SECOND-TIMER Maria Angelica de Leon finally made it this time, winning the Bb. Pilipinas-International crown.
She made her debut in the Bb. Pilipinas in 2013, making it to the 15 semifinalists but failed to win a crown.
The 23-year-old beauty is the daughter of showbiz couple, drama king Christopher de Leon and Sandy Andolong. She will represent the country in the search for Miss International slated in Japan later this year where she aims for a back-to-back victory.
Angelica, crowned Sunday night, April 30, during Binibini’s final search held at the Araneta Coliseum and was aired live on Kapamilya Network, succeeded Kylie Versoza, the reigning Miss International 2016, the country’s sixth.
Earlier of the search, Angelica was also adjudged Best in Long Gown and Binibining Cream Silk.
Forty hopefuls competed in the search, won by Filipino-British Rachel Peters of Camarines Sur, who was crowned Bb. Pilipinas-Universe replacing Maxine Medina.
Other winners include Bb. Pilipinas Globe Nelda Ibe, Bb. Pilipinas-Supranational Chanel Olive Thomas, Bb. Pilipinas Intercontinental Katarina Sonja Rodriguez, and Bb. Pilipinas Grand International Elizabeth DuradoClenci.
In the question and answer round, Peters impressed the judges as well as the huge Araneta crowd with her poise and wits as she appealed for “respect and tolerance” among Filipinos.
She added that “one of the biggest problems of our country is divisiveness in politics, religion and culture.”
“I believe it is the same across the world and that is something I would like to address. If we can learn to tolerate each other’s differences and respect each other, then we will be stronger nation going forward,” she confidently said.
Peters will represent the Philippines in the most prestigious 2017 Miss Universe search won by Filipina beauties Gloria Diaz in 1969, Margie Moran in 1973 and Pia Wurtzbach in 2015.