You’d be surprised how common this is.
When you make the Venn Diagram of beauty queens and local fantaseryes and movies, the intersection between the two is honestly quite big. While the two may seem complete opposites, they do share some similarities. Local fantasy series and movies, whether they be original works or based on a komik, often center on characters who rise above adversity as they demonstrate commendable qualities in their fight against evil.
Beauty queens, while not necessarily fighting evil in the strictest form (they do battle a different type of adversity), also need to have strong character and admirable traits that make them more than just pretty faces. It’s no wonder then that when local beauty queens trade in their crowns for a script, they often find themselves working on fantasy projects. Here are just some of our favorite beauty queen cameos and roles over the years.
Celeste Cortesi wore a version of the Darna costume as her national costume for Miss Universe 2022. So, it made for a full-circle moment when she made her acting debut in the 2022 reboot of Darna. During the recently-aired finale, Celeste made a cameo appearance as Kevnar, the Queen of Marte. Even though the entire script was in Tagalog, Celeste, who has been practicing the language for the past few years, sounded great.
Not only do many see Pia Wurtzbach as a real life superhero, she actually got to play one on the big screen. In 2017, she starred alongside Vice Ganda and Daniel Padilla in Gandarrapido! The Revenger Squad. The MMFF 2017 entry saw Pia take on the role of Cassey and her superhero alternate identity Kweenie. How appropriate.
Maggie Wilson appeared in not one, but two different iterations of Darna. The Binibining Pilipinas World queen made her debut in the franchise in the 2005 reboot where she played Manananggal. She then came back for the 2009 edition starring Marian Rivera where she played another villain. And helping round it all up, Maggie also played Aera in Encantadia.
One thing about Michelle Dee is that you can never keep her down. The Miss World Philippines 2019 winner nearly clenched the Miss Universe Philippines crown in 2022. And now, she’s trying for round two for the 2023 edition. Hopefully, her time as Serpenta in Agimat ng Agila and her appearance in the upcoming Mga Lihim ni Urduja series will give her that extra boost to bag the crown.
When Binibining Pilipinas Universe 1994 Charlene Gonzales was asked how many islands were there in the Philippines, her iconic response of “High tide or low tide?” probably was a foreshadowing to her future role of Dyesebel. Just two years after that moment, Charlene embodied the iconic mermaid for the 1996 film version of Dyesebel.
Binibining Pilipinas Universe 1991 Anjanette Abayari can humbly brag that she is, so far, the last person to play Darna on the big screen in 1994’s Darna! Ang Pagbabalik.
Most people may know Winwyn Marquez as the first winner of the Reina Hispanoamericana Filipinas crown in 2017 and the overall winner of Reina Hispanoamericana that year. But she also is a veteran of the fantaserye scene. She played Helgad in the 2016 edition of Encantadia and appeared in the sequel series Mulawin vs Ravena the following year.
PRECIOUS LARA QUIGAMAN
Winning Miss International 2005 could have been the highlight of Precious Lara Quigaman’s life. But she got bit by the acting bug in what turned out to be a very smart career move. And lo and behold, her acting debut came in 2005 with Encantadia. More than a decade later, her fantaserye roles continued with 2019’s Bagani.
Following her title win of Binibining Pilipinas International 1994, Alma Concepcion decided to try her hand at acting, a career shift she enjoys to this day. And one of her many acting roles includes playing the bat villain Becca/Kabagona in the 2004 series adaption of Krystala.
If she isn’t clapping back at haters or helping stranded drag queens, Miss Universe Philippines 2021 Rabiya Mateo is expanding her acting resume. And on that list includes playing Agent Natasha Raj in Agimat ng Agila.