In the Philippines, there are 3 “B’s” that create a national phenomena every time it happens – BOXING, BASKETBALL and BEAUTY PAGEANTS. When they’re on, major changes happen in most areas of the Philippines. There is no traffic. Crime rates are lower. Interestingly, national emotions are set after the results – if we win, and explosion of happiness and goodwill flows from the houses into the streets. But if we lose, a surrounding melancholy can be felt and a lot of people would advise you to not get a salon cut that day.
Sadly, the third “B” isn’t doing really well due to the pandemic. To focus on the health and safety of the candidates as well as the hundreds of people involved in mounting these enormous events, beauty pageants have made major adjustments to their 2020 events – with most of them cancelling the 2020 Competition.
The first international pageant, Miss International was cancelled in June after the cancellation of the Tokyo Olympics earlier in the year. Miss International 2020 was supposed to be the pageant’s 60th anniversary edition was cancelled by Japan’s International Cultural Association (ICA) making its 2019 winner Sireethorn Leearamwat, the first Thai woman to win the pageant the longest-reigning Miss International titleholder in the history of the pageant. The Philippines’ wore this crown 5 times - Aurora Pijuan (1970), Melanie Marquez (1979), Lara Quigaman (2005), Bea Santiago (2013) and Kylie Verzosa (2016).
Later in July, the 70th Miss World Finals organizer announced the pageant’s postponement to the first quarter of 2021. According to Miss World Chairperson and CEO Julia Morely in a statement posted on the pageant’s Facebook page, "We have made the decision to delay the 70th Miss World Final. Safety is paramount as we continue the fight against Covid 19 - We look forward to welcoming the Miss World family to our very special celebrations next year.” So far, we only have Megan Young who wore the crown in 2013. But there are other Filipina beauties who received places in the past – Evangeline Pascual (1st runner-up, 1973), Sharmaine Ruffa Gutierrez (2nd Princess, 1993) and Gwendoline Ruais (1st Princess, 2011).
Thanks to the FB announcement of pageant authority, Sash Factor, we found out in August that the 68thedition of Miss Universe was set to be held in 2021 due to the health issues happening all over the world. Current winner Zonzibini Tunzi will have to extend her stay in New York to continue her duties as the reigning Miss Universe. Filipinas who won the crown were Catriona Gray (2018), Pia Wurtzbach (2015), Margarita Moran (1973) and Gloria Diaz (1969).
Luckily, we still have a chance to experience once of the four largest international pageants on November 29 – Miss Earth. To adjust to the current pandemic, the pageant will hold the first-ever virtual coronation event in the history of the 19-year old pageant. From an ABS-CBN article, Carousel Productions head, Lorraine Schuck said, “Mas nakakahiya kung hindi ituloy (It will be more embarrassing if we do not push through) because we are an advocacy-driven pageant for environmental protection. This is the time when we’re more needed for awareness to inspire people to take action on many environmental issues.” Adapting to this new protocol in pageantry, Miss Earth Australia Managing Director Marc Baylon has this to say, “This is an important time in history and we understand that we have to continue sending the message out there to save mother earth without sacrificing the health and safety of our national representative. Social distancing and proper hygiene is very vital in sending our entry to this year’s competition.”
Australia’s candidate for this year’s Miss Earth 2020 is animal welfare advocate and conservationist, Brittany Dickson who will go against Philippine’s bet Roxanne Allison Baeyens who advocates urban gardening to save the planet. They, along with all the international candidates will submit video entries to Miss Earth who will then collate these visuals to make for the first international virtual pageant.
So mark the date on your calendars and check out this site for more info before the actual pageant.