12 Timeless Binibining Pilipinas Beauty Queens
They may now be parents and grandparents but these beauty queens continue to show the grace and elegance of a true Binibini.
No pageant season is complete without Binibining Pilipinas. Since it was established in 1964, the opportunity of being a Binibining Pilipinas queen has opened opportunities for many ladies. Some of them became actresses, politicians, and even businesswomen.
With the pageant set to celebrate its 60th year in 2024, we round up some of the women who represented the Philippines on the international stage and went on to become achievers in their own right, including becoming mothers and grandmothers.
Gloria Diaz, Miss Universe 1969
No list would be complete without the country’s first-ever Miss Universe, who put the Philippines on the map at the time when the first men landed on the moon. After turning her title, Gloria Diaz would become one of the country’s fine actresses. She continues to appear on television and in movies while being a mother to daughters Isabelle and Ava, and being a grandmother.
Margarita Moran, Miss Universe 1973
Fifty years since she was crowned as Miss Universe 1973 in Greece, Margarita “Margie” Moran remains one of the country’s most elegant women. A mother of two and a grandmother now, she remains a fixture in Philippine society as president of the Cultural Center of the Philippines. She also recently judged Miss Universe 2023.
Rosemarie Brosas-Hahn, Bb. Pilipinas Universe 1975, Miss Universe 4th runner-up
Rosemarie “Chiqui” Brosas brought pride to the Philippines when she emerged as Miss Universe 4th runner-up in her year. These days, Chiqui is a mother and gives birthing classes.
Her daughter Regina Hahn-Siy would eventually follow in her footsteps as a Binibini in 2009, where she emerged as 2nd runner-up.
Melanie Marquez, Miss International 1979
If there is a word to describe Melanie Marquez, it’s iconic. The youngest to win the Miss International title in 1979, Melanie would carve her niche in modeling and becoming an actress. She is also known for her Melanism quotes.
These days, Melanie divides her time between the Philippines and the US where she is based with some of her kids, and her husband Adam Lawyer. She is also a proud mom to Miss Universe Philippines 2023 Michelle Dee.
Desiree Verdadero-Abesamis, Bb. Pilipinas 1984, Miss Universe 3rd runner-up
Desiree Verdadero competed in Miss Universe 1984, eventually becoming 4th runner-up. After her stint as a beauty queen, Desiree became a fixture as one of Renee Salud’s muses and modeled for his various fashion shows. She along with some of her contemporaries co-founded the Professional Models Association of the Philippines (PMAP), setting the rules and regulations for treatment of the models in the fashion industry.
These days, Desiree trains beauty queens alongside her friends Patty Betita and Renee Salud under the group The Crown Initiative. Her daughter Aya Abesamis also became a beauty queen, emerging as Bb. Pilipinas 2019 1st runner-up and later as Bb. Pilipinas Grand International.
Maria Isabel Lopez, Bb. Pilipinas Universe 1982
Maria Isabel Lopez’s journey to becoming a Binibini was a controversial one. After winning the title, she almost got dethroned for being a Gerald Peters model, which back then was considered too sexy. She eventually represented the Philippines in the pageant.
After her stint as a beauty queen, Maribel would become an actress and star in several shows and films, including Kinatay under director Brillante Mendoza. Her daughter Mara would follow in her footsteps as an actress. Maribel is currently based in the US.
Patty Betita, Bb. Pilipinas International 1991
Patty Betita is one of the country’s iconic models. She joined Bb. Pilipinas in 1991 and represented the country in Miss International. After her stint, Patty continued to model for various fashion designers until she slowly stepped out of the spotlight.
These days, Patty helps alongside Desiree Verdadero-Abesamis, Renee Salud, and Teng Roma in training models and beauty titleholders under the Crown Initiative team. She also does her own image consulting and modeling workshops.
Patty has a son, Emilio, from her relationship with Senator JV Ejercito.
Marina Benipayo, Bb. Pilipinas Maja 1992, representative to Miss World
Marina Benipayo was also one of the country’s top models, walking for several fashion designers. In 1992, she tried her luck in Bb. Pilipinas where she got the title of Bb. Pilipinas Maja. But when the representative to Miss World, Marilen Espino, got sick, Marina was asked to represent the country in the pageant held in South Africa.
Following her stint as a titleholder, Marina continued to model and appear in several TV projects. She has been in a relationship with actor Ricardo Cepeda. Her son Joshua de Sequera followed in her footsteps as a model and later represented the country in Manhunt International, where he emerged as 1st runner-up.
Charlene Gonzalez-Muhlach, Bb. Pilipinas Universe 1994
Long before she became a host and actress, Charlene Gonzalez became the country’s representative in Miss Universe in Manila in 1994 where Sushmita Sen won. After placing in the Top 6 and getting the Best in National Costume award, Charlene, who initially wanted to be a doctor, carved her path in showbiz, donning the famous fishtail of Dyesebel and becoming a host for The Buzz.
She married actor Aga Muhlach in 2001 and had twins Atasha and Andres. On top of being a mother to the twins, Charlene has kept herself in the spotlight from time to time in several commercials, print ads, and guest appearances.
Abbygale Arenas-De Leon, Bb. Pilipinas Universe 1997
Abbygale Arenas was already a model when she joined Bb. Pilipinas. After her stint as a titleholder, Abbygale returned to modeling and later used her knowledge to become one of the country’s sought-after image consultants and establish her own company Personifi Image. She also wrote a book called 88 Things Every Professional Should Know or Else.
In 2021, Abbygale opened up about battling breast cancer. Together with the support of her husband, ace lensman Jun de Leon and their two kids, Abbygale went through the process of chemotherapy and radiation and has since been declared healthy.
Nina Ricci Alagao, Bb. Pilipinas Universe 2000
Nina Ricci Alagao won Bb. Pilipinas Universe in 2000 and represented the Philippines in Cyprus. After her stint as a beauty queen, Nina did TV shows and dabbled in makeup artistry. She also occasionally models.
These days, Nina is seen on television as a newscaster for Mata ng Agila International on Net25. Nina is married to actor-dancer Michael Flores, with whom she shares three kids.
Precious Lara Quigaman-Alcaraz, Miss International 2005
After Melanie Marquez, it would take three decades before another Filipina, Precious Lara Quigaman, took home the Miss International crown in 2005. Lara’s win gave her a motorcade in Manila and she would venture into showbiz and modeling.
These days, Lara continues to be active on television and is one of the board members of Bb. Pilipinas. She is married to actor-athlete Marco Alcaraz and balances being a mother to three boys.
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