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I’ve been a loud and proud supporter of Bea Rose Santiago since the night she was crowned as Bb. Pilipinas International 2013, although silently, I am jealous of her lean body, long neck, and lovely face. So when she went to Japan to compete at the Miss International 2013 Pageant, I couldn’t wait for her to bring home our country’s fifth, but certainly not the last, crown—because I had so much faith in her beauty and ability.

Voila, it was indeed Bea Santiago, out of 67 equally beautiful women from around the world, that clinched the Miss International 2013 title—joining the roster of four other Filipina winners: Gemma Teresa Cruz (1964), Aurora Pijuan (1970), Mimilanie Marquez (1970), Precious Lara Quigaman (2005).

Bea’s down-to-earthness touched me, in a way that even in the midst of her hectic schedule prior to the competition in Tokyo, she found time to answer all of my questions for my prepageant blog posts. And when, finally, I met her at the victory party for the Kagandahang Flores entries who swayed at the just concluded Binibining Pilipinas 2014 Coronation Night, I was all the more moved by her kindness and gratefulness.

As a token of appreciation for bringing pride and honor to our country, I gave our Miss International 2013 a printed copy of one of my blog posts on her, for which she kept thanking me as I kissed her goodbye, thanked her mentor Rodgil Flores of Kagandahang Flores for the invitation, and left the party together with our newly crowned Binibining Pilipinas Intercontinental 2014 Kris Tiffany Janson and company.


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