Arts & Culture
Zamboangueña beauty wins Miss Philippines-Earth 2002!
April Ross Perez - Zamboangueña Hermosa!
April Ross Perez, Candidate # 22 representing the Western Mindanao Region (Zamboanga City), was crowned Miss Philippines 2002 in a fabulous presentation co-produced by Carousel Productions and ABS-CBN which was telecast on Channel 2 last Sunday, May 12 . She bested 23 other beautiful and intelligent women to become The Philippines' representative to the Miss Earth International Beauty Pageant to be held in October this year.
It was one of the closest "battle of beauty, intelligence, and environmental awareness " contests ever for the prestigious Miss Philippines title. The 11 judges had actually awarded the top two of the five finalists with the same number of points and a second votation for the top two candidates from the 11 judges had to be computed. 6 yeas for Candidate # 22, April Ross Perez vis a vis Candidate # 23, Justine Gabionza with 5 yeas.
Thus … April Ross Perez was declared winner and crowned Miss Philippines. The 20 yrs. old Ateneo de Zamboanga student stands at 5’-8", weighs in at 105 lbs., and measures 34-25-36. Her Asian features and flawless skin made her an audience favorite from start to finish and the judges agreed. She actually garnered a number of special prizes: Miss Close-Up; Miss AVON ; and Miss Texter Choice. She was also voted "Best in Swimsuit". And in line with the pageant’s battle cry for the environment, she spoke out about her concern regarding the environment, "I can help save the environment by campaigning for a cleanliness drive, promoting a rally behind the preservation, and uniting people to fight pollution."
The 24 Miss Philippines candidates come from the National Capital Region and 12 other regions of the Philippines. Telecast nationwide on Channel 2 with a replay worldwide on the Filipino Channel , the program commenced with the introduction of the candidates in their swimsuits videotaped at the Subic Economic Zone . Directed by the legendary Johnny Manahan a.k.a. Mr. M , hosts Pia Guanio and Bobby Yan introduced the 24 candidates as they began with self-introductions and ended their initial 10-second exposure with a one-liner batting for environmental protection.
Only on its second year, the Miss Philippines Beauty Pageant is now known nationally as the "beauty pageant with a cause", said Ramon Monzon , President of Carousel Productions and co-producer of the event.
The pageant is the brainchild of Mr. Monzon and former beauty queen, Lorraine Schuck. The idea came about after the couple received a letter from an anonymous source suggesting that they start a new pageant with an environmental twist. After much deliberations, meetings and concepts , Miss Philippines and Miss Earth was born.
Presenters and major sponsors signed on to support the pageant . This year’s Presenters were UNILEVER Philippines with their products : New Sunsilk Silky Black Shampoo; Close-Up Crystals; New Advanced Creamsilk Conditioner; and Pond’s Skin Whitening Vitamin Fluid and Cream. Major sponsors were Avon Color and Banco Filipino. Talk n Text came in as minor sponsor. Hotel Inter-Continental was the Official Residence.
For the 24 candidates, the "cause" is a reality and its purpose is ecologically and environmentally sound. The battle cries are : Clean our air; Waste segregation ; Save our waters and marine life; Stop forest fires and Promote smoke free zones.
Although the pageant is still essentially a beauty contest with the standard parades of delegates in swimsuits, long gown and talent competition, more weight was given to ecological and environmental intelligence through the interview portion. The question and answer portion for the ten semi-finalists during pageant night was given a different twist with the delegates being shown pictures on ecology and environment. Then, they were asked to interpret the images in their own words and thoughts.
After parading in fabulous gowns created by talented couturiers of the country, the semi-finalists were announced. Making it to the top ten were Jennifer Novo of Central Visayas Region; Katherine Alfaro of NCR; Fiona Lava of NCR ; Gina Ritter of Bicol Region; Aileen Cavas of NCR; May Fortes of NCR; Sheryll Ducusin of Region I ; April Ross Perez of Western Mindanao Region; Justine Gabionza of NCR ; and Honeylet Gascon of Central Luzon Region.
It was then whittled down to the Magic Five and were composed of winner of Miss Philippines 2002 title, April Ross Perez and her court : Justine Gabionza representing Air; Gina Ritter (Water), Sheryll Ducusin (Fire) and Honelyet Gascon to promote Eco-Tourism
The other delegates who participated in Miss Philippines 2002 were : Iris Llamera of Caraga region; Madeleine Wuilquin of Southern Mindanao; Marjorie Akil of NCR ; ; Ma. Victoria Durana of Western Visayas; Emarivy Lampitoc of Southern Tagalog region; Gizelle San Pedro of NCR ; Mary Anne Labunog of Northern Mindanao; Rhea Justo of NCR ; Gretzen Casimiro of NCR ; Ruby Rose Reyes of Eastern Visayas Region; Joyce Dionzon of NCR ; and Florenz Joy Abogado of Cordillera Administrative Region;
The special awardees were also announced during pageant night : Colynn de Guzman of NCR was voted Miss Friendship by her peers ; Miss Joanne Nuestro, also of NCR won for Miss Talent; Best in long gown went to first runner-up, Justine Gabionza and her gown was designed by Roy Martinez and Nick Plaza. She also won the special award of Miss Sunsilk and was voted Miss Photogenic by national and international photographers who attended the Press Presentation held at the Hotel InterContinental a fortnight ago. Miss Pond’s went to Sheryll Ducusin while Miss Creamsilk was awarded to May Fortes.
Before Coronation Night, the 24 candidates planted trees, visited municipalities, put up fashion shows for the environment and attended an environment seminar conducted by activist, Roy Alvarez.
This year’s Miss Philippines Board of Judges were an eclectic mix of movers and shakers from the business , society , expatriate and television community. Chairman of the Board of Judges was Marcel Kerkmeester, Marketing Director-Home Care , Unilever Philippines.
The 10 other members of the panel were composed of : Malou Dy Buncio, GM, AVON Philippines ; Philanthropist, Rosemary "Baby " Arenas ; former Miss Universe 1973 and movie producer, Margie Moran Floirendo; TV Patrol hostess and newscaster, Korina Sanchez; Corazon Abalos, civic worker and wife of the MMDA Chairman, Benjamin Abalos; MASSCOM Managing Director Bert Timbol; Channel 2’s The Buzz host and Private Conversation’s Boy Abunda; Hotel Inter-Continental’s Chad Davis ; Banco Filipino’s Maribel Cotoco; and Hair guru, Ricky Reyes.
Aside from the crown, scepter and trophy , the Miss Philippines "Prize Showcase " include a year’s supply of Unilever products and varied styles from Alberto shoes. She will wear a Casio watch to check her time and will spend gym time at Discovery Spa. She will wear Tretorn shoes, take a computer course at AMA valued at 20,000. pesos and receive a 1-year Scholarship from Manuel L. Quezon University.
She will also fly on a business class round trip ticket to a U.S.A. destination courtesy of Korea Air. Miss Philippines receives a cash prize of 250,000 pesos from Carousel Productions and will have the opportunity to represent the Philippines in the forthcoming Miss Earth International Beauty Pageant. (May 15, 2002)
Local Coverage: DZT
More Zamboangueña Beauties:
Zamboanga City's 2003 Binibining Pilipinas Beauty Pageant representative,
Ms. Farrah Casilde Tuballa.
The Grand Coronation Night:
March 15, 2003 • Saturday • 8:00 PM
Miss La Bella Pacifica is crowned, Zamboanga City.