11 Stars Who Had A Pageant Past Before They Became Famous

Former queens and kings.

From Jane de Leon, David Licauco, Bea Alonzo, and more, these stars aren’t strangers to the pageant stage with titles of their own.

Related: This Filipino Doll Almost Won An International Pageant

There are a few things as constant in Philippine society as pageants. No matter the time or place, a pageant is probably around the corner. While times may change and attitudes shift, pageants will always be there to unite us as we hope our fave takes home the crown. Pageants and beauty competitions are so ingrained in Philippine society that some of today’s biggest stars were once contestants themselves. While their careers have taken them on different paths, there was a time that the pageant scene was calling their name, with some even taking home a crown of their own. Scroll down for some stars who walked that pageant stage. 


Actor, model, basketball player, businessman, and pageant contestant, David Licauco really is a multi-hyphenate. Back in 2014, the dashing actor tried his hand at pageants when he competed in Mr. and Miss Chinatown Philippines. Even then, David was already a charmer and impressed the judges enough to place 1st Runner Up.


Jane de Leon is now a certified Gen Z star thanks to her role as the new Darna and her unexpected love team with Janella Salvador. But before that, Jane’s career took her to many places, such as the pageant stage. During her pre-teen years, Jane was a frequent contestant among child beauty pageants in Laguna. She even won Miss Photogenic at the 2009 Little Miss San Roque contest and landed a semi-finalist placement at Teen Supermodel Philippines.


Acting roles, endorsements, a goals of a relationship, Gabbi Garcia has it all. And that includes pageant titles. Gabbi’s pre-showbiz life included competing in quite a few pageants and even bagging the crowns for Little Miss Skin White 2011 and Little Miss Sloane 2014, among others.


As one of the country’s best actresses, it’s hard to imagine Bea Alonzo in another profession. But that could have happened if her lolo got his way. When Bea was young, and before she entered showbiz, her lolo’s goal was for her to become a beauty queen. She even competed in Bb. Santolan 2001. But Bea always wanted to enter showbiz, which happened soon enough when she signed with Star Magic. Though, it is interesting to imagine a timeline where Bea Alonzo decided to become a full-time beauty queen.


In 1998, when Julie Anne San Jose was just four years old, she competed in Eat Bulaga’s Little Miss Philippines, where she placed first runner-up. Later on, she joined Magandang Tanghali Bayan’s Munting Miss U, where she finished third runner-up. Still, even those early losses didn’t stop her from being the A-list actress and musician she is today.


The BINI members being binibinings? It feels correct. Before the P-pop world called their names, Gwen, Stacey, and Aiah were once konteseras. Aiah was even crowned Miss Silka Philippines in 2018. But aside from flaunting their beauty, joining pageants also served as a great way for them to build their self-confidence and help their families.


These days, Angelique Manto has been slaying the challenges as a contestant for Miss Universe Philippines 2023. But for people who knew the style star and former UST cheerleader for a while, Angelique’s performance isn’t a surprise. Before she became one of our fave content creators, Angelique was a pageant veteran, taking home titles such as Mutya Ning Kapampangan 2014, Mutya Ning Lubao 2014, and Miss TSITP 2013 2nd Runner Up. Is Miss Universe next on her list? Only time will tell.  


We all know Kisses and her talked-about run at Miss Universe Philippines 2021. But before she made headlines with that stint, the actress and PBB alumni was already a pageant veteran, winning Miss Teen Masbate in 2013 and Miss Kaogma in 2016. You could say that she was born for the moment.


Not only does Mikee Quintos strive to finish her architecture course from UST, all while being a sought-after actress for GMA, but she also excels in extracurricular activities. Case in point: Mikee was once crowned Miss Architecture UST. Definitely adding that to the resume if we were her.

Continue Reading: 10 Beauty Queens You May Have Spotted In Local Fantaseryes And Movies