Miss Belize Universe Pageant 2016

Posted By: Marty

Miss Belize Universe Pageant 2016 - 07/23/16 11:45 AM

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.

Posted By: klcman

Re: Miss Belize Universe Pageant 2016 - 08/17/16 11:09 PM

just were the local reps chosen?
Posted By: Marty

Re: Miss Belize Universe Pageant 2016 - 08/30/16 08:25 PM

Dianira Rivera is representing San Pedro at Miss Belize! Come cheer her on at this preliminary fashion show on Sept. 3 and then attend the pageant at Bliss Center for Performing Arts on September 10!

[Linked Image]
Posted By: Marty

Re: Miss Belize Universe Pageant 2016 - 09/11/16 11:20 AM

And the title Miss Belize 2016 goes to...!!

Miss Belize 2016, Ms. Rebecca Rath!

Posted By: Conch Creative

Re: Miss Belize Universe Pageant 2016 - 09/11/16 02:19 PM

We're absolutely delighted for her. Congratulations Rebecca!
Posted By: klcman

Re: Miss Belize Universe Pageant 2016 - 09/11/16 04:32 PM

woot woot
Posted By: ScubaLdy

Re: Miss Belize Universe Pageant 2016 - 09/11/16 05:06 PM

Tony must be in 7th heaven. Congratulations to the entire Rath family.
Posted By: Marty

Re: Miss Belize Universe Pageant 2016 - 09/12/16 10:07 AM

Here's the whole event, 4+ hours of video....

Queen Of The Jewel - Miss Belize 2016

Posted By: Marty

Re: Miss Belize Universe Pageant 2016 - 09/13/16 10:51 AM

Bexx is the New Miss Belize

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.

The Guardian

Miss Belize 2016 Swim Suit Competition

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.

Got some pictures of some great photographers in there, which was one of the goals. Will Moreno, Dorian Nunez, Tony Rath Photography.

Posted By: Marty

Re: Miss Belize Universe Pageant 2016 - 12/10/16 05:43 AM

Miss Belize Rebecca - Journey to Miss Universe 2017

On Open Your Eyes....

Posted By: Marty

Re: Miss Belize Universe Pageant 2016 - 01/04/17 06:20 AM

“Miss Belize” Departs for Philippines – Rebecca Rath Considered a Favourite

Posted By: Marty

Re: Miss Belize Universe Pageant 2016 - 01/06/17 12:36 PM

Vote for Miss Belize - Rebecca Rath for Miss Universe 2016

Miss Belize - Rebecca Rath stole the stage, the crown and the hearts of many. She has departed for the Philippines to represent Belize at the Miss Universe Pageant. Please show your support by VOTING for her as your favourite candidate. The voting is easy.

Miss Universe 2016, will be the 65th Miss Universe pageant. It will be held on Sunday the 29th of January, 2017 at the Mall of Asia Arena, Pasay, Metro Manila, Philippines. Pia Wurtzbach of the Philippines will crown her successor at the end of the event.

Bon voyage and all the best of luck to our Miss Belize - Rebecca "Bex" Rath!

Posted By: klcman

Re: Miss Belize Universe Pageant 2016 - 01/06/17 06:13 PM

She is KILLING it!!
Posted By: Marty

Re: Miss Belize Universe Pageant 2016 - 01/12/17 02:34 PM

Miss Belize Universe arrives in Manila... photo by Tony Rath

Posted By: Marty

Re: Miss Belize Universe Pageant 2016 - 01/17/17 06:05 AM

Rebecca Rath arrives in the Philippines to represent Belize in Miss Universe 2017

After winning the Miss Belize Universe pageant in September 2016, the lovely Rebecca Rath finally landed in Manila, Philippines on Wednesday, January 11th, where she will compete in the 65th edition of the Miss Universe pageant. Rath had previously departed Belize on January 3, 2017 to the United States, where she trained and met several media groups.

The pageant will be held on January 30, 2017 at the Mall of Asia Arena. Rath, along with 85 other contestants, has been preparing arduously for the grand event. With millions of viewers expected to watch the pageant, Rath’s poise, intelligence, and beautiful personality has been growing in popularity both locally and internationally. Rath gained even more recognition after a professional pageantry website,, recently offered an in depth assessment of the Miss Universe contestants. The site ranked Rath 18th, predicting that she would make it within the Top 25.

