North Cotabato lass grabs Bb. Pilipinas-Universe crown

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Tuesday, April 1, 2014


"THIRD-TIME" Binibining Pilipinas contender Mary Jean Lastimosa of Tulunan, North Cotabato finally bagged the right to represent the country to the Miss Universe tilt this year.

The 26-year-old lass bested 39 other contestants in this year's pageant held Sunday night at the Araneta Coliseum before a jam-packed crowd.

Aside from the top crown, Lastimosa was also adjudged as Best in Swimsuit.

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Other winners were Mary Anne Guidotti as Bb. Pilipinas-International, Parul Shah as Bb. Pilipias-Tourism, Yvethe Marie Santiago as Bb. Pilipinas-Supranational and Kris Janson as Bb. Pilipinas-Intercontinental, the fifth and newest title given at the Binibining Pilipinas pageant.

Lastimosa was one of the crowd favorites and is expected to win a title this year after joining the pageant for the third time. In 2008, Lastimosa was crowned as the Mutya ng Dabaw.

All of the five beauty titlists are in great pressure to exceed the strong finish of three Filipina beauties who won international beauty pageants in 2013.

Last year, the country brought home three beauty pageant titles -- Mutya Johanna Datul won Miss Supranational, Bea Rosa Santiago won Miss International, and Megan Young won Miss World.

The Philippines also made it to the top five in the Miss Universe pageant for the past four years. Maria Venus Raj was fourth runner-up in 2010, Shamcey Supsup was third runner-up in 2011, Janine Tugonon was first-runner up in 2012, and Ariella Arida was third runner-up in the Miss Universe 2013.

Attending the event last night was reigning Miss Universe Gabriela Isler who was also one of the judges.

North Cotabato Governor Emmylou Taliño-Mendoza, meanwhile, congratulated Lastimosa for winning the crown and for putting North Cotabato in the limelight. Mendoza gave her all-out support to Lastimosa's third attempt at the title this year and watched the finals at the Araneta Coliseum last night.

Gov. Mendoza said with Lastimosa's victory, another product of North Cotabato is "going global". Just recently, North Cotabato's organic rice and organic sugar also gained worldwide attention during an agricultural trade fair in Nuremberg, Germany.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on April 01, 2014.

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