California-based Filipinos to field bets to Miss Universe Philippines, The Miss Philippines pageants


From left to right, Kayla Carter, Miss Universe Philippines-Northern California; Janet Hammond, Miss Universe Philippines-Southern California; Blessa Figueroa, The Miss Philippines-Northern California; and Hanna Uyan, The Miss Philippines-Southern California. Images from the Miss Philippines California Facebook.

MANILA, Philippines — The Miss Universe Philippines pageant is starting to build its roster of aspirants for the 2024 competition this early. After Matea Smith became the national pageant’s first official contestant for next year’s contest when she was crowned Miss Filipina International in California last week, two more candidates from the United States are joining her.

The Miss Philippines California, an accredited partner of the Miss Universe Philippines pageant, announced on social media that the state organization is fielding two ladies to the national competition next year, Kayla Carter who will represent the Filipino community in Northern California, and Janet Hammond from Southern California.

Carter, 26, traces her roots to Talisay, Cebu, where she still has relatives. She is a TV personality and social media influencer who pushes for access to formal education. Hammond, 25, is an actress and entrepreneur who was born and raised in San Pedro, Laguna.

Aside from Smith, two more winners from the Miss Filipina International pageant may also join Carter and Hammond in the 2024 Miss Universe Philippines pageant, where reigning queen Michelle Marquez Dee will crown her successor.

The Miss Philippines California will also field two more ladies to The Miss Philippines Culture and Heritage Celebration, a sister competition of the Miss Universe Philippines pageant under Empire Holdings Inc., where the country’s next representatives to the Miss Supranational and Miss Charm contests will be chosen.

Smith’s Miss Filipina International predecessor Blessa Figueroa will represent the Filipino community in Northern California in the first edition of The Miss Philippines competition later this year, along with Hanna Uyan from Southern California.

The 21-year-old Figueroa was born and raised in Manila, and migrated to California at the age of 11. She is pursuing a business degree and has just signed up as a model under The Key Management. Uyan, 19, traces her roots to Apalit in Pampanga, Gapan in Nueva Ecija, and Sta. Cruz, Manila.

Two other winners from the 2023 Miss Filipina International pageant may join Figueroa and Uyan in the inaugural edition of The Miss Philippines pageant this October. Miss Supranational first runner-up Pauline Amelinckx will crown her successor at the culmination of the competition. EDV


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