Tuesday, October 30, 2007

And The Winner Is...

There's a new Amazing Philippine Beauty queen.

Kris Andrea Dawn Barrameda took the crown in the fifth annual Amazing Philippine Beauty pageant held at the Manila Film Center on October 19. Kris will not only represent the Philippines in the upcoming Miss International Queen Pageant taking place in Pattaya, Thailand on November 5-10, she also receives a cash prize and a one year performance contract in the Amazing Philippines Show.

Barrameda beat 23 other contestants, including 23 year old crowd favorite and first runner-up Miles Gio, who was voted Miss Friendship and took the Best Evening Gown category. Second runner-up was stunning 18 year old Angel Herrera, third runner-up was 18 year old Mona Gonzales who took the Best Talent part of the competition. Fourth runner-up was 22 year old Mikee Coloma.

From the initial 24 contestants that began the competition, the five finalists round was scored with 60 percent based on facial beauty and 40 percent on the contestant's intelligence. Personally I think that percentage should be reversed, but it ain't my pageant.

Rounding out the top 10 finalists, which was scored in this round based on 60 percent facial beauty and 40 percent figure, were Beth Imperial, People’s Choice awardee Joyce Azarcon, Miss Fashionista Joanna Santos, Ayumi Lopez, and Angelica Cruz Ilustre.

The girls making the 15 semifinalists were Cynthia Soliven, Kimberly Hernandez, Asyana Zulueta, Hershey Marie Francisco and 5'11' Erika Louise Peralta, the tallest candidate in the competition. Erika also took home the Best in National Costume award. 2007 Miss Photogenic winner Channa Mendez failed to make the cut.

The pageant is the brainchild of the Amazing Philippine Theater, a show similar to the ones put on by the transgender cabarets in Thailand. It was established on August 15, 2001 and showcases the best of Filipino GLBT talents.

The first and biggest theatrical variety show in the country features Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Broadway, musicals, comedy acts, modern dances, Filipino folk and stylized traditional dances. In 2003 the Amazing Philippine Show started the pageant in order to look for the most beautiful transwomen in the Philippines to be employed with the company.

“We’ve made great strides toward this pageant and other goals since the day we’ve decided that we will keep this family together for the long haul. I vow that the Amazing Philippine Theater Family will continue to be guided by a passion for bringing you the best in the field of entertainment—for doing the right thing, and for reaching those who seek what this beautiful country and its people has to offer,” said Iron Chang, the theater’s president to Giovanni Paolo J. Yazon of the Manila Standard Today.

The objectives of Amazing Philippine Beauties are to uplift all the appalling impressions of GLBT beauty pageants, give opportunities for transgender people to showcase their beauty and talent, be employed as a performer to enhance their personality and contribute to the quality of the theater’s performances in the aspect of cultural entertainment to match the discriminating tastes of many tourists; to be accepted by the society as a productive individual; build friendship and camaraderie; and rekindle the lost flame of fame and reputation that the Manila Film Center used to have.

Judging by the international coverage that this pageant is starting to garner, they are well on their way to fulfilling those goals.

Previous Miss Amazing Philippine Beauty titleholders are Sarah Trono (2003), Kaori Michelle Artadi (2004), Ardee Cansino (2005) and last year's queen Patricia Montecarlo.

Barrameda, a 22-year-old business management major has set her sights on surpassing what her predecessor did in last year's Miss International Queen pageant.

The statuesque Montecarlo was the first runner-up to Erica Andrews, who represented Mexico in the Miss International Queen contest held in Thailand last year. That was the Philippines’ highest placement in the three-year-old pageant that features transwomen from around the globe.

Congratulations to Kris and we'll see when the semifinals and finals take place on November 9-10 if she captures that increasingly prestigious crown as well.

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