Rath has definitely been an inspiration to many young girls across the country, and she offered some advice to anyone pursuing Miss Belize 2017. “It’s a lot of work, so if you’re going to do it and you want to win, you have to be able to put in the hours and the work that it entails. You have to be ready to deal with backlash, people who don’t have the same goal as you. You have to be able to fight that and still want to come out on top. You just need to do your best and remember Miss Belize first, so you have to represent your country before doing anything else. If you do that, then you’ll be at peace when you leave because you know that your first goal is to represent Belize,” said Rath.

Click here to read the rest of the article and see more photos in the San Pedro Sun

Posted By: Marty

Re: Miss Belize Universe Pageant 2016 - 01/18/17 06:24 AM

Have you voted as yet?

Barbadian beauty Shannon Harris has won the hearts of many persons throughout the world, who are voting for the winner of Kaleidoscope of Pageantry People’s Poll.

Of the more than 80 countries represented at this year's Miss Universe pageant in The Philippines, Miss Barbados Shannon Harris has a narrow lead over Miss Belize Rebecca Rath.

Persons can go to the pageant's page to choose the candidate they believe should take the crown at the 65th edition of Miss Universe pageant.

When the poll is finished, whichever beauty tops the votes will be featured in a special editorial during the contest.

Harris has a total of 65 706 votes, resulting in 23 percent of the tally, while Rath is close behind with 64109 votes or 23.4 percent.

Time to get voting. Click here to do so.

Posted By: Diane Campbell

Re: Miss Belize Universe Pageant 2016 - 01/18/17 07:15 AM

Wen you go to this page you will think the countries are all alphabetical .... Not so.
Keep scrolling down the list and you will eventually get to Belize. Start looking after the USA.
Vote early, vote often!!
Posted By: klcman

Re: Miss Belize Universe Pageant 2016 - 01/18/17 07:36 PM

wow.....just a few votes out of first place.....seems to be a landslide for the top 2 vote getters.
Posted By: Marty

Re: Miss Belize Universe Pageant 2016 - 01/20/17 01:10 PM

Video: Up Close: Miss Universe Belize: kind of a bio, she's a water baby!

Contestant Interview

Fun Friday Chat on Open your Eyes

Most of the first 23 minutes a phone call with Miss Belize Universe Rebecca Rath

Posted By: Marty

Re: Miss Belize Universe Pageant 2016 - 01/23/17 12:49 PM

Voting starts now for our Miss Belize Universe! There are many ways you can vote to help our Queen to get into the semifinal round of the competition!

Starting January 23, 2017 at 9:30 a.m ET, fans worldwide will be able to vote via the methods below:

1) VODI: Download the Vodi app and hit the vote button

2) WEB: Visit – (It will work once the voting starts!)

3) MISS U APP: Download the Miss U app here and hit vote on the side menu

4) TWITTER: Tweet using #MissUniverse and a contestant specific hashtag that will be provided once voting start.

Take advantage by retweeting.

Once the voting window opens, fans are able to vote 10x per day per registered account.

***Please note that, is the ONLY website for voting.

Posted By: Marty

Re: Miss Belize Universe Pageant 2016 - 01/24/17 06:27 AM

Miss Belize represents at Miss Universe

by Tony Rath....

Arrived Manila 4am. By 10am had my press pass but no way to photograph our Miss Belize. Closest I could get was about 100m thru hundreds of police, military and private security. The MOU pwople were kind enough to extend an invitation to the National Gift Auction gala, and Bex absolutely shined during the fashion show. You know there are 86 beautiful women in the Miss Universe Competition, what the judges are looking for is anyones guess. Bex is making Belize stand out at the least, and if the judges are looking for an authentic, friendly, confident woman, the we have a good chance. Remeber to vote for Miss Belize!

Posted By: Marty

Re: Miss Belize Universe Pageant 2016 - 01/25/17 05:58 AM

Miss Belize Placed 9th On Glam Shot

For several days we’ve been showing you highlights of Rebecca Rath’s journey to the Miss Universe crown in Manila, Philippines. Since her arrival in Manila, Rath along with eighty nine other contestants have been participating in a number of activities leading up to the pageant scheduled for this Sunday.

Rath who has undoubtedly won over the hearts of all Belizeans, has been putting our tiny tropical Paradise in the Pageantry map with her undeniable charm, beauty and self-confidence. The latest demonstration to Rath’s growing international popularity was seen today as she was given special mention on the popular Pageantry website: Missosology as being among contestants with the best Glam shots of the 65th Miss Universe Pageant.

