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Aces & Queens produces 8 new winners, 6 titles

Charmie Joy Pagulong – The Philippine Star

October 22, 2021 | 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Since its inception in 2001, Aces & Queens has been known for training and producing world-class beauty queens such as Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray, Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach, Miss International 2016 Kylie Verzosa and Miss World 2013 Megan Young.

In an e-mail sent to The STAR, Aces & Queens head Gerry Diaz shared how the beauty queen training camp reached another landmark this year: The Aces & Queens Class of 2021 has produced eight winners, including six crowns.

Forensic science graduate and model from Masbate Hannah Arnold led the winners when she was crowned the Binibining Pilipinas International last July, while Cindy Obenita won the Binibining Pilipinas Intercontinental title and is currently competing in the Miss Intercontinental in Egypt.

The Japan-based Miss International announced cancelation of this year’s edition due to COVID-19 pandemic and will hold it next year.

It’s a first for training camp Aces & Queens to win what pageant fanatics consider as ‘three top crowns’ in 2021 — Binibining Pilipinas International Hannah, Miss World Philippines Tracy Maureen and Miss Universe Philippines Beatrice.

Three weeks ago, Beatrice Luigi Gomez of Cebu City was named Miss Universe Philippines which was held in Bohol. Beatrice, 26, is a Reserve Marine Corporal of the Philippine Army and a member of the LGBTQ+ community.

She will be representing the Philippines in the 2021 Miss Universe pageant to be held in Eilat, Israel in December and hopes to bring home the country’s fifth Miss Universe crown.

Beatrice won several awards in the local competition including Best in Swimsuit and Best in Evening Gown, Miss Luxxe Immunplus Game Changer and Miss Cream Silk.

In the same pageant, top favorite and Asia’s Next Top Model winner Maureen Wroblewitz of Pangasinan was first runner-up.

“Pageant followers and fans are looking forward to her Miss Universe Philippines comeback next year,” Aces & Queens said in a statement.

Another Cebuana won a pageant title days after Beatrice got the Miss Universe Philippines crown. Industrial engineer and model Tracy Maureen Perez, 28, bested other candidates in the Miss World Philippines, which was held at the Subic Bay Exhibition and Convention Center and lasted for almost seven hours.

She bagged various special awards during the coronation night: Best in Swimsuit, Miss Blue Waterday Spa, Miss Artopian International, Miss Bench and Miss Dermfix.

Tracy will represent the Philippines in the 70th Miss World 2021 pageant in Puerto Rico in December.

Other Aces & Queens alumni are Dindi Pajares, Tatyana Alexi Austria and Riana Pangindian.

Dindi, a Philippine Airlines flight attendant and a military reservist, was appointed as Miss Supranational Philippines and placed in the Top 12 during the finals of Miss Supranational held last August in Nowy Sacz, Poland.

The Queens (seated, from left) Dindi, Tatyana, Hannah, Beatrice, Tracy Maureen, Maureen and Riana. The Aces (standing, from left): Ian Mendajar, Dave Grona, Mikee Andrei, Cesar Evangelista, Jeffrey Jeturian, Gerry Diaz, Kali Navea Huff, Jim Ryan Ross and John Cuay.

Tatyana of Parañaque was crowned Miss Eco Philippines and will be leaving on Dec. 9 to compete in the Miss Eco International pageant in Luxor, Egypt.

Roberta Tamondong successfully earned the country’s first Miss Eco Teen International title last year and Tatyana will attempt to score a back-to-back win.

Riana of Pasig City placed First Princess in the Miss World Philippines 2021.

The seven queens (Cindy is now in Egypt for the Miss Intercontinental pageant) attended the recent Aces & Queens Thanksgiving Party at the Crowne Plaza Hotel.

“It was the first time that a one-time celebration was done for the Aces & Queens winners. It was but fitting to have a three-in-one Thanksgiving Dinner because the team won the top crowns in Binibining Pilipinas, Miss Universe Philippines and Miss World Philippines,” said Gerry.

“It proved to be a joyous occasion. For some of the girls, it was the first time that they met because they were trained in three different batches,” the bank executive and personality development trainer said.

Nevertheless, “It was a wonderful experience to meet all the girls across the different pageants and spend fun time with them,” shared Tatyana.

The beauty camp has “continued its mission of discovering and helping girls who aspire to be beauty queens.”

Among its founding members were Jonas Gaffud, Mama Ruffa Arnold Mercado, lawyer Nad Bronce and designer Bessie Besana.

Aces & Queens wishes, “Good luck, ladies, as you compete in your respective international pageants.”

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