"Miss Philippines - USA 2010 - Impressive, Classy, Memorable" Text by: Luis Pedron and Richard M. Reyes Photos by: Richard M. Reyes NEWARK - The Miss Philippines - USA 2010 pageant was held last July 24, 2010. It was epic in proportions complete with intricate details in the fashion selection in gowns and bathing suits ( yes bathing suits ) and jaw dropping choreography. Thanks to the artistry of Pageant Director/Choreographer Erno John Hormillosa the event became meaningful and memorable. The Philippine American Communities Executive Council, Inc (PACEC) has been holding this beauty contest for 45 years, kudos to current President Araceli Mendoza and officers; this year's crop of winners are top of the line. Erno John Hormillosa found the experience of working with the candidates “one of a kind.” In his seven years in working in beauty pageants (six were for Philippine-American Communities Executive Council - PACEC), he has not found “candidates [that] are more enthusiastic, energetic, and eager to learn.” As a choreographer he remarked that it was unusual that they finished two production numbers within three hours on the first day. This thrilled him and provided an exciting and adventurous production. There were a few new additions and historical firsts in the 45th year of PACEC’s Miss Philippines USA pageant and for Mr. Hormillosa. This was the first time three production numbers were choreographed (Hawaiian, Belly Dancing, and
Miss Philippines-USA 2010, Armi Piamonte
“Telephone” by Lady Gaga & Beyonce); and second is that the Fathers’ of the candidates had an opportunity to dance with their daughters to “Dance with my father” by Luther Vandross. As a result of Araceli Mendoza and the PACEC officers support and dedication, Erno’s vision and the candidates’ (and their families) hard work, the pageant was a huge success. Erno’s vision was realized when the pageant was transformed into “a show that comes from the heart of the candidates.” This year's top winner, 20 year old Interior Design Student, Armi Piamonte was crowned Miss Philippines USA 2010. She wowed everyone from the beginning with her ala Mirriam Quiambao ( 1st runner in Miss Universe 1999) walk and confidence and her star quality smile. She was consistent from beginning to end. She left everyone with the words, "wow she deserved to win." The list of runner up's were: Nerricka Nalundasan 1st Runner-Up (Ms. Pearl of the Orient 2010); Cathy Carino 2nd Runner-Up (Miss Luzon 2010) Justine Omilig 3rd Runner-Up (Miss Visayas 2010); Cheryl Espinosa 4th Runner-Up (Miss Mindanao 2010); Ivanah Marie Chua 5th Runner-Up (Miss Manila 2010); Kristine Joy Beof 6th Runner-Up (Miss Phil-Am 2010) Armi Piamonte found the entire process of being in the pageant unforgettable. She was challenged by the pressure of the stiff competition and said, “All the ladies had something to give and without question all of them were beautiful.” Armi walked away the winner since she was able to overcome her insecurities and focus on positive thoughts. Armi continues, “My main focus was not to win but to perform to my potential. It wasn't about who was best but how I can be my best.” The experience in PACEC has made Armi a stronger person in heart and mind. She has some advice for those in future PACEC pageants, “For all the prospective candidates, I would advise them to believe in themselves, to always think positively no matter how tough it gets, and most importantly, have fun! It's not about winning but the experience that they will gain and the amazing people they will meet.” 3rd Runner-up Justine Omilig says that the experience will engage you to personally “raise the bar on any challenges that come your way” Justine supports Armi as Miss Philippines-USA 2010 and other finalists to work with community projects such as Habitat for Humanity A distinguished panel of Judges was required in order to properly select through the strong set of candidates. These included successful model agents, beauty queens, male models, dancers and linguists with their Chairman of the Board - Maria "Bessie" Badilla del Castillo, who was a Super Model in the 80's. The Panel of Judges included Lucas Gil, Luis Montanari, Howard Tomlison, Greta de Guzman, Sentell McDonald, Latt Sharill Mansor. The Spanish cultural influence on Filipinos gives us the opportunity to appreciate and enjoy Fiestas and Beauty Contests. We enjoy watching our young dalagang Filipinas parading in their gowns and costumes; most importantly representing the modern Filipina-American with strong Filipino values passed down through generations. Values that inspire and motivate us as the Filipino-American community. These proper young ladies are emerging as "leaders of the future" The hard Question and Answer session about tough and serious moral issues revealed their character.
This year's candidates kept their cool in all stages of the competition. They were all impressive in beauty and grace. Congratulations to the PACEC officers and to all the winners. Mabuhay! We look forward to the success of these young Filipina-Americans.