Of the eighty nine contestants 15 were selected as the very best who gave the most memorable and breathtaking shots. Rath was placed ninth with this gorgeous shot which highlights her natural beauty.

While this ranking only serves to validate Rath’s growing popularity and has no weight on the actual placement of contestants in the pageant on Sunday, Belizeans have the opportunity to ensure that our beauty queen makes it to the top by voting for her in the following ways:

First, you can vote on the Miss Universe website which can be found at, secondly, you can download the Miss U app found on Google Play Store or the Apple app store then register and vote. Thirdly, you can also download the VODI app and log in with your phone number in order to cast your vote. Lastly you can vote through a registered twitter account by using #Missuniverse #Belize and by sharing other tweets that have the above mentioned hashtags.

Individuals are allowed to vote ten times per day in each of the options mentioned and all Belizeans are encouraged to show support and vote.


Posted By: Marty

Re: Miss Belize Universe Pageant 2016 - 01/25/17 01:03 PM

Video: Miss Belize Universe was LIVE on Miss Universe Fanatic!!! Here's that video....

I was in the rehersal hall with 90 of the most beautiful women in the world. Being a photographer who has photographed beautiful women my whole career, you would think I 'd be like a baby in a candy store. Yet I left that practice realizing that I only saw one face the whole time, Miss Belize; the other girls were just the faceless crowd.

Tony Rath.....

Posted By: Marty

Re: Miss Belize Universe Pageant 2016 - 01/26/17 02:44 PM

Video of Miss Universe Belize Rebecca Rath in her Scarlet Macaw costume during the National Costume Competition.

65th Miss Universe Preliminary Competition

Miss Belize Universe in the Philippines

The Bex has landed Belize, things getting real in Philippines now. These are not my photos, but photos from the press covering the event or the contestants social media feed. There are a lot of photos, so click "See More" at the bottom to see them all.

From the Fashion Show on are my photos. Tony Rath

Click photos for more pictures!

Check out the 65th Miss Universe Preliminary Competition! Miss Universe Belize, Rebecca Rath competed in swimwear and evening gown in front of a panel of preliminary judges. The scores from the night’s event along with an interview portion will help determine the Top 12 during the Miss Universe broadcast.

Miss Belize during Miss Universe 2016 Preliminary

Video montage of Miss Belize Universe Rebecca Rath during the Miss Universe 2016 Preliminary Competition. Vote 4 Bex!

Posted By: Marty

Re: Miss Belize Universe Pageant 2016 - 01/27/17 12:26 PM

Scene-stealers from the Miss Universe national costume show

Miss Belize Universe made it in CNN Philippines' round up of "scene-stealers" in her national costume! Rebecca Rath's Scarlet Macaw costume also made it in the Daily Mail (UK), The Sun (UK) and USA Today!

Stunning Miss Universe contestants step out in their National Costumes… and the results are bonkers and brilliant
THE annual Miss Universe competition is underway – and the winner will be crowned in a matter of days. Each nation has put forward their most beautiful and talented competitor to battle it out in the prestigious beauty pageant. The contest is being held in the Philippines this year, following the victory of the current Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach in 2015. Today, the competitors began eyeing each other up in the National Costume showdown. Each pageant finalist stepped out wearing an ostentatious outfit that had been given a cultural twist to represent their heritage. From intricate headdresses, to stunningly embroidered capes, here were some of the most bonkers and brilliant outfits to grace the catwalk...

Posted By: Marty

Re: Miss Belize Universe Pageant 2016 - 01/30/17 05:51 AM

What a journey and what beautiful and amazing women! Now we need lunch! Thank you everyone for the love and support!

You represented us well, Rebecca. You did great!!!You are our Ms. UNIVERSE!!!

Thanks Tony and Therese for giving her to us and giving her full support.

Miss Universe competition 2017
From swimsuits to evening gowns and everything in between, here are some must-see moments from the 65th Miss Universe competition preliminaries. The pageant aired live on FOX Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017 from the Philippines.

Miss France’s journey to Miss Universe crown
Iris Mittenaere of France was crowned the 65th Miss Universe on Monday in Manila, beating other heavily favored candidates to win the prestigious beauty title. Mittenaere participated in prepageant activities throughout the Philippines and hurdled preliminary long gown and swimsuit competitions, interviews, and the national costume show. She succeeded the host country’s Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach. Here’s a look back at the newly crowned Miss Universe’s journey to her coronation. All photos are from the Miss Universe Organization.

