By Kezia Grace Jungco
Ms. Leren Mae Bautista from Barangay Anos took home the crown as Miss Los Baños 2013 last night at the New Municipal Hall, Los Baños, Laguna.
Miss Bautista, the tallest among the 14 candidates, was also the first one to answer during the interview portion. The interview portion challenged the candidates to endorse the tourist attractions in Los Baños. Bautista, was able to impress the judges when she tried to convince the audience to visit the National Arts Center.
She also bagged several special awards such as “Best in Casual Wear,” “McDonald’s Customers’ Choice Award,” “Miss Metrohair,” “Best in Evening Gown” and “Best in Swimsuit.”
The first and second runner-up titles were bagged by Nim Hazel Eusebio of Brgy. Batong Malake and Susaine Caylan of Brgy. Maahas, respectively. Miss Eusebio also won the “Miss Congeniality Award,” ”Miss Talent,” “Miss Photographer’s Choice” and “McSmile Award.”
Miss Bautista said that she prepared enough for the competition. She even trained at John Robert Powers before. She also said that her parents were her motivation to win the pageant.
“Sobrang saya ng experience. Hindi ko po inakala na makakasali ako dito. Sobrang napakasaya. Hindi ako makapaniwala,” said Miss Bautista.
“Pagkatapos nito siguro ay magpapasalamat muna ako sa lahat ng tumulong sa akin. Saka ang una kong tutulungan ay ang mga kabataan. Yan ang una kong gagawin,” she added.
Ms. Philippines Eco-Tourism 2012 Mary Candice Ramos, who was one of the judges, said that the winners have the potential to make it to Miss Philippines next year. “The candidates, of course, always have the potential. They just have to always keep in mind that there is room for improvement. They have many months to prepare for the pageant [Miss Philippines], so they’re good,” she said.
This year, the pageant was exclusive for ladies from Los Baños only. “Lahat ay galing sa Los Baños. Hindi ito open para sa lahat this year. Dahil ang mga ganitong pagkakataon ay para sa mga taga-Los Baños lang,” said Mayor Caesar Perez in his speech.
Despite the rain, hundreds still flocked to watch this year’s pageant and supported their candidates. According to Twila Torres, the Events Chair for Miss Los Baños 2013, the event was made successful through the efforts of everyone.
“We had less than a month for the preparation. Everyday, the girls are working hard and doing their best. The Miss Los Baños 2013 was a success with the support of all the committee members and the municipal government,” said Torres.
Miss Los Baños is part of the weeklong celebration of the 12th Bañamos Festival and the town’s 398th Foundation Anniversary.