Family, friends bid beauty queen goodbye

ANGELES CITY -- There was no shortage of love from family members, friends and fans of Binibining Pilipinas-International 2009 Melody Gersbach as they bid her farewell for the last time when she was laid to rest at the Holy Mary Memorial Park here on a gloomy Saturday morning.

Friends and relatives, including Miss Universe fourth runner-up Venus Raj, attended the funeral mass at 9 a.m. before she was laid to rest just before noon time.

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Melody’s mother Marina closely attended her daughter’s coffin amid sobs and tears. Marina’s friends from Quota International Pampanga said that the family is trying to cope-up with the pain of the loss of their “little princess.”

Melody was killed in a vehicular accident last August 21 when the van she was riding collided head-on with a passenger bus in Camarines Sur. Aside from Melody, Santos "Dodong" Ramos and Alden "Owen" Orense, the driver and make-up artist of Gersbach, respectively, also died in the incident.

Gersbach was born in Daraga, Albay but was raised in Angeles City.

Gersbach, then age 23, was crowned Binibining Pilipinas International 2009 on March 7, 2009. She was the first Bicolana beauty to hold a Binibining Pilipinas title. She represented the Philippines in the 49th Miss International 2009 pageant on November 2009 in Macau, China, where she placed among the top 15 semifinalists.

She was also one of the pageant coaches along with Stella Marquez-Araneta who helped choose the wardrobe for Binibining Pilipinas Universe 2010, Venus Raj. Shortly before her death, Gersbach said she told Raj “to relax and enjoy the Miss Universe pageant.” (Ian Ocampo Flora)
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