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Winwyn Marquez: The First and Only Asian and Filipina Reina Hispanoamericana Titleholder

Photo from @teresitassen


Reina Hispanoamericana was a title unheard of in the history of Philippine pageantry. But now, a new chapter to this history has begun as actress-turned-beauty queen Teresita Ssen “Winwyn” Marquez bagged that coveted title and crown at the pageant held in Sta. Cruz, Bolivia last November 4.

Winwyn’s victory is a big deal because this is the first time Philippines—along with Canada and Australia—has ever joined the pageant.

Reina Hispanoamericana is an annual beauty pageant that started in 1991 in Sta. Cruz, Bolivia, and aimed at celebrating Hispanic heritage, language, and culture. Formerly known as Reina Sudamericana (South American Queen), the pageant only invited representatives from 10 South American countries up to 2003. As years passed by, the list of participating countries increased to include Panama and Costa Rica in 2004; Spain, Puerto Rico, Nicaragua and Dominican Republic in 2006; Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala and the United States in 2007 (the participation of the US prompted the pageant’s name change); and Haiti and Curacao  in 2008.

After nearly a decade, Reina Hispanoamericana decided to include more countries in its roster, including the first Asian country to participate, the Philippines.

The Philippines’ Spanish Colonization from 1521 to 1898 and the American Occupation from 1898 to 1946 qualify it to be part of the pageant.

Unlike English which is taught as Filipinos’ second language, Spanish has not been ingrained in the Philippines’ education system. But this, clearly, was not a hindrance to Winwyn’s success in the pageant.

Her winning answer in the Q&A portion, in fact, addresses this language barrier. The question: “How would you promote Hispanic-American culture with language barriers?” The answer: “Language can be learned but the will and determination to contribute to the organization cannot. It has to come from the heart. It has to be natural. I believe that kindness is a universal language that if you treat people with tolerance, patience and love, you will understand each other. The Hispanic culture is not about language only. It’s about love for God, love for country, love for history and culture, and love for family. As a Filipina with a unique heritage, I have instilled that. I am ready to promote the Hispanic culture not just in Asia but in the whole world. It is time to celebrate the Hispanic culture. It is meant to be celebrated.”

Winwyn bested 26 other contestants during the pageant’s coronation night, and even won special awards: Miss Ipanema, Top 3 for Traditional Costume (she wore a gold outfit by Edwin Uy), Top 5 in the sports category, Top 3 for Miss Silhouette Philips, and 1st runner-up in Miss Personality.


Photo from @teresitassen


Prior to joining Miss World Philippines 2017, wherein she was crowned as the Reina Hispanoamericana-Filipinas 2017, Winwyn joined the Bb. Pilipinas 2015 and made it to the Top 15.

Before embarking on her beauty queen journey, this stunning showbiz royalty (she’s the daughter of actors/politicians Joey Marquez and Alma Moreno, and the niece of Miss International 1979 Melanie Marquez) has been making a name for herself in showbiz.

She started out as a performer on Sunday variety show Party Pilipinas in 2010, and was part of several teleseryes like Elena M. Patron’s Blusang Itim (2011), Kambal Sirena (2014), Encantadia (2017), and Mulawin vs Ravena (2017).  

The Philippines takes pride on its winning streak in international pageants. Here’s a list of the international titles that were won by a Pinay beauty queen:

1964: Miss International Gemma Cruz-Araneta

1969: Miss Universe Gloria Diaz

1970: Miss International Aurora Pijuan

1973: Miss Universe Margarita Moran-Floirendo

1979: Miss International Melanie Marquez

2005: Miss International Precious Lara Quigaman-Alcaraz

2008: Miss Earth Karla Henry

2013: Miss International Bea Rose Santiago

2013: Miss World Megan Young

2014: Miss Earth Jamie Herrell

2015: Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach

2015: Miss Earth Angelia Ong

2016: Miss International Kylie Verzosa

2017: Miss Earth Karen Ibasco


Photos from @real_missosology (thumbnail)