Pinay to represent Canada in 2013 Miss Universe

By Miguel Dumaual,

Posted at May 28 2013 10:38 PM | Updated as of May 29 2013 06:22 PM

MANILA -- A former "Pinoy Big Brother" housemate is set to represent Canada in the upcoming 2013 Miss Universe pageant, after being belatedly declared winner in the national competition.

Pinay to represent Canada in 2013 Miss Universe 1 Pinay to represent Canada in 2013 Miss Universe 2
Riza Santos (left) is Miss Universe Canada 2013. Denise Garrido (right) is 3rd runner-up. Photos courtesy of the official website of Beauties of Canada

Riza Santos, who represented Calgary in the 2013 Miss Canada pageant, was named first runner-up during the coronation night held Sunday (Manila time).

Candidate Denise Garrido from Bradford was initially declared Miss Universe Canada.

On Tuesday (Manila time), however, pageant organizer Beauties of Canada (BOC) announced that it had erroneously announced the winner and runners-up of the competition.

In the "final results" released on BOC's official website, the organization said Garrido placed 3rd runner-up. Santos, whose parents are both Filipinos, was named Miss Universe Canada 2013.

Offering its "sincere apology" to Garrido, BOC said the "human error [in determining the winner was] discovered while validating the results."

It added: "Beauties of Canada congratulates Riza Santos as the winner of Miss Universe Canada 2013 competition, and looks forward to working with her as she prepares to represent our country at Miss Universe 2013."

The 25-year-old Santos is a veteran pageant contestant, having won two other beauty competitions in Canada -- Miss Earth in 2006, and Miss World in 2011.

Although born and raised in Canada, Santos is pure Filipino. Her father, Ruel Santos, is from Bulacan; while her mother, Dina Buenaventura, hails from Bataan.

In 2007, Santos was among the housemates of the second "Celebrity Edition" of the hit ABS-CBN reality TV show "Pinoy Big Brother."

With an estimated 1.6 million text votes, Santos won second place at the show's conclusion.

Following her stint as a housemate, Santos appeared in several Kapamilya programs, including the concert variety show "ASAP," and TV series like "Palos" and "I Love Betty La Fea."

As Miss Universe Canada, Santos will compete with the Philippines' delegate to the Miss Universe pageant, Ariella Arida, later this year.