thank you. Bow.

Thanks for reading!!!


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