Filipina beauty titlist and philanthropist Excelsa de Jesus bagged the Miss Republic of the Philippines (RP) International crown on a coronation night on Wednesday that lasted till 1 a.m. Thursday at Sofitel Hotel Manila.

De Jesus won the Miss Philippines America in 2016 in the United States, where she was also bestowed the title Ambassador of Tourism to the Philippines.

De Jesus, a barista in New York, represented the Big Apple in the just concluded Mr. and Ms. Republic of the Philippines pageant in Manila.

De Jesus often used her spare time to support charities and assist in their programs. She earlier went on a mission trip to give hygiene kits to children in Cebu, Palawan, Estancia, Iloilo, and Bohol.

She bested other contestants coming from the US, Canada, Melbourne, and Perth, Australia.

Cindy Marriah Dumol, meanwhile, bagged the Ms. RP title and was crowned by her predecessor Fermira Dianne Ramos, who won the previous crown in 2015.

Ms. Davao City Thamara Alexandria Pacursa won Ms. RP Luzon, while Ms. Caloocan City Patricia Mae Baratilla bagged Ms. RP Visayas and Ms. Laguna Chariss Jedidiah Gusay won Ms. RP Mindanao.

Bulacan candidate Dennis Frias Malones Jr. bagged the Mr. RP title.

Mr. RP Luzon was won by John Carlo Morales from Bataan, Mr. RP Visayas was bagged by Lipa City Jay Lester Abrenica and Mr. RP Mindanao was won by Taguig City candidate Jedryk Costes.

Bataan candidate Morales also bagged the Mr. RP Friendship award, while the Ms. RP Friendship award was won by Marinel Dizon from Muntinlupa City.

Named most photogenic candidates were Mr. Taguig City Jedryk Costes and Ms. Quezon Province Ma. Beatrix Panganiban.

Morales also won in the evening wear category, while his female counterpart was Panganiban.

For the Barong Tagalog and Pormang Terno categories, Mr. Jerome Vasquez from Batangas and Ms. April Liban from Isabela won, respectively.

The Ms. Republic of the Philippines was first staged in 1969, with the past winners serving as the representatives of the country at the Miss World pageant.

The representation, however, lasted until 1976, when the Ms. World franchise was transferred to Mutya ng Pilipinas. It also had a hiatus in 1978 and was only revived in 2015, with the aim to promote local tourism. (PNA)