Over the previous weekend Cebu City, the Queen City of the South, found itself the home of winning beauty queens after a one-two combination of victories in key Philippine pageants. Friday, September 30 saw the much-delayed Miss Universe Philippines 2021 finally kick off. In a candidate pool slightly pruned by two withdrawals due to health reasons, Cebuana City girl Beatrice Gomez snagged the title to represent the country in this year’s Miss Universe pageant. Before the weekend was out, Cebu City celebrated again when, in October 3’s Miss World Philippines pageant, another representative of their metropolis, Tracy Maureen Perez, triumphed.
GMA News has the story on both pageant wins for Cebu City, landing two of its daughters to be Misses Philippines in two of the Big Four beauty pageants for this year. Beatrice Gomez led off during the Miss Universe Philippines competition last Friday, held at Alona Beach of Panglao, Bohol. The 26-year-old model, community worker and Navy reservist made history as the first open member of the LGBTQIA+ community as national rep for Miss Universe. Her openness about her orientation was a key component of her answer in the final Q&A. She would receive the title crown from Miss Universe Philippines 2020 Rabiya Mateo.
This past Sunday, October 3, it was Miss World Philippines’ turn to pick a champion for Miss World 2021. At the Subic Bay Exhibition and Convention Center, a complete pool of 44 entrants vied for the title. Ultimately Tracy Maureen Perez of Cebu City, a model with an industrial engineering degree, received the Miss World Philippines crown from her predecessor Michelle Daniella Dee. Interestingly, she had joined Miss World Philippines for the first time in 2019, where she placed in the Top 12 and Dee won. Perez also made headlines that evening when she stumbled onstage twice, the second time just after she was crowned.
Completing Beatrice Gomez’ Miss Universe Philippines 2021 entourage are Taguig’s Katrine Jane Dimaranan as MUP Tourism and Cavite’s Kim Victoria Vincent as MUP Charity, along with Maureen Wrob of Pangasinan and Steffi Rose Aberasturi as 1st and 2nd Runner-up respectively. Over with Miss World Phlippines, Tracey Maureen Perez is joined by Miss Eco Philippines Kathleen Paton, Reina Hispanoamerica Filipinas Zoe Emmanuelle Vera, Miss Tourism Philippines Trisha Martinez, Miss Environmental Philippines Michelle Arceo, Miss Multinational Philippines Shaila Mae Rebortera, and Miss Eco Teen Philippines Tatyana Alexei Austria. Candidate Dindi Joy Pajares was already appointed Miss Supranational Philippines back in July, and finished Top 12 at Miss Supranational 2021 in August 21.
But for Cebu City, the twin wins of Gomez and Perez are a major cause for city pride this year, even if celebrations are subdued due to the COVID pandemic.
Images: ABS-CBN News and Rappler