Philippines – On her second try, Mariel de Leon finally bagged a title Sunday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, as 2017 Bb. Pilipinas-International.
“It’s even more exciting to me than winning an award,” said Mariel’s father, multi-awarded actor Christopher “Boyet” de Leon. “An award feels like an icing on the cake while winning a beauty title is something else. You have to compete with 40 equally beautiful ladies who have gone through rigorous screening.”
Mariel’s mom Sandy Andolong couldn’t stand the suspense so she decided to watch the pageant on TV at the nearby Novotel, accompanied by Boyet.
“I knew it was going to be stressful,” said Sandy, “but as soon as the winners were announced, we ran to the Coliseum to be with Mariel.”
Boyet and Sandy noted that Mariel worked hard for her second try at the Binibini.
“She improved a lot,” observed Sandy. “She has become more confident and more determined. I knew that she stood a big chance. Mother’s instinct, you know.”
“But still,” added Boyet, “we were surprised. Umiba ang aura niya.”
Accompanied by their other children Gabriel and Mica, the couple hugged as they arrived at the Coliseum.
“Prayer helped a lot,” said Sandy. (R. Lo, PS)