REDONDO BEACH, CA — A Filipina pageant with a global flair: the pageant formerly known as Binibining Pilipinas USA has relaunched as Miss Filipina International, bringing in global beauties for a shot at being tourism ambassadors and for showbiz opportunities in the Philippines.
14 teens and 20 women vied for the titles of Miss Filipina International and Miss Filipina Teen, with a few ladies traveling across oceans to take part in the pageant.
In a night of pageantry hosted by Pops Fernandez and judged by a celebrity panel, the lone crown for the first Miss Filipina International will go to the Lone Star state — with winner Camille Buensuceso of Dallas, Texas.
“I worked so hard for this and I’m just really grateful for everything, it just brings so much pride to the Filipinos there, because everyone thinks Filipinos are in California — but there’s some great Filipinos out in Dallas too.”
It was a moment of glory for the soon to be 23-year-old marketing major from the University of Texas.
Born in the Philippines, she migrated to the US at age 5.
“I really wanted to get out of my comfort zone and I think it stemmed from my passion to help the Filipino people. I wanted a platform, and I got it.”
While the crown will go to Texas, Miss Filipina Teen goes to Rancho Cucamonga’s Alyssa Santos, a recent high school graduate and aspiring musician.
“It was already such an amazing experience because I’ve had so much fun throughout this journey — and that for me is more than enough as is, so the fact I have the honor to hold this title means so much to me.
As part of the prize, several of the winners including Buenseceso and Santos will head to the Philippines to help promote tourism.
The pageant will air on TFC in August.