MANILA, Philippines -- With more than a thousand beauty contests being held in the country annually, Bong Quintana gave quite a punchline when asked why the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) added one more to the list: “Because we have to start somewhere.”
As PAGCOR’s Assistant Vice President for Entertainment, Quintana believes there can never be enough platforms to showcase the beauty of Filipinas; in this case, some 29 ladies vying for the grand finals of Miss Casino Filipino 2011 on Sept. 3 at the PAGCOR Grand Theater in Airport Casino Filipino, Paranaque City.
“Also, they can join the PAGCOR work force if they want, win or lose,” he said. “It’s our little share as far as the unemployment rate goes.”
The 29 candidates are Regine May L. Canlas, Shenna O. Hernandez, Maureen C. Morales, Zyra Grace M. Vedad, Maria Kristel A. Empeno, Christine L. Mortel, Katherine Dominique C. Lagrimas, Cherry Joy Demate, Glennifer Perido, Mary Jennifer S. Dimbla, Emarlyn Zaira P. Rosario, Nadine Karla B. de Roxas, Meryl Angeline V. King, Mary Calire E. Dodo, Reina A. Cuneta, Rosantonette I. Mendoza, Catrine Rosary I. Ocampo, Janelle L. Tee, Cinderella A. Samson, Vanessa Ruth Quinones, Ranielah Marie J. Oval, Ma. Benjieleen T. Nama, Queeny Rose T. Yao, Monica Coscolluela, Diana Sunshinr Rademann, Katrina Pearl Gomez, Cherry May Hernaez, Jonalyn Enriquez Seldura and Carmela Therese Ignacio.
Quintana admits that it’s his first time to organize a beauty contest. He finds the experience exhilarating especially with all the support he’s been getting from different sectors of society.
“You wouldn’t think that this much people are interested in such contests but there are, they are,” he said. “Ang sa atin naman ay subok-subok lang, larga lang ng larga basta makakatulong.”
According to a release, the finalists come from various parts of the country, with some hailing from far flung provinces like Palawan, Zamboanga del Norte, and Davao del Sur. The Miss Casino Filipino 2011 title holder will represent the country in the Queen of the World beauty pageant in Germany in December.
The search for Miss Casino Filipino offers P300,000 in cash for the grand winner; P200,000 for the first runner-up; P100,000 for the second runner-up; P75,000 for the third runner-up; and P50,000 for the fourth runner-up.
The PAGCOR Entertainment head added that since community development programs are at the core of PAGCOR’s mission, it is important for the Miss Casino Filipino to have an advocacy or charitable institution which will benefit from PAGCOR’s in-kind donation.