The wait is over: Delegates for the Miss Belize Universe Pageant are selected!
It has been nearly 10 years since a delegate from Belize graced the Miss Universe Pageant stage. September 10 will mark a turning point, when a panel of judges will select a young woman to represent Belize in the world’s premiere beauty pageant.
Sixteen Miss Belize Pageant contestants, representing every district, were selected through an open casting call process in July:
Misty Swazo, Corozal Theotisha Hall, Corozal
Lianne Chi, Orange Walk Caroline Fox, Orange Walk Krystalane Wolfe, Spanish Lookout Marcia Moody, San Ignacio Kimberly Price, Santa Elena Shamra Palacio, Esperanza Lyanne Reid, Belmopan
Moriah Lino, Belmopan
Neity Rodriguez, Belize City (Collet) Idolly Saldivar, Belize City (Fort George) Shamira Neal, Belize City (Queen Square) Dianira Rivera, San Pedro Rebecca Rath, Dangriga
Liliana Vallarta, Placencia Marlaine Heron, Punta Gorda.
Opal Enriquez, National Director of Miss Belize Universe, is pleased with the lineup of young women who will vie for the crown.
“These young women are accomplished, intelligent and beautiful, ” Enriquez said. “Belizeans can be proud to have such a strong group contestants—any of whom would represent us well on an international stage.”
Miss Belize Pageant: September 10, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. | Bliss Centre for the Performing Arts
Miss Universe Pageant: December 2016 | Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
There are a number events planned in the lead-up to pageant, starting with the official kick-off at Maruba Resort Jungle Spa, on the weekend of July 22-24.
The Miss #Belize Universe Pageant is sponsored by The Belize Tourism Board, NICH Belize, and SIBS International. Enriquez says the pageant is still seeking sponsors to provide financial support as well as prizes for the pageant winner.
“Businesses and organizations that partner with us will have their brands exposed to the entire country,” Enriquez said. “They will also be associated with an event that showcases the best of Belize.”
Who will be the next Ms. Belize? The Journey has kicked off Maruba Belize, All the Best to the delegates.
The journey begins for eleven Belizean beauty ambassadors from across the country as they vie for the title of Miss Belize and an opportunity to represent the Jewel in the 2016 Miss Universe Pageant in December. It is an opportunity of a lifetime because it’s been almost a decade since Belize has had a delegate in the international pageant. Well tonight we can announce that Channel Five is the official network for the Queen of the Jewel, Miss Belize Universe Organization and will be airing the pageant live on September tenth. Last Thursday, we met the delegates at an official launch at the Biltmore Plaza and asked them why they wanted to become the next Miss Belize. Here’s what they had to say:
Lyanne Reid, Miss Belmopan
“Hi my name is Lyanne Reid and I’m representing Belmopan City as you can see, the Garden City. And I have been trying new experiences, I have been challenging myself lately to do different things out of my comfort zones and so this pageant was an option to do something out of my comfort zone. So it would mean a lot knowing that you can accomplish anything you put your mind at.”
Neidy Rodriguez, Miss Collet
“My name is Neidy Rodriguez; I’m representing beautiful Collet. I would like to win this pageant because I want to be a role model for Belizean youths and lead them with examples.”
Theotisha Hall, Miss Corozal
“Good night, my name is Theotisha Hall representing the beautiful Bay of Corozal. I would love to win this pageant because I feel that I am capable enough to be a great role model for the younger generation and advocating for upcoming generation as well. Thank you.”
Rebecca Rath, Miss Dangriga
“I am Rebecca Rath and I am representing the culture capital of Dangriga. I love Belize, I am proud to be a Belizean and I really want to represent Belize in a different way. I’ve represented Belize through sports, through tourism and so I think it would be great to represent Belize at the Miss Universe 2016.”
Shamra Palacio, Miss Esperanza
“Good night, my name is Shamra Palacio. I’m twenty years old, representing Esperanza Village, Cayo District. Why I want to win this is because I want to prove to myself that I can and I’d like to make my family proud and also my country. Thank you.”
Moriah Lino, Miss Las Flores
“My name is Moriah Lino; I’m from the beautiful city of Belmopan. And I’ve always been very interested in competing in a pageant like this. Why I would like to win is I would like to make a change; I would like to be seen as an inspiration to other young girls out there and many Belizean.”
Misty Swaso, Miss Libertad
“Good night Belize, my name is Misty Swaso and I am twenty-three years old proudly representing the beautiful village of Libertad, Corozal District. And the reason why I want to win this pageant is because I believe that pageantry is more than just a beauty queen; it is about being an ambassador for your country. And being an inspiration and also a role model for teenagers. One of my main goals is to encourage youths to stay in school and get an education because education is the key. And like my grandmother used to always say, silver and gold will vanish away, but a good education will never decay.”
Marlaine Heron, Miss Punta Gorda
“My name is Marlaine, proudly representing Punta Gorda. I want to win it to make a difference in my country, Belize; to show young ladies they can do whatever they put their mind to.”
