LONDON -- The winners of this year's Miss Philippines UK and Mr Philippines UK pageants were crowned during an event on September 15.
|Jacqueline Rose Llaneza and Erwin Mateo Trinidad
Around 600 people filled a west London hotel's conference hall to witness the 2012 installment of the longest running Pinoy beauty contest in the UK.
Seven males and 14 females entered the annual competition, which showcased some of the UK's most talented and eye-catching Pinoys.
This year's contestants, with an average age of 22, performed dance numbers and paraded in their casual wear, swim wear and evening wear before answering a question selected from a hat.
Mr Philippines UK 2012
Erwin Mateo Trinidad, a full-time healthcare assistant and part-time store model for Armani Exchange, claimed the title of Mr Philippines UK 2012.
Born and raised in San Rafael, Bulacan, Trinidad left his family in the Philippines around two years ago to live and work in London.
Trinidad drew laughter from the crowd at the beginning of the show when he compared himself to the climate of his homeland: "I come from an island nation where the weather is hot and amazing, just like me!"
ABS-CBN Europe caught up with Trinidad after the crowning ceremony. The 26-year-old had almost lost his voice, but still managed to squeeze out some words.
"Actually I didn't expect to win this contest because I just took one of the other awards [Best Ethnic Dance]. then suddenly, they just called my number and I'm so happy."
As a new ambassador of the Pinoy community in the UK, Trinidad says he aims to "blend with other races and show that Filipinos are easy to get along with."
He adds he wants "to be an example to other Filipinos - to show we can win everything, whatever part of the world we may be in, of course with God's help."
Miss Philippines UK 2012
The title of Miss Philippines UK 2012 went to Jacqueline Rose Llaneza, who triumphed over 13 other contestants.
She also picked up the awards for Best in Ethnic Dance and Best in Swimwear.
Llaneza's parents originate from Manila and Davao, but the 20-year-old was born and bred in the UK.
From the English county of Cambridgeshire, she is currently studying Chemical Engineering while working part-time as a waitress or model for clothes brand Hollister.
The newly crowned queen admitted she was on cloud nine.
"It's so surreal, so surreal. Maybe when I get some sleep and wake up it will sink in but for now it's all like a dream."
Llaneza reveals she also endured a testing past few months, which makes winning Miss Philippines UK 2012 that extra special.
"I've had some troubles with some people. It broke my spirit, I felt terrible, I've had to pick myself back up and get to a place where I feel confident, where I can show myself, and despite everything that has happened, I can still shine through. It's such a good feeling to know that I can rise from those troubles."
Return trip to the Philippines
Both winners were awarded return flights to the Philippines where they will get the chance to stay in Manila and Cebu.
Trinidad says he is particularly looking forward to reuniting with his family, who he hasn't seen since he arrived in the UK.
"Actually, it has been ages I didn't go to the Philippines. I will see my family now, it's good," Trinidad said.
Llaneza, who says she has only been around the Philippines five times before, is also excited about visiting the country.
"I am so proud of myself and I can't wait to share it with my friends, family and my family in the Philippines who can't be here tonight," Llaneza commented.
The competition Miss Philippines UK began in 1977, before Mr Philippines UK was introduced in 1993. Since then, the pageants have pitted some of the most good looking and talented Pinoys in the country against each other.
Its alumni boast the likes of celebrity Myleene Klass, actress Rachel Grant and Lalaine Edson, who represented the Philippines in the 1999 Miss World contest.
Eva Macadangdang is the pageant's founder. She is proud to see the competition still flourishing after 35 years. She paid tribute to this year's generation of contestants.
"I'm happy because they participated in this event, which I think makes them more confident with themselves. They show their beauty and academic excellence," said Macadangdang.
The award winners:
Female Best in Casual: Jenifer-Rose Caesar
Male Best in Casual: Karl Alcantara
Female Best in Swimwear: Jacqueline Rose Llaneza,
Male Best in Swimwear: Gian Carlo Sumbillo
Female Best in Evening wear: Maria Burgos
Male Best in Evening wear: Karl Alcantara
Female Best in Ethnic Dance: Jacqueline Rose Llaneza
Male Best in Ethnic Dance: Erwin Mateo Trinidad
Miss Charity: Jenifer-Rose Caesar
Mr Charity: Kim Michael Last
Female People's Choice: Melle Angelie Doroy
Male People's Choice: Karl Alcantara
Miss Friendship: Vivienne Lorraine Roa
Mr Friendship: Kim Michael Last
Female Third Runner-up: Jenifer-Rose Caesar
Male Third Runner-up: Kim Michael Last
Female Second Runner-up: Maria Burgos
Male Second Runner-up: Jeffrey Abas
Female First Runner-up: Jasmine Chamberlain
Male First Runner-up: Karl Alcantara
Miss Philippine UK 2012: Jacqueline Rose Llaneza
Mr Philippines UK 2012: Erwin Mateo Trinidad