Filipino heritage beauty queens who outshined at beauty pageants in 2020

18 Nov 2020 | Camilla Suarez

The Philippines is known as the beauty pageant powerhouse keeping their impressive track record in almost every beauty competition. The beauty queens who represent the Philippines or are of Filipina descent have been able to mark their standing in the beauty pageant world.

This year we were able to witness a handful of half-Filipina beauty queens joining national pageants of other countries and securing high positions at the competition. Let’s look at these queens who come from the Filipina descent and have been able to outshine at the beauty pageants:

Miss Teen USA 2020 Kiilani Arruda

Ki’ilani Arruda was crowned Miss Teen USA 2020 on 7th November 2020 and became the second Hawaiian to win the title. She is 18-years-old and is a freshman at the University of Puget Sound studying molecular and cellular biology and hopes to become a dermatologist. It was her younger brother's autism diagnosis that inspired her to advocate for autism awareness. She grew up on the island of Kauai with her American father and Filipino mother. She is the second half-Pinay beauty queen to win the title after Vanessa Minnillo-Lachey, who won the crown in 1998. When she was asked who is her favorite Miss Universe, she answered, ‘’Catriona Gary because I am half Filipino myself and her reign was so amazing, and I've always looked up to her as a role model."

Miss Idaho USA 2020 Kim Layne

Kim Layne who represented Idaho at Miss USA 2020 competition and was adjudged as the first runner-up at the end of the event finale was raised by parents from two descents; an Irish-American father and a Filipino mother, who hails from Talisay, Cebu. During the time of her interview, she expressed that she is very proud of her Filipino roots. Explaining further she mentioned, "I'm very proud to be a dual citizen of the Philippines. We are a humble and happy people and I think that combined with the warm-heartedness of Idahoans has really helped to live anywhere in the world, anywhere in the country, and accept people for who they are." The diva also mentioned that she would love to join Miss Universe Philippines as she holds a dual citizenship but as of now, she would focus on her studies. Kim is studying at Washington State University pursuing a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree and a Master of Public Health at the University of Minnesota.


Filipino heritage beauty queens who outshined at beauty pageants in 2020


Miss South Carolina USA 2020 Hannah Jane Curry

Hannah Jane Curry who represented South Carolina at Miss USA 2020 competition was born and raised in Greenville, South Carolina, to a Filipino father and an American mother. She is an aspiring teacher, and is currently in her senior year at Newberry College taking up her bachelor's degree in Elementary Education. The diva impressed everyone with her strong performance during the competition but unfortunately was not placed at the end of the event finale. She explained that her brother who is "globally, mentally, and physically delayed" inspired her to become an advocate for children's education especially those with special needs.

Miss Universe Japan 2020 Second Runner-up Yuki Sonoda

Yuki Sonoda who was adjudged as the second runner-up at the end of Miss Universe Japan 2020 competition was one of the crown favorites but unfortunately couldn’t win. Yuki was born in Manila in 1993 and moved to Japan in 2003. Yuki’s mother is a Filipino and the diva embraces the fact that she was able to experience two different countries and cultures while growing up. She also had a Filipino glam team that helped her prepare for the pageant and feels that when she came to Japan, she had to struggle a little with language but with her efforts and hard work she now speaks three languages fluently and that is her power.

Miss Intercontinental New Zealand 2020 Arielle Keil

Arielle Keil was crowned Miss Intercon New Zealand 2020 and will represent the country at Miss Intercontinental 2020 and will be creating a history as the first transwoman to represent New Zealand in an international pageant. She is 26-years-old who was born and raised as Andrew in Davao City, Philippines but grew up and came out in Auckland, New Zealand. She started her transition in 2017, much to the dismay of her father whose initial reaction was to disown her. It did not stop Arielle from becoming the person she wanted to be. She flew to Thailand earlier this year for her gender reassignment surgery. Her family had a change of heart and watched her compete for the Miss Intercontinental New Zealand title. She is currently pursuing her degree in creative advertising and preparing for the competition.