Kimberly Price, Miss Santa Elena
“Hi good evening, my name is Kimberly Price proudly representing San Pedro Town. Reasons why I would like to be crowned Miss Belize—not only for holder the title as an ambassador and it is an honor, but there is a lot of prizes and I really like the scholarship to further my studies.”
Marcia Moody, Miss San Ignacio
“My name is Marcia Moody and I’m proudly representing the beautiful town of San Ignacio. I believe I should be the next Miss Belize because I do not only have a beautiful face, but I have elegance and I am intelligent and I believe that I would be a good role model for the society, especially to young girls. So I should be the next Miss Belize; that is why I believe I should be. Thank you.”
Dianira Rivera, Miss San Pedro
“My name is Dianira Rivera; I am proudly representing the beautiful island of La Isla Bonita, San Pedro. And winning the title of Miss Belize for me would be such an honor, honestly. And I believe I am capable of taking on those responsibilities as well rightfully representing my country on the Miss Universe 2016.”
Opal Enriquez, National Pageant Coordinator, Queen of the Jewel
“Our team has been working very diligently to make sure that everything goes off without a hitch for these delegates so that we can have the best possible presentation on September tenth night at the Bliss. My partner Orson Elrington and I have been really focusing on making sure that the marketing for the girls is done properly. Holly, our Director of Communications, has been making a lot of phone calls, reaching out to a lot of people to get prizes sponsored, to get accommodations set up. Karen Vernon over at the Theatre has been making sure that our sets are ready. The contestants are ready to show Belize what they are capable of; show their talent, their beauty, their smiles, their intellect with the entire community, with our entire nation and with the world so we are very excited for them.”
First Miss Belize in 10 Years Is Ready For Miss Universe
After 10 years, Belize will be going to Miss Universe 2017 in the Phillipines and the new Ms. Belize Rebecca Rath says she is ready to represent. The 22 year old Dangrigan was chosen in the Miss Belize Universe pageant on Saturday night at the Bliss Center. As Rath bested 9 other contestants to claim the long inactive Crown.
Today she stopped by our studio to talk about her experience in the pageant and what this means for her and for the country.
Rebecca Rath, Miss Belize 2016 "I've looked back and I know that I love Belize very much and I am so proud to have represented Belize through sports and tourism, so this is just another way that I wanted to represent Belize. It's very different but it's another way I want to represent."
Courtney Weatherburne, 7News "Tell us about the representation in terms of sports as well about your involvement in the community since this is not the first time we've seen you here."
Rebecca Rath, Miss Belize 2016 "I played volleyball most of my life from I was 13 up to about 18. I was on the national junior volleyball team and then I played beach volleyball for Belize as well so I've travelled quite a bit from sports. I am involved in the BTIA and the Belize Hotel Association where I also travel and do trade shows to advertise for Belize."
Courtney Weatherburne, 7News "Tell me about the experience being a part of the pageant, was it different? Was it overwhelming? Or was it just a great experience?"
Rebecca Rath, Miss Belize 2016 "It was a very different than what I'm used to, I'm not used to getting all dolled up every day, but Ms. Opal has really stressed out to me to make sure I always look presentable so I have been working on that. I got to know all these girls from all over the country and we all have such different personalities, it's amazing we all got along and were able to support each other. It was a lot of preparations up to pageant night working every day, making sure everything was perfect and I am so happy it turned out the way it did. A lot of people think that a pageant is all about outer beauty but you're choosing a representative for your country. You need to make sure that that person is well rounded, confident and believes in the things that they are advocating for and so it's much more than what people think, not just looking pretty, wearing heels and smiling for all those pictures, you want to be able to be an example for everyone. you want to make a difference in your community, make your mark and let everyone know that, look I'm a good representative, I can prove myself, I can do well, I can present Belize and I will do whatever it takes to represent the country and will make it happen. It's been a journey and I am absolutely ready."
Rath also won Top Model, Beach Body and People's Choice. Miss Universe will be held in January 2017 in the Philippines. Rath is a graduate of Belize Ecumenical High School and Juniour College and the University of Houston. She's also an accomplished volleyball player.
Rebecca Rath was crowned the newest Miss Belize and, after ten years, will represent the country in the Miss Universe Pageant to be held on January thirtieth in Manilo, Philippines. Rath, a twenty-three year old of Dangriga, won a number of awards this past Saturday at the pageant including Top Model, Beach Body and People’s Choice, which was based on online voting. A total of ten delegates vied for the coveted title, competing in national costume, swimwear, evening gown and the final question. It all took place at the Bliss and aired lived right here on channel five.
