Best known for her stint as courtside reporter for the PBA and the UAAP for the Ateneo Blue Eagles, Laura Victoria Lehmann certainly knows a thing or two about being competitive.
On Sunday, the 24-year-old Filipina-German beauty from Makati showed why she had consistently emerged as one of the heavy favorites in the Miss World Philippines pageant. The newly-crowned Miss World Philippines of 2017 has a history of doing well in national pageants. In 2014, Laura finished first runner-up in the Binibining Pilipinas pageant, edging out, among others, Pia Wurtzbach who finished only in the Top 15.
Being the athletic type, Laura was also part of the Philippine team for softball as well as dabbled in touch rugby. She was also quite a cerebral woman, as while studying in the U.S., she pursued not one but three majors, namely Psychology, Neuro Science and Spanish Studies.
This year’s pageant, however, was a lot more competitive than previous editions of Miss World Philippines. Unlike last year when Catriona Gray was the runaway favorite to Miss World Philippines, there was no single frontrunner this year. As a matter of fact, the pageant was so competitive, it was, in sport parlance, anybody’s ballgame down the stretch when three ladies won the lion’s share of the special awards.
Prior to clinching the Miss World Philippines title, Laura won the Multimedia challenge of the pageant’s Fast Track events, as well as the special awards Miss Cosmo Skin and Miss BYS Philippines.
Laura’s victory also earned her the right to represent the country in this year’s Miss World pageant in Sanya, China on November 18.
Actress Teresita “Winwyn” Marquez, 25, who represented Parañaque, clinched the Reina Hispanoamericana Filipinas crown. She will compete in the Reina Hispanoamericana pageant scheduled in Bolivia this year.
Winwyn also won the Beach Beauty and Talent Competition in the Fast Track events as well as the special awards Miss Savoy Hotel Boracay and Miss Bench Body.
Another heavy favorite, 22-year-old Cynthia Thomalla from Cebu City won Miss ECO Philippines as well as Miss Photogenic, Best in Long Gown, and Top Model in the Fast Track events. Cynthia also won Miss Blue Water Day Spa.
Cynthia is scheduled to compete in Miss ECO International slated for April next year in Egypt.
A surprise winner in the pageant was 18-year-old Sophia Senoron from Manila. Sophia, who was not in the radar of most pageant experts, took the Miss Multinational Philippine crown. She will compete in the Miss Multimedia pageant that will take place in India this year.
Glyssa Perez of Bohol, 22, was adjudged 1st Princess and also won the Sports challenge in the Fast Track events as well as the special award Miss Fila. Zara Carbonell, a 23-year old native from Batangas, was the pageant’s 2nd Princess. Zara previously competed in Miss Philippines Earth in 2010.
The only other special award winners were 25-year-old Kathryn Jade Cudiamat of Rizal who won the Zalora’s People Choice award. She did not, however, make it among the Top 15 semi-finalists which also consisted of Sheila Marie Reyes, Jona Ili Sweett, Cristina Marie Coloma, Janela Joy Cuaton, Ella Eiveren Lubag, Gabriela Madarieta Ortega, Henna Kaizelle Cajandig, Chelsea Anne Manalo and Noelle Uy-Tuazon.