Beauty queens ready to pursue show business with Sparkle

Jerry Donato - The Philippine Star
Beauty queens ready to pursue show business with Sparkle
From left: Rein Hillary, Miss Universe Philippines 2023 Top 10 finalist; Gazini Ganados, Bb. Pilipinas Universe 2019; Bea Gomez, Miss Universe Philippines 2021; and Billie Hakenson, Miss Universe Philippines 2020 fourth runner-up take pride in being Sparkle GMA artists. They feel blessed and grateful for this milestone in their professional career that will lead them to host a show and headline a TV series.
STAR / File

The pageant world was well-represented in Sparkle GMA Artist Center’s annual event “Signed for Stardom,” which presents the latest individual and group discoveries of the Kapuso talent management arm.

Taking pride in being part of the GMA roster of talents are Gazini Ganados, Bb. Pilipinas Universe 2019 and that year’s Miss Universe Top 20 finalist; Bea Gomez, Miss Universe Philippines 2021 and that year’s Miss Universe Top 5 finalist; Billie Hakenson, Miss Universe Philippines 2020 fourth runner-up; and Rein Hillary, Miss Universe Philippines 2023 Top 10 finalist.

Among them, Billie has already learned the ropes of acting with her appearances in “Owe My Love,” “Mga Lihim ni Urduja” and “Asawa ng Asawa Ko.” She will also be seen in the upcoming action-fantasy primetime show, “Encantadia Chronicles: Sang’gre.”

They continue the tradition of beauty queens making a crossover into mainstream entertainment. Most of their predecessors have successfully carved out a niche in this creative field as leading ladies and reliable hosts and actresses.

“First of all, it really feels surreal being here,” said Bea during the recent presentation of talents and press conference. “I mean I’ve been in the pageantry for too long. I guess it’s time for me to move forward with my career.”

“This is such a great opportunity that I never expected to get,” added she. “I’m very excited right now to work more and meet more artists, of course, from GMA.”

To be brought and welcomed into the folds of Sparkle, Gazini had a grateful heart and felt blessed.

“You can expect transformational growth from all of us, especially from breaking barriers as a blank canvas that’s continuously changing or perfecting our craft,” shared she, looking at this latest development in her professional life as “the opportunity to reinvent ourselves on a much bigger platform.” And that is television.

“This year, we will all make sure that we will not only shine, but we will all sparkle as a Kapuso,” said Gazini.

For her part, Billie shared that it’s already her second year in showbiz. She was at first very scared of giving acting a try.

“I’ve learned to love it, to hone it as a craft, of course, with the help of Sparkle workshops,” said Billie, who also gave a shoutout to acting coach Ana Feleo and all the directors she has worked with. “You have helped me so much and have contributed so much to my growth. All of it would not be possible without Sparkle, trusting all these (the projects I’ve done so far) to me,” said she.

For Rein, she felt very overwhelmed and delighted being named a Sparkle talent.

“A year ago, I was just a candidate competing for the crown of Miss Universe (Philippines),” shared the law student, who is into acting and singing. “Now, aside from the opportunity, this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, you’ve also given me hope, hope that someday I might also have my place for my own star in the universe. So, I wanna say thank you to the entire Sparkle family.”

The girls were a picture of happiness and gratitude because the talent agency will plan their careers and bring their talents to new heights.

“Since we’re already here in Sparkle, we would really love to grab the opportunity that’s given to us,” said Bea in the question-and-answer segment with the media. “As pageant queens, na li-limit (kami dun sa) stereotype about being pageant queens (we are being limited by the pageant stereotype in terms of what we could do). With the opportunities that Sparkle is giving us, it’s like we are able to discover something about ourselves na hindi namin inakala na meron kami (that we never thought we had). So, it’s very inspiring to be here.”

Gazini reiterated the idea of a blank, plain canvas she had mentioned earlier, adding that “we’re pursuing our dreams on different platforms, especially this bigger platform in television. It’s a milestone for us to be here.”

Among the current crop of beauty queens-turned-actresses, Bea and Gazini shared that Bianca Manalo, Bb. Pilipinas Universe 2009, and Maxine Medina, Bb. Pilipinas Universe 2016 and Miss Universe Top 6 finalist, are their inspiration to consider a career in showbiz and eventually make a mark in it.

“It is inspiring for us to continue the legacy of beauty queens who transform in every way on this bigger platform,” concluded Gazini.

Aside from hosting beauty, game, pageant and talk shows, one would love to see Bea, Gazini, Billie and Rein in an afternoon and a primetime series with genres that range from action, comedy, drama, fantasy and romance. For a starter, they can also be tapped to headline a drama show, similar to Iza Calzado’s “Beauty Queen” or a reality program about the pageant and modeling world.

The local tinseltown has exciting new names to look forward to and follow.

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