MANILA, Philippines - Starting this year, a Bb. Pilipinas-World crown will no longer be among the top three plums in the iconic Bb. Pilipinas pageant. There will be a separate search for Miss World Philippines, the winner of which will represent the country in the Miss World contest.
Julia Morley, chairman and CEO of Miss World Limited, arrived on Monday to announce the awarding of the exclusive licensee agreement of Miss World Philippines to media personality and wellness guru Cory Quirino who will take charge of the first Miss World Philippines tilt this August.
In a press conference at the Shangri-La Makati yesterday, Morley said they made the move so they can focus on their socio-civic projects and raise more funds for poor beneficiaries in the Philippines, particularly the PGH Medical Foundation and Tuloy Street Children Foundation.
“The job of Miss World is always for fund-raising. The crown is a symbol of fund-raising. Our aim, our vision at Miss World is always ‘Beauty with a Purpose.’ What is a crown without a purpose?’” explained Morley who is in Manila for the first time since Miss World was established in 1951.
Also present at the presscon were reigning Miss World Alexandria Mills (of USA), 2010 Miss World first runner-up Emma Wareus, 1973 Miss World first runner-up Evangeline Pascual and 1993 Miss World Second Princess Ruffa Gutierrez.
Morley clarified that she has no intention to offend or rile Madame Stella Marquez Araneta, head of the Binibining Pilipinas Charities Inc. (BPCI) in the decision to hold an individual Miss World contest. She reiterated that her primary reason to separate is to focus more on their vision to raise funds for their beneficiaries and they can do this if they hold a separate contest.
“The truth is I needed to give the Philippines as many opportunities. We need to raise funds for poor and sick at the PGH for their ventilation, the antibiotics, more medical equipment. The thing is I want to be involved. I can’t do that if we don’t have an individual contest. I don’t have a voice here before and now I want to be involved, I want to be connected. We have big plans to raise money for the children,” said Morley.
She said her heart bled when she paid a visit to the PGH and saw the miserable conditions of the children, particularly a scene when a nurse was operating a manual ventilator to an asthma patient.
“The thing is I don’t want to battle with anyone. This is not a fight, there is no dispute. We will always honor other beauty contests. I know that during the time that Stella ran the tilt with Miss World, she’s done a good job. But now, I would like to have my own contest so I can be more involved. I want my own brand and not be lumped with other people. I want to stand alone for Filipino children.”
She expressed hope that Madame Araneta will not take offense.
“She has three or four titles and if she’s got one less to worry about, then it’d be good. I don’t want to be childish or selfish. There are too many nasty things in the world. Being negative is not good for the people.”
Morley also said the awarding of the license was a highlight of her world tour, calling it a momentous occasion for Miss World organizers.
The organization is currently celebrating its 60thyear of “Beauty with a Purpose” and has raised more than $400M in support of children’s charities across the globe since its inception.
“The Philippines is a great country and has the most beautiful places so we’d be excited if we can hold it here,” she said.
Quirino, for her part, said accepting the offer was the greatest decision of her life.
“We are entering into a new era of pageants, in keeping with our mission and values. With more than 15 years as an officer serving Rotary International Districts 3818 and 3830, I have found the focus on community development by the organizers of Miss World congruent with my continuing advocacies,” Quirino said. “It’s my commitment to be a catalyst for women and children’s health, development and empowerment. Socio-civic undertakings will be a core activity of Miss World Philippines.”
Applicants to the Miss World Philippines must be 17 to 24 years old, tall, has a big heart for service, has beauty, intelligence and love for her country.