The Binibining Pilipinas beauty pageant has long been the instrument by which the annual cream of the crop among the country’s beauty queen aspirants gathers to compete for the right to represent the Philippines in international pageants. In years past, its top three positions were equal in importance due to their winners being sent to the biggest names in beauty pageants such as Miss Universe and Miss International. Miss World used to be the third, until it launched its own pageant in 2011. On its eighth hosting Sunday this year, the Miss World PH crown would went to Katarina Rodriguez.
CNN Philippines reports that Katarina Rodriguez, age 20, triumphed at the 2018 Miss World PH beauty pageant, held in October 7 at the SM Mall of Asia Arena, Pasay City. This puts her at a second chance to compete for one of the “Big Four Beauty Pageant” crowns. Her first try had been from just last year, when she joined the 2017 Binibining Pilipinas pageant and was crowned Bb. Pilipinas Intercontinental, making her the country’s representative for the Miss Intercontinental competition that year. Rodriguez would go on to nearly bring home that title for the Philippines, but finished first runner-up.
As Rodriguez was already a pageant veteran, her good looks and grace already helped greatly in advancing during the Miss World PH pageant night, and ultimately her success would lie on how she would reply in the Question and Answer round. Rodriguez’ question was a tricky one, as it put a spotlight on the nature of beauty pageants and why they are held, like how she is in. It went: “Some feminists believe that beauty pageants are a form of women exploitation, what can you do to change their opinion?”
Katarina Rodriguez would clinch the 2018 Miss World PH crown by phrasing her answer in the way of describing beauty pageants as true competitions that can be a source of empowerment from the women in it, and that even she, a self-professed feminist, found a greater depth in the pageant scene that strongly refutes its surface appearance of being merely exploitative to women. That is because, as she says, “You understand beauty pageants when you know that it is actually not competitive towards the other women. It’s competitive towards yourself.”
Prior to engaging in outright beauty pageants, Rodriguez has already competed as part of Asia’s Next Top Model 2 in 2014. Like with her Miss International stint, she became a finalist but did not win.
Other winners at the 2018 Miss World PH Pageant include: Miss Eco Philippines Maureen Montagne, Reina Hispanoamericana Filipinas Alyssa Muhlach Alvarez, Miss Multinational Philippines Kim-Lei Mugford, First Princess Chanel Morales and Second Princess Pearl Hung.
Image courtesy of ABS-CBN News