ABQ’s Year-End Review: The Highlights and Headlines of 2013!


After the successful years of VenusRaj (2010) and Shamcey Supsup (2011) who woulda thunk that Philippine beauty queens could do even better in 2012? Janine Tugonon certainly showed us a thing or two at the Miss Universe 2012 Holiday Edition giving us ANOTHER amazing year of victory. And now that 2013 is here, lets hope that our snowball continues to thunder past the competition!

But first, lets take one more look at the year 2012 before we bid it goodbye. Here are the highlights and headlines of last year for Adventures of a Beauty Queen:

THE TOP WINNERS OF 2012:

1) JANINE TUGONON OF THE PHILIPINES PLACES 2ND IN MISS UNIVERSE 2012!

Janine Tugonon of the Philipines in her competition gown at the Miss Universe 2012 Holiday Edition

Janine Tugonon of the Philipines in her competition gown at the Miss Universe 2012 Holiday Edition

Although Janine’s powerful answer and venomous Cobra Walk should have won her the crown, USA got it instead. In the end, Janine Tugonon‘s star shined the brightest when online trending showed that people were talking about her fantastic performance in the Q&A and questioning the results in the Miss Universe 2012 beauty pageant.

2) RIZZINI ALEXIS GOMEZ WINS MISS TOURISM INTERNATIONAL 2012!

Rizzini Alexis Gomez on the night she won Mutya ng Pilipinas Tourism 2012

Rizzini Alexis Gomez on the night she won Mutya ng Pilipinas Tourism 2012

After being excluded in the winners’ circle in Miss World Philippines 2012, Rizzini Alexis Gomez went on to win the Mutya ng Tourism 2012 title. THEN on New Years Eve 2012, Rizzini gave us the Miss Tourism International 2012 crown and now has bragging rights to say that Miss Venezuela is her 1st Runner-up. ”

3) STEPHANY STEFANOWITZ WINS 1ST RUNNER-UP IN MISS EARTH 2012!

Stephany Stefanowitz is 3rd from the left.

Stephany Stefanowitz is 3rd from the left.

In spite of the criticism she received over her physique (some thought she was flabby-thin), Stephanie Stefanowitz shined bright in Miss Earth 2012 and almost won the pageant. But the Miss Earth 2012 crown went to the Czech Republic instead with Steph donning the Earth-Air Elemenetal sash (which is considered by pageant fans to be the 1st Runner-up title). I must mention that accusations of favoritism continue to hound our Philippine representatives in Miss Earth and will continue to do so everytime we place because the pageant is founded by Filipinos.

4) ELAINE KAY MOLL WINS 3RD RUNNER-UP IN MISS SUPRANATIONAL 2012!

Elaine Kay Moll, 3rd Runner-up, Miss Supranational 2012

Elaine Kay Moll, 3rd Runner-up, Miss Supranational 2012

It was a pleasant surprise when Bb. Pilipinas 2012 1st Runner-up Elaine Kay Moll suddenly received the news that she was going to represent the Philippines in the Miss Supranational 2012 in Poland. And she didn’t disappoint! Elaine came home with the 3rd Runner-up sash and a fabulous victory/birthday party at Gateway Suites.

Sharp-eye observers have noticed that in recent public appearances, Elaine Kay Moll has been wearing a sash that says Bb. Pilipinas Supranational while the 2nd Runner-up Ali Forbes is now sporting a sash that says 1st Runner-up. Seems like the Supranational is now an official Bb. Pilipinas title!

5) AYELEE DASALLA NABS 2ND RUNNER-UP HONORS AT THE MISS HUMANITY 2012

Ayelee Dasalla, 2nd Runner-up Miss Humanity 2012

Ayelee Dasalla, 2nd Runner-up Miss Humanity 2012

Ayelee Dasalla,  formerly an obese teenager, proves that if you put your mind to it, you can lose AND win bigtime! Aside from her 2nd Runner-up placement, Ayelee Dasalla also won the People’s Choice Award in the Miss Humanity 2012 beauty pageant which was held in Barbados.

6) PINOYS ALSO WIN BIG IN INTERNATIONAL COMPETITIONS!

