Charmie Joy Pagulong – The Philippine Star

November 8, 2021 | 12:00am

It’s another win for the Philippines in the world of pageantry this year.

Just a week after Cinderella “Cindy” Faye Obeñita was crowned Miss Intercontinental 2021 in Egypt, another Filipina beauty, Maureen Montagne, was declared Miss Globe 2021 in Tirania, Albania on Saturday (Manila time).

The 28-year-old pageant veteran bested 49 other candidates in the competition, making her the third Filipina to win the Miss Globe crown after Maricar Balagtas in 2001 and Ann Colis in 2015.

She is the second Binibining Pilipinas queen to be named such after Ann, whom Maureen thanked in an Instagram post for pageant advice.

During the question and answer portion, she was asked by Miss Globe 2019 Alejandra Diaz de Leon of Mexico, “Do you think beauty is a merit and how can we enrich it with other values?”

Her winning answer was, “I think that true beauty comes from within. To be a Miss Globe is to be a beauty that inspires. What makes us beautiful is our smiles, it’s what we do for our community. It’s how we give back to others, and it’s how we carry ourselves through life.”

“I believe that everyone has beauty inside of them, and I believe it is our duty to share it with the world, and to give back, and to truly inspire others,” she added.

Maureen is the successor of Miss Globe 2020 Lorinda Kolgeci of Kozovo.

Apart from the grand title, Maureen was also the first runner-up in three pre-pageant competitions, namely, People’s Choice, Miss Bikini, and Head to Head Challenge. Early on, Maureen already stood out from other aspirants with her Sampaguita-inspired national costume designed by Patrick Isorena.

Other winners of the Miss Globe 2021 competition were: Miss Nigeria Ester Ogechi Gabriel (first runner-up); Miss Turkey Melike Bali (second runner-up); Miss Venezuela Jhosskaren Carrizo Smo (third runner-up) and Miss Canada Hailey Hamelin-Wilson (fourth runner-up).

Besides her supporters, Maureen thanked her “parents for everything” in a brief interview after the coronation night: “I haven’t seen them in three years. This pandemic has been so hard even on my journey with Miss Philippines (which has been) for two years.”

“This is such an honor and I can’t wait to celebrate with all of my (fellow) Filipinos. Thank you so much for all your love and support. I felt your presence this entire pageant and this would not be possible without you. Thank you so much,” said Maureen.

“I hope to hit the ground running with my advocacies and feeding the hungry all around the globe,” she added.

In an Instagram post, she also thanked the Miss Globe organization for the “once in a lifetime opportunity and honor.” She also expressed her gratitude to Binibining Pilipinas Charities, Inc. (BPCI), model-boyfriend Dan Bradbury and all who “has helped me along my journey.”

Maureen, a Filipino-American, is not new to beauty pageants. In fact, the Miss Globe 2021 is her eighth beauty competition.

She joined Mutya ng Pilipinas 2013 (first runner-up), Miss Arizona USA 2015, Miss USA 2015 (Top 15), Miss World America 2017 (first runner-up), Miss World Philippines 2018 (Miss Eco Philippines 2018), Miss Eco International 2019 (first runner-up) and Binibining Pilipinas 2021 (Bb. Pilipinas-Globe).

The Miss Eco International 2019 title was offered to Maureen after the grand winner, Suheyn Cipriani of Peru, was dethroned due to pregnancy.

Maureen refused the offer and chose to join the 57th edition of the Bb. Pilipinas. She eventually won the Bb. Pilipinas Globe title last July and won the international title four months later.

On what makes her a winning representative of Bb. Pilipinas, Maureen told The STAR in a previous interview, “I think what makes me ready for the Miss Globe crown is my point of view — I know what I want in life. Like for me, it’s very clear to see — if there’s a need, what can we do to assist? If there’s a problem, what can we do to find a solution? I think you really need a go-getter attitude to make changes in your community.”

“I believe that all my experiences have led me to this point. I was meant to be here now at 28 when I’m mature enough and I’ve had so many experiences that I can really make a difference now,” she furthered.

The BPCI has congratulated the newly-crowned queen in a social media post: “Mrs. Stella Marquez Araneta and BPCI are thrilled with your latest pageant achievement. We never doubted that you would represent our country so well internationally.”

“You make us very proud. See you back in the Philippines, our queen,” it added.

Maureen is expected to return to the country this week.

Meanwhile, other Filipina beauty queens who will still compete in major international pageants by the end of this year are Beatrice Luigi Gomez for Miss Universe and Tracy Maureen Perez for Miss World.

Bb. Pilipinas International Hannah Arnold will vie for 2022 Miss International title next year in Japan after the 2021 edition was postponed due to the pandemic.

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