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Allure

A believer in Pinoy beauties

- Alexa Villano -

MANILA, Philippines - It is hard to believe that it has been three decades since she competed in the Mutya ng Pilipinas beauty pageant. It is because Anna Melissa “Peachy” Veneracion still has the regal bearing of a beauty queen.

Peachy serves as vice president and managing director of Carousel Productions (the team behind Miss Philippines Earth and Miss Earth pageants). A typical day for her consists of looking for sponsors and preparing the daily activities of the participants. Despite her hectic schedule, she relaxes by working out at the gym for two to three hours and going around the mall.

Peachy says the requirements of today’s beauty pageants have definitely changed compared to her time. “Back then, contestants were morena. Makeup was used for enhancement only. What you see is what you get. I’m still old fashioned so I still prefer natural beauty,” she says.

So what makes a Filipina stand out in beauty pageants? For Peachy, it’s all about personality and goals. “Filipinas are used to joining beauty pageants. From their childhood, they dream about it. A Filipina has her own charm and wit. She’s very warm and it comes out.”

She also observes that Filipinas are more modern now. “They’re very broad-minded. May laban na ang Filipina. It also helps that their height has increased,” says the 5-ft.-7-in.-tall former Mutya ng Pilipinas-World.

With the recent world-class showing of the Philippines in international beauty contests, Peachy is proud that Filipinas are getting noticed. She also has praises for Miss World 2011 first runner-up Gwendoline Ruais, who, she says, “would make a perfect Miss World title holder.”

Organizing beauty pageants is definitely a challenge. “When I competed, I was young. The challenge part was natural. Organizing pageants are more challenging because it’s a business, especially getting sponsors and candidates.”

Aside from being a beauty title holder, Peachy was also a member of the Bayanihan Dance Troupe. She toured the US with the group headed by former First Lady Imelda Marcos. She even worked in a restaurant.

Her beauty routine, Peachy confesses, does not include putting on a lot of makeup. “I hardly wear makeup. When we go on a business trip, I can put on lipstick and eyeshadow without a mirror.”

She also cautions today’s generation to avoid sunbathing because it causes skin spots and wrinkles. Her staple beauty products include Ever Bilena’s eyebrow pencil and concealer.

So what makes a beauty queen? “At first glance, you’ll see the aura. It helps being true to yourself with no pretentions and it helps that you like what you are doing. Being honest helps as well and everything will follow if your heart is into it.”

A FILIPINA

ANNA MELISSA

BAYANIHAN DANCE TROUPE

BEAUTY

FILIPINAS

MISS WORLD

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