SUBIC BAY FREEPORT, Philippines — Finally, after several postponements, the 2021 Miss World Philippines pageant staged its coronation ceremonies, proclaiming winners at the culmination of an excruciatingly dragging program that started at 8 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 3, and ended early morning the next day.
Tracy Maureen Perez bested 43 other aspirants for the Miss World Philippines crown in ceremonies staged at the Subic Bay Exhibition and Convention Center (SBECC) at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone.
No contest was held last year because of the government-imposed restrictions on live events. And with the international Miss World pageant also postponing its 2020 edition, a national search was not necessary last year.
The organizers had already screened applicants and selected candidates as early as May, then declared a July 11 coronation date, the same schedule the rival Binibining Pilipinas pageant had chosen for its own finals.
The Miss World Philippines (MWP) organization then moved its final contest and set ceremonies at Okada Manila in Parañaque City on Aug. 8. But the government imposed stricter quarantine measures, forcing another postponement.
A different venue was floated in September, when MWP said the coronation night would be pushing through on Sept. 19 at the Olongapo City Convention Center, but the city government eventually pulled the plug on the pageant’s staging citing pandemic protocols.
Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Chief Wilma Eisma told the Inquirer in an earlier report that the coronation night’s staging was only approved after the MWP assured that they will strictly follow COVID-19 protocols set by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF).
After the dust settled, Perez saw herself wearing the most coveted crown of the evening, inheriting it from 2019 Miss World Top 12 finalist Michelle Dee, daughter of 1979 Miss International Melanie Marquez.
Perez will compete in the 70th Miss World pageant in Puerto Rico on Dec. 16.
The national pageant also crowned several other winners who will represent the country in different global tilts—Miss Eco Philippines Kathleen Paton, Reina Hispanoamericana Filipinas Emmanuelle Vera, Miss Multinational Philippines Shaila Rebortera, Miss Tourism Philippines Tricia Martinez, Miss Environment Philippines Michelle Arceo, and Miss Eco Teen Philippines Tatyana Austria.
Dindi Pajares had already received the 2021 Miss Supranational Philippines title in July. She started out as a candidate but was voted by her fellow contestants for the crown when the organization was forced to choose a delegate to the Miss Supranational pageant in Poland scheduled in August. She finished in the Top 12.
The Philippines has so far only one Miss World titleholder, Megan Young who was crowned in Indonesia in 2013.
The MWP organization has also produced several other global beauties who won for the Philippines its first victory in their respective international competitions — 2017 Reina Hisapnoamericana Filipinas Teresita Ssen “Winwyn” Marquez, 2018 Miss Eco International Cynthia Thomalla, and 2018 Miss Multinational Sophia Senoron.