If one door closes, somewhere is an open window… or so that saying goes. But for Senorita Panama 1996, Lia Voctoria Borrero, she found a floodgate…
Standing at 5’9″, Lia was crowned Señorita Panamá 1996 on September of that year. Later in May of 1997, she found herself competing in Miss Universe in Miami, Florida. She was the second highest overall scorer during the preliminaries behind Verna Vasquez of Curacao. But luck didn’t shine for her during the finals as she only ended up as one of the top 6 finalist that year.
In 1998 though she would find redemption in Miss International. Lia bested top favorites for the MI title which included 1st runner up Daniela Kosan of Venezuela (who won Miss Photogenic) and Adriana Hurtado of Colombia (who won Best in National Costume).
As Miss International, she worked for the International Culture Association (ICA) during her year-long reign, helping the One Love Fund, a foundation that gives donations to people who suffer from natural disasters, through the creation of goodwill activities.
After her reign she opted for a quiet life away from the limelight. She then became a sales manager and had a family of her own with her husband and son. Several years ago, she was honored by the Señorita Panama for her achievements in Miss Universe and Miss International.
While Veruska Ramirez may have been one of my favorites in Miss Universe 1998, she wasn’t my fave to win Miss Venezuela. That honor goes to Daniela Kosan Montcourt.
During the Miss Venezuela 1997 pageant, Miss Aragua Daniela Kosan was considered to be one of the heavy favorites to win the title (alongside Christina Dieckmann who became Miss Venezuela Mundo). A medical student at that time, Daniela was every inch a beauty queen with her 35-24-36 figure on a 5’9″ frame. Pageants was a far cry from her thoughts as she used to be scared of modeling.
After placing third in Miss Venezuela, she was sent to compete in Nuestra Belleza Internacional in Miami, Florida. The Latin-American broadcast network Univision produced that competition and gathered girls from all over the Americas and Spain to compete for a regional crown. Daniela easily won the title and became the last winner of that pageant as it was cancelled in 1998.
At Miss International, she was said to be a major favorite for the title. This was evidenced when she won the Miss Photogenic award, which a number of MI winners won. It was said that her second-place finish was attributed to the fact that the reigning winner, Consuelo Adler, was a fellow Venezuelan and that a back-to-back win was frowned upon by the organizers. Back then there was no “Mikimoto curse” as that is said to have developed only in the 2010’s.
After her 1st runner up win in Japan, Daniela then became a sought after celebrity, product endorser and host in her native Venezuela. Nowadays, she is busy with her business venture where she launched her own beauty line of cosmetics and perfume.
With the Alpha pageants of 2017 being crowned in the same year (remember the MU2016 edition happening in January 2017?), we can finally list down the 2017 rankings within the same year.
Note that the Sashes&Scripts ranking is quite different from the Sash Factor ranking as we list down the overall achievements of the countries just like the Olympic medal tally from the conception of the 4 major pageants. The reason for this is simply because we believe that this is a marathon, not a sprint.
Demi Leigh Nel-Peters’ win in Miss Universe only boosted South Africa to a 15th place overall behind Spain, Germany, Argentina and Finland. Indonesia’s first Miss International win care of Kevin Liliana places her country in the board to look out for…
Now on to the top 10 ranking this year… 10. Colombia – 5 crowns & 26 runner up placements, the 2 runner-up placements didn’t create enough ripple to move it higher this year. 9. Sweden – 6 crowns & 14 runner up placements 8. Brazil – 6 crowns & 37 runner up placements 7. United Kingdom (GB & England) – 7 crowns & 21 runner up placements 6. Australia – 7 crowns & 26 runner up placements 5. Puerto Rico – 9 crowns & 11 runner up placements 4. India – 9 crowns & 15 runner up placements, moves one spot higher to bring down Puerto RIco to the 5th spot with Manushi’s win.
3. Philippines – 14 crowns & 21 runner up placements, Karen Ibasco’s win brings a significant move as it comes closer to the 2nd spot. All it needs is a minimum of major crown next year to overtake the US. 2. USA – 14 crowns & 59 runner up placements 1. Venezuela – 22 crowns & 42 runner up placements, Diana Croce’s 2nd runner up placement in MI just keeps on piling up the lead of this pageant powerhouse.
It’s currently Metro Manila Film Festival at the theaters and we see two beauty queens jump into the big screens: Miss International Kylie Verzosa and Binibining Pilipinas International Mariel de Leon…
The two beauty queens-turned-actresses can be seen at the Coco Martin starrer Ang Panday. Kylie is now signed under Viva Entertainment, so we should be expecting to see more of her on TV and the big screen. She recently had a hand on reporting as TV Patrol’s Star Patroller. Not to mention as a host of MMFF’s Gabi ng Parangal. Expect big things to come for Mariel as well as she can leverage her singing talent into a career. Both Miss International alums, both facially gorgeous, both making a plash into the showbiz industry. Can’t wait to see how their careers would lift off!
Here is a short video of the outtakes on the shoot…
After the dust has settled, four new Alpha winners comprise the class of 2017!
Miss Earth – Karen Ibasco, Philippines
Miss International – Kevin Liliana, Indonesia
Miss Universe – Demi-leigh Nel-Peters, South Africa
Miss World – Manushi Chillar, India
Interesting to note that three out of the four winners are from Asia. It is even more noteworthy that the winners of Miss Earth and Miss International were trained in the same pageant camp in the Philippines! Not to mention that for 5 years in a row the Philippines has won one or two of the Alpha pageants consecutively. This goes to show that the Philippines is indeed a pageant powerhouse country.
After the dust has settled and all the major pageants has finished, we can now say that the Philippines continues its winning streak in the 4 most relevant pageants in the world. Since 2013, the Philippines has been winning one crown after another in Miss Universe, Miss World, Miss International and Miss Earth (arranged according to date of establishment).
Every year since 2013, we have been winning one title after another.
2013 – Miss International Bea Rose Santiago & Miss World Megan Young
2014 – Miss Earth Jamie Herrell
2015 – Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach & Miss Earth Angelia Gabrena Ong
2016 – Miss International Kylie Verzosa
2017 – Miss Earth Karen Ibasco
The latest addition to the list is Miss Earth Karen Ibasco who allowed the Philippines its 7th Alpha pageant win in 5 consecutive years. The medical physicist wowed the judges with her gift of gab and earning the 4th Miss Earth title for the country. She brought in a sandwich victory after Angelia Ong’s back-to-back win with Jamie Herrell.
With 7 wins in 5 years, will we be seeing another Filipina winner come 2018?