Miss Manila 2024 candidates name ‘underrated but best’ places to visit in Manila

Bot Glorioso - The Philippine Star
Miss Manila 2024 candidates name �underrated but best� places to visit in Manila
Miss Manila 2023 Gabrielle Lantzer (center) with the 24 lovely Manileñas who are vying for the crown and title of Miss Manila 2024: Woman of Worth. The grand coronation is set for June 22 at the Metropolitan Theater with Miss Universe 2022 R’Bonney Gabriel, Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray, and Sparkle artist Gabbi Garcia as hosts.

The grand coronation of Miss Manila 2024: Woman of Worth will happen on June 22 at the Metropolitan Theater (MET). But this early, all 24 lovely candidates are more than ready to show their beauty, intelligence, and benevolence.

The Manileña candidates impressed audiences, select press members including The STAR, and beauty pageant bloggers with their answers to various questions concerning the City of Manila at the press presentation held recently at Swiss-Belhotel Blulane.

Some of the candidates articulated to The STAR about the beautiful places in Manila that they think are underrated despite the presence of different social media platforms.

Miss Paco Jasmine Paguio deemed it best to recommend to anyone who would visit Manila to take a trip to the place that she proudly represents.

Some of the candidates have named the beautiful places in Manila that they think are still underrated despite the presence of different social media platforms

“I feel like Paco is a little underrated in terms of the districts in Manila. It is historically-filled because we have the Paco Cemetery Park where (National Hero) Jose Rizal was buried following his execution in Luneta (formerly known as Bagumbayan),” said Jasmine, who was born and raised in Canada by her Filipino parents. She moved to Manila three years ago to pursue her passion for  the pageant and entertainment industries. Her mom was born in Cavite and her dad was originally from Bataan.

“Paco Park is also the final resting place of the three priests — the GomBurZa (Mariano Gomez, Jose Burgos and Jacinto Zamora). So, there’s so much history in Paco even though it’s small and I would have to say it’s very lively, too,” added Jasmine, who also narrated an interesting fact about Paco that it was formerly known as Paso de Dilaw because of the abundance of yellow flowers in the area.

Jasmine also shared that yellow is her grandmother’s favorite color “so in a way, I feel like my grandmother is with me on this journey.”

Miss Quiapo Ednalyn Gunio, on the other hand, talked about the diverse culture of the place she grew up in. “It’s what makes Quiapo an accessible community.”

She, too, hopes to change the kind of impression other people have on Quiapo — that it is notorious for beggars, snatchers, pickpockets and other nuisance in the society.

“The one place in Manila that I think is also worth visiting is the San Sebastian Church and since it is old (first constructed in 1621 and rebuilt four times due to damages), there’s a clamor for its restoration,” Ednalyn stated.

The San Sebastian Church or Basilica Minore de San Sebastian is admired for its Gothic-inspired architecture and being the only steel building church in the country and in Asia.

Luneta Park and Dangwa instantly came to mind for Miss Sampaloc representative Christine Banzon when asked which places in Manila she would like to be put in the spotlight. Christine was only 12 years old when her Filipino parents brought her to Canada where she spent most of her teenage years.

“I came from Canada and since I just got back here, I’m exploring and relearning my roots so I enjoy visiting places like Dangwa and Luneta where I would usually walk with my grandfather when I was a kid,” recalled Christine. “Doon niya ako tinuturuan ng history and culture ng Philippines.”

“So, if I were to take someone to Manila (from Canada), I would bring her or him to those places because those are the places where I have stories that I can share with them. What I have is my history and my stories from my childhood that I like to show them in Manila.”

Arroceros representative Mikaela Orense looks forward to spreading good words about Universidad de Manila where she is currently a third-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing student. “I want people to know that the students there are the future of Manila. Their talents and abilities are great contributions to the community.”

Representing Arlegui who grew up in Thailand is Victoria Bobier, who shared an interesting fact about Arlegui. “Arlegui is actually home to one of the most beautiful yet controversial homes in the country which is the Arlegui Guest House.”

Based on laperalmansion.gov.ph, the Arlegui Guest House, now known as the Laperal Mansion, is a 19th-century architectural gem draped in European elegance and infused with tropical touches from the archipelago. Moreover, the National Historic Monument is a pillar of Philippine history.

According to a report by GMA News online, the Laperal Mansion has been recently restored to its former glory and will now serve as a Presidential Guest House for important officials.

Asked how they can connect with and relate to the people of the city as Manileñas, Miss Sta. Ana Xena Ramos replied, “The major building block of my life has been my college education and this has truly opened my eyes to the bustling City of Manila. The daily commute has allowed me to share this relatability to the little experience I have gained through fellow Manileños as well as actively participating in different events in my organization which has allowed me to deepen my connection with our history. This collective experience has enriched me and helped me to relate and connect to the people of the City of Manila because a Woman of Worth is someone (true) to her roots.”

How can they convince the young generation to visit Manila?

New Panaderos Imee Soyangco said she will let them feel and enjoy the city while she tells about its rich history and heritage, “and of course, I can convince them to visit Manila through food. I believe that food truly takes the heart of everyone including the young ones.”

For Miss Tayuman Daniella Moustafa, the story of Manila will best convince the young generation to visit the country’s capital city. “It is full of pain yet it is beautiful. The history of Manila is truly what shaped not just Manila but also its people.”

Miss Old Sta. Mesa Charyzah Esparrago shared that she works with kids a lot as part of her advocacy. “As a teacher, I know kids are very hyperactive and they can’t stay focused on one thing but thank God, Manila has a million things to offer. So, first we are going to have a little bit of a food crawl, we’re gonna go to restaurants and we’re gonna try the foods together even though we have to wait in line, and then we’re gonna go to Rizal Park, to the Japanese-themed garden to breathe fresh air and at the same time they will see the nature that Manila has to offer.

“And of course, you can’t go to Manila without educating them on our rich cultural history which is why we will go to my personal favorite place which is the National Museum. I myself is an artist so I will tell them do you know what is this painting about and I feel that at the end of the day, their parents will thank me because they are too tired to do anything but go to sleep so they will say, ‘That’s a good day, thanks, Charyzah!’” she amusingly said.

Other equally gorgeous and intelligent ladies vying for the Miss Manila crown and title are Trina Martinez, representing Abad Santos; Lienel Navidad, Dagupan Extension; Dianne Gibaga, Don Bosco; Jubilee Acosta, España; Jeriza Uy, Gagalangin, Tondo; Shefally Valencia, Gastambide; Mary Angela Lim, Labores; Sandra Moustafa, Legarda; Sunshine Gabuat, Malate; Leean Jame Santos, Manuguit; Trisha Rosales, Morayta; Sofia Nina Cornejo, Otis; Estephanie Ladignon, Pandacan; Amanda Kay Rhodes, San Andres; and Aliya Rohilla, Sta. Cruz.

Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray will share hosting duties with Miss Universe 2022 R’Bonney Gabriel and Sparkle GMA artist Gabbi Garcia.

The selection committee is comprised of GMA 7 exec Annette Gozon-Valdes, Sparkle’s Joy Marcelo, Miss Universe Philippines 2024 Chelsea Manalo and Charo Santos-Concio.

The grand coronation will be aired on GMA on June 23 after All-Out Sundays.

(A project of the City of Manila, The Department of Tourism, Culture and Arts of Manila in cooperation with KreativDen Entertainment, Miss Manila 2024 is part of the city’s celebration of the 453rd Araw ng Maynila.)

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