Philippines’ bet Roberta Tamondong paid homage to the first “Queen of the Orient” for her national costume at the Miss Grand International competition.
Tamondong was among the three Binibining Pilipinas beauty queens who were sent off last September to compete on the international pageant stage.
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In a post on October 20, the 20-year-old delegate showcased her pearl outfit for the national costume show of the Miss Grand International 2022.
Tamondong also explained that this was a homage to Purificacion Villanueva y Garcia, who was known as “the First Queen” of the Manila Carnival events in 1908.
“This work of art was made to introduce contemporary audiences to the original Pinay beauty queen, who created a new prototype for the modern Filipina. It was a set of diverse elements that were part of her journey to be the first miss Manila Queen of Carnival,” Tamondong said.
“Purificacion Villanueva y Garcia was only 22 years old when she became the first ‘Queen of the Orient’ in the first Manila Carnival in 1908. This makes her the first Filipina beauty queen in our country,” she added.
Manila Carnival is an annual festival previously held during the early American colonization period until before the Second World War.
The festivities were staged as a form of celebration of the United States and the Philippines’ relations.
Tamondong expressed hope that she can follow in Villanueva’s footsteps in winning the elusive crown.
“And I am hoping that I will follow in Pura’s footsteps and become the first Filipina to win the Miss Grand International competition and receive the golden crown,” she said.
The national costume show was aired on the Miss Grand International YouTube channel last October 20.
The coronation night of the competition will be held in Bogor, Indonesia on October 25.
Tamondong’s fellow queens Gabrielle Basiano and Chelsea Fernandez failed to win the crowns in the recently concluded pageants.
Basiano got a Top 20 finish at the Miss Intercontinental 2022 while Fernandez ended her journey as among the Top 15 finalists of the Miss Globe 2022.