Behind every beauty queen is a Filipino pageant coach and that’s just a fact.
“Ano makukuha mo sa kaka-pageant mo?” We’ve all heard that by now. The stereotyping, the eye rolling, and all the preconceived notions about being both a beauty queen and a fan. But thanks to more and more Filipino queens who’ve been bagging the crown, there seems to be more opportunities than you think. Just look at all the fashion designers and pageant coaches that made ✨flawless victories✨ happen.
These people behind the spotlight brought their A-game to the point where even international beauty queens sought for their help. Yes, they’re the same camps that gave us icons the likes of Pia Wurtzbach, Kylie Verzosa, Hannah Arnold, and Megan Young. Are you even surprised? Get to know the six Filipino pageant coaches who were the brains behind these beauties.
MAKOY MANLAPAZ – TRAINED MISS UNIVERSE ROMANIA 2020 BIANCA TIRSIN
Makoy Manlapaz is one of the OG pageant coaches in the Philippines. He’s previously trained Miss Universe Romania 2020 Bianca Tirsin (who also wore Filipino designer Michael Cinco), the first Filipina Miss Supranational 2013 Mutya Datul, and Miss Universe Nepal 2018 Manita Devkota.
CARLO SAPURCO – TRAINED MISS UNIVERSE CAMEROON 2020 ANGÈLE KOSSINDA
International pageant trainer Carlo Sapurco took Miss Universe Cameroon Angèle Kossinda under his wing back in 2020. He’s helped the beauty queen from her stride to sharpening her Q&A wits. If you can remember, Angèle also tapped a Filipino designer to create her national costume.
RODGIL FLORES – MISS UNIVERSE EL SALVADOR 2020 VANESSA VELASQUEZ
Rodgil Flores is the founder of beauty camp Kagandahang Flores that’s been around for almost 26 years. His work speaks for himself, just look at Miss International 2005 Precious Lara Quigaman, Miss Universe Philippines 2014 MJ Lastimosa, and Miss Universe 2019 Gazini Ganados. Internationally, he’s trained Miss Universe El Salvador 2020 Vanessa Velasquez, Miss Grand International USA 2020 Abena Appiah, Miss International 2017 Kevin Lilliana of Indonesia, and Miss Earth 2018 Nguyễn Phương Khánh of Vietnam.
RL LACANIENTA – TRAINED MISS UNIVERSE THAILAND 2022 ANNA SUEANGAM-IAM
The newly crowned Miss Universe Thailand 2022 Anna Sueangam-iam has a Filipino pageant coach to thank. RL Lacanienta, who founded beauty camp RL’s Angels trained her physically, mentally, and emotionally. His other queens are Miss Supranational 2019 Anntonia Porsild of Thailand, Miss Universe Thailand 2019 Paweensuda Drouin, Face of Beauty 2019 Peerachada Khunrak of Thailand, Miss Universe Chile 2021 Antonia Figueroa and Miss Universe Japan 2019 second runner-up Yuki Sonada. He’s also coached Bb. Pilipinas-Intercontinental 2022 Gabrielle Basiano and Miss Universe Philippines 2021 first runner-up Katrina Dimaranan.
AJ SUMAMPONG BATION – TRAINED MISS VIETNAM NGUYEN HUYNH KIM DUYEN
Hanoi-based Filipino pageant coach AJ Sumampong Bation was the mentor of Miss Universe Vietnam 2021 Nguyen Huynh Kim Duyen. From an English teacher to a trainer real quick, this didn’t stop AJ from helping these queens find their light.
ANJO SANTOS – TRAINED MISS UNIVERSE VIETNAM 2018 H’HEN NIE
Anjo Santos has been mentoring queens in Thailand since 2014. Despite their language barrier, it wasn’t a hindrance for Miss Universe Vietnam 2018 H’Hen Nie to learn everything from gaining her confidence to building her look.
ACES AND QUEENS
Aside from being one of the top beauty camps in the country, shaping some of the best contenders and hopefuls over the years, Aces and Queens have also played a huge role in international pageants. From Miss Universe Ecuador 2018 Virginia Limongi, Miss Universe Nepal 2018 Manita Devkota, Miss Universe Indonesia 2017 Bunga Jelitha Ibrani, Miss Universe Singapore 2020 Bernadette Belle Ong, and 2021 Nandita Banna, they all have the stable of passion and talents behind Aces & Queens to thank for helping them make their queen dreams into a reality.