Manhunt International 2012 winner June Macasaet (left) and Mr. World 2012 1st Runner-up Andrew Wolff

Manhunt International 2012 winner June Macasaet (left) and Mr. World 2012 1st Runner-up Andrew Wolff

ABQ normally covers only Female Pageants but after Pinoy hunk June Macasaet won the Manhunt International 2012 in Bangkok last November and Rugby Player Andrew Wolff of the Philippines Volcanoes won 1st Runner-up in Mister World 2012 in the UK a couple weeks after, this blog author will now be keeping an eagle eye on the guys…

7) FILIPINO TRANSGENDER KEVIN BALOT WINS MISS INTERNATIONAL QUEEN 2012!

Kevin Balot is themost beautiful transgender in the world!

Filipino Kevin Balot is the most beautiful transgender in the world!

Well, well, well… it seems like it isn’t just the girls and boys doing well in pageants; even Pinoy trannies are bringing home the bacon. Gender bender Kevin Balot (who looks nothing like a Kevin) won the Miss International Queen 2012 in Pattaya last November. The one thing I like about this pageant? They make it clear that people born as girls can’t join. In fact, you HAVE to prove that you were born a boy. I so appreciate the clarity of their rules.

8) MISS WORLD 2012 FINALIST QUEENIERICH REHMAN GETS INTERNATIONAL SPOTLIGHT!

Queenierich Rehman, Miss World Philippines 2012

Queenierich Rehman, Miss World Philippines 2012

Even before the coronation night of Miss World 2012, our representative to the pageant, Queenierich Rehman caught the attention of the international press with her classy beatbox number during the Talent Show of the pageant. Queenie Rehman also did us proud by entering the Top 15 of Miss World 2012, the Top 5 of the Talent Show and Top 40 of the Beach Beauty fast track.

9) PINAYS WHO MADE IT TO THE SEMI-FINALS IN INTERNATIONAL PAGEANTS

Nicole Schmitz (left), Angelee Claudett delos Reyes (top right) and Bea Santiago (bottom right)

Nicole Schmitz (left), Angelee Claudett delos Reyes (top right) and Bea Santiago (bottom right)

***Nicole Schmitz, the Philippine representative in the Miss International continued our winning streak by entering the Top 15 of the beauty pageant which was held in Okinawa.

***Angelee Claudett delos Reyes, who failed to win a Bb. Pilipinas title in 2012 went on to represent the Philippines in the 2012 Super Model International in Bangkok after she was handpicked for the competition. Angelee, who is an ABQ favorite entered the Top 10 and won the coveted Best in Gown award! Good job grrrl 🙂

***Bea Rose Santiago also brought honor to the Philippines after she entered the Top 10 in the Miss Tourism Queen of the Year International 2012 which was held in China. I believe she would have placed higher if the Philippines and China weren’t fighting over territories in the Philippines Sea.

10) PINAYS WHO WON SPECIAL AWARDS ABROAD

Joy Castillo Pasidis (left) happens to be the mentor of Joy Marie Gangan (left). Both won top model honors in their respective pageants. Both share the same first name!

Joy Castillo Pasidis (left) happens to be the mentor of Joy Marie Gangan (right). Both won top model honors in their respective pageants. Both share the same first name!

***Joy Castillo Pasidis showed us the right way to strut one’s stuff on the catwalk – she won the Top Model Award in the Mrs. Universe 2012 beauty pageant that was held in Rostov, Russia. She went on to teach the girl beside her in the photo how to walk like a winner, and it sure paid off!

***Joy Marie Gangan, the protege of Joy Castillo Pasidis showed off her “Gangan Style” by grabbing the Top Model Award in the Best Model of the World 2012 competition held in Turkey last December.

***

OTHER HEADLINES THAT ROCKED OR SHOCKED ABQ:

1) Bb. Pilipinas 2012 Contestants Get a Second Chance at the Final Q&A

Ali Forbes answers the question asked by His Excellency Jorge Domecq...

