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  • Writer's pictureMenchie Kinao

Benguet beauty among first moms to compete in Miss Universe PH

Tuba, Benguet – “I never imagined joining pageants once again after becoming a mom. But who says moms can’t slay the universe?” expressed the beauty queen from Tuba, Benguet who is among the first three mothers to compete in the national pageant.

“With much pride and honor, I am beyond blessed to represent the whole Igorot tribe,” Joemay-an Leo added on her social media post with photos of her, carrying her adorable child.

Unlike the previous search, organizers of this 72nd edition of the pageant allowed aspirants of any civil status.

Along with Leo are two other mothers namely, Mary Eileen Gonzales, and Clariele Dacanay. The three surpassed the screening and made it to the Top 40 finalists.

Leo is no stranger to beauty and brain contests as she was crowned Miss Tuba 2014, Miss Benguet 2014 First Runner-Up, Miss Baguio 2015 Third Runner-Up, and Miss Cordillera 2016. She even represented the region in the Miss World Philippines 2018.

As a youth leader and IP rights advocate, she took the opportunity of joining the tilt to showcase their culture in the national stage. Part of her advocacy is to likewise empower married woman.

“This avenue holds an excellent opportunity to showcase a world-class Igorota beauty… I am a mom. I am a Cordilleran. I am empowered. Kaigorotan, laban!” she expressed.

The beauty thanked her “strong” support system for believing in her as she dedicated her journey to her “family and little one.”

Currently, she is practicing her stage walk while coordinating with local designers for the Cordillera fabric that she will wear. Her team is also filming for her tourism advocacy video.


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