BEING a beauty queen was just a childhood dream. Years later, Thomasian Joanna Cindy Miranda is now a pageant winner, having been picked Bb. Pilipinas-Tourism at the Big Dome last April 14.

“I knew I could do it, that’s why I joined. I would not have given up my hosting career if I thought I was not yet ready. I told myself, 'This is it,'" said Miranda, a former host of Wil Time, Big Time at TV5.

The 23-year-old Miranda, who was among the four winners in the annual pageant, was no stranger to beauty pageants. A 5'9" stunner, she was the first runner-up in the Miss Thomasian Ideal Personality in 2010. It was the same competition that produced Miss Universe runner-up Janine Tugonon, who bagged the UST title last year.

While her hosting job clearly helped in terms of on-cam projection, her UST pageant experience was just as valuable, given its focus on personality, not just beauty. She has the brains as well, having earned her Tourism degree cum laude in 2011.

“[The] Thomasians’ key to every success is their personality. We are very Christ-centered and we are compassionate, committed and competent,” she said. “We won’t win in such pageants based on beauty alone."

More than a ‘queen’

Since she was young, Cindy said she had always aspired to become a beauty queen.

“Holding a title was my childhood dream. The path I was going through while growing up was led on becoming a beauty queen. Even when I was still studying, I was already being prim and proper,” she said.

“I maintained a fit and a healthy body, and I learned how to put on make-up. No one forced me, it was my own choice and will,” she added.

National Artists venerated

The Nueva Ecija-born lass said she drew inspiration from former beauty queens such as Gloria Diaz and Tugonon.

“Whenever I watched TV and saw some past crown winners, I was really awed. When I learned that Janine won 1st runner-up in Ms. Universe, I told myself I could do it,” said the former housemate of ABS-CBN’s reality show Pinoy Big Brother (PBB).

Cindy finally had her big break on national television when she became part of the ninth series of PBB in 2011.

“After graduating, I was hired by Emirates [Airlines] and they were waiting for me to train for Dubai. But my friend asked me to audition [for PBB] that time. Luckily, I became one of the three guest housemates,” she said.

While inside the Big Brother house, Cindy entered the slum-themed half of the pack where she gained a lot of life lessons.

“I experienced how it was to live in the slums. You really need to show there who you are. Hindi iyon scripted. Everything that happened there was true. For me, it was really a test of personality and you just need to be yourself,” she said.

After spending a year in Saint Louis University-Baguio, Cindy transferred to UST where she sought to develop a “disciplined personality.”

“When I was in college, I really focused on what I wanted to become. I put too much discipline in everything I do. I did my responsibilities in school and see to it that every work is done,” she said. “After class, I always go home immediately. I don’t stay late in school and I rarely go to clubs with my friends.”

'She was such a fighter until her last moment'

‘I am prepared’

Cindy was not fazed in facing other Filipino beauties in the pageant because she “was prepared” to follow her dreams to become a crowned queen.

“There were a lot of celebrities in our batch who are equally beautiful. But what you really need to have [in this competition] is confidence,” said Cindy, who holds 33-22-35 body curves.

If she were to be asked again what personal quality people would remember about her, Cindy said she would “answer exactly” the same question with more confidence than what she did in the pageant.

“I got nervous and I blocked out. I stopped in the middle of my answer and at that moment I thought I would not be able to continue it. But thank God I was able to finish my answer,” she said.

The confidence she had during the beauty contest was her key, together with her wit and charm, to be one of the top winners of the country’s most prestigious beauty pageant.

“You could tell that the judges like you when you face them. You could feel that the people like you, too. There are a lot of beautiful contestants, but your personality is what makes you shine above the others,” she said.

Cindy feels pressured in being one of the young Filipinas to continue the winning streak of the Philippines in the world stadium.

“Even though I didn’t win Bb. Pilipinas-Universe, the pressure is still very high. Pinays are known in the pageant industry and the people’s expectations on the Philippines are really high,” she said.


She added that she prayed to God to allow her to win the Miss Universe crown next time after her name was called Miss Tourism.

“Maybe He has a reason of not giving me what I wanted. And probably He knows I could not handle the pressure of holding the Bb. Pilipinas-Universe title,” said Cindy, who will compete in the Miss Tourism Queen International pageant.

Through it all, Cindy, who only once dreamt of becoming a beauty queen had finally reached the star that marks the “beginning” of a blooming career.

“Take hold of your dreams. Don’t stop making your dreams a reality. ‘Wag mo lang pangarapin ang isang bagay, isabuhay mo ito,” she said.


  1. Congratulations to Ms. Cindy. I am so happy and proud of you. I felt the same elation years ago when my classmate, third yr. medical student Milagros Lacdao Javelosa, won the same title in 1990.


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