AP News

26 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

A Miami Beach love story born at Miss Universe 50 years ago.

The contestants were narrowed to 15 during Wednesday’s preliminary competition, but the results won’t be announced until the live show, which will happen on Sunday at 8 p.m.TULUNAN, North Cotabato—She wasn’t much more than 8 years old when Mary Jean “MJ” Lastimosa began to dream of someday competing for a world beauty crown.Miss Universe contestants Noyonita Lodh, left, of India, Mary Jean Lastimosa, second from left, of the Philippines, Keiko Tsuji, second from right, of Japan, and Paulina Vega of Colombia pose for photos during a break in rehearsals, Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015, At Florida International University in Miami.Stunning beauties from 88 countries will showcase their out-of-this-world looks – and personalities, of course – during the 63rd annual battle for the prestigious pageant crown.

It must have been during those years that MJ developed her distinct and famous walk that her fellow North Cotabateños call the “bomb walk,” her cousin Sheryl Lastimosa told the Inquirer. According to her Miss Universe bio, the 5ft 11in blonde bombshell loves “giving back to the world” and lives by the motto of “being the best you can be every day”. And before Miss Universe, Gabriela Isler of Venezuela, crowns the next winner, viewers will hear a performance from singer Nick Jonas. “All of the contestants are really beautiful souls and we’ve gotten to get to know each other during the 20 days and we’ve become great friends,” said Miss Egypt Lara Debbane. “We’re excited and we’re going to support each other.” Miss Venezuela Migbelis Lynette Castellanos has tremendous support and pressure locally and back home. In 1964, the year New York welcomed the World’s Fair, Dorothea Langhans, 19, recently crowned Miss New York, traveled to Miami Beach to compete for the Miss USA and Miss Universe titles.

The term “bomb” ironically came not from anything beautiful—now, it refers to the deadly bomb explosions that have rocked various towns in the province, killing and wounding people. She was perfect,” Sheryl said at the house of their uncle, which had been MJ’s home for 20 years, in Barangay (village) Sibsib here. “She is very talented, determined to win. Green, a college student working as an adminstrative assistant to then Miami-Dade Mayor Charles Hall. “The mayor and Steve were backstage when I met them. She’s been running practice questions all week with her roommate Miss Australia Tegan Martin. “Interview is the best place to connect with the judges. That is an honor and a prestige not only for us, her family, but for the entire Filipino people.” MJ grew up in Sibsib under the care of her uncle, Sergio, who died last year.

I was there a couple of weeks with all the pageant activities and we kept bumping into each other,” says Dorothea Green, 69. “After the contest we started dating.” Theirs was a long-distance love. Violeta Pancho, 50, whose son was MJ’s classmate, recalled that at a very young age, MJ had shown talents and skills “that I have not seen among other children her age.” “Even at young age, one can easily notice her beauty,” Pancho said. “She was still young but I could see in her something special… I said then that this girl would go far.” “I won’t be surprised if she wins the title,” Pancho said, adding that the entire community would be glued to the live coverage of the Miss Universe pageant. Miss Colombia Paulina Vega says “Every girl has different reasons why they are participating, but my reason, it’s because it will be a dream come true to represent the woman of today. As Pancho predicted then, MJ joined many beauty contests locally, winning contests in school and in town, and in the provincial search for Miss North Cotabato and Miss Davao City before she won last year’s Binibining Pilipinas Universe crown. “MJ will win the crown.

A woman that not only care about being beautiful and being glamorous, but also cares about being a professional, intelligent, hard-working person.” (TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. She is very bright, and we pray she will win,” said Rio Ann Morfe, a 14-year-old high school student of Tulunan National High School (TNHS), where MJ graduated. “She is my idol and the idol of other students of the TNHS.” “She has a good set of dentures,” said Garampiel, recalling that during her elementary days she extracted one of her baby teeth. “I hope she will win.

I am confident she will.” Another resident, Lita, 56, who refused to give her family name, said she knew MJ very well and that she was a very smart girl. Years before, the couple also launched the Green Family Foundation to support social programs including homeless assistance, disaster relief, HIV/AIDS prevention and education and access to the arts.

Over the years, the Greens have supported FIU’s Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum, along with the university’s medical and healthcare program — and the campus library that carries their name. “This is so exciting and so sentimental for us,’’ she says. “I wish I still had that globe. Every time she dropped by the store to buy candies, she would smile and show her inner beauty,” Lita said. “My entire family and all of us here in Barangay Sibsib will wait to see her live on TV.” Cyrus Mar Redil, in an article in TNHS school paper, said MJ “is a woman who never gives up, full of determination and forbearance, a woman with exceptional beauty.” MJ’s former school teacher in high school described her as a “typical student who strived hard in her studies, a very humble and supportive friend, a woman who has a very good sense humor.” MJ started her beauty queen career when she represented Tulunan for the Mutya ng Cotabato in 2004 and finished first runner-up. Sheryl said her family had been receiving messages of support from townmates. “I pray hard because I believe in prayer that MJ will win,” she said. “I’m excited,” Gov.

Mendoza said there would be a live screening inside the Capitol building in Kidapawan City on Monday. “Some of our gyms are being used as temporary shelters for the flood evacuees. It will depend on the decision of the local government units,” she said.–With a report from Nico Alconaba, Inquirer Mindanao Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.

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