CEBU CITY, Philippines — Her head was held high when she revealed that she has a girlfriend.
A few minutes after midnight, Beatrice Gomez, who represented San Fernando town in southern Cebu, was showered with confetti and cheered on by the audience as she was declared as Binibining Cebu 2020.
The 24-year-old gym manager bested 53 other candidates representing different towns and cities in Cebu province during the coronation night held Monday, January 13, 2020 at the Pacific Grand Ballroom of the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino.
She won P500,000 cash and P300,000 in kind.
With her victory, Gomez now wears a crown designed by Cary Santiago and produced by Oro China.
“I have been crying behind the stage. I honestly did not expect this. I am very surprised, very thankful. First of all, I am very thankful to God that I am finally here after six long months,” she told CDN Digital moments after she was crowned the third winner of Cebu’s premier beauty pageant.
Gomez is a model for 12 years and was previously crowned as Miss Mandaue second runner-up in 2015.
Gomez succeeded Binibining Cebu 2018/2019 Steffi Rose Aberasturi.
Other winners are: Ameena Allababidi of Cordova (Binibining Cebu Tourism); Betty Davis of Cebu City North (Binibining Cebu Charity); Marla Alforque of Carcar City (Binibining Cebu Heritage); and Amanda Basnillo (Binibining Cebu Ecology).
The 54 candidates were trimmed down to Top 21 semi-finalists.
After the swimwear round, the 12 finalists were announced.
This year’s pageant revolved around the theme of “dreams” and featured five “little ladies” who represented the winners of the five Binibining Cebu crowns.
The girls also chose the winner of the Kids’ Choice Award, which went to Jackie Fleming of Alcoy town.
The final question and answer was asked by a nine-year-old boy named Kobe Lamparas.
The final question was: “Some kids live on the streets and have nothing in life. As a Binibining Cebu how can you inspire these kids to never stop believing?”
Gomez started her answer with a sharing of her personal experience in succeeding despite the odds.
Gomez, who was raised by a single mother, said she learned to be self-sufficient and managed to send herself to school.
“My advocacy is through youth empowerment through sports. Fortunately, I was able to be part of the varsity team and I got a scholarship. I was lucky enough to be able to have this opportunity. And that is the reason why I want to inspire all the kids out there who are the less fortunate… to never give up because there is a way, there is always a solution,” said Gomez.
Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray was the pageant’s guest of honor.
The crowd went wild when Gray emerged in a blue gown and then sang Aretha Franklin’s You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman.
The show started at 9:20 p.m. with a production number of the 54 candidates.
But organizers announced that the show had to be restarted because of technical difficulties.
After the semi-finalists were announced, the 21 ladies competed in the swimwear round wearing the Paulina collection of designer Mikee Andrei.
The top 12 finalists were announced after the swimwear round.
The rest of the Binibing Cebu 2020 court wore crowns designed by Kenneth Cobonpue and produced by Oro China.
Binibining Cebu Tourism won P300, 000 cash and P100, 000 in kind. Binibining Cebu Charity won P200,000 in cash and P50,000 in kind.
Binibining Cebu Heritage won P100,000 in cash while Binibining Cebu Ecology won P75,000 in cash.
This year’s judges were: Architect Royal Pineda, Miss Globe 2015 Ann Colis, singer/recording artist, Donna Cruz-Larrazabal, Rappler pageant correspondent Voltaire Tayag, Police Brigadier General Valeriano de Leon of Police Regional Office in Central Visayas, enterpreneur and shoe designer Jojo Bragais and Sash Factor pageant correspondent Adam Genato. / celr