Miss Universo 2016; FOTOS
Iris Mittenaere é coroada pela Miss Universo da última edição, Pia Wurtzbach. Iris Mittenaere acena após vencer o Miss Universo. Iris Mittenaere é abraçada pelas candidatas após a vitória.

As I step on to that stage in a few hours and they announce the top 13 finalists, I just want to let you all know that I left my heart on that stage at preliminaries and that I am a better person than I was before September 10th. No matter what happens, I truly learnt so much from this experience. I used to think miss universe was about prancing on stage with a pretty face and a nice body, but it honestly is so much more. I have met some of the most amazing women that are different colors, from different countries, cultures, and religions, and EVERYDAY they wake up, shape up and go out and get to work to win this title. It is a competition but these women are here together and in one place supporting each other. This has been a life changing experience for me. I feel so honored to be a Belizean and to be wearing this sash! You all honestly keep me going and make me feel like I already won. BELIZE I LOVE YOU AND I AM DOING THIS FOR YOU! LETS GET IT! BELIIIIIZZZZEEEEEEE!!

Bex Rath

Miss Belize Universe Speaks Before Final Cut on Sunday

There are no words to describe how I feel right now. Being able to wear this sash on the world stage was an incredible experience. I might not have walked away with the crown, but I met some phenomenal women and experienced a world I once knew nothing about. Belize, thank you all so much for your support. I hope I made you all proud. Miss France is such a sweet woman and I believe she deserved that crown as did all the women in the top 13 deserved to place. Miss Universe is a competition with judges and they chose her for good reasons - She is beautiful, intelligent, kind and confident. Thank you Belize for giving me this opportunity and for the tremendous online support! Everyone of the messages, comments, "likes" and votes energized me throughout the competition. I did my very best to represent Belize and though it hurt not to do better, I have no regrets.

Now I will take a few days off to recuperate and enjoy the Filipino hospitality before returning to my beloved Belize to fulfill the remainder of my time as your Miss Belize. With much love - your Bex

Posted By: Marty

Re: Miss Belize Universe Pageant 2016 - 02/05/17 06:03 AM

Come on out and welcome Miss Belize Rebecca Rath back home!! (motorcade route will be posted next week)

[Linked Image]
Posted By: Marty

Re: Miss Belize Universe Pageant 2016 - 02/08/17 06:36 AM

Rebecca returns home on February 10th. Here is what will take place:

-  Welcome at the PGIA at approximately 12 noon
-  Motorcade through principal streets of Belize City following her arrival
-  Press briefing at the Bliss Centre @2PM

The public is invited to line the streets and attend the press briefing at the Bliss to give a warm welcome to one of Belize’s greatest beauty Ambassadors.

Posted By: Marty

Re: Miss Belize Universe Pageant 2016 - 02/11/17 05:46 AM

Bex’s Return: Fit For Queen

After representing Belize in the Miss Universe pageant in the Philippines, Rebecca Rath finally returned home today. Our news team went out and followed the festivities to celebrate her return, Alex Courtenay reports...

Miss Belize arrives Home after representing Belize at Miss Universe, greeting children on her arrival.

Click photos for more pictures!

Posted By: Marty

Re: Miss Belize Universe Pageant 2016 - 02/13/17 01:13 PM

Rebecca Rath Returns: The Miss Universe Experience

On Open Your Eyes....

Posted By: Marty

Re: Miss Belize Universe Pageant 2016 - 02/16/17 05:08 AM

Rebecca Rath receives a Belizean welcome

Miss Belize Universe Rebecca Rath received a very warm welcome on Friday, February 10th upon her return from participating in the 65th edition of Miss Universe in Manila, Philippines. Although she did not bring back the coveted crown, the country celebrated her hard work and effort with a motorcade around Belize City.

The parade ended at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts, where a press conference took place. As Rath was treated with love from many supporters, she proceeded to share her experience at Miss Universe. The conference ended with entertainment provided by fans. The overwhelming support continued on Monday, February 13th, when the Dangriga Town Council welcomed Rath back to her hometown “Griga Style”. She was welcomed at Pelican Beach Resort, followed with a motorcade through Dangriga Town, and ending with a ceremony at the Ecumenical Auditorium.

Click here to read the rest of the article and see more photos in the San Pedro Sun

Posted By: Marty

Re: Miss Belize Universe Pageant 2016 - 04/16/17 12:34 PM

The Rocky Road to Miss Universe
How It All Began. 5 part series — A Father’s View of His Daughter’s Quest for the Miss Universe Crown.

