Bb. Pilipinas USA crowned at star-studded event

By Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN North America News Bureau

Posted at Jul 30 2013 10:41 AM | Updated as of Jul 31 2013 12:01 AM

LAKEWOOD, California - It was a night of pageantry as 20 young women competed for the title of the first ever Bb. Pilipinas USA.

Winners would not only get cash prizes, trips to the Philippines, movie and television roles, but also a shot to compete in the Bb. Pilipinas Universe and Miss Earth Philippines pageants.

Twenty-three year old Geramie Dizon, a marketing employee, was crowned Bb. Pilipinas USA.

"It feels amazing. I'm so happy! Thank you so much," Dizon said.

Many more awards were given out including one award named after The Filipino Channel, the Bb. TFC.

"I'm so honored for this opportunity. I love TFC. Their shows are hilarious and it really is an immense honor to be Bb. TFC," said Bb. TFC Alexandra Dreschler.

The ladies underwent some pre-pageant festivities throughout the weeks leading to the coronation, including a week of training with 2010 Miss Universe 4th runner up Venus Raj, who hosted the pageant with Adobo Nation's Lee Robin Salazar.

"Siguro, sa mga gusto pumunta sa Pilipinas and join Bb. Pilipinas in the Philippines, maybe just like what they did here just be themselves and enjoy the entire pageant kasi ang bilis-bilis ng pace ng pageant," she said.

The ladies had to strut their stuff in front of a panel of celebrity judges, including Sony Vice President Fritz Friedman, Emmy-nominated TV Producer Marc Nicolas, ABS-CBN North America News Bureau's Gel Santos Relos.

Fresh off his stint as judge and mentor on The Voice Philippines, Apl.de.Ap not only judged and performed, but his Apl.de.Ap Foundation was also the recipient of the pageant's fundraising efforts.

"I'm glad I'm meeting so many people that have the same values in helping out the community and the children in the Philippines," the recording artist said.

The full pageant will air next month on TFC.