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.
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.