After Samantha Panlilio’s failed bid to advance to the final rounds of competition in the 2021 Miss Grand International last Saturday evening, Filipino pageant fans are, once again, up in arms against the Thailand-based organization, threatening to pull out their support from the competition’s future editions. Instead of crying over spilled milk and try to over-analyze the reason behind our candidate’s exclusion even from the top 20, Thrillmaker opted to turn to the bright side and write about a pageant that the country can possibly win year after year after year.
Reigning queen and certified Pinoy pride, Maureen Montagne, this year’s Miss Globe big winner, shared there really is no stopping the Philippines from actually winning the crown each year for as long as its delegates are deserving. “Actually, the org said that Miss Philippines can win almost any year. It’s just a matter of what the org really likes. They’re really looking for beauty of face, beauty of body, a good attitude and a speaking ability. We’re a powerhouse country and they know it. I am really looking forward to crowning even more Miss Philippines in the future.”
According to Montagne, The Miss Globe Canada National Director and one of the pageant’s directors is a half-Filipina by the name of Mayas Pilar Alcantara, who herself took part of the competition’s earlier editions. While often seen as being critical to Filipino fans who bash international participants unapologetically, Miss Mais (as Alcantara is fondly called by the contestants), actually confirmed that Filipina delegates are usually eyed for the top plum each year, along with the delegates from Venezuela. The only time Filipinas will place poorly or not place at all is when the organization is unhappy with the attitude shown by a Miss Philippines. “She, as a Filipina, knows the competitiveness that we have,” she said. About Pinoy fans, however, she added: “She (Miss Mais) doesn’t want the org to be torn down because when Miss Philippines doesn’t win, a lot of our fans spread so much hate, so much toxic energy, and they really degrade the pageant.”
When asked about her failure to snatch any of the crowns given out for the pageant’s special rounds such as bikini, head-to-head and talent wherein she consistently placed either as first runner-up or as part of the top 5, Montagne made this startling revelation about The Miss Globe’s selection system: “This is kept hush hush but if you win a special award you will not be in the top 5 because they want to give as many opportunities to the girls as many crowns and sashes as they can. Once I found out their strategy of the pageant to crown as many beautiful women as much as possible, then I understood and then after that I didn’t want to win any.”
So what does she think made her win? The newly-crowned queen attributed her winning formula to a conversation she had with 2015 The Miss Globe 2015 winner, fellow Pinay, Ann Colis: “The best piece of advice she gave me was to show up every day looking your most beautiful and acting like a queen who already won. I think that was the thing that elevated me and helped me win. The org said they could see from day 1 that I treated it like a job, and that’s why they chose me as their winner. They want a girl who will elevate the brand, be serious and really care.”
Having reigned as queen in three of the country’s biggest beauty pageant systems, namely Mutya ng Pilipinas, Miss World Philippines and Binibining Pilipinas, the Batanguena stunner was quick to compare: “The proof is in the pudding. I am so much happier, so much more fulfilled with Binibining Pilipinas. I think an organization run by a woman really cares about the interest of women, so thank you Madam Stella for all your love and kindness and thank you to Binibining. You can’t compete with legacy, the years of experience they have from their social media teams to the resources they were able to give to me, to the advice. I also think Binibining Pilipinas treats all their queens equally, I never felt like a second-class crown. For anyone who is looking to join, I highly recommend Binibining Pilipinas. To me, they are the gold standard of pageantry dito sa Pilipinas.”