Mutya ng Pilipinas is Miss USA first runner-up
MANILA, Philippines—A part-Filipino contender almost duplicated Filipino-American R’Bonney Gabriel‘s Miss USA victory when Hawaii’s Savannah Gankiewicz finished second in the national competition held in Nevada on Sept. 29 (Sept. 30 in Manila).
Gankiewicz, who was crowned Mutya ng Pilipinas Overseas Communities in 2017, finished first runner-up in the 2023 Miss USA pageant.
Noelia Voigt from Utah inherited the Miss USA crown from Morgan Romano, who assumed the national title after Gabriel won Miss Universe.
Gankiewicz earned her spot in the 2023 Miss USA pageant after winning the Miss Hawaii USA contest. She also represented the Aloha State in the 2017 Mutya ng Pilipinas pageant as the entry from the Filipino community there.
She wasn’t the first Mutya ng Pilipinas queen to see action on the Miss USA stage. Maureen Montagne, 2013 Mutya ng Pilipinas first runner-up, was crowned 2015 Miss Arizona USA. She finished in the Top 15 of the national competition.
As the newly crowned Miss USA, Voigt will compete in the 72nd Miss Universe pageant in El Salvador on Nov. 18 (Nov. 19 in Manila) and try to give the United States a second consecutive victory in the global tilt, and the 10th overall win for her country.
The Philippines will be represented in the 2023 Miss Universe pageant by model, actress and 2019 Miss World Top 12 finalist Michelle Dee, daughter of 1979 Miss International Melanie Marquez and cousin of 2017 Reina Hispanoamericana Teresita Ssen “Winwyn” Marquez.
Four Filipino women have captured the Miss Universe title–Gloria Diaz in 1969, Margie Moran in 1973, Pia Wurtzbach in 2015 and Catriona Gray in 2018. /ra