17 April 2012

Bb. Pilipinas Winners Shun Transgender Furor


The three newly crowned Bb. Pilipinas winners today downplayed protests following the decision of the Miss Universe Organization (MUO) to allow transgender wom¬en to compete in its annual beauty pageant, saying they are adopting a "wait and see" attitude about it.
During the grand coronation night held at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao, Quezon City, this year's three titleholders are Bb. Pilipinas-Universe Janine Mari Tugonon, Bb. Pilipinas-International Nicole Schmitz, and Bb. Pilipinas-Tourism Katrina Jayne Dimaranan.

Elaine Kay Moll, was the first runner-up while Annalie Forbes was the second runner-up.
Tugonon, 22, who will represent the country in the Miss Universe contest in December, said "we should respect the decision of the Miss Universe Organization on rules allow¬ing transgender women in beauty pageants, and let's see what will happen.''
The MUO led by billionaire Don¬ald Trump announced recently that transgender women would be al¬lowed to join the Miss Universe beauty contest starting next year.
Tugonon said protests are not the solution to the issue. "We have our different opinions about it, but pro¬test is definitely not the answer.''
A BS Pharmacy cum laude graduate from the University of Sto. Tomas, Tugonon was the first runner-up in last year's batch led by Miss Universe Philippines third runner-up Shamcey Supsup. She's into ballet, stands 5'9" and said she has no boyfriend.
Schmitz, 23, also said that pro¬tests would bring disruption and pageant organizers must wait for pageant guidelines before making any decision on the issue.
It was the second time for Schmitz to join the Bb. Pilipinas, the first being in 2007. The Cebuana beauty will soon graduate from Law this year. She graduated BS Psychology with honors in Australia. Standing at 5'7," she said she’s into extreme sports and dancing. She also won Best in National Costume and Best In Swimsuit.
Dimaranan, 18, of San Juan City, asked the public to respect the de¬cision of the pageant organizers on transgender women. "We're still waiting for the guidelines on that matter.'' The morena beauty has just finished high school and wants to take up Psychology in college soon. She won Miss Talent for singing.
Earlier, Tugonon impressed the judges on her answer about women who choose a successful career over happy family life. "I believe women have the right to choose between what they want. Just go for what God wants you to do. Between the two, whatever it is, you must do your purpose in this world. Just have faith and mature obedience, and every¬thing will go smooth.”
Asked how she felt the moment her name was announced in the winners' circle, Tugonon said: "Gosh! Pressure ito! (This is pressure!). She was referring to expectations in the back-to-back win of 2010 Miss Uni¬verse fourth runner up Ma. Venus Raj and Supsup.
Other winners of special awards were: Karen Gallman, Bb. Photoge¬nic; Chloe Zanardi, Bb. Friendship; Giselle Munoz, People's Binibini; Mary Jean Lastimosa, Miss PAL and Miss Avon; Angelee delos Reyes, Best In Evening Gown; and Roxanne Tadique, Manila Bulletin's Reader's Choice Award.
Those who made the Top 12 in¬clude Gallman, Patricia Lae Ejercitado, Lastimosa, Gina Joy Howell, Liezl Alcantara, Delos Reyes, and Sherlyn Gonzales.
Members of the Board of Judges include Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, US Ambassador Harry K. Thomas Jr., former Rep. Riza Hontiveros-Baraquel, actor Richard Gomez, athlete Phil Younghusband, Jose Romualdez, Ambassador Jorge Domecq, and Miss International Precious Lara Quigaman, among others.
Roxanne Tadique is this year's Manila Bulletin Readers' Choice Awardee. Tadique, 25, is a certified public accountant, who earned a de¬gree in accountancy from the Dela Salle University.
Sunday night was also the graduation date for Tadique at the Ateneo School of Law. But she chose to com¬pete in the most prestigious local beauty pageant, which, she said, is a "once-in-a-lifetime experience."
"You have to take a risk, and dis¬cover what you can do and don't. The only thing to fear is fear itself.''
It was the second time for the 5'8" beauty to compete in the pageant, the first stint being in 2008. She loves to swim and sur.
By ROBERT R. REQUINTINA
mb.com.ph

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