Miss Resorts World Manila 2012 at the Newport Mall

Host Bianca Valerio, who looked great even after making mistakes in hosting

Last Wednesday, I was at Resorts World to attend the swimwear competition of the Miss Resorts World Manila 2012, an event I covered for When In Manila. It was a little surreal because while I love beauty pageants (part of the gay gene, I guess), I’ve never focused much on the swimsuit portion, using the time to go to the restroom or practice my walk. Nonetheless, I had fun at the event.

Some of the girls in the competition 

My bets: Michelle Gavagan and Hannah dela Guerra 
Julian Flores, the Darling of the Press

There were 20 girls, and it struck me how the contestants are either students, models, or students and models. I was surprised to see Michelle Gavagan, a girl I went to high school with. My bets were Michelle and this other girl, Hannah dela Guerra, and I gave them the highest scores during the voting for the Darling of the Press award, reserved for the girl that has “something about her that you are attracted to,” according to Bianca Valerio who served as host. Unfortunately, it was Julian Flores who won the award. I think I gave her a high score, too.

The girls underwent rigorous training that began in October. Challenges ranged from a camera facing workshop with supermodel Joey Mead, a calendar shoot with the talented Mark Nicdao, Pam Quiñones, and Jing Monis at Maxims Hotel, and a personality development class and makeup training with Mafae Belasco and Jing Monis, respectively. And on November 6, the talent competition was held where Johanne Dagohoy won with a rendition of Whitney Houston’s I Will Always Love You.


The four finalists in the swimsuit competition: Kaara Tan, Roxanne Jesalva, Erika San Buenaventura, and Julian Flores

The winner of the swimsuit competition, Zahara Mae Soriano, with Executive Vice President Steve Reilly

Kaara Tan, Roxane Jesalva, Julian Flores, Erika San Buenaventura made it to the top five in the swimwear category, with Zahara Soriano rounding out the finalists and clinching the title of Best in Swimwear. Out of the girls, she was the most popular and had friends, family, and fans shouting for her and waving placards with her name. She wasn’t my bet, but oh well.

Michelle was one of the most beautiful girls in the competition
Right after, the girls will be flying to Hong Kong for the legendary Star Cruises and Disneyland. But it won’t be just fun and games as they will join challenges like an Amazing Race-style game that will test their wits and street smarts. The girls will be back at the Performing Arts Theater of the Newport Mall on November 23 for the final coronation for Miss Resorts World Manila 2012. The girls will be in the final runway with clothes from the Cebu Designers’ Guild headed by Philip Rodriguez. The winner will receive a grand prize of P750,000, while the first runner-up will receive P500,000 and second runner-up will receive P300,000.  

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