Angeli Dione Gomez spreads positivity as Miss Tourism International 2013
By Fiona Patricia S. Escandor
IN 2013, Filipina beauty queens brought joy and pride to the country, as they took home coveted crowns in international pageants. It was a streak that Mutya Datul started when she won Miss Supranational, then Megan Young winning Miss World, and Bea Santiago being crowned Miss International. Angeli Dione Gomez capped the haul on Dec. 31 when she was hailed Miss Tourism International.
A 20-year-old film school graduate born and raised in Cebu, Angeli impressed the judges as she voiced her views on how tourism helps in promoting respect to other cultures — a brief and charming response that earned her the crown, and ultimately her third title to date.
“Pure ecstasy,” she said of her winning moment. “When I heard them call Philippines, I was so overwhelmed. I wanted to cry, lie down, pass out. I didn’t know what to do. I was really happy.”
Angeli started entering pageants only in 2012 after the prodding of relatives and friends who saw her potential, one of whom was her grandfather who used to call her “Miss Philippines” and inspired her to believe that one day she will reign on stage.
Winning pageants was “other people’s dream for her,” she said. But over the years, she began to wonder if she indeed has what it takes. Angeli joined and won as Reyna Ng Aliwan in 2012, followed with her crowning as Mutya Ng Pilipinas-Tourism in 2013.
Apart from getting encouragement, Angeli said perseverance was the key to her success. Her grandfather taught her such a value, one that kept her going especially during the Miss Tourism International activities, which ran for almost a month in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
“I made sure I stood out every day, so their eyes would be all on me,” she said. “There was a time I got sick, but I didn’t use it as excuse to slack off. Every day, I gave my best – from my hair, to my makeup, to my choice of clothes. It helped that I actually had fun, too.”
Angeli succeeded Rizzini Gomez in the Mutya and Miss Tourism pageants.
Tourism as advocacy
With her current titles both advocating tourism, Angeli now spends her time traveling back and forth to Miss Tourism International’s host country, Malaysia, and around the Philippines for various activities.
A firm believer that tourism paves the way for unity, Angeli wants to encourage the different regions in the Philippines to “discover each other” and the wonders that each place has to offer. She herself has her favorite destinations, such as beach havens Camarines Sur, Batangas and Palawan.
On the side, she finds time to work on personal projects. “My title extends the reach of what I can do, and I so want to use it to its ultimate potential. I want to work on producing my own television show, putting up a homeless shelter. I also have a project involving the eJeepney, a movement that pushes the use of electric jeepneys for a cleaner environment,” she said.
In between her busy schedule, the filmmaker-turned-beauty queen said she enjoys spending time with family and friends, and unwind through one of her hobbies, flow arts.
For Angeli, it doesn’t take a crown for one to help out in promoting the country – nowadays, even a mobile phone will do.
“Social media has made the world so small. You post one thing and it reaches a thousand people,” she said. “As citizens, let’s spread positive things that invite and captivate people from all over the world to come visit.”
Photography: Alfred Gregory E. Bartolome
Hair & Make-up Artist: AJ Airraveche
Clothing: What a Girl Wants
Locale: Radisson Blu Hotel Cebu