All About Anna Maris Igpitby: Leo Persigas UdtohanAnna Maris Igpit
, a 22-year old beauty from Panglao, Bohol, was just been crowned Bb. Pilipinas-World at the Araneta Center in Cubao, Quezon City last March 4. I was fortunate that I was there myself to witness the historic moment of crowning the first Boholana who won the crown.
It was Babes Paculba (from Bohol and is now based in Olangapo City), a beautician who introduced Maris to a former town mayor who was looking for a girl to represent his hometown for the Miss Bohol Sandugo. Unfortunately, Maris' beauty was snubbed. Maybe, the mayor didn't see her potentials at that time.
Maris wasn't depressed, instead she asked help from couple Francisco "Ondo" and Nila Montero who groomed and supported her career as Miss Alona Tropical to the Miss Bohol Sandugo 2003.
Incidentally, Maris landed as first runner-up. But to Maris, her first experience in the Miss Bohol Sandugo served as her stepping stone to a fulfilling modelling career. Her time, according to beauty experts, has yet to come. Inspired by the words of St. Paul: let us not tired of doing good, for if we will not give up the time will come that we will reap the harvest
, the Montero couple didn't mind the expenses during the screening and pageant when they convinced Maris to join the Bb. Pilipinas. True enough, the labor bore fruit.
The best thing about Maris, she remains humble despite her achievements in life. She is beautiful, intelligent and spontaneous (she has a career in broadcast journalism).
She is a devotee of the Holy Child Jesus. And do you know that a small image of the Sto. Niño is her most treasured item? Her mother Ma. Socorro "Maricor" Igpit convinced her to bring the image anytime (No wonder when she made a visita-iglesia! She visited the priests and nuns at the St. Joseph Cathedral including the Diocesan Youth Ministry. In the afternoon, she attended the thanksgiving mass inside the old St. Augustine Church in Panglao
Before she went back to Manila (after she was called that she made it to the Bb. Pilipinas), she visited the Basilica Shrine of Sto. Niño in Cebu City and promised that win or lose, she will dance in the Sinulog festival with the Panglao, Bohol contingent as a thanksgiving for his guidance during my quest for this pageant.
"Ever since I was a child, my parents have already exposed me to the Sto. Niño. We always visit the Basilica Shrine when we have time. Every Sinulog, we always celebrate the fiesta by preparing food to invited guests. It has been a family tradition," Maris said.
Born on April 7, 1987 to parents Allan and Ma. Socorro she spent her elementary and high school years at St. Theresa's College Cebu with her siblings Almaregina and Allan Claudio. Before going to Manila for the Bb. Pilipinas, she was enrolled at Southwestern University in Cebu City taking up BS Tourism because she wants to become a flight attendant.
For one who didn't dream of instant fame and popularity, Maris' case is indeed something awesome. She does modeling and at the same studying. But throughout her studies, she was never been dropped out of the top 20 in her class.
When Raul Gatal
, Bohol personality guru and veteran host of Miss Bohol Sandugo (for a long time) saw Maris for the first time, he quipped that "Maris is a rare combination of beauty and brains and breeding... strong stage presence in projection and awesome catwalk. The most remarkable things about Maris is her being polite and being well mannered."
It took years for her to decide if she would join Bb. Pilipinas not until Rodgil Flores (the handler/trainor of Miss World Precious Lara Guigaman and other beauty queens) and the municipality of Panglao through Kag. Nila Montero convinced her to join the Bb. Pilipinas.
"I joined Bb. Pilipinas because it has always been my dream to see myself on stage wearing the sash of the Philippines in an international beauty pageant... and of course be the first Boholana to bring home a Bb. Pilipinas crown," she revealed.
But before that, she had a dream that she was with Carla and Maricar (beauty queens) when she met these beauty queens, she was told to join the Bb. Pilipinas because her dream was a good omen.
The turning point in her career was when she worked with professional people which was a great privileged and opportunity for her. " It helped me to be more responsible also when it communes to work and commitments," she said.
The biggest lesson she learned as a model and beauty queen is not an instant fame. "You can never reach your goals if you don't have enough motivation and determination."
Most unforgettable moment when she joined the Bb. Pilipinas? "It was during the final screening. Seeing all those beautiful and tall girls made me realize that its not really an easy quest… and that being chosen as an official candidate is already a great opportunity."
She is proud of being a Boholana. "Though Bohol is just a small province in the Visayas, we have big things to offer to everyone which s the reason why we are considered as one of the country's best tourist destinations. Boholanos also have world class talents that made me even proud to be one."
Her advice to aspiring beauty queens: Being a beauty queen is not only about glamour and fame, it comes with great responsibility. So if you want to be one, you have to be very willing to commit your time and effort in all your duties. Just have fun and be focused on your goal. And most of all, once you reach the top don't forget where you came and all the people you believed in you.
Her type of a guy? Someone who us responsible, faithful, loving and of course has great faith in the Lord. She sees herself years from now as a good and responsible mother and wife. (Sorry, our Bb. Pilipinas is already taken. She has a guy
Fitness regimen? I just watch what I eat and exercise.
Maris is not missing out on all that girl thing. She gets to spend time with her close friends, talking about Da the Vinci Code, reading books, dancing and going to the beach. She is also taking care of her four Japanese shih tzu dogs, never mind if this beauty queen has fears of snake or anything that crawls. Oh, and not to forget lip balm and moisturizer.
She also revealed that her only beauty secret is smile. "Smile! It can do wonders, believe me!
As for clothes, she said, "I love clothes! I usually splurge my earnings in modeling with all those lovely clothes. But I am most comfortable with jeans and a cute top."
Anna Maris Igpit, at the age of 19-year old beauty from Panglao, Bohol, was the Philippines’ representative Miss World 2006 pageant in Poland. The grand finals was held on last September 30 2006 in Warsaw, at the Sala Kongresowa, the main 2,897-seat auditorium at the Palace of Culture and Science.
anna with leo udtohan