Newly crowned Bb. Pilipinas-Universe Shamcey Gorea Supsup (center) is joined by (from left) second runner-up Maryjane Lastimosa, Bb. Pilipinas-Tourism Isabella Manjon, Bb. Pilipinas-International Dianne Necio and first runner-up Janine Togonon during coronation rites at the Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.  (Photo by Boy Santos)


MANILA — An architecture magna cum laude graduate from the University of the Philippines (UP) who topped the architecture licensure exams in 2010 bested 39 other contestants to win the 2011 Bb. Pilipinas-Universe title at a glittering three-hour coronation night at the Araneta Coliseum on Sunday.

No. 26 in the batch, Shamcey Gorea Supsup, 24, regal at 5’7.5” and weighing 105 lbs., won points from the board of judges when asked during the Q&A portion for the 15 semi-finalists by judge Consul General Hugh Wilson of the Australian Embassy what cause she was championing. She answered, “Education. You can have money and fame but they can take (these) away from you. Education is something that nobody can take away from you.”

A Penelope Cruz look-alike, Supsup is a pageant neophyte but a favorite of the SRO crowd from the beginning of the ceremonies, covered live by ABS-CBN, the new network partner of the Bb. Pilipinas Charities, Inc. (BPCI).

She studied in Thailand for more than a year during her elementary school and finished high school a salutatorian.

She loves to read and to draw and, at 15, held her first painting exhibit.

“I thought it was too good to be true,” said Supsup in a phone interview with a local radio station in General Santos City, where she’s from.

The city government of General Santos, which has conferred upon Supsup the title of Gensan Ambassadress of Goodwill, is preparing a heroine’s welcome.

Named 2011 Bb. Pilipinas-International was Dianne Samar Necio, 18, from Polangui, Albay, who placed first runner-up to fellow Bicolana Venus Raj in last year’s Bb. Pilipinas search.

She is the third from Albay to win a national beauty title in three years, following Jane Banares (from Legazpi City), Mutya ng Pilipinas International in 2008, and Melody Gersbach (Daraga, Albay), the 2009 Bb. Pilipinas-International who died in a car crash in August last year on her way from Daraga to Naga City to sit as judge in the 2010 Miss Bicolandia contest.

Standing 5’5.5” and weighing 116 lbs, Dianne listed baton twirling among her talents, which she displays at the University of St. Anthony in Iriga City where she studies.

Asked by judge Silvana Fornari during the Q&A what her biggest achievement was, Necio, No. 33, said, “When I placed first runner-up in last year’s Bb. Pilipinas pageant,” adding without batting an eyelash that her main goal was to win the Bb. Pilipinas-International crown.

She did.

According to Albay Gov. Joey Salceda, the provincial government is preparing a red carpet motorcade for Dianne from the Legazpi Airport to the city’s major thoroughfares, and will receive a special resolution from the Sangguniang Panlalawigan recognizing her contribution to the pride and honor of Albay.

Chosen 2011 Bb. Pilipinas-Tourism, a new title added to the pageant to replace the Bb. Pilipinas-World title that now belongs to another franchise-holder, was Isabella Catipunan Manjon (No. 25), 24, who stands 5’7” and weighs 125 lbs.

Asked by judge Ernie Lopez during the Q&A if a father could do the duties of a mother Isabella, a registered nurse from UERM, and a deadringer for Angelina Jolie, said “Yes, he can,” because as far as she was concerned, “Everybody is equal.”

First runner-up was Janine Tugonon (No. 27) and second runner-up was Mary Jane Lastimosa (No. 34).

Supsup also won three special awards — Miss Philippine Airlines, Miss Cream Silk and Best in Talent.

Unlike in the past, this year’s pageant scrapped the selection of the Top Five finalists chosen from the 15 semi-finalists who impressed both the judges and the crowd with their wit and intelligence, their answers short and substantial — and grammatical.

Instead, the three major winners were picked straight out of the semis.

Supsup will go to Sao Paulo, Brazil, to compete in the Miss Universe pageant which has so far been won by two Filipinas, Gloria Diaz in 1969 and Margie Moran in 1973; while Necio will compete in the Miss International contest where four Filipinas have won — Gemma Cruz in 1964, Aurora Pijuan in 1970, Melanie Marquez in 1979 and Precious Lara Quigaman in 2005.

Quigaman co-hosted portions of Sunday’s ceremonies with 1999 Bb. Pilipinas-Universe Miriam Quiambao.

Main hosts were Kapamilya stars KC Concepcion and Derek Ramsay.

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