Let’s meet two of the candidates of the 57th Binibining Pilipinas, now on its last leg of pre-pageant events before the awaited grand coronation night.
Alexandra Faith de la Rea Garcia, 27, from Olongapo City, is on her second and final attempt for the coveted title after making it to the final 40 in 2016.
Faith, a BS Tourism graduate of Columban College, finally decided to give the prestigious national tilt another try so that she’ll have no regrets in the future.
Faith had been very active in joining pageants when she was younger. She was Miss Silka 2013, a top 10 semifinalist in Mutya ng Pilipinas 2014 and first runner-up in Reyna ng Aliwan in 2015, along with second runners-up Vianca Marcelo of Bulacan (her fellow ‘Binibini’ candidate this year) and Gazini Ganados of Cebu (who won as Miss Universe Philippines in 2019).
While Faith walks like a beauty queen, she races like a beast as a champion triathlete. She got seriously involved in fitness and health after her father had a mild stroke a few years ago.
Faith is also a successful entrepreneur who owns a food business called Sip & Chow and breeds and raises rabbits as an alternative meat source. She has also collaborated with the Department of Agriculture to promote upland kangkong and other vegetables that can be grown in urban areas. She is also actively involved in Dialysis PH, a patients-relative support group for those afflicted with chronic kidney disease.
Meanwhile, Meiji Aculana Cruz was candidate #22 at the 49th Bb Pilipinas in 2012 when she was just 18. We remember her as a very innocent-looking teenaged girl with a sweet smile at the pageant that was eventually won by Janine Tugonon who competed for Miss Universe and placed second.
After her first try at the national pageant, Meiji kept herself busy in obtaining one degree after another, three in fact, from St Scholastica’s College and Lyceum of the Philippines, both in Manila: AB Mass Communications minor in Broadcast Journalism, BS Psychology and AB Guidance Counseling.
Meiji is also a staunch advocate of women empowerment and campaigns against teenage pregnancy. She has also organized relief operations for the victims of Typhoon Rolly and Typhoon Ulysses in Bicol last year and also actively participates in her LGU’s projects.
Now 27, Meiji is making a grand comeback at the 57th Binibining Pilipinas, representing her native Valenzuela City, Metro Manila’s “Northern Gateway.” The 9-year gap is, so far, the longest before a Bb. Pilipinas aspirant has tried her luck anew at the same pageant.
A model, events host and budding actress, Meiji is also into yoga and is a strong advocate of gender equality.
Faith and Meiji had their meet and greet with members of media at the Kagandahang Flores (KF) pageant camp and was attended by their loved ones and friends, KF founder and head mentor Rodgil Flores and senior trainers Enan Cruz and Jess Soriano.