Posted By: Marty

Re: Miss Belize Universe Pageant 2016 - 04/20/17 12:08 PM

Ms. Belize Rebecca Rath’s Dad Accuses Opal

Ms. Belize Rebecca Rath continues to be celebrated since her return to Belize, and, she's been dutifully playing her role, but her father has radically departed from the "happily ever after" script.  Well-known photographer Tony Rath has published a five part series on the internet about his daughter's difficult experiences throughout the pageant experience, and specifically, with the Miss Belize Universe Pageant Organizer, Opal Enriquez.  The picture he paints in the series of articles, called, "The Rocky Road to Miss Universe" seems more like Ultimate Fighting in the Octagon, than vying for the Miss Universe crown in the Philippines.  

Rath characterizes Enriquez as, quote "appalling, narcissistic and bizarre", and accuses her of being bullying and manipulative.  Now, these are characterizations, which can go one way or the other, but Rath also accuses Enriquez of jeopardizing the entire enterprise by failing to live up to specific monetary commitments related to the pageant, and of actively bad mouthing Rebecca Rath in the Philippines.  His article suggests that the bad mouthing within the Miss Universe pageant community was the death blow for Rebecca's chances to make it into the final 13.  It's a strong claim, but Rath offers no solid proof, other than that Rebecca and her family heard it, second hand, from a contestant and another country director.  

We tried to reach Opal Enriquez for comment via email and Facebook, but we could not get a response.  It's left to be seen if Tony Rath's very bold, public criticism will result in any consequences from the pageant organizer for Rebecca Rath.

Channel 7

Posted By: Marty

Re: Miss Belize Universe Pageant 2016 - 04/21/17 12:01 PM

The Grapes Of Wrath Make A Sour Wine In Beauty Pageant Industry

Last night we told you about the five piece article penned by Tony Rath - who is Miss Belize, Rebecca Rath's father. Rath who is a celebrated photographer had some sharp criticisms for the Pageant Director Opal Enriquez. He accused her of being manipulative, not living up to financial commitments, and undermining Rebecca Rath at the Miss Universe Pageant in the Philippines. But he had praise for Sherima Guity - herself a former Stann Creek Beauty Queen who got Rebecca to run for Ms. Belize, and provided her pageant training. Rath praised Guity for her hard, committed work with Rebecca. But today, in. a Facebook post, Guity had no praise for him. She says his article is quote, "degrading and very disappointing, and that she, quote, "refuses to be associated with the tarnishing of anyone's career." That's a reference to Opal Enriquez who Rath described as, quote, "appalling, narcissistic and bizarre". But, Guity says quote, "Together as a country, we should say "thank you" to Opal Enriquez." Guity notes that Rebecca and Opal clashed from the beginning of her journey to become Miss Belize and adds, quote, "her mother and father did NOT make it any easier." She later describes the couple as "pig-headed". Guity makes a number of criticisms of the Rath's and concludes, quote, "I feel that our Belizean public has been manipulated by Rebecca and her family."

Channel 7

Miss Belize Universe and Tony Rath’s Controversial Exposé

Miss Universe 2016, held in Manila, Philippines at the end of January, is now several months behind avid fans of pageantry. The stellar performance of Miss Belize Universe, Rebecca Rath, galvanized Belizeans all over, despite failing to place in the top thirteen contestants. But tonight, there is controversy brewing in the aftermath of a five-part article written her father, photojournalist Tony Rath, which has been shared on Facebook. The article, titled “The Rocky Road to Miss Universe”, documents the family’s journey from Dangriga to Manila, as well as the often tumultuous relationship they purportedly experienced with the pageant’s country director. Rath does a remarkable job of chronicling each step of that journey; however, there are points in between during which he throws local organizer Opal Enriquez under the bus. She is shaded for what can only be described as incompetence in fulfilling her obligation to the contestant and the pageant. That article has picked up considerable steam in the realm of social media and continues to be the buzz around the water cooler. Earlier today, we spoke with Therese Rath who stands firmly behind her husband’s decision to publish the story of Rebecca’s pursuit of the coveted title.

On the phone: Therese Rath, Mother of Rebecca Rath

“Tony’s work, job, career is to photograph and document.  He’s taken up many issues, they’ve tend to be conservation or, you know, the Chiquibul.  I guess he’s well known for the Chiquibul issue.  This was something that encompassed our lives for six months and it had a great impact on us and so Tony documented with our full support.”

