By Celso De Guzman Caparas
As the entire nation slowly eases back to a semblance of normalcy, the Miss World Phillippines (MWP) Organization welcomes the year with a renewed sense of hope and optimism, and looks forward to resuming its annual festivities which were temporarily put on hold last year because of the global pandemic.
Forty-five candidates selected from over 300 applicants made the grade for this year's batch of aspirants were formally presented to members of media (print, TV, radio and online) at Cove Manila in Okada on July 15.
They will vie for seven crowns during the coronation night. Aside from the coveted Miss World Philippines title, the other crowns at stake are Miss Supranational Philippines, Miss Eco Philippines, Reina Hispanoamericana, Miss Tourism Philippines, Miss Environment Philippines, and Miss Eco Teen Philippines.
This year's candidates (arranged by number) are: (1) Lea Macapagal, (2) Ria Angelique Pena Siozon, (3) Joy Barcoma, (4) Janelle Lewis, (5) Pauline Robles, (6) Shaila Rebortera,  Donna Marie Jan Balaoro, (8) Emmanuelle Vera, (9) Ambriel Pascual, (10) Michelle Arceo, (11) Megan Deen Campbell, (12) Natasha Jung, (13) Sade Nicha, (14) Gwen Fourniol, (15) Mika Leonardo, (16) Anne de Mesa, (17) Dannah Joy Tempra, (18) Tatyana Alexi Austria, (19) Asha Gutierrez, (20) Kyle Celine Dorado, (21) Kim Panaligan Babao, (22) Dindi Pajares, (23) Shannen Manzano, (24) Andrea Sulangi, (25) Danica Theresa Dilla (26) Jo-Ann dela Torre Flores, (27) Trisha Martinez, (28) Ruffa Nava, (29) Ann Palmares, (30) Julie Tarrayo, (31) Riana Agatha Pangindian (32) Divina Marie Ortiz Villanueva, (33) Reziah Angelica Datu Famorcan, (34) Maricollin Halili Ramirez, (35) Mary Rose Andal Guiral, (36) Tracy Maureen Perez (37) Rachel-Anne Valera, (38 Kathleen Paton, (39) Kimberly Cimafranca, (40) Dane Mayo, (41) Samela Aubrey Godin, (42) Mara Ruiz, (43) Ganiel Krishnan, (44) Sherenade Anne Gonzales, and (45) Esel Ponce.
HEADSHOTS by Charvin Valdez Torne . Assisted by Robert Maca
The candidates were initially presented to the pageant media last May 20 at the Miss World Philippines 2021 official residence, Red Hotel, and have since been kept busy with the organization's string of Fast Track pre-pageant activities, including the Sports Challenge held last July 1 at the Tyro Sorta Shooting Range in San Simon, Pampanga, where the girls tested their marksmanship skills and their athletic agility, strength and endurance at the obstacle course. Ten finalists were also chosen during the Talent auditions held Wednesday, July 14, also at Red Hotel.
Some of the candidates were also present during the contract signing press conference between MWP and its major sponsor, Artopian internationale, a multi-level marketing company specializing in health and wellness products, last June 24 at Annabel's Restaurant in T. Morato Ave. Q.C.
The other forthcoming Fast Track Challenges include: Head to Head, Talent, National Costume, Beach Beauty, Multimedia Challenge, Top Model, Charity, Goodwill and Beauty With A Purpose.
Miss World Philippines National Director Arnold Vegafria is thankful and greatly excited for this year's batch of aspiring queens. He says, "It's reassuring to know that we've all gotten through the worst of last year's crisis and are slowly but surely making our way back to normalcy. We are glad to be back on track this year with a very promising batch of Filipina beauties, and I am confident that we can replicate, if not surpass, the winning streak that we had in 2017."
Through all its pre-pageant sorties as well as the coronation night, the Miss World Philippines organization will do its utmost best in upholding existing IATF and DOH social distancing protocol and other stringent safety measures in light of the ongoing pandemic.
The Miss World Philippines 2021 pageant is presented by Red Hotel and Artopian Internationale, with major sponsors Okada Manila, BENCH, Bench Body, Tyro Sorta, Cathy Valencia Advanced Skin Clinic, BlueWater Day Spa, Teviant, SHEIN, and Silka. Minor sponsors are Tanduay, WeTV, Upstream, GAOC, Procter and Gamble, HouseCall MD, Forro Hairstyling, Shoepatos, HM Transport and Stylelt.ph.
The Miss World Philippines 2021 Grand Coronation Night will be held on July 25, 2021 at the new Grand Ballroom of Okada Manila and telecast via GMA-7 at 10:30 PM.
DISCLAIMER: Social distancing and safety protocols were observed during the event. In some instances, face masks and face shields were removed for quick photo opportunities only.