Towering Pinay beauty thrills countrymen with her Miss World 1st runner-up win

After several point-scoring rounds participated by 113 beauty queens from Albania to Zimbabwe, Miss Venezuela, Ivian Sarcos, was crowned the 2011 winner of the Miss World beauty pageant, while Miss Philippines, Gwendoline Ruais, was named the runner-up at a glittering final ceremony held at Earls Court in London on Sunday night (Monday morning in Manila).

According to Miss World Organization chairperson and chief executive Julia Morley, Venezuela narrowly edged out the Philippines in the final tally highlighted by a change in format in which contestants had to earn points based on their performance in different categories.

The 21-year old Ruais, the daughter of a former Air France executive and a former model, is a business and management graduate of the Southville Foreign University in Muntinlupa City. She stands 5’ 11” tall and is an experienced print and ramp model.

Ruais duplicated Evangeline Pascual’s second place finish in 1973. In 1993 actress Ruffa Gutierrez placed third while Cecilia Amabuyok was fourth runner-up in 1968. Other placement of Philippine bets was the Top 5 finish of Maria Rafaela Yunon in 2003 and Karla Bautista in 2004.

Although no Filipino has won in the pageant’s 60-year history, the Philippines maintained its reputation as a country of beauty queens as only last September, Shamcey Supsup finished fourth in the Miss Universe pageant in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

The Aquino government through Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda hailed Ruais for her outstanding achievement.