Contestants for the Most Prestigious Beauty Pageant in the USA
Miss Young Philippines USA Candidates
Miss Young Candidate #1 – Czarina Kwong
Czarina Kwong, which is also known as “Queen of Russia” is an incoming junior at Northwest Career and Technical Academy focusing on media communications. This honor student aspires to become a lawyer and a model. Her hobbies include taking photoshoots, playing the guitar and playing the ukulele. In fact, she the guitarist in the worship band of her church. As one who strongly supports equality among races and genders, she wants to continue to promote independence, and self-love. Furthermore, she aims to educate young people about the societal issues of drugs, poverty, and human-trafficking using personal experience, so that she can connect with them on a deeper level.
Miss Young Candidate #2 – Alyssa Lange
Alyssa is an incoming junior of high school with impressive experience and passion in dance. She has danced at several events including the halftime for the Golden State Warriors and at the Superbowl 50. Alyssa has also been accepted to numerous ballet programs. Aside from dance, she is a member of her school’s Filipino Student Association and she enjoys the art of make-up. Alyssa strongly supports women empowerment and encourages the confidence of females.
Miss Young Candidate #3 – Anyssa Mendez
Anyssa Mendez is a 16 year-old student with a passion forhelping the community. Her desire to help others has earned her over 200 hours of volunteering within the span of 3 years. Anyssa, or Ness, balances volunteer work with school, her artwork, and playing basketball. Anyssa strongly supports gay rights and with that, she wants to reassure the community that everyone is created equal and they must continue to promote equality and opportunity.
Miss Young Candidate #4 – Dru Mendez
Dru is an incoming junior, in high school who has mastered various skills of art. This honor student has been offered to take AP Art Studio, a competitive art class, and was given a scholarship for her talent. Dru plays piano, violin & bass & dances jazz & hip-hop. She does various service projects for her church where she soon plans to become a Catechist and teach the youth about the Catholic Church. Dru believes that every young woman deserves equal chance to have an education to pursue their ambitions. Opportunity is the key to a brighter future and to a successful life.
Miss Young Candidate #5 – Merhan Noureldin
M is an adventurous senior in high school with many interests including computer-use, video games, writing, reading, hiking, and traveling. Her athleticism has pushed her to win several championships in Badminton, earn the MVP in football, and make the junior varsity team for volleyball during her freshman year.
M’s objective is to help curtail the spread of HIV among the Filipino youth by bringing awareness of how fast this disease is spreading in the Philippines and how to prevent it through abstinence or using protection. She also has a strong desire to help bring awareness of the importance for poor families to send their children to school, for only through education will they be able to break the chain of poverty.
Miss Young Candidate #6 – Denise Osias
Denise is a freshman at Gahr High School in Cerritos, California. She is currently on the Honor Roll and she maintains high academic achievement with college credits for engineering. Denise knows how to surf, snowboard, sing, belly dance, and play the piano and ukulele. She is pro-life and appreciates life as a gift from God. Denise believes that no matter the circumstances, life is always precious.
Miss Young Candidate #7 – Riley Posadas
Riley Posadas, Riles for short, graduated from her junior high school class as the salutatorian and as an honor student. In her free time, she enjoys singing and playing the piano. Riley did mock trial, theatre, volleyball, and basketball as well as volunteered for Operation Gratitude and at the LA marathon. By continuing the hard work and success she earned from her earlier years, Riley hopes to become a doctor in the future. She intends to support the prevention of bullying worldwide.
Miss Young Candidate #8 – Taylor Sullivan
Taylor Sullivan, only 17 years old, has earned many awards and achievements throughout her career at Santa Margarita Catholic High School. She has held numerous leadership roles and achieved many leadership awards. Taylor is a scholar athlete in soccer who enjoys spending time with her family, socializing with her friends, traveling, and photography. She actively supports children with cancer by participating in the Jessie Rees Foundation by ensuring that children fighting cancer have the support and resources to “Never Ever Give Up”.
Miss Young Candidate #9 – Abigail Sese
Tahitian dancer, track-and-field athlete, family-oriented, and shopper, Abee, is a well-rounded student from the Bay Area. At only 17-years old, she is a sub-coordinator at the University of the Pacific dental health outreach committees which provides dental health care benefits to undeserved children. Additionally, she is a girl scout, track-and-field manager, and the Polynesian Club manager at her school. Included in her platform is alleviating the plight of underprivileged by providing them the essentials.
