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Fashion and Beauty

LIST: Filipina queens who could bring back The Philippines to Miss Universe Top 16

Earl D.C. Bracamonte - Philstar.com
LIST: Filipina queens who could bring back The Philippines to Miss Universe Top 16
Miss International 2018 1st runner-up Ahtisa Manalo
Ma. Ahtisa Manalo via Instagram, screenshot

MANILA, Philippines — With the unexpected, even shocking, outcome of our national representative Celeste Cortesi in the recently concluded Miss Universe edition in New Orleans, Louisiana, it might be prudent to assume that a "shakedown" has to take effect in the Miss Universe Philippines (MUPH) Organization's guidelines in pre-selecting its pageant lineup and, more importantly, its national winner for the forthcoming 72nd edition of the annual pageant.

With the JKN's acquisition of the entire Miss Universe Organization, pageant aficionados have observed that the new era prefers a transformational leader as its queen. And with the inclusion of married and divorced women, as well as transgender women, aged 18 to 28, the eligibility has now made the competition all the more exciting.

With the national pageant yet to be announced, we thought of a few names that we felt has a strong chance at winning the 2023 title at year's end:

Tracy Maureen Perez

Assuming the Miss Universe Organization listens to reigning queen R'bonney Gabriel's suggestion to increase the age limit of national delegates to a few more years, the Cebuana beauty queen who helped single moms find lucrative livelihoods through a collaborative program with a non-government organization in Argao can continue this advocacy for the universal stage this time around. This is so much like how Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray prepared for her journey to the crown. In fact, it was her who set the bar so high, not only for succeeding Filipina national winners but also for all other delegates who had their sights focused on the Miss Universe crown.

Related: WATCH: Catriona Gray, Ne-Yo reunite at R&B singer's Manila concert

Ahtisa Manalo

After winning the second place at the Miss International 2018 pageant, fans have been praying that the accountant from Quezon Province would join the national pageant and win it. Maybe she'll consider winning the national title this time around.

Related: Miss International 2018 1st runner-up Ahtisa Manalo backs out from Miss Universe Philippines 2020

Gabrielle Camille Basiano

After stints with the Miss Friendship International in China and the Miss InterContinental in Egypt, it is hoped the statuesque beauty from Borongan, Eastern Samar would continue her pageant journey, this time, with the Miss Universe Philippines search. Her international exposure, coupled with her ideas for the national costume (like the fabulous "calesa" creation) would give other entrants a run for their money. To date, she's the only Binibini queen who won the Best in Evening Gown award for two consecutive years.

Bella Ysmael

After winning as 1st runner-up to Rabiya Mateo, fans have clamored that the Parañaque beauty make a comeback on the national stage. Miss Universe 2012 1st runner-up Janine Tugonon also feel she's the country's next best bet to the crown.

Samantha Bernardo

After a fantastic performance at the Miss Grand International 2020 pageant, fans have been wanting the Palawan beauty to invade the Miss Universe stage. As of now, she has also aged out of Miss Universe. Observers felt, that should she compete again, she would be more interested with the Miss Supranational title that has increased its age limit to 32.

Whether any, or all, of these queens consider joining the Miss Universe Philippines pageant is of no moment. We feel the new national winner should be a full-blooded Filipina. Not only will she be naturally knowledgeable about the country and its many problems; she would really stand out when standing beside other delegates for her unique look and charm.

At this point, it's still everybody's ball game!

As announced, the 72nd Miss Universe edition will unfold in El Salvador toward the end of the year. Stay tuned!

RELATED: Philippines ends 12-year semifinal streak at Miss Universe 2022

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