PH’s bet Winwyn Marquez wins Reina HispanoAmericana 2017
Report: Raymund Thom Golez | Managing Editor
Photos: JR Noses | Chief Photojournalist & Photo Editor
Photos courtesy: Reina Hispanoamericana FB
TAMPA, Florida – Teresita Ssen “Wynwyn” Marquez was crowned Reina Hispanoamericana 2017 on Saturday night, November 4 in Bolivia , making her the very first Filipina and Asian to compete and win in the said beauty pageant.
Marquez stood out and bested 26 other Latina and Hispanic beauties in the competition, which celebrates the Hispanic heritage and culture. She succeeded last year’s winner, Maria Camila Soleibe from Colombia. During the pre-pageant activities, Marquez won several special awards.
The much-awaited pageant’s question-and-answer portion, Marquez was asked how she would promote the Hispanic-American culture with the great difficulty or barrier of language.
Marquez answered: “Language can be learned but the will and determination to contribute to the organization cannot. It has to come from the heart. It has to be natural. I believe that kindness is a universal language that if you treat people with tolerance, patience and love, you will understand each other.”
“The Hispanic culture is not about language only. It’s about love for God, love for country, love for history and culture and love for family. As a Filipina with a unique heritage, I have instilled that. I am ready to promote the Hispanic culture not just in Asia but in the whole world. It is time to celebrate the Hispanic culture. It is meant to be celebrated,” she added.
Before she went to Bolivia, Marquez vowed to do her best to make the whole nation proud despite the little time that she had to prepare for the competition. The Philippines, which was a colony of Spain for over three centuries, is the first Asian country to compete in the pageant.
Prior to the coronation night, Marquez said through an Instagram post that she is “enjoying every minute” of her stay in Bolivia for the beauty competition.
Marquez is the daughter of veteran actors and former politicians Joey Marquez and Alma Moreno, and the niece of former Miss International Melanie Marquez.
By far, she’s the only non-Spanish speaking candidate who eventually won the title, that’s why she also thanked her fellow candidates for helping translate the questions – which are primarily in Spanish – during their interviews.
Reina Hispanoamericana (Hispanic American Queen) is an annual beauty pageant celebrating Hispanic heritage, language and culture, started in 1991 as Reina Sudamericana (South American Queen), is based in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia. Up to 2003 the participants were restricted to the 10 countries in South America; in 2004 participants from Panama and Costa Rica in Central America were invited; and in 2006 participants from Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, Portugal & Spain joined. In 2007 Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras & United States were added, and the name changed to Reina Hispanoamericana. In 2008, Curaçao and Haiti were added. Recently, in 2017, the Philippines, Canada, and Australia joined the competition for the first time.