Filipinos are justly proud that the Philippines ranks third, after Venezuela and the United States, among top-performing countries in major beauty pageants.

Fans viscerally link these global competitions with physical beauty, at times ignoring the equal weight placed by judges on talent and diverse skills, personal achievements, and poise amid pressure.

Fiesta In America’s biannual Grand Pilipinas Fiesta Pageant recognizes the value of striking a balance.

The Grand Pilipinas Fiesta Princess and Grand Pilipinas Fiesta Queen competitions place accomplishments in school and the workplace, affinity with Filipino heritage, as well as community involvement, on roughly equal footing with outward appeal.

In fact, candidates are asked to assist in raising funds for worthwhile causes.

This year and for the foreseeable future, part of the proceeds is earmarked for Fiesta In America’s year-round support for underfunded Philippine exporters.

Businesses known as MSMEs (micro, small and medium-size enterprises) struggle to break into the vast New York-New Jersey market.

Fiesta In America provides a platform for retail sales and first-hand consumer research at the event’s Trade Pavilion.

Opportunities for bulk sales, meanwhile, are tapped by making Philippine goods known to hundreds of U.S. importers and distributors in cooperation with the Trade Representative.

Grand Pilipinas Fiesta Pageant candidates indirectly support job-creating industries in the Philippines through fundraising that help MSMEs sell and promote their products in the U.S.

Now, that’s what we call stunningly beautiful and appealing.

The Grand Pilipinas Fiesta Queen finalists are Wildina Col Enjambre, Rose Pacia LaBelle and Nemesia Vilma Muñoz.

The Grand Pilipinas Fiesta Princess finalists are Claudia Isabelle Abesamis, Kayla Monique Fabros-Mamboyo and Marisa Celia-Rose Haas.

Tet Palencia serves as Pageant Chair and Lilian Vita as Co-Chair.

Fiesta in America Expo and Cultural Show will be held on Aug. 11 and 12, 2018 (starts at 11 a.m.) at the Meadowlands Expo Center in Secaucus, N.J.

The companion community tribute of the expo is the People’s Ball Gala to be held on Aug. 10, 6 p.m., at Hilton Meadowlands in East Rutherford, N.J.

To sponsor, exhibit or attend, please call (212) 682-6610 or e-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it