MANILA, Philippines - Mrs. Stella Marquez Araneta, chair, Bb. Pilipinas Charities Inc. (BPCI) said that the Philippines has regained its status as the "beauty capital of Asia" as she announced the grand coronation night of 2012 Bb. Pilipinas at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum on April 15.
"The past two years saw the Philippines reclaiming its lofty position as the beauty capital of Asia with back- to-back Top 5 finishes at the prestigious Miss Universe pageant," Mrs Araneta said, at the 2012 Bb. Pilipinas press launch held at the Gateway Suites, Araneta Center in Cubao, Quezon City.
Mrs. Araneta also cited the strong showing of Bb. Pilipinas-International Diane Necio who landed a spot in the semifinals, and won as Miss Internet Popularity at the 2011 Miss International pageant and Bb. Pilipinas Tourism Isabella Manjon, who also won the Miss Charity award at the 2011 Miss Tourism Queen International.
Mrs. Araneta said that the deadline for the submission of applications has been extended. "If you want to hit it big in international pageants, then Bb. Pilipinas is the beauty contest to be in."
Asked about this year's batch, Mrs. Araneta refused to provide details of some of the applicants who have been selected. However, she described this year's candidates as a "good batch."
But sources said last year's runners-up - MJ Lastimosa, 2nd runner-up; and Janine Togonon, 1st runner-up, will compete head-on with other candidates in the prestigious beauty search.
Shamcey Supsup, who won third runner-up in the 2011 Miss Universe contest in Brazil, wished both candidates good luck.
The official candidates for this year's pageant will also be presented to the press later this month.
Past winners of the Bb. Pilipinas pageants are Gloria Diaz, Miss Universe 1969; Margie Moran, Miss Universe 1973; Aurora Pijuan, Miss International 1970; Melanie Marquez, Miss International 1979; Ruffa Gutierrez, Miss World 2nd Princess, 1993; Miriam Quiambao, Miss Universe 1st runner-up, 1999; Precious Lara Quigaman, Miss International 2005.