MANILA — After all what numerology buffs say about number 13, a statuesque French Filipina International Runaway Model from Muntinglupa City proved them wrong. Her being candidate 13 didn’t matter.
Gwendolyn Ruais was named 2011 Miss World Philippines at the Philippine Convention Center.
The 5’9″ 21-year-old will represent the Philippines in the 61st Miss World pageant to be held on November 6 at the Earls Court Exhibition Center in London. Ruais has set her eyes to win the first Miss World crown for the Philippines.
“I really want to bring home the crown for the Philippines, and make us proud. That really is my goal,” Ruais said in a post-pageant interview.
The closest the Philippines has ever won the the Miss World title was in 1966 when Evangeline Pascual won first runner-up, and in 1993 when Ruffa Gutierrez won second runner-up. Ruais won over 23 candidates, five of whom including her, were top contenders in the 2010 Binibining Pilipinas.
Helen Nicolette Henson was named 1st Princess. She also finished 1st runner-up at last year’s Binibining Pilipinas.
Martha Chloe McCulley, 2nd Princess (Miss Kapuso World and Miss SMDC World); Ma. Paula Bianca Paz (Best in Evening Gown), 3rd Princess; and Jaysel Arrozal, 4th Princess.
Aside from winning the title Miss World Philippines, Ruais was also awarded Best In Swimsuit.
Rogelie Catacutan was awarded best in talent, Samantha Neville Purvor was named most photogenic, and Loucelle de Jesus was the pageant’s people’s choice winner.
As Miss Kapuso World, McCulley will be given a two-year management contract for TV and film by the Kapuso network, according to a report on “Unang Hirit”.
Meanwhile, winners of other special awards were Samantha Neville Purvor (Miss World Philippines Photogenic), Delby Bragais (Best in Fashion Design) and Richelle Therese Borja (Miss Sheridan).
During the Q&A, Ruais and the other candidates were asked what they would do with P1 million cash prize should they win the competition.
“If I win this pageant, I would put part of the money into the bank for the future. Another part of it I would throw a thanksgiving party to thank all the people who helped me in this experience, and the rest I would put into making my own charity program within the Tuloy Street Foundation, which is the official foundation of the Miss World Philippines,” Ruais said.
Belo Medical Group’s Vicky Belo, beauty expert Fanny Serrano, Kapuso actress Iza Calzado, GMA Senior Vice President for entertainment Wilma Galvante, and Congressman Manny Pacquiao were among the pageant’s judges
As the winner of Miss World Philippines, Ruais won P1 million pesos cash prize, a condo unit in Chateau Elysee from SM Development Corporation, and a GMA Artist Center management contract.
The Miss World title was formerly given out during the Binibining Pilipinas pageants, where it was formerly known as Binibining Pilipinas-World. This year is the first time the pageant—now called Miss World Philippines—was held independently of Binibining Pilipinas.