It was early 2017 when TV host and personality Cory Quirino relinquished the Miss World (MW) franchise after six years.
Many Pinoy pageant fans then aired their worry it might affect the country’s unbroken winning streak in the prestigious competition.
Now, the speculations and dread about the fate of Miss World Philippines (MWP) has been put to an end as the new National Director Arnold Vegafria promises to make this year’s pageant better, bigger and bolder.
In an interview, Vegafria assured the MWP 2017 will redeem the Filipino’s sense of pride and patriotism as a nation.
“I look forward to continuing our mission of uplifting the image of the Filipina in the global pageant circuit,” he said.
Vegafria revealed that aside from the main crown and two princesses, this year’s pageant will unveil three new titles namely Miss Eco Philippines, Reina Hispano Americana Filipinas and Miss Multinational.
“This means that our future winners will have more chances making it to some of the world’s prestigious competitions all across the globe,” he maintained.
More, where the MWP coronation night was held in smaller venues in previous years, this time it will be at the Mall of Asia Arena on Sept. 3. They will also unveil a new crown designed by Miss World 2013 Megan Young.
In a separate interview, Young said she collaborated with a renowned jeweler to create the MWP crown. She mentioned it will be sleeker, more elegant and in tune with the MW color motif (blue and silver).
“I have the final say in the design, naks,” she joked.
The new MWP theme song is by R&B singers Jay-R and Kris Lawrence backed by a full orchestra and a children’s choir.
Helping Vegafria with the pageant is the newly-appointed MWP General Manager Bessie Besana. He is an up-and-coming fashion designer and long-time pageant trainer.
Beauty with a purpose
Vegafria believes he is not just staging a beauty pageant. He said the charity component is the most important thing to accomplish as a national director.
Beyond all the beauty and glamour, Vegafria said he will continue his advocacy for peace, goodwill and understanding.
“This is all about beauty with a purpose. Just in case, people don’t know, this tagline distinguished Miss World to other pageants,” he maintained.
Vegafria is inviting all former titleholders and candidates who competed at Miss World (regardless of franchise) to join them in preserving the legacy of Miss World Philippines.
According to him, the presence of the previous queens ensures the continuity of a beautiful sisterhood, believing they are not only beauty queens but also individuals who want to help other people.
“Malakas ang pakiramdam ko na we can find another Filipina beauty who can excel and who can surpass Megan Young’s historic feat but beyond that, the most important thing is their drive to help other people, ’yung puso niya for the organization itself,” he said.
Vegafria revealed that for this year’s MW pageant, the organization has chosen the Jose Reyes Memorial Medical Center as its beneficiary, with particular focus on the care and rehabilitation of its indigent pediatric patients.
This year’s MWP pageant would be more exciting as Vegafria announced that six former queens will play a big role in the competition.
They are Gwendolyn Ruais (MW first Princess and MWP 2011), Queenierich Rehman (Semifinalist and MWP 2012), Valerie Weigmann (MW Quarter Finalist and MWP 2014), Hillarie Parungao (Semifinalist and MWP 2015), Catriona Gray (MW 3rd runner-up and MWP 2015) and Young, herself.
The ladies will be part of the screening committee. They will also lend a hand in training the future MWP winners.
Asked what are the qualities they are looking for in the next title holder, Young said someone who is willing to fulfill the responsibilities wholeheartedly.
“For me, siyempre nandu’n na ’yung mabait na tao dapat talaga. Someone who loves doing charity and drive and passion is already there na talaga,” the beauty queen said. “Parang it’s more of ‘This is job and I’m going to do my job way better than any of the past queens.’”