Gone are the days when beauty pageants’ sole purpose is to showcase women’s physical beauty and physique. Today, pageants such as Binibining Pilipinas serve as venue where Filipinas can prove that they are more than just pretty faces and call for advocacies.
In fact, more and more women with impressive college (and post-graduate) degrees are joining these pageants not only for their own cause, but to encourage more Filipina women that smart women are beautiful too.
Here are 10 beauty queens who proved that they are the very definition of beauty and brains:
1. Karen Ibasco, Miss Earth 2017, Masters in Applied Physics
Reigning Miss Earth 2017 Karen Ibasco is not only a titleholder, she also holds a post-graduate degree from the University of Santo Tomas with a major in Applied Physics. She also graduated with top honors from the same college and was a college instructor before winning the pageant.
2. Anna Theresa Licaros, Miss Philippines-Universe 2007, Bachelor of Laws
More than her outstanding beauty, Miss Philippines-Universe 2007 Anna Theresa Licaros’s wit and smarts definitely helped her grab the title almost a decade ago. She graduated with the highest honors from the University of the Philippines-Diliman with an undergraduate degree in Broadcast Communication, then continued to pursue Law from the same University. After failing to land a spot in the Top 15, she went back to school and graduated as the class Salutatorian.
3. Venus Raj, Miss Universe 2010 4th Runner Up, Masters in Community Development
After her iconic Miss Universe finish, Ma. Venus Raj decided to become a student again and enrolled to a graduate studies program in the University of the Philippines-Diliman College of Social Work and Community Development. She had previously graduated with honors from Bicol University with a degree in Journalism.
4. Shamcey Supsup-Lee, Miss Universe 2011 3rd Runner Up, BS Architecture
Who can forget about Architecture licensure exam Top-notcher turned Miss Universe Third Runner Up Shamcey Supsup? During her batch, she was already one of the stand outs because of her educational background, so it did not came as a surprise that she landed a spot on Miss Universe 2011’s top 5 finalists.
5. Kylie Verzosa, Miss International 2016, BS Business Management
Both the judges and the audience were wowed not only by the looks of Miss International 2016 Kylie Verzosa as she graced the stage of beauty pageants and successfully bagging titles. Before being a beauty queen, she worked as a preschool teacher and has graduated with a degree from the Ateneo de Manila University.
6. Ariella Arida, Miss Universe 3rd Runner Up, BS Chemistry
Who said beauty queens have no place in the field of science? Miss Philippines-Universe 2013 Ariella Arida proved them all wrong as she won a spot on the pageant’s top 5. She graduated as a BS Chemistry major in the University of the Philippines Los Banos before pursuing her dream of being a beauty queen.
7. Janine Tugonon, Miss Universe 1st runner up, BS Pharm@cy
Janine Tugonon was known to have beauty and brains even as an undergraduate from the University of Sto. Tomas. She has been grabbing beauty pageant titles even as a student, and at the same time, gaining admiration as a ballet dancer.
8. Laura Lehmann, Miss Philippines-World, AB Psychology
Although Laura failed to secure a spot on the pageant’s Top 15, she gained applaud for being a courtside reporter for UAAP during her college years while studying AB Psychology at the Ateneo de Manila University.
9. Katarina Rodriguez, Miss Intercontinental 2017 1st Runner Up, BS Business Management and AB Philosophy
This model turned beauty queen does not only have one, but two degrees under her belt. With the face of a super model and the brains of a double-degree holder, it is not shocking that this Binibini have wowed people from all around the globe.
10. Catherine Untalan-Vital, Miss Earth-Water 2006, BS Psychology
Even after proving herself as a beauty queen and a diligent student who graduated with honors, Catherine pursued continuous studies and received a diploma in Environment and Natural Resource Management from the University of the Philippines Open University, further strengthening her knowledge and background on saving the environment.
"It's hard to be a mother and it's hard to be a father. Can you just imagine how difficult is it for one person to play the role of two?" Anna revealed why being a single parent is the hardest decision has ever made. Know more about this story on KAMI Youtube Channel!