Ali Forbes answers the question asked by His Excellency Jorge Domecq…

People watching the Bb. Pilipinas 2012 on TV did not get to see this but we in the audience did! Two contestants were given the chance to ‘re-answer’ their final question. Click here to read the story in detail. Leizl Alcantara misheard her question (and so did most of the audience thanks to the thick French accent of the judge who asked the question) while Ali Forbes got stuck and couldn’t finish answering. It was their ‘second chance’ answers that got aired on television. It seems like Bb. Pilipinas wanted to avoid another Janina San Miguel incident.

While some may think this is just a minor minor pageant incident, it did make an impact on other franchises who had their pageants after Bb. Pilipinas 2012. They wisely had the final question written down so the contestant could read it for herself and not get confused by accents.

2) Jewel Lobaton’s Breakup with Hubby – Sen. Koko Pimentel

Sen Koko Pimentel and beauty queen wife Jewel Lobaton

Sen Koko Pimentel and beauty queen wife Jewel Lobaton

Reading about the breakup of the marriage of Sen. Koko Pimentel and Bb. Pilipinas Universe 1998 Lobaton in major newspapers made me sad. But reading the gory details of an alleged third party left a bad taste in my mouth. There are things that hard-news journalists should leave out of their stories. Let the chimis writers write about the chismis.

Last I heard was that Jewel Lobaton was seeking an annulment so that she could move on with her life.

3) Transsexual Jenna Talackova is Allowed to Compete in Miss Universe Canada 2012

Jenna Talackova - long legged transexual breaks into the Miss Universe Canada 2012 pageant

Jenna Talackova – long legged transexual breaks into the Miss Universe Canada 2012 pageant

In April 2012, the pageant world found itself in an uproar with the emergence of Jenna Talackova, a transsexual fighting for acceptance as a candidate in the Miss Universe Canada 2012 beauty pageant.

Jenna, who was once a boy called Walter, was first dismissed from the pageant after officials discovered that she had a sex change. But Jenna was subsequently re-instated as a contestant after fighting tooth and nail against the ban. Donald Trump jumped into the fray announcing that if she won the Canada title, she would be allowed to compete in the Miss Universe 2012 beauty pageant. Although she did not win, Jenna Talackova did make it into the Top 12. With her success in being accepted as a candidate in Miss U Canada, I wouldn’t be surprised if this 2013 we’ll be seeing another transsexual try to break into what was once the exclusive domain of natural-born women.

4) Miriam Quiambao’s Alleged Anti-Gay Comments

ABQ Author, Joyce Ann Burton (left) with Miriam Quiambao

ABQ Author, Joyce Ann Burton (left) with Miriam Quiambao at a JIL Conference where she talked about her controversial Tweets

The Jenna Talackova controversy soon enough became a hot topic in Manila. Talk shows everywhere were asking the question: “Do you agree that transsexuals should be allowed in Miss Universe?”

That question led to the huge Miriam Quiambao fracas on Twitter. Miriam made some controversial Tweets on homosexuality after guesting on a Boy Abunda talk show on transgenders. The backlash against her was so strong that the Miss Universe 1999 1st Runner-up had to back off and apologize.

In a Tweet to the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual) Community she said:

I’m sorry LGBT. Perhaps I was too harsh with the words I used. Will do my best to be more sensitive. #respect #nobodysperfect #grace

Aside from the Tweetapology, Miriam Quiambao also gave a public apology and was eventually forgiven by many in the LGBT community. ABQ had the chance to chat with her about the issue a few weeks after it exploded and she humbly admitted that she didn’t use the right words and as a result had offended many. Here is what I wrote in defense of Miriam Quiambao after that meeting.

5) Gwendoline Ruais’ Near-Walkout

Cory Quirino (left) and Gwendoline Ruais (right)

Cory Quirino (left) and Gwendoline Ruais (right)

Thanks to the cool-headed Cory Quirino, a big blow-up between the camp of Miss World 2011 1st Runner-up Gwendoline Ruais and TV5’s production staff was averted. Cory, who is the current franchise holder of Miss World Philippines handled the volatile situation like a bomb expert. The true winner in this scuffle? Cory Quirino! Click here to read more about it!