Rebecca Rath, Miss Belize Universe
“It’s been a journey, just as you said it. Everything from arguments to tears of happiness between me and the girls; it’s been an amazing journey and I am so glad that I am the next Miss Belize Universe and I am ready to represent Belize on the international stage. I cannot wait; I am ready to put in the work and I am anticipating that we will come out on top. I will be prepared by the time I got there to make our mark and show the world what Belize has to offer. Me and Marcia, we were holding each other’s hands and looking at each other knowing how supportive we were of each other, knowing that no matter what, we would always be friends. It was an unexplainable feeling when they called my name and the fact that all the girls were so supportive of the fact that I won. None of them were upset with me like you know how it is in pageants. It was an amazing experience.”
“I noted that on pageant night, the support was also there for you from Dangriga and you got emotional in the end while being crowned. Talk to us about that.”
“The support from my people in Dangriga was everything for me. From the beginning, they were pushing me to do the best and they were telling me that you will do great. They were very encouraging. All the businesses that gave financial support in Dangriga as well, it would not have been possible without them and I am so glad that I made them proud. It was tears between me and my family, but also with them. All the girls that I coach for volleyball, they came up to me and they were crying as well and it’s a really great feeling that they believed in me and I was able to make them proud. Belize, I am so ready to represent you guys on the international stage. I am going to do whatever it takes; I am going to put in every inch of work that I need to do to make sure that I make your mark and that I make you guys proud on that international stage. I have to thank my sponsors, everyone in Dangriga—if I call the names, then I’m going to miss someone and I’ll feel really bad—but everyone that’s supported me, you know that I am entirely grateful. My family, to Miss Sherima, thank you so much…it wouldn’t have been possible without you guys. I am so proud to be your Miss Belize Universe.”
The finalists were: First runner-up, Marcia Moody of San Ignacio; second runner-up was San Pedro’s Dianira Rivera. Third runner-up was Belize City’s Neidy Rodriguez and Misty Swaso of Libertad rounded out the top five. Rath won a scholarship from the Ministry of Education; a ten-thousand-dollar wardrobe for the Miss Universe Pageant; travel to and from the pageant; and other prizes.
Hudut and sahou loving Dangriga resident, Rebecca Rath, 23, is the first woman to be crowned Miss Belize in ten years. The young elite volleyball player, friends affectionately call “Bexx”, is trading in her shorts and tops for swimsuits, costumes and evening gowns to represent Belize in the Miss Universe Pageant on January 30, 2017 in Manila, Philippines. The Ecumenical High School and Junior College alumnai was crowned on Saturday, September 10, after an extremely competitive Miss Belize Pageant at the Bliss Center for Performing Arts.
Ten exceptionally gorgeous and intelligent young ladies offered themselves for the coveted title of Miss Belize. However, only five remained after competing in the national costume, swimsuit and evening gown rounds. Those five were Rebecca Rath of Dangriga Town, Neidy Rodriguez of Belize City, Dianira Rivera of San Pedro, Misty Swazo of Libertad Village and Marcia Moody of San Ignacio. The final round was the question and answer segment. Each judge was asked to submit a question they would like the candidates to answer. From that pool of questions, the candidates selected one and were required to answer elaborately.
In the Miss Universe Pageant, the winner is decided in the final round. The previous scores are cleared and the finalists have a clean slate. Therefore, the response to the question posed is the deciding factor in the parent pageant. This is not the case in the Miss Belize Pageant. The scores stand and the winner is based on cumulative scores. Based on this formula, Rebecca Rath had a wide lead on the other finalist. She had already been named Miss Top Model based on a preliminary event; Best Beach Body based on a preliminary event, and the People’s Choice.
The best response in the final round was produced by Miss Marcia Moody of San Ignacio, according to public opinion. When asked about her advice to other young women thinking about vying for the title of Miss Belize, Moody gave a powerful response about the need for self confidence that moved even a Rath heavy crowd. Rath’s response to her question was not bad either. She was asked about an issue in society that would receive her immediate attention, a platform question. Her response was violence against women and she explained that it is not receiving the amount of attention it deserves and she will work to raise awareness on the topic. Her delivery was not as polished as Moody’s but with a comfortable lead it was good enough to hold the top spot on cumulative score.
First runner up went to Marcia Moody, who won best National Costume; second runner-up went to Dianira Rivera of San Pedro, who won the award for the most photogenic; Neidy Rodriguez of Belize City was third runner up and Misty Swazo of Libertad Village rounded out the top 5.
Rath won a scholarship from the Ministry of Education, a $10,000 wardrobe for the Miss Universe Pageant and other prizes.
The judges were Tanya McNab of McNab Designs; Chef Patrick Rodriguez; BTB Director Karen Bevans; international real estate guru, Insukba Lyons; Miss Belize Universe 1979 and the only Belizean to place at Miss Universe, Sarita Acosta; City Councilman Dion Leslie; Deputy Prime Minister, Hon. Patrick Faber, and Wave Radio’s Dale A. McDougal.
Miss Belize was on the Battle of St. George's Caye night, and it was well attended. Congratulations to all the lovely ladies, and especially Rebecca K. Rath, who won the pageant, and Marcia Moody, who placed 1st runner up.