MANILA, Philippines – Ariella Arida describes herself as just an average person but for the next 365 days, she’ll be anything but as she is now Bb. Pilipinas-Universe 2013.
The 24-year-old Arida brought home the crown last night at the culmination of the 50th year of Bb. Pilipinas at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao and will represent the Philippines in this year’s Miss Universe pageant.
Arida, who also won the Best in Swimsuit Award, hails from Laguna and has a Chemistry degree at the University of the Philippines. She enjoys sports including volleyball, swimming, and running, having finished a 21K recently. She considers 2010 Miss Universe 4th runner up Venus Raj as her idol.
Twenty-three year-old Bea Santiago brought home the Bb. Pilipinas-International title while Nueva Ecija’s Joana Cindy Miranda is Bb. Pilipinas-Tourism. Bb. Pilpinas-Supranational went to Johanna Datul of Isabela. Pia Wurtzbach of Cagayan de Oro was named first runner-up.
Special awards were handed out to Johanna Datul (Bb. Photogenic and Best in Long Gown); Grace Rementilo (Bb. Friendship); Anna Carmela Aquino (Bb. Talent); Alaine Baccay (Best in National Costume); Ellore Noelle Punzalan (Manila Bulletin Readers' Choice Award); Cindy Miranda (Bb. Petron 2013 and Cream Silk Beyond Beautiful Award); Pia Wurtzbach (San Mig Zero Award); Bea Rose Santiago (Bb. Avon); Imelda Scheweighart (Bb. PAGCOR 2013); and Nicole Kim Donesa, (Bb. PAL 2013).
Rounding up the top 15 are Grace Yann Apuad, Maria Angelica de Leon, Charmaine Elima, Rhea Nakpil, Amanda Noelle Navasero, Camille Carla Nazar, Ellore Noelle Punzalan, Imelda Schweighart, Merry Joyce Respicio, and Parul Shah.
The event was hosted by Martin Nievera and Dawn Zulueta. Judges of the pageant were ABS-CBN Chairman Gabby Lopez, Cabinet Secretary of the Philippines Rene Almendras, Chilean Ambassador Roberto Mayorga, Italian Ambassador Massimo Roscigno, Boy Abunda, Hirofumi Hashimoto, Louis Ng of Macau, Philippine National Police Director General Allan Purisima, Miss Universe 1969 Gloria Diaz, James Younghusband, and Liliana Marquez Zawadsky.