6) Rebel Beauty Queen Maita Gomez Passes On

Maita Gomez

Maita Gomez

In July 2012, when everyone was focused on the death of Comedy King Dolphy, very few noticed the passing of Miss World 1967 Maita Gomez. She is controversial for going underground to join the rebel movement in the Philippines after living it up as a beauty queen, fashion model and socialite. Up to her last days on earth, she continued to fight for the rights of women as a leader in Gabriela. I made an online shrine for Maita Gomez, click here to get there and see photos from her beauty queen and rebel days.

7) Lara Quigaman Weds Actor Marco Alcaraz

Miss International 2005 Lara Quigaman in her weeding gown by Veejay Floresca wedding gown

Miss International 2005 Lara Quigaman in her weeding gown by Veejay Floresca wedding gown

One of the most beautiful weddings this year belonged to our Miss International 2005 Lara Quigaman who finally tied the knot with boyfriend Marco Alcaraz. Lara wore a fabulous blushing wine gown by Veejay Floresca that made her look slim inspite of her 6 month baby bump. The two quietly got married months before the big wedding which was held on Kuh Ledesma’s events garden in Tagaytay.

8) Dindi Gallardo Sues Dark Knight Creator

Frank Miller and GF Kimberly Cox versus Pinay Beauty Queen Dindi Gallardo

Who is scarier? Frank Miller and GF Kimberly Cox or Pinay Beauty Queen Dindi Gallardo?

In October 2012, Former Bb. Pilipinas Universe 1993 Dindi Gallardo came out with startling accusations against her employer Frank Miller, the creator of Batman: The Dark Knight. Dindi says that he and his girlfriend Kimberly Cox treated her like crap or maybe I should say, guano. But it looks like the former Filipina beauty queen is going to come out the victor in this legal tussle. Abangan!

9) No International Pageant for Bb. Pilipinas Tourism 2012 Katrina Dimaranan?

ABQ (left) with the lovely Katrina Jayne Dimaranan

ABQ (left) with the lovely Katrina Jayne Dimaranan

ABQ is more than just disappointed over the news that Bb. Pilipinas Tourism 2012 winner Katrina Dimaranan is not competing internationally. The scuttlebutt is this: the Tourism pageant she was supposed to compete in got scrapped. I’m hoping that it just got delayed but so far, there’s NO news on it.

I love Katrina Dimaranan and hope that Bb. Pilipinas will find an international pageant for her, preferably one with a Talent Show (Katrina sings like a nightingale). What makes the situation even sadder is that 1st Runner-up Elaine Kay Moll got to compete in Miss Supranational 2012 (she place 4th.) It’s sad when a title holder doesn’t compete abroad but a Runner-up does. No offense to Elaine, I’m so happy they sent her to Supranational but I’m going to say it again, sayang naman if they don’t send Katrina Dimaranan to in international competition specially with that tight body she worked so hard to achieve!

10) Homecourt Winners in Top 3 Pageants! Booooooo!!

Homecourt Winners - USA's Olivia Culpo (left), Japan's Ikumi Yoshimatsu (top right) and China's Yu Wenxia (bottom right)

Home Court Winners – USA’s Olivia Culpo (left), Japan’s Ikumi Yoshimatsu (top right) and China’s Yu Wenxia (bottom right)

In a weird coincidence, the host countries of our Top 3 Beauty Pageants deemed their own representatives as the winners. 2012 turned out to be the Year of the Home Court Girls…

-Miss World 2012 which was held in China was won by China (Yu Wenxia).

-Miss International 2012 held in Japan was won by Japan (Ikumi Yoshimatsu).

-And Miss Universe 2012 held in the US was won by the USA (Olivia Culpo).

-Miss Earth 2012 was the only BIG pageant that bucked the trend: it was held in the Philippines but the Philippines didn’t win. But we did make 1st Runner-up!

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So, that’s ABQ’s Round up of the year 2012, a most exciting 365 days for Pinoy pageant fans. Le’s pray that 2013 will bring more accolades for our beauty queens!

If there is anything I forgot to include in this list, please leave a comment below. Happy New Year to you all!