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Miss Manila

The Essence

by Ruben J. Cusipag

She is supposed to be addressed as the "Princess" like the other official hostesses of the pavilions representing different cities in the world during the nine-day Metro Toronto International Caravan. But somehow, she became commonly known as "Miss Manila". Perhaps it is because of an unconscious yet feeble attempt by some members of the Fiesta Filipina Dance Troupe, the sponsor of Caravan's Manila Pavilion, to transform the search for a Filipino "Princess" to a dazzling beauty pageant. To the credit, however, of George and Estring Aguinaldo, the moving spirit behind the multi-awarded Filipino-Canadian cultural vehicle, the principle behind the selection of Manila Pavilion's "Princess" has been based mainly on personality and well-rounded knowledge. Of course, facial beauty and other physical attributes are taken into account but without making them the be-it-all. After all, she who stands at the gate to the Caravan's Manila Pavilion becomes more symbol of that premier city of the country which is resplendent with its historical legacies as well as with its contemporary cosmopolitan mix. The Filipino "Princess", together with the Manila Pavilion "Mayor", personally welcomes thousands of quests, as they set foot on "Philippine territory" with greetings of "Mabuhay" and congenial smiles. On stage, the "Princess" helps in giving an overview of what Manila is, what the Philippines is, and who the Filipinos are.

Through the years, the process of choosing "Miss Manila" alternated between screening candidates through the entire gauntlet of a full blown pageant and a year-long informal search through chance meeting or through recommendations by those with discerning eyes. In fact, in the early ten years of the Manila Pavilion in the Caravan, its "Princess" often came from the ranks of those who were earlier chosen as "Miss Philippines" in Toronto. But regardless of the mode through which "Miss Manila" is found each year, the unaltered fact remains that she has to be the vibrant of what our cultural roots are.

(L) 1st Runner-up - Rachelle Escaba; (C) Miss Manila 2017 - Veronica David; (R) 2nd Runner-up - Margaret Rodrigo

Winner of Miss Manila

2017

  • Veronica David

2016

  • Icess Rawlings

2015

  • Clarise Capunitan

2014

  • Kristal Dequilla

2013

  • Danielle A. Ocampo

2012

  • Joy Mitchell

2011

  • Rhaina Dimayuga

  • replaced by 1st runner-up Christina Dumo

2010

  • Inah Canlapan

2009

  • Celine Zoleta

2008

  • Erin Caluducan

2007

  • Charisma de Castro

2006

  • Bernice Buktaw

2005

  • Valerie Rodriquez

2004

  • Rowena Adolfo

2003

  • Christabell Adao

2002

  • Kathleen Meliton

2001

  • Nathalie Canlubo

2000

  • Catherine Lanuza

1999

  • Alene Shai Barcia

1998

  • Christina Amparado

1997

  • Racquel Rodriguez

1996

  • Tisha Silang

 

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