Bicolana bags Miss International 2013 crown

22-year-old Bea Rose Santiago recently joined the region’s growing list of Bicolana beauties to be recognized in an international beauty pageant.
Santiago was crowned Miss International 2013 yesterday at the Shinagawa Prince Hotel Hall in Tokyo, Japan.
In an interview with media, Santiago shared that she was born in Cataingan, Masbate. There, she learned several languages, showing more proficiency in some more than others. Among these languages are  Masbateño, Bicol, Bisaya, Tagalog, Hiligaynon, Waray, and English.
When she was fifteen years old, however, she and her family migrated to Canada. There, she continued her studies, eventually majoring in Public Relations at the York University in Toronto.
Santiago became a model in Canada, joining the popular modeling agency Elite Model Management.
Never one to forget her roots, Santiago remarked in a recent interview that she both has “the probinsyana and the city girl” in her, growing up in two continents.
In 2011, she got her first taste of joining beauty pageants, as she represented the overseas communities in the Mutya ng Pilipinas pageant. She took home the Mutya ng Pilipinas Overseas Communities title.
A year later, she joined Miss Tourism Queen of the Year International 2012, where she ended up as one of the top 10 finalists.
2013, however, is Santiago’s lucky year, as she garnered the Binibining Pilipinas-International title. In said tilt, she competed against Ariella Arida (Miss Universe Philippines); Joanna Cindy Miranda (Binibining Pilipinas-Tourism); Mutya Johanna Datul (Miss Supranational Philippines); and Pia Wurtzbach (Runner-up).
Winning said title at the Binibining Pilipinas gave Santiago the ticket to compete with 66 ladies from other countries and regions. The title would make her the fifth Filipina to be named Miss International, after Gemma Cruz-Araneta in 1964, Aurora Pijuan in 1970, Melanie Marquez in 1979 andPrecious Lara Quigaman in 2005. Likewise, it made her the third Filipina to bag an international title this year, after Megan Young won Miss World, and Mutya Datul won Miss Supranational.
Santiago says that she dedicates her win to the victims of recent supertyphoon Yolanda,  pledging that her crown and title would be put to good use in helping its thousands of victims.