Another Filipina beauty queen, Miss Philippines-International Bea Rose Monterde Santiago, was crowned 2013 Miss International at the 53rd Miss International Beauty Pageant in Tokyo, Japan on December 17, 2013. She is our fifth Miss International winner, after Gemma Cruz (1964), Aurora Pijuan (1970), Melanie Marquez (1979), and Precious Lara Quigaman (2005). Her winning is the third major crown by a Filipina this year, after the victories of Megan Young as the first Miss World and Mutya Johanna Datul as Miss Supranational.
Miss Santiago bested four other finalists: Miss Netherlands Nathalie den Dekker, Miss New Zealand Casey Radley, Colombia’s Cindy Aguilar, and Hungary’s Brigitta Otvos.
She impressed the judges with her answer to the final question, “What will you do if you are crowned Miss International?” Her reply: “The whole world saw how my country suffered. One by one, other countries helped. You have opened my heart and eyes on what we can do to help each other. I will work to sustain the spirit of sympathy and spirit of hope. As long as we work together, there is hope.”She was also admired for her regal bearing.
Even before she left to compete in Japan, the statuesque 5-foot-9 Santiago vowed to do everything to help the super-typhoon survivors in the Visayas, to whom she dedicated her participation in the pageant. She said: I’m not going there as Bea Santiago, but as Miss Philippines, and if I win, that would bring happiness to them this Christmas and make them proud.”
Born in Cataingan, Masbate, 22 years ago, Santiago is eldest of three children. At 14, she and her family moved to Toronto, Canada, where she studied Communications, major in Public Relations, at York University. She worked as a fashion model, the only Filipino signed by Elite Model Management. Prior to joining Binibining Pilipinas, she was Mutya ng Pilipinas 2011 Overseas Communities. She represented the Philippines in Miss Tourism Queen of the Year International 2012 where she was among the 10 finalists. She was crowned Binibining Pilipinas-International and Binibining Avon on April 14, 2013. Despite growing up in foreign land, she said she wants to help her province Masbate. She is Gawad Kalinga Ambassador.
The Manila Bulletin, led by its Chairman of the Board of Directors Dr. Emilio T. Yap, President and Publisher Atty. Hermogenes P. Pobre, Executive Vice President Dr. Emilio C. Yap III, Editor-in-Chief Dr. Cris J. Icban Jr., Business Editor Loreto D. Cabañes, Officers and Employees, congratulate 2013 Miss International Bea Rose M. Santiago for bringing pride and honor to our country, and for again placing our Republic of the Philippines in the global map of beautiful women. CONGRATULATIONS AND MABUHAY!