After more than a year of delays due to the pandemic, four girls were crowned during the Bb. Pilipinas 2021 competition held at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City last Sunday night.
Filipino-Australian model Hannah Arnold, 24, from Masbate, was crowned Bb. Pilipinas International 2021. This is the second time that she competed in the same pageant, the first time being in 2019 where she placed in the top 15 semis.
She will represent the Philippines at the Miss International 2021 beauty pageant in Japan in November.
During the question-and-answer portion, Arnold was asked: “Given the reach and power of social media, do you believe that genuine freedom of speech exists in the Philippines nowadays? Why or why not?”
Arnold answered: “First of all, freedom of speech is a basic human right that we all must remember. It is important for a democracy. With our upcoming election, we definitely need freedom of speech. For example, on Twitter, we are limited to a few characters, and what I have seen in this, Tweets is powerful. That has helped me think about whom I’d like to vote for in the upcoming elections.”
A graduate of Applied Science in Forensic Studies at the University of Canberra, Arnold is an advocate of quality education for kids. She loves crime podcasts and solving crime mysteries.
The 5’10 beauty queen also won the Jag Denim Queen special award during the finals.
If she wins Miss International later this year, Arnold will join the roster of successful Filipinas who won the prestigious crown – Gemma Cruz (1964), Aurora Pijuan (1970), Melanie Marquez (1979), Precious Lara Quigaman (2005), Bea Santiago (2013) and Kylie Versoza (2016).
Other queens who will compete in international pageants were: Samantha Panlilio, Bb. Pilipnas Grand International; Cinderella Faye Obeñita, Bb. Pilipinas Intercontinental; and Bb. Pilipinas Globe, Maureen Montagne.
First runner-up honors went to Gabrielle Basiano; and second runner-up, Meiji Cruz.
Winners of special awards were: Montagne, Miss Creme Silk and Miss Ever Bilena; Cruz, Best In Swimsuit; Basiano, Best in Long Gown; Francesca Taruc, Bb. Araneta City, and Miss Alagang Silka; Patrizia Garcia, Face of Bb. Pilipinas (Miss Photogenic); Alexandra Faith Garcia, Miss World Balance; Karen Laurrie Mendoza, Miss Pizza Hut; Vianca Marcelo, Miss Talent; Lesley Anne Ticaro, Miss Friendship; and Maria Ruth Quin, Best in National Costume.
Other girls who finished in the top 13 were: Patrizia Garcia, Karen Laurrie Mendoza, Graciella Lehmann, Jashmin Lyn Dimaculangan, Patricia Batista, Honey Grace Cartasano, and Dimaculangan.
Judges include Secretary Benito Benton Jr., former Miss International Kylie Verzosa, actress Liza Soberano; broadcaster Pinky Webb, and fashion designer Rajo Laurel.
During the telecast, Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray and Miss Grand International first runner-up 2016 Nicole Cordoves hosted the prestigious beauty pageant. This is the first time that two beauty queens hosted the beauty contest in 57 years.
On Sunday night, Gray also trended on social media when she mispronounced Valenzuela to Venezuela, hometown of Cruz. She also mispronounced the surname of Maureen Montagne.
* Manila Bulletin Reader’s Choice
Micca Rosal of Agoncillo, Batangas won the Manila Bulletin Reader’s Choice Award in the Binibining Pilipinas 2021 beauty pageant held at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City on Sunday, July 11.
The Manila Bulletin Reader’s Choice Award was presented in partnership with the Manila Hotel.
With 265,800 votes accumulated during the text poll, Rosal received 47,000 votes or 18.5 percent of the total text votes cast.
The special award was presented by Barbie Atienza, Head of External Affairs, Manila Bulletin; and Badette Cunanan, Public Relations Manager, Manila Bulletin.
Rosal, 26, is a tax analyst by profession. She loves pageants, fashion shows, fitness, fashion styling, and photography.
Her advocacy focuses on youth empowerment.
She graduated at the De La Salle Lipa with a bachelor’s degree in accounting technology. She is also a certified bookkeeper.
Rosal has been joining pageants, mostly in school, since she was 15.
In 2017, Rosal made her pageant comeback when she won 4th runner-up at Mutya ng Pilipinas Southern Luzon and Miss BPO.
Rosal quit her job when she competed in Bb. Pilipinas and trained under the Kagandahang Flores beauty camp led by Rodgil Flores.