Miss Young Candidate #10 Alexys Ungria
She’s a singer, a dancer, an actress, she snowboards, edits videos, and can play the ukulele. On top of that, Alexys Ungria is an honor student with a 3.9 GPA. She excels in show choir as she won Singer of the Year for 3 years in a row. This Show Choir President also balanced her singing career with being the American Cancer Society Club Treasurer and the Filipino Club Publicist. Alexys strives to attend NYU or UC Irvine to become a Nurse Practitioner. She keeps herself involved in the medical field as she participates in numerous Cancer Runs and Concerts for disabled children. Alexys aims to raise awareness for cancer amongst the Filipino community so that they can have more knowledge and consideration about it.
Miss Young Candidate #11 – Shierinna Walker
Going on a mission trip to Denver Christian University this June, Shierinna is all for helping others out. It varies from assisting the less fortunate families in the Philippines to teaching teenage girls to be confident and to believe in themselves. She is currently in high school and taking college credits. Next year, she plans on attending cosmetology school to gain more experience on beauty skills. Being ahead in her academic career does not stop her from playing basketball and soccer, listening to music, reading, hanging out with her siblings, and having fun.
Miss Philippines USA Candidates
Miss Candidate #1 – Allana Alonzo
Also known as Yan Yan, Allana Marie Allonzo is currently studying Physical Therapy and Pharmacy Technician at La Sierra University, where she received a total of 12 scholarships to. She graduated from the top 10% of her high school where she swam and played water polo and volleyball. Allana currently works for Trusted Hospice and Home Health as she plans to work in the medical field in the near future. She hopes to increase awareness for natural disasters especially because they often occur in the Philippines. After everything that has recently been happening nationwide, she hopes for the acceptance of race, gender, and disability to improve
Miss Candidate #2 – Louise An
Louise An, or Nica, enjoys sketching, baking, playing tennis, and watching anime and Korean Dramas. She is a big “Foodie” and loves going on food trips with her friends. She was part of her high school’s varsity tennis team for 3 years. Nica is currently a full time student studying civil engineering. She wants “to be able to raise funds for the poor especially children in our homeland. I want to be able to send kids through funded scholarships because I believe that children are our future.”
Miss Candidate #3 – Mariz Arcangel
Mariz Angela Arcangel sometimes goes by “LadyGainz” because of “her drive to gain a lot from life.” She is very passionate for educating people about health and fitness, in addition to cooking, reading, and socializing. Mariz owns a personal meal prep business, “Senzugainz”, in which she is a chef for. She is an accountant at a private aircraft company, pursuing to be an attendant in aviation. Mariz has just received her Associate of Arts in Design Media Arts and she is currently working towards her Bachelor’s degree in Cal State Long Beach. Her goal is “to inspire and to motivate everyone around the world no matter what the circumstances are to never give up on their dreams and goals and to continue living with upright morals by empowering one another.”
Miss Candidate #4 – Elenna Arceo
Her mom calls her Ela and her friends call her Lana. Before joining Miss Philippines USA, she was living in New York City. Elanna attended The New School, Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts in New York City and graduated in 2015 with Honors with a Bachelor’s degree in Culture and Media Studies. She was recognized at her graduation ceremony and received Outstanding Senior Academic Achievement for Culture and Media studies with a focus in Cultural Studies. Elanna has played soccer at the competitive club level growing up and played one year at the collegiate, varsity level. Earlier this year, she was invited to participate in a week long player ID scouting camp for the Philippine Women’s National Football Team. When she is not watching her favorite soccer team or playing soccer, she is most likely hand knitting a new accessory or garment. Elanna is all about empowering women through sports and encouraging them to achieve their full potential through these sports. This LA/New York City girl supports green initiatives and urges everyone to reduce energy use, recycle, and eliminate waste so that our Earth will be green for future generations.
Miss Candidate #5 – Danica Camacho
“Danica Camacho is a 25 year-old graduate of the University of California, Irvine with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Social Behavior. She has also studied abroad at the University of Cambridge in England. She has a love for dance that began when she was only 5 years-old and it has brought her to perform at UC Irvine Kabayan’s Pilipino Culture Night and as a background dancer for Lani Misalucha, Vice Ganda, and Martin Nievera. Danica leads an active lifestyle and has her certification as a yBarre fitness instructor. She currently works as the team lead in expanding an internet start-up company called Virtual Post Mail. Also known as Macho to her friends, she is a proud member of the Philippine Cultural Center of America, Inc. She has proudly marched for Justice for Filipino American Veterans (JFAV) and the 1st Annual Larry Itliong Day. Danica aims to raise awareness and to promote opportunity for Filipino culture, talent, and history.”
