This Filipina made history by becoming the first Filipina to be crowned Reina Hispano Americana.
Teresita “Winwyn” Marquez was recently crowned as the Hispanic American Queen in Bolivia.
“How would you promote Hispanic-American culture with the great difficulty or barrier of language?”
“Language can be learned, but the will and determination to contribute something to the organization cannot,” she said. “As a Filipina with a unique heritage, I’m ready to promote the Hispanic culture, not just in Asia but in the whole world. It is time, time to celebrate the Hispanic culture. It is meant to be celebrated.”
She is the first Filipina and Asian candidate ever to compete and win at the annual beauty pageant celebrating the Hispanic heritage, language and culture.
“It was really hard, mahirap kasi siyempre parang isang pinay na tinapon mo sa isang lugar na walang maintindihan, hindi marunong mag spanish, ang kalaban ay mga latina na napaka-gaganda, ang galing mag-perform, siyempe the first few days I was lost, I was crying, hindi ko lang pinapakita.”
The Pinay beauty queen showed that language is not a barrier to promote what is already part of the cultural DNA of most Filipinos, after 300 years of Spanish influence.
“Sabi ko nga sa sagot ko, it’s not about the language it’s about love for God, love for country, love for history, and Hispanic culture is really beautiful, coz you celebrate life, sa mga Pinoy sana, bumalik din tayo sa root natin, kasi dun din naman tayo nagsimula.”
After the pageant, the daughter of Philippine celebrities Alma Moreno and Joey Marquez came to New York to celebrate her big win.
Though the Reina Hispano-Americana pageant is unheard of to many Filipinos, Marquez was criticized for not being able to speak in Spanish – the native language of most contestants to the Hispanic pageant.
That may no longer be the case thanks to the newly crowned Hispanic American beauty queen.
“People shouldn’t belittle crowns, even if you don’t know about it, it may not be Miss Universe, it may not be Miss International, Miss World,” she said. “What’s important is that you represented it well, its an opportunity na makilala nag Pilipinas pa.”
With a teaching certificate under her delt, Marquez heads back to the Philippines ready, she says, to push hard for her advocacy on education.
Marquez will also be welcomed with a parade to show off her ruby-studded crown and celebrate her historic victory.