Tagbilaran, Sunday, 10 September 2006 03:36:50
By Leo Persigas Udtohan
|Anna Maris Igpit|
She may bear a striking resemblance to Andrea del Rosario but this Boholana beauty queen is burning up the entire Philippines as the reigning Bb. Pilipinas-World and Best in Long gown. She's got the brains to go with that body. That's pretty admirable.
Miss Bohol Sandugo 2005, Miss City of Talisay 2004, Ms. Mandaue City 2005, Miss Kawasan
"Live each day as if it's your last day."
Yes, it is true! She did it! Anna Maris Arcay Igpit was just been crowned Bb. Pilipinas-World at the Araneta Center in Cubao, Quezon City last March 4. I was fortunate that I was there myself to witness the historic moment of crowning the first Boholana who won the crown.
It was Babes Paculba (from Bohol and is now based in Olangapo City), a beautician who introduced Maris to a former town mayor who was looking for a girl to represent his hometown for the Miss Bohol Sandugo. Unfortunately, Maris' beauty was snubbed. Maybe, the mayor didn't see her potentials at that time.
Maris wasn't depressed, instead she asked help from couple Francisco "Ondo" and Nila Montero who groomed and supported her career as Miss Alona Tropical to the Miss Bohol Sandugo 2003.
Incidentally, Maris landed as first runner-up. But to Maris, her first experience in the Miss Bohol Sandugo served as her stepping stone to a fulfilling modelling career. Her time, according to beauty experts, has yet to come. Inspired by the words of St. Paul: let us not tired of doing good, for if we will not give up the time will come that we will reap the harvest, the Montero couple didn't mind the expenses during the screening and pageant when they convinced Maris to join the Bb. Pilipinas. True enough, the labor bore fruit.
The best thing about Maris, she remains humble despite her achievements in life. She is beautiful, intelligent and spontaneous (she has a career in broadcast journalism).
She is a devotee of the Holy Child Jesus. And do you know that a small image of the Sto. Niño is her most treasured item? Her mother Ma. Socorro "Maricor" Igpit convinced her to bring the image anytime (No wonder when she made a visita-iglesia! She visited the priests and nuns at the St. Joseph Cathedral including the Diocesan Youth Ministry. In the afternoon, she attended the thanksgiving mass inside the old St. Augustine Church in Panglao).
Before she went back to Manila (after she was called that she made it to the Bb. Pilipinas), she visited the Basilica Shrine of Sto. Niño in Cebu City and promised that win or lose, she will dance in the Sinulog festival with the Panglao, Bohol contingent as a thanksgiving for his guidance during my quest for this pageant.
"Ever since I was a child, my parents have already exposed me to the Sto. Niño. We always visit the Basilica Shrine when we have time. Every Sinulog, we always celebrate the fiesta by preparing food to invited guests. It has been a family tradition," Maris said.
Born on April 7, 1987 to parents Allan and Ma. Socorro she spent her elementary and high school years at St. Theresa's College Cebu with her siblings Almaregina and Allan Claudio. Before going to Manila for the Bb. Pilipinas, she was enrolled at Southwestern University in Cebu City taking up BS Tourism because she wants to become a flight attendant.
For one who didn't dream of instant fame and popularity, Maris' case is indeed something awesome. She does modeling and at the same studying. But throughout her studies, she was never been dropped out of the top 20 in her class.
|Three Filipina Beauty Queens|
It took years for her to decide if she would join Bb. Pilipinas not until Rodgil Flores (the handler/trainor of Miss World Precious Lara Guigaman and other beauty queens) and the municipality of Panglao through Kag. Nila Montero convinced her to join the Bb. Pilipinas.
"I joined Bb. Pilipinas because it has always been my dream to see myself on stage wearing the sash of the Philippines in an international beauty pageant... and of course be the first Boholana to bring home a Bb. Pilipinas crown," she revealed.
But before that, she had a dream that she was with Carla and Maricar (beauty queens) when she met these beauty queens, she was told to join the Bb. Pilipinas because her dream was a good omen.
The turning point in her career was when she worked with professional people which was a great privileged and opportunity for her. " It helped me to be more responsible also when it communes to work and commitments," she said.
The biggest lesson she learned as a model and beauty queen is not an instant fame. "You can never reach your goals if you don't have enough motivation and determination."
Most unforgettable moment when she joined the Bb. Pilipinas? "It was during the final screening. Seeing all those beautiful and tall girls made me realize that its not really an easy quest… and that being chosen as an official candidate is already a great opportunity."
|Anna Maris returns home|
Her advice to aspiring beauty queens: Being a beauty queen is not only about glamour and fame, it comes with great responsibility. So if you want to be one, you have to be very willing to commit your time and effort in all your duties. Just have fun and be focused on your goal. And most of all, once you reach the top don't forget where you came and all the people you believed in you.
Her type of a guy? Someone who us responsible, faithful, loving and of course has great faith in the Lord. She sees herself years from now as a good and responsible mother and wife. (Sorry, our Bb. Pilipinas is already taken. She has a guy :-))
Fitness regimen? I just watch what I eat and exercise.
Maris is not missing out on all that girl thing. She gets to spend time with her close friends, talking about Da the Vinci Code, reading books, dancing and going to the beach. She is also taking care of her four Japanese shih tzu dogs, never mind if this beauty queen has fears of snake or anything that crawls. Oh, and not to forget lip balm and moisturizer
She also revealed that her only beauty secret is smile. "Smile! It can do wonders, believe me!"
As for clothes, she said, "I love clothes! I usually splurge my earnings in modeling with all those lovely clothes. But I am most comfortable with jeans and a cute top."
Explain: Find your heart and you will find your way. Amidst all problems, confusions and trials, just listen to your heart and you will definitely know where to go and how to get there.
Determined, committed and optimistic that is Maris inside and out.
This is not the first time that a Boholana made it to the Bb. Pilipinas. There was Perla Salig who became first runner-up of the 1979 Bb. Pilipinas. Perla became Miss Loboc Academy and Miss Commerce at the then Divine Word College in Tagbilaran now Holy Name University. She won the Mutya ng Bohol pageant held in Cebu City sponsored by the Circulo de Boholano and represented the Central Visayas. Fresh, simple with an epitome of an "untouched probinsyana" she still made it to the 15 semi-finalists out of 37 candidates from the different parts of the country. Jaina Manigque-Stone was top 15 and Ms Lux in 1985 Bb. Pilipinas. Hers is a different story. Maris is the first Boholana to bring home the crown!
Maris will represent the Philippines on the Miss World 2006 Pageant, to be held in Poland, come September 2006.
Maris has her own website on www.annamarisigpit.com. You can also see her biography on the official Miss World 2006 website.
|The author with Bb. Pilipinas-World|
Leo Persigas Udtohan