by Fleur Magbanua-Mansur, ABS-CBN News
Fil-Am beauty queen Maureen Montagne, from Arizona, almost brought the crown home from Miss World USA beauty pageant last weekend at the Rosen Center in Orlando, Florida where she won first runner up.
Her supporters — Montagne was simply stunning in a yellow canary gown designed by Mac Duggal. Her walk was flawless. Her answers were on point.
“Akala ko talagang si maureen ang mananalo. But then I didn’t know what happened,” said Rose
Bergado Chandler. “I guess we expected too much but then she really nailed that question and answer portion of it.”
Anabelle Montagne, Maureen’s mom, expressed her pride.
“I’m very proud mother of Maureen. She makes us so proud. Competing in this competition is really very very hard. You need to have a lot of energy to show.”
An early favorite in the competition, Montagne was hopeful that she would win the title.
“It was so bittersweet. I think all of us wanted it. All of us tried our hardest,” she said. “But again I’m very happy that I was able to put my best foot forward. Watching my performance back, I thought that I really delivered to the best I could.”
Although disappointed, she considers this a great learning experience, and a chance to show her Pinoy roots.
“I’m so proud to be Filipino. I think Filipinos are the most kind, giving, and caring people in the world. It brings me so much joy to promote my heritage, to promote my culture. We have so much to offer and I just have that Pinoy pride.”
For the new Miss USA — Florida’s Clarissa Bowers, Montagne wishes her well.
“I always think that the most beautiful girl on stage is the happiest girl on stage. Carry yourself with confidence. Do not second guess yourself and do your best. And really cherish the moment. All of us are rooting for you,” she said.
Prior to this competition, Montagne did the rounds in the beauty pageant scene. She was 1st runner up at the Mutya ng Pilipinas in the Philippines back in 2013. She was Miss Arizona USA in 2015.
And although she’s closing her door to pageantry, she’s thankful for new opportunities coming her way –that includes a modeling career in Asia.
“Right now I’m going to focus on modeling, acting, and a career in marketing. Right now, I’m applying for several jobs. And I am signed in LA and Miami, so expect me to be traveling and working not only here in the US but internationally.”
She expressed her gratitude to the Filipino community.
“…just a big thank you for all of your support and love. I know, no matter what I do or what passion I chase, you always support me. I’m so proud of my culture. You fill me up with so much love, and I can’t thank you enough for your love and support. Maraming salamat po sa inyong lahat.”