Isani Cayetano

“In the article there are points in which Tony borders maligning Opal Enriquez, based on either the professional and other claims that don’t necessarily appear to be substantiated.  Do you stand behind the claims that are being made based on your experiences having dealt with Ms. Enriquez?”

Therese Rath

“Actually I absolutely do.  You know, I think that a lot of people are not familiar with the process for these international pageants and how they actually work.  These are private sector driven, with contracts that clearly stipulate what the licensee is supposed to fulfill and it is a license that you have to apply for and are granted and in many cases, this one in particular, you have to pay for.  The fees are not small, they are manageable but they are not small.  In this case I believe the Miss Universe contest, the competition is in the vicinity of seventy-five hundred U.S. dollars.  My daughter participated in a contest, Miss Belize.  There were specific prizes that were mentioned at the contest, in public, on Channel Five and there is a contract that she was obligated to sign as a contestant for Miss Universe.  I am not in the pageant community but I am in business and so the first thing I did was read the contract and ensure through our own legal advice and to ensure that whatever Rebecca signed we are able to fulfill.  Now there is also a contract that the licensee had that specifically says what they were supposed to do.  The public presentation in the country of Belize is that it was Queen of the Jewel Miss Universe, Queen of the Jewel Miss Belize.  All, everything they’re talking about is Queen of the Jewel.  The company that is incorporated in this country, the principals of whom are Reynaldo Malic, OJ Elrington and Opal Enriquez.  So the general impression, if you look in the media, is that those people or that committee, as people keep referring to it, are people who are responsible for the Miss Belize Universe.  That is incorrect.  The license for Miss Belize Universe says nothing about Queen of the Jewel.  It is granted specifically to Opal Enriquez and it specifically says that Opal Enriquez is the country director and that she has to ensure that those obligations that are clearly stipulated are met.”

Therese Rath Stands By Her Husband’s Blog

According to the husband and wife couple, they were largely responsible for the organization of Rebecca’s trip to Miss Universe, minus Enriquez’s input as country director. Furthermore, the family claims that Rebecca still has not received a majority of the prizes she won last year during the Miss Belize pageant. On the other end of those assertions, however, is a response by Rebecca’s previous trainer. Sherima Guity, who is credited with encouraging Rebecca to pursue the Miss Belize title, has written an article in response to Rath’s claims.  Guity’s position, in many ways, supports Opal Enriquez’s effort, having worked to reinstitute Belize in the pageant after a lengthy suspension. Rath, however, does not share the same view.

On the phone: Therese Rath, Mother of Rebecca Rath

“We did not have the faintest idea that we were going to have to be the ones that fulfilled those obligations.  Rebecca has not received the majority of the prizes from Miss Belize.  When we asked Opal there is absolutely no response.  She has received some of them, like from Cellular World and stuff like that.  She didn’t receive all but you know the twenty-five thousand dollar scholarship that she talked about in the article, none of that and there is no response.  You know, she didn’t do it for those prizes but she was the contestant to go to Miss Universe so we paid no attention or very little attention to those prizes in the process of getting to Miss Universe.  It’s a completely, completely different story when you have a specific wardrobe, you have to travel halfway around the world and there is no mechanism whatsoever, set up to get you there.  None.  I am a manager by profession so I tried my very best to say well what is the plan?  Tell us what is the plan.  We’ll fill in, we’ll help, we’ll work with you.  There was no plan, none whatsoever.”

Isani Cayetano

“How do you respond to another article that has been posted in the wake of Tony’s blog, where this individual is, one: distancing herself from what has been written and, in her own view, shedding light on another side to this story?  How do you respond to some of the claims made on her end?”

Therese Rath

“I’ve had nothing but a positive experience with working with Sherima.  She was the one who convinced Rebecca to go to or to go up for Miss Belize and to the best of my knowledge we had a good working relationship with her.”

Isani Cayetano

“What is the message in all of this for any young lady who would be interested in pageantry and in becoming the next Miss Belize?”

Therese Rath

“Well you know Isani, I have to tell you that in spite of all this I was totally blown away by the level of maturity, professionalism and the wonderful women that we met who participated in pageantry.  Like many women in the professional field, you tend to think that pageantry is not, you know, may not be the best use of a woman’s talents.  To tell you the truth I have completely changed my mind.  I believe that pageantry is an excellent way for young women to gain the experience that is needed in the fashion world and in media.”

News Five attempted to reach Enriquez by phone but we were informed that she is not responding to the article.  Instead, we are told that she has been advised to