Meet our Miss Asia-Pacific, Miss Earth Bets

MANILA, October 25, 2003  (STAR) FUNFARE By Ricardo F. Lo - The other day’s story about the just-concluded Miss International contest in Japan, won by Miss Venezuela, drew all sorts of reactions, especially to the speculation that one of the judges, Dewi Sukarno, was "prejudiced" against the Philippine bet, Jhezarie Javier, because of Dewi’s unfortunate encounter with our very own Minnie Osmeña in Aspen, Colorado, a few years ago.

My good friend Joe Barrameda said he doubted very much if Dewi would be "prejudiced" because, according to Joebarr, "she’s a very good friend of former First Lady Imelda Marcos when they were both in New York."

Another reader, Stephen Diaz who’s based in Japan, wrote: I watched Jhezarie during the pageant and she was indeed divine during the whole three-and-a-half hour event. She might not be the best but at least she was better than the other finalists like Misses China, Korea, Thailand and Greece. Jhezarie was one of the freshest-looking and tallest candidates.

In order to prove such claim of injustice, most of the Japanese journalists were aware of the Dewi Sukarno and Minnie Osmeña "thing". They were the ones who even mentioned it to the family of Jhezarie who could have "cried foul" when they found out that their daughter was being judged unfairly in the pageant. Nobody knew how the judges rated the contestants, but I have some sort of an idea how they did it, considering the fact that I am studying in Japan. One judge could spoil the chances of a contestant.

I want everyone to know that Jhezarie did her best and I’m proud of her. But I advise the Binibining Pilipinas Charities, Inc. (BPCI) to boycott the 2004 Miss International pageant if Dewi Sukarno would still sit as one of the judges in Shanghai, venue of next year’s competition.

Meanwhile, beauty-contest enthusiasts are keeping an eye on two more competitions scheduled within two weeks of each other – the 2003 Miss Asia-Pacific (34th edition) tomorrow, Oct. 26, at the Teatro Aguinaldo (Quezon City).

Funfare’s "beauty experts" Gery Yumping, Joey Cezare, Francis Calubaquib and Felix Manuel have high hopes for our bet, Jamie Liz Lazcano, to bag the title already won four times by other Filipinas (Marie del Carmen Inez Zaragoza in 1982, Bong Dimayacyac in 1983, Lorna Legaspi in 1989 and Michelle Aldana in 1993).

A La Salle graduate (Mathematics and Statistics), Jamie has been working out regularly at Slimmers World in preparation for the contest. She stands 5’6" and measures 34-25-36.

Celso Caparas reports that our bet in the Miss Earth 2003 contest, 19-year-old Laura Marie Dunlap, has a good chance against the 59 other equally beautiful contestants. A BS Psychology student of Angeles University in Pampanga, Laura is the daughter of American Bill Dunlap (from Houston, Texas) and Lorna Mercado (from Iloilo). She stands 5’7" and measures 34-25-35.

Gerry Diaz reports that the Miss Earth 2003 bets. led by 2002 Miss Earth Winfred Omwakwe (of Kenya), tropped to Nasugbu, Batangas, for a clam-seeding activity. On Oct. 31, the girls will grace a Halloween Costume Party at the Hotel Intercontinental. Grand finals will be held on Nov. 9 at the UP Theater (Diliman, Quezon City).


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