Miss Manila, the much-awaited local beauty pageant, is making a grand comeback with a lovely set of young Manileñas wanting to prove that they are truly a “Woman of Worth.”
Returning to the spotlight after its five-year hiatus, this search aims to showcase the extraordinary ladies who personify the essence of beauty, while also emphasizing the importance of empowerment and leadership to deliver meaningful contributions.
Featuring a good mix of pageant veterans and newbies all hailing from the “Pearl of Orient,” this year’s edition of Miss Manila provides an opportunity for the candidates to embrace their inner strength, exude confidence, and champion their unique qualities in the hope to better their respective communities.
During the press presentation, one of the pre-pageant activities, held on June 3 at the Rizal Park Hotel located along Manila Bay in Manila, the 20 equally gorgeous candidates exuded their poise, charm, and wit as they answered interesting questions from the media.
By the end of the activity, 21-year-old Ms. Paco, Angela Okol, was awarded as the “Darling of the Press.”
The journey to Miss Manila 2023 crown is not an easy one, as the 20 candidates continuously undergo pre-pageant activities such as masterclasses in Pasarela under Rodgil Flores, founder of pageant camp Kagandahang Flores, make-up sessions with Lala Flores, a renowned celebrity make-up artist, among many others.
Not only celebrating external beauty but also putting the spotlight on the contestant’s intellect, talent, and achievements, Miss Manila 2023’s Grand Coronation Night will happen on June 23, 7:00 pm, at the Manila Metropolitan Theater.
The prestigious night of glitz and glamor will be hosted by none other than Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray. It can be recalled that Gray worked on a project titled, “Paraiso: The Bright Beginnings Project,” where she raised funds for the children from Smokey Mountain in Tondo, Manila.
Guests can expect some special performances from Manileña, Angeline Quinto, rapper Kritiko, and violinist Jo Bry Cimafranca will also be featured during the coronation night.
In her previous interview during the official announcement of candidates held last May 15, City Mayor Honey Lacuna-Pangan, the first female to hold the mayoralty post in the city, said that she hopes to crown an empowered woman who is true to herself. “She should embody the traits of a true Manileña. And she should be a strong advocate for the rights of all women.”
The winning Manileña will receive one million pesos from the local government, a specially curated crown featuring over 2,000 sapphire diamonds, among many others.
Interview highlights from the Press Presentation:
Question: What is your definition of “Women of Worth?”
Angela Okol, Paco: To be a Woman of Worth, you must know when to speak your mind but also do it wisely. As a Woman of Worth, we also have to make sure that we’re open to different kinds of perspectives and views in life that are different from our own. As we know, it’s very easy nowadays to feel a bit closed and sheltered because you want to feel that you are correct. But a Woman of Worth knows when to listen but also when to speak.
VIDEO: Ms. Paco during the press presentation (sent via telegram)
Question: What is your advocacy coming in Miss Manila 2023 and if given the chance that you win the crown, how are you planning to raise more awareness on the said advocacy?
Rethy Rosa, Maceda, Sampaloc: As you might not know, my advocacy is proper child nutrition, that is because growing up, I came from a low-income family. And which is why our food is mostly not nutritious. As we all know, buying nutritious meals is very expensive, especially nowadays. That is the reason why growing up, I was undernourished and lacking proper nutrition. I grew up weak and at the same time, I am not as strong as the other children around me. I realized that this is what I am most passionate about – helping children who are malnourished. If given the chance to be Miss Manila, I will use this opportunity to collaborate with the LGU of Manila to implement programs and projects that will benefit these children and at the same time, I am not only serving my purpose of being a “Woman of Worth” of Manila but also those poor children who I, myself, experienced.
Question: In your opinion, how does the city of Manila set itself apart from the other major cities in the world?
Hannah Therese Cruz, Sampaloc: Hi, good afternoon po. Well, Manila is so different because it serves as a window to the past. Despite the rapid innovations, it is a place where we see the most historical sights like Intramuros, Manila Cathedral, San Agustin Church, so it’s an admired city and to top that, it’s their resilience. During World War II, it was the second most devastated city in the whole world but it was able to rise. And we could see that in any adversity, the City of Manila can stand back at its feet. Thank you!
Question: Aside from the title and the crown, what do you look forward to gaining when joining Miss Manila 2023?
Francine Tajanlangit, Roxas Boulevard: Well, of course, before joining with or without the pageant, I have always worn the sash, an internal sash, a sash of service. Even when I was young, I was exposed to outreach [programs] and Miss Manila is such an amazing platform for me to showcase my advocacy, especially in health. You know, I believe that health is a constitutional right of every Manileño, of every Filipino, and I wish to stand not just as a witness to that but also to stand as a vessel to achieve this.
Miss Manila is presented by the City of Manila, Department of Tourism, culture and the Arts of Manila, Kreativden Entertainment, and co-presented by the Philippine Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry and San Miguel Corporation. Minor sponsors are SM and Arca with partnerships from Jag, EW Villa Medica Manila, Metrophoto, Metropolitan Theater, and the Rizal Park Hotel.