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Ecuadorean wins Manila pageant, as PH beauty crowned in Ecuador

A 24-year-old make-up artist from Ecuador won the Miss Global 2016 during a beauty contest held at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City last Saturday night.

Hours later, a 23-year-old pageant veteran from the Philippines was crowned Miss United Continents 2016 at the Palacio de Cristal, Guauaquil in Ecuador.

Ecuadorian Angela Bonilla bested 39 other candidates from around the world in the Miss Global 2016 pageant that caters to single women and single moms.

Jeslyn Santos from Hagonoy, Bulacan won Miss United Continents 2016 contest in the field of 29 beauties from other countries.

At the Miss Global pageant, Miss Philippines Camille Hirro finished 1st runner-up; Miss Australia Caitlyn Henry, 2nd runner up; Miss Czech Republic Nikola Bechynova, 3rd runner-up; and Miss Norway Britt Rekkedal, 4th runner-up.

Hirro won special awards such as Best in Evening Gown, Best in National Costume, Darling of the Press and Miss Fashion; Philippines.

Other winners of special awards were Lady Grace, Ecuador; Ms Nazareth, Sweden; Ageless Beauty, Australia; Ms Enterprise, China; Ms Fitness, Iran; Ms Talent, Ukraine; Ms Photogenic, Ecuador and Miss Congeniality, Kenya.

Other candidates in the Top 20 were representatives from Russia, Trinidad and Tobago, Cambodia, Chile, Kenya, India, Iran, China, Netherlands, Canada, Nigeria, Botswana and Sweden.

Bonilla thanked Filipino fashion designer Julius Ornum and Jesson Bolatin who took care of her during the Manila competition. Ornum said that a friend from Ecuador has sought their assistance to help the financially hard-up beauty queen compete in the Miss Global contest.

Miss United Continents

Santos, 23, was handpicked by pageant guru John dela Vega whose team trained the beauty queen for the international pageant. She was crowned by outgoing Miss United Continents Nathalia Lago from Brazil.

Dela Vega reportedly shed tears of joy when it was announced that Santos won the contest.

First runner-up honors went to Miss Denmark; Miss India, 2nd runner-up; Miss Brazil, 3rd runner-up; Miss Mexico, 4th runner-up and Miss Panama, 5th runner-up.

Others candidates in the Top 10 were candidates from Colombia, Dominican Republic, South Africa and Thailand.

Santos, who stands 5’7, is a Broadcast Communication graduate. She plays volleyball and became the team captain of her team in college where she won gold medal. She is also an alumnae of Bb. Pilipinas 2014 and 2016, Bb. Republica Filipina and last year’s delegate to the first Miss World Peace contest in Hong Kong.

In preparing for the pageant, Santos studied Spanish culture and language. She also underwent intensive physical training in the gym under the supervision of fitness expert Angelo Mendez. Others who helped Santos in her training and styling are Domz Ramos, Jojo Mangalino, Cathy Capustrano, North Paril Ortiz, Lou Vella and Julius Jaguio.

Santos wore a “Sinulog” national costume designed by Lemuel Rosos of Cebu.

The Miss United Continents pageant then known as Miss American Continent started in 2006. It is considered one of the biggest regional pageants in Central and South Americas.

In 2013, the pageant was opened to all countries and continents. It is now chaired by Maria del Carmen de Aguayo, of the Miss Ecuador Organization.

Last year, Annabel Christine Tia finished in the Top 10 of the beauty pageant. She also received two special awards and placed second in the online voting for Miss Photogenic.