NEW YORK — Synergy Production and Marketing Inc., the franchise holder of Miss Philippines Quest USA in the East Coast, and Global Quest Inc., led by Miss World Philippines National Director Cory Quirino, crowned 18-year-old, five feet eight inches tall summer camp counselor Alexa Kirby as the first-ever MISS PHILPPINES QUEST USA winner at a coronation ceremony held at Symphony Space on July 12.
With Quirino, sitting as Chair of the Board of Judges at the coronation ceremony, MISS PHILIPPINES QUEST USA’s top winner Kirby, who was also declared Best in Evening Gown, shared her recent triumph on stage with four other newly crowned beauty queens: First Princess, Best in Talent, and Best in Swimsuit Misook Mendonca; Second Princess Isabella Estella; Third Princess Jenica Balmes; and Fourth Princess and People’s Choice Award Recipient Erin Manansala.
Kirby will represent the Filipino-American (Fil-Am) community in the 2014 Miss World Philippines pageant to be held in Manila, Philippines on September 7.
She has won a round-trip ticket to the Philippines, plus an allowance of one thousand dollars. She will also don a stunning evening gown, courtesy of One.10 Collection, during the Miss World Philippines competition.
During the dreaded Q&A, Kirby named young American actress-singer Demi Lovato, who has been vocal about her personal struggles, as one of new beauty queen’s personal women heroes: “She [Lovato] was able to overcome self-harm problems and is trying to help other people with similar problems to overcome it as well.”
Kirby, who recently graduated from Downington West High School in Pennsylvania, is a summer camp counselor at ACAC. She is not new to beauty pageants having joined Miss Teen Pennsylvania USA and Miss Teen Philippines in the past.
In 2011, she was a dance scholar at Touch of Class Dance Studio in Pennsylvania. She also received community service awards twice from Kohls’ Cares for Kids, a volunteer program that supports children’s heath and education.
Izza Dungca, creative director for the pageant says, “For the first time ever in the East Coast, a beauty pageant this grand was staged. I’m proud of the achievements of the candidates. Their hard work and dedication paid off. It was an evening of surprises and I’m overwhelmed with the positive feedback from the Fil-Am community.”
“I’d like to thank Ms. Cory Quirino for inspiring me to do this pageant, and most especially for gracing our coronation night. My love and best wishes to Alexa Kirby as she competes for the Miss World Philippines title in Manila this September. Congratulations and bring home the crown for the Fil-Am community in the East Coast!,” adds Grace Labaguis, Synergy Production and Marketing Inc. marketing director
Quirino concurs, “I’m very proud of these beautiful Filipinas that will ably represent the Fil-Am community in the Miss World Philippines pageant on September 7. Starting next year, we’re going to widen our search to include the West Coast, Canada, Europe, and Australia.”
MISS PHILIPPINES QUEST USA was hosted by former beauty queen-turned-recording artist Bessie Badilla, Beth Tamayo, and Ian Medrano. Joining Quirino at the judges’ table were Lana Asanin, Cora Reyes, Chantel Martinez, Brent Chua, Nicole Ponseca, and Dmitry Brylev.
GMA Pinoy TV and GMA Life TV were the pageant’s exclusive media sponsors.
Major sponsors were ECS Consulting Services, MS Event Solutions, Glamour Creations, Jerry Sibal, Direct, Law Office of Loreto Kudera, PLLC, NYC Healthcare, Anthilla Land, Ugly Kitchen, Washington Dental Associates, Adorable Chef, Younique, The Law Office of Joseph Raia, Ailleen Luz Skincare Clinic, Joy Pescaru, and Nancy McGough.
Other sponsors included Filipino Reporter, Filipino Express, The FilAm.net, United Federation of Fil-Am Educators (UNIFFIED), Philippine American Association of CT, Inc. (PAAC), VynzNy Entertainment, Sizzle Me Restaurant, Payag Restaurant, Cherique Loyola-Po, Dr. Emilio and Dra. Fely Quines, Connecticut Association of Filipino-American Families Inc., and Philippine Independence Day Council Inc.
Miss World Philippines is the Philippine franchise of Miss World, which selects the Philippines’ official representative in the annual Miss World pageant. CQ Global Quest Inc., managed by Cory Quirino, acquired the franchise on January 25, 2011.
For three years in a row, the winner of Miss World Philippines has figured prominently in the Miss World pageant. Gwendolyn Ruais was crowned Miss World First Princess in 2011; her successor, Queenie Rehman, was among the semi-finalists in 2012.
In 2013, for the first time in history, a Filipina won the coveted blue crown! Megan Lynne Young was crowned Miss World 2013 last September at Bali Nusa Convention Center in Bali, Indonesia.