On Saturday, October 30, the Philippines woke up to wonderful news all the way from Egypt. The country’s representative to Miss Intercontinental 2021 Cinderella Faye “Cindy” Obeñita won the title, becoming the second Filipina to win since Karen Gallman in 2018.
True to her name, Cindy was crowned past half midnight in Egypt, marking a journey with a happy ending.
The win culminates a journey starting from the time she competed in the regional competitions to being a wildcard candidate in Binibining Pilipinas 2021 and later on bagging the Bb Pilipinas Intercontinental title.
Let us take a look back at Cindy’s long journey to the crown.

Regional pageants

Before Binibining Pilipinas, Cindy started joining regional pageants such as Mutya ng Prisaa, Miss Camiguin and Miss Cagayan de Oro. Her training and wins from these pageants would later help her move to the next level of pageantry – the national competition.

Binibining Pilipinas 2020-2021

In March 2020, Cindy flew to Manila to screen for Binibining Pilipinas and was chosen as one of the 40 candidates. The contest was postponed several times due to COVID-19.
After the contest resumed early this year, Cindy and her pageant sisters wasted no time in showing the improvements they made during the long break.
Photo from Bb Pilipinas
The Qrown Philippines early this year got a chance to talk with Cindy about her pageant journey and being a representative from Mindanao.

Binibining Pilipinas Coronation Night

The finals of the pageant were held on July 11 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. Only 12 candidates were supposed to move on to the next round. But Bb Pilipinas introduced a Fan Vote, which Cindy got in as a wildcard entry.
Cindy did not disappoint with her performance.

The mic drop moment

In various interviews, Cindy was aware she was not a heavy favorite among fans. But during the finals, the moment she answered the question thrown by fashion designer Michael Cinco, her answer would become the biggest game-changer of the night.
Cinco’s question was: ” How important are luxury items like bags, clothes, and jewelry for a woman when the national economy is down and struggling?”
Cindy’s answer goes: ” In life, we always find ourselves in a crossroad of choices. Women always have a choice – whether to prioritize luxury items while we are facing a pandemic, and we also have a choice to embrace the concept of a New Beautiful, which is responsive to the needs of the times, and adaptive to the change of times. I think I would choose to be that woman, the one who understands the problems of the Philippines, the problems of my community, so that we may be able to uplift each other. I would be that kind of woman, to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.”
Screenshot from Binibining Pilipinas

Emma Tiglao’s successor

After Maureen Montagne was called as Bb Pilipinas Globe, the Intercontinental title was up for grab. Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray announced Cindy’s name as the new Bb. Pilipinas Intercontinental titleholder that night. Based on Cindy’s reaction, she did not expect to grab a crown that her predecessor, Emma Tiglao had to guide her on stage.
Coincidentally, Emma was also a judge in several pageants Cindy took part in years back.
Photo from Bb Pilipinas

The road to Miss Intercontinental

After a brief rest from the national pageant, Cindy went to work as she started her training with her team from Cagayan de Oro and Aces and Queens. From pasarela, skincare, wardrobe, and Q and A training, she was guided by a core team she trusted.
Aside from her family, she also had the province of Cagayan de Oro and its Tourism office behind her journey. Her boyfriend Henri Lopez would also rally behind her as she prepares for her biggest pageant battle.
She also had the media rounds with the other Bb. Pilipinas queens, wherein she talked about her journey.
Photo from Binibining Pilipinas

Off to Egypt she goes…

Cindy left Manila for Egypt in early October with her core team. The 2-month break gave her enough time to prepare for he competition to secure her vaccination card, wardrobe, and final training.
Once she landed in Egypt, she did not waste time showing off the learnings she got from her training. Her styling also wowed a lot of the pageant fans. This includes the national costume called Diwata designed by Odelon Simpao and a Darna costume she wore for a Halloween party.

Miss Intercontinental 2021

During the finals in Egypt, Cindy gave everything she can to win the country’s second crown. She did not disappoint in the Q and A when asked if speaking English was important.
Cindy went on to secure the country’s second crown with Mexico winning 1st runner-up. Aside from the title, Cindy was also given the title of Continental Queen of Asia and Oceania.
Hours after her win, Cindy posted a photo on her Instagram stories, dedicating the win to the Philippines.
Cindy’s journey truly lives up to her name minus the stepmother and stepsisters. Thanks to her fairy godmothers and other supporters, she finally has her happy fairytale ending to the crown.

About The Author Alexa Villano