The replacement of Binibining Pilipinas (Miss Philippines) World Janina San Miguel on Tuesday showed that she is better than her predecessor in one respect: her English-speaking ability.
That's because 19-year-old Danielle Castaño, who formally assumed the duties of Binibining Pilipinas Ms. World after San Miguel officially quit on Monday, is a Filipino-American.
The Binibining (Bb.) Pilipinas Ms. World 1st runner-up was born in the US and has been living in the Philippines for just over a year.
"Ms. Araneta called me and she told me that I have to be there in an hour...Actually, I was at Malate," Castano said with a strong American accent.
She was referring to Ms. Stella Marquez Araneta, organizer of Binibining Pilipinas, the franchise holder of the Ms. Universe, Ms. World, and Ms. International contests.
Castaño, however, sounded just a bit better than San Miguel when it comes to grammar. "I'm very proud that I was choosed (sic) by Mrs. Araneta."
San Miguel won the Bb. Pilipinas Ms. World despite having difficulty answering in English a judge's question on what role her family played in her bid to be Bb. Pilipinas Ms. World.
The Ms. World 2008 beauty contest is scheduled to be held on December 13 at the Sandton Convention Center in Johannesburg, South Africa. Contestants have to be in the South African city by November 16.
Binibining Pilipinas Charities Inc. (BPCI) announced Monday that San Miguel quit as the country's representative to the 2008 Ms. World beauty pageant due to personal reasons.
"The untimely demise of her grandfather, among other personal reasons, has caused her undue stress, thus hindering her from fulfilling her duties for the said title," the BPCI said in a statement.
"In accordance with BPCI rules and regulations, 1st Runner-Up Danielle Castaño will replace Ms. San Miguel as the official Philippine representative to the Ms. World 2008 pageant," it added.
"BPCI wishes to express its gratitude to Ms. San Miguel for this act of graciousness and concern for the country. They also wish her well in her future endeavors," the company said.
ABS-CBN's TV Patrol said Tuesday that with only one-and-a-half months left before Ms. World contestants have to be in Johannesburg, there are speculations that San Miguel did not resign but was forced to do so due to her lack of abilities in representing the country. -- with a report from GINGER CONEJERO, ABS-CBN News