|Photo by Ann Francisco Vaeringstad/PWO
OSLO, Norway - Ilocano nurse, Bjeateianne Marie Saturnino, 30, won the Miss Gay Philippines-Norway 2012 crown at a recently held pageant in Oslo.
"I'm speechless, di ako makapagsalita," she told ABS-CBN Europe minutes after she was announced the winner of the first ever gay pageant arranged by the Philippine Women's Organization (PWO) in Oslo.
Visibly moved and almost in tears, Saturnino, who hails from Bacarra, Ilocos Norte, said she couldn't believe that she would bring home the crown as she revealed that this is her first time ever to join a beauty contest.
Saturnino bested four other candidates in the pageant held at the Salem Church in central Oslo last Sunday. She also won special awards, Most Creative, Best in Evening Gown, and Best in Swimsuit.
She came to Norway to work as a nurse at Ryen nursing home in Oslo.
Runner-up titles went to the following:
Jorie Marie Villa, 25, from Cebu city (first) who also won Miss Photogenic;
Chyxz Marie Quijano, 24, from Quezon city (second) ;
Ryouji Venus Colobong, 28, from Solsana, Ilocos Norte (third), who walked away with Miss Talent and Miss Congeniality titles; and,
Patricia Lee, 29, from Laoag, who was also given the Miss Popularity title.
The candidates wowed the crowd with their original, self-designed creative costumes inspired by Victoria Secret's annual fashion show featuring the world's top supermodels. They also designed the elegant evening gowns they wore for the event.
As this article was being written, the PWO revealed that Saturnino has been invited to compete at the Miss Gay Philippines pageant.
According to pageant organizer, Philippine Women's Organization head, Leonor Vintervoll, the event was held as a fundraiser for their organization's au pair information project. She also said that PWO will be donating 10% of the proceeds from the event to the victims of flooding in Manila.
Vintervoll stressed that the holding of the pageant "is an affirmation that we do not discriminate against gays." She also believes that all individuals, whatever their sexual orientation may be, should be treated as an equal and with respect.
Among the panel of pageant judges were:
Bobby Vasquez, noted fashion hairstylist and hair salon owner;
Ingrid Santos Holm, fashion blogger and model;
Kennelyn Rose Bloch Nilsen, Miss Phils-Norway 2006 and Miss Photogenic at the Supermodel Competition in Europe;
Maria Bergersen who competed at the Miss Mutya ng Pilipinas 2011;
Helen Relacion Jensen, former Mrs. Philippines-Norway (1996) and Miss Cebu Tourism, among others.
The Philippine Women's Organization was established in March 1990 and works with Filipino women issues in Norway aiming to contribute to the enrichment of the Filipina's image and role in Norwegian society.