A most cherished dream has been fulfilled as Megan Young was finally crowned as Miss World 2013. Filipino pageant lovers both local and overseas (and of course, including myself) rejoiced over this major piece of pageant history, and squeals of euphoric ecstasy can be heard all throughout.
Prior to the broadcast, I had a strong belief that history was about to be made, and I felt waiting for the delayed telecast in the confines of my bedroom would not hack it and neither would surfing the net for social media updates, as I know I wouldn’t be able to get live streaming with my very slow internet connection at home. I learned from a friend of mine in my office, Edz Esmeria, about a viewing party for this pageant, sponsored by the guys from the pageant website Sash Factor. I’m happy one of the proponents of this website, Brix Vera, welcomed me with open arms and I was granted an invite.
But earlier on that day, though, I promised I would come along with my mom, dad, and sister to celebrate my aunt’s birthday in a swanky subdivision along the Commonwealth Quezon City area. It was a wonderful occasion with a grand feast and fun times reconnecting with most of my relatives. I was stuffed from the heaping buffet they had on offer (with delectable desserts). But little did we know that instead of lasting up to about four hours, it stretched to 6 PM as some of my relatives availed of manicures and hand-and-foot massages. Plus I didn’t have the time to tell my family of my plans later that evening. But they were amenable and understanding. My mom was concerned as the rain was extremely heavy that day if I should cancel my plans, but I felt that I can manage it and that I’ll be safe and sound. So, I was dropped off at the Quezon Avenue MRT station so I could take a ride to my destination. While taking my ride amid the heavy downpour, I recalled how this was similar to what happened on Megan’s coronation as Miss World Philippines last August.
When I arrived at the venue, little did I know that the event is going to be a star-studded affair. I found out that a fellow pageant blogger that I have a high regard for, Joyce Ann Burton-Titular (Adventures of a Beauty Queen) was in the house. I never personally met her, but she’s a friend of a good friend of mine, Lex Librea (the guy who uploaded that legendary viral video on Venus Raj above) and we had a great time “talking shop” and even discussing my articles on Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines”. And with her with a laptop handy to transmit fresh updates on her blog, I realized I should’ve brought my recently bought laptop too and then publish a quicker “results reaction” (and probably be more diligent updating on Facebook, even if I had my smartphone handy). She was a delight to be with and I am looking forward to more interactions with her down the line.
There was a couple of other beauty queens in the viewing party, too. Miss Earth-Air 2011 Athena Imperial, in her role as a GMA 7 correspondent, was there to report on the viewing party, and yes, there was a camera crew on-hand to document almost the whole proceedings, especially our reactions (expect it to be broadcast on Jessica Soho’s Brigada show on GMA News TV channel on Monday). As expected she was great to talk to, and it’s nice to listen to her insights about her experiences during her Miss Philippines-Earth and Miss Earth stints and the intrigues that came about. Highly regarded Bb. Pilipinas 2012 and Miss World Philippines 2013 semifinalist Patricia Lae Ejercitado was also present though I wasn’t able to have a conversation with her as she arrived at the time I and most of us were engrossed with the live pageant proceedings.
Admittedly, watching the live webcast of the pageant was a frustrating affair, as we had frequent occasions of “buffering” and the broadcast feed getting dropped, to our consternation and frustration. As a result we missed several portions of sequences during the live final, and we attempted several ways to be able to view the proceedings as continuously as possible–alternative feeds, tethering the wi-fi connection to a broadband network, and more. We particularly missed the Dances of the World segment. However, we got to see the crucial final moments, and of course we cheered loudly whenever Megan appeared on the screen (imagine a drinking game based on that–people would be quickly drunk by then…). We were so gladdened when the leaderboard results came in reporting Megan was in the lead. However we are made aware that the results are then set back to zero when the Top 10 was announced so we tensely hoped that the judges continued to look upon her with favor, and of course we were gladdened when she made the Top 5. We at least also got to listen to her speech on why she should become Miss World 2013, though it was choppy but we loved what we heard. As the final results were announced, we had a slight fear after Ghana was announced as 2nd runner-up wondering who among Brazil, France, and our Megan was shut out. Fortunately to our joy and relief, Megan was announced as Miss World 2013 and joyful pandemonium ensued in our viewing party. There was ecstatic screaming and hugging galore at this historical event.
Because of the choppy experience trying to view the live webcast, we all decided to also watch the delayed telecast on GMA 7, which came in 20 minutes (instead of the scheduled 30) after the live coronation. Before the delayed telecast began, I chitchatted with the other guys from Sash Factor, and one guy noted they will be sleeping over and not go home after the viewing party, so it gave me an idea that I can watch the delayed telecast with them and also sleep over (though actually most of guys didn’t actually sleep after the replay but sang videoke all through the night, but I did doze off because I have so many things to do the following day). I had to call home so my parents wouldn’t worry, and they were understanding. With the blissful high over the results, we enjoyed relishing and finally experiencing the almost-complete broadcast (Blue’s song performances were edited out), and finally enjoying Megan’s performance in Dances of the World (worth even more extra cheers, even if my voice was worn out by then) and seeing how the results evolved in full (Megan was initially 4th in the judges’ interview, as there was a three-way-tie for 1st place between France, Ghana, and Jamaica, then fell to 7th when scores from the Beach Fashion and Sports were factored in, but she then rose to the top when the Multimedia and Top Model scores were considered and she never yielded the lead since).
I got 17 of the 20 quarter-finalists correct–I didn’t expect that despite misgivings on her looks, Canada’s Camille Munro would rank high, and ditto would Dominican Republic’s Joely Bernat. Aruba’s Larissa Leeuwe was someone I was teetering over including in my Top 20 forecast and thought she would fall short by just a little, but she wasn’t that surprising.
Though some might say that the Ruth Ocumarez award should go to Ukraine’s Anna Zayachkivska, I have to note that thanks to her challenge event scores she made the Top 20 and missed making the Top 10 by very little as she failed to garner points for Beauty with a Purpose. Instead, I’ll award this dubious award to China’s Wei Wei Yu, who was touted by pageant fans and pundits to be close in the running for Miss World – Asia (since it turns out Oceania has its own separate continental queen this year) but failed to ultimately figure in the Top 20.
Now, for the “Holly Carpenter” Award, I would give it to Norway’s Alexandra Backstrom. She seems to be a charming lady and she’s undeniably gorgeous, but why didn’t she make the much-needed impression?
I will be delivering a full-fledged review on this most likely within the week. After all the weeks of negative developments it’s wonderful to hear some refreshing good news with this breakthrough win. I would like to thank the staff of Sash Factor for the event, and the opportunity to meet new friends like Joyce Ann Burton-Titular. I, with the 100+ million Filipino supporters all around the world, would like to salute Megan Young for her well-earned and well-acclaimed victory. Congratulations!