Miss Candidate #5 – Keanna De La Cruz
Born in Russia, Keanna, age 21, enjoys reading, yoga and watching Grey’s Anatomy. She is currently an intern at Palomar Medical Center where she works alongside healthcare professionals. Keanna was a ballerina for 13 years and attended a performing arts high school, where she was an Honor Roll student, a member of the California Scholarship Federation, and a recipient of the President’s Award. Though she received a $24,000 scholarship from a private school in NY, she chose instead to come to San Diego State having made Dean’s List and straight A’s this past semester. Her commitment is reflected in her extra-curriculars as a Starbucks barista and member of American Medical Student Association, MedLife, and the Flying Samaritans. She hopes to inspire others and show that compassion and intelligence will always be “beyond beautiful.” Keanna also believes MPUSA treasures the key value of embodying well-roundedness because beauty is at times subjective and fickle, whereas ambition creates a sense of purpose that drives people to inspire change. Her aspirations include teaching English in Southeast Asia and one day studying medicine, as she hopes to care for and help as many lives as she can.
Miss Candidate #7 – Jenelle Domaual
Gym rat and competitive surfer, Jennelle Domaoal, maintains a healthy and active lifestyle on her spare time. She has a passion for running, hiking, dancing ballet, and ramp modeling. In high school, she was a member of the St. Theresa’s College High School debate team. Additionally, she tutors elementary school children and high school students mathematical concepts at the library. Jennelle, or Jelli, advocates for anti-bullying. She wants the rate of teenage suicides to deplete by further educating teens on the idea of bullying.
Miss Candidate #8 – Rachel Fernando
Rachel Fernando, also known as Rae Shemaene, or Rachel Rae is a 24 year-old with an interest in film making. She has created short films for DreamWorks DreamPlace and Providence St. John’s Hospital in Santa Monica, and has received an award for “Outstanding Service in Film and Television Production”. In her free time, she enjoys working out at Barry’s Bootcamp, discovering new restaurants and dessert shops, going to Disneyland, and running Disney half marathons for charities. She is a supporter of various advocacy organizations such as Save the Children, NoH8, World Wide Fund, Women in Film, and her family created organization that donates school supplies and books to schools in Malolos Bulacan, Philippines.
Miss Candidate #9 – Maricel Gibson
Maricel Gibson is currently studying Human Biology at Biola University. She has leadership positions in several organizations such as the Senator of Student Government Association and the President and Co-Founder of DEVOTE, a community service club. She is currently employed as a Medical Scribe at St. Joseph’s Heritage Medical Group. Maricel advocates for public health and healthcare equity. She strives for providing the best possible healthcare for the community as she volunteers at non-profit clinics in Garden Grove, where she provides free care to those who need it. Maricel later hopes to be able to provide healthcare for citizens of the Philippines.
Miss Candidate #10 – Kasie Gillette
Kasie Gillette graduated from high school with a high GPA of 4.29. She currently attends UCLA with a major in Psychobiology and a minor in Public Health. Kasie is working at UCLA’s Call Center to help fundraise for resources on campus that students need in order to succeed. Her hobbies include yoga, Hawaiian and Tahitian dancing, playing volleyball and soccer, and spending time with her friends and family.Kasie is passionately against acts of gun violence and hopes to relieve those who are affected by it.
Miss Candidate #11 – Jadine Gonzalez
Jadine, or Jade, attended Skyline College and is soon transferring to the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandise as a Fashion Merchandising major. In her leisure time, she appreciates the life outdoors by going camping or hiking. She also enjoys spending time with her family. Jade’s mission is to spread awareness of the Filipino culture and to express how important it is to give back to the Philippines.
Miss Candidate #12 – Erika Hilton
When Erika Sydney Hilton was young, her brother was unable to pronounce her name correctly, so he would call her by “Gaga”. She is currently 20 years old and has traveled over 20 countries. She graduated from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and in Pre-law. She is currently interning for PricewaterhouseCoopers and has been accepted into the graduate program at Novancia Business School. Erika has already begun her mission to improve education and literacy in the Philippines by raising over $1500 and 3000 books to donate to public schools in Laoag.
Miss Candidate #13 – Annali Malabanan
Annali or Lei as friends call her, has a passion for children & helping others. She coordinated her community clinic’s Christmas Annual Toy Drive which gives back to children in need and has volunteered at her hospital putting in well over 1,500 hours as a Patient Care Unit Volunteer. She also supports the National Children’s Alliance where she can help kids who are victims of child abuse. Her love of creativity and hobbies making scrapbooks including other fine arts has gotten her the role as Decorative Coordinator for her high school’s Filipino Maharlika Club. Annali was awarded with a 4 year scholarship worth $4,000 a year and graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Health Care Administration. Because of her love & passion for kids, she is currently studying to become a Physician Assistant in hopes of making a difference in children’s’ lives someday.
