A former courtside reporter for the Ateneo Blue Eagles at the University Athletic Association of the Philippines was crowned Miss World Philippines 2017 during a glitzy televised pageant held at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City early yesterday morning.
Crowd favorite Laura Lehmann beat out 34 other girls for the prestigious title, whose contest is now under the helm of talent manager Arnold Vegafria. She was crowned by outgoing Miss World Philippines 2016 Catriona Gray and reigning Miss World Stephanie del Valle of Puerto Rico.
Lehmann will represent the Philippines in the Miss World 2017 beauty pageant in China on November 18. Now on its 66th year, the Miss World contest is the longest-running beauty pageant in history.
Another crowd favorite Kapuso star Teresita Ssen “Winwyn” Marquez, daughter of actress Alma Moreno, bagged the Reina Hispanoamericana Filipinas title. She will compete in the Reina Hispanoamericana contest in Bolivia.
Other winners were: Cynthia Tomalla, Miss Eco Philippines; Sophia Senoron, Miss Multinational Philippines; Glyssa Perez, 1st Princess; and Zara Carbonell, 2nd Princess.
During the final question-and-answer portion of the pageant, Lehmann was asked: “There are people who believe pageants don’t provide the opportunity to empower women. What would you say to them?”
Lehmann answered: “To anyone who don’t believe in pageants, I would ask them to take a look at the girls tonight because we have lawyers, architects, women of substance who are here not only because of what they look like but because of what’s in their hearts, what’s in their mind, and because what they’ve brought forth is beauty with a purpose. They’re helping represent the Philippines and become the best version of the Filipina and for me that’s something only to celebrate.”
Marquez was asked: “How can you convince the judges that you are worthy of becoming Miss World Philippines 2017?”
The actress answered: “I live a life of substance and meaning and that is through service. I uphold social awareness and I treasure empathy. I am here ready to give my whole self and to give a win win situation to the organization to the advocacy that I believe in. I will continue to live a beautiful life with determination and passion for my advocacy as well.”