Miss Candidate #14 – Mary Mangabat
Mary Mangabat usually went by Dimpot due to the deep dimples she had when she was a baby. Now 21, Mary often travels, learning about different diversities and cultures, exercising, singing, dancing, and modeling. She ran for the Cross Country Team in Catholic School where she was also the Vice President of the Social Justice Club. Mary is currently a Business Management major in Cal State Northridge. She works as part of the marketing team for a company called Milkwaycases. Mary pursues to promote equality amongst the LGBT community by educating society about inappropriate behavior. She is highly against acts of discrimination and hopes that with more years comes better change.
Miss Candidate #15 – Kristen Marquez
Graduating with cum laude and on the Dean’s List for all four years attending Cal State Northridge University, Kristen Alexis has expressed excellent grounds of hard work as well as a versatile personality. Her skills in Media Production have been exposed after winning numerous awards for her “Detective Show”. In high school, this prom queen even won “Most likely to be on Reality TV” and “Most likely to win a Best Actress Oscar”. Kristen holds deep concern for young children with emotional, mental, physical, and behavioral disabilities. She focuses on “empowering the world with awareness and knowledge about giving our future generations the tools and resources they need to improve their quality of life.”
Miss Candidate #16 – Alana Pine
Alana Pine, or Lana for short, is an active, social, family oriented high school graduate from Bishop Amat High School. She received a 3.45 GPA and graduated with second honors. Currently, Alana works with the administration team at Behavioral Autism Therapies. Her mission is to increase the awareness and education for autism because she believes that the more the community understands, the more help those affected by autism will receive.
Miss Candidate #17 -Kalea Pitel
Kalea Lorren Pitel is an incoming freshman for a B.S. in Nursing at Loma Linda University this fall. She has earned scholarships from Red Cross and Sharp Auxiliary. In her free time, she enjoys playing basketball, hiking, volunteering for community service, and spending time with her friends and family. She aims to be an advocate for better healthcare in deprived countries such as the Philippines by educating others on diseases. With this, she hopes for the consideration and care for the Philippines to improve.
Miss Candidate #18 – Charmaine Porcioncula
Charmaine Porcioncula is a registered nurse, studying Master of Science in Nursing to become a Family Nurse Practitioner. With this, she aims to provide quality care. She has been widely involved in many organizations throughout high school and college such as Biology Society, Chemistry Society, and Microbiology Society. She has held several officer positions as the Student Body Vice President, Communication Arts Guild Vice President, and the Junior CARP Treasurer. Charmaine’s interests include reading books, playing tennis, and traveling. She hopes to ameliorate world hunger, poverty, lack of education and any other environmental issues.
Miss Candidate #19 – Summer Razon
Known for always bringing warmth and smiles everywhere she went, Summer Razon promotes helping the homeless or those living in poverty. She feels that raising awareness and giving so much to them can create a better tomorrow. As a nursing major in the College of Southern Nevada in Las Vegas, Summer is all about helping others. In her junior year of high school, she was deeply involved with the “No H8” anti-bullying campaign and at age 13, she was the youngest student aide at the Kumon Learning Center. In her free time, she creates beauty enhancement videos on YouTube where she does all the writing, shooting, and editing by herself. Summer likes to hike, swim, and soak in the summer sun.
Miss Candidate #20 – Clarissa Ylagan
Clarissa , 18 , just graduated high school at The Webb Schools in Claremont with a GPA of 4.4. She plans to attend medical school after graduating from Scripps College within the Claremont Colleges with a major in Biology.
An advocate for women empowerment, Clarissa Ann Cruz Ylagan, promotes the voice of women and female leadership. She wants the marginalization of women to discontinue in society and hopes that history will be inclusive, rather than a story of power. Clarissa has demonstrated her care for the community through numerous activities of community service. She currently works as a social marketing intern for Lewis Group of Companies in Upland, CA where she is responsible for the company’s social media platforms. Her physical activities include dancing, hiking, barre, and pilates. To top it off, Clarissa has been recognized as a scholar several times and has various awards, demonstrating the drive and impact that women can deliver.
Miss Candidate #21 – Grace Zantua
Grace Zantua (“Graceface” or “Gracie Lou Freebush”) is 20 years old and has interests in DIY crafts, floral arrangements, Polynesian dancing, social media marketing, and being a nanny. In high school, she served as the sophomore class senator, junior class vice president, and senior class president. Grace currently studies Hospitality at Cal Poly Pomona at the Collins College of Hospitality Management. In addition to being the shift lead to Yogurtland at Fresno, she is also the marketing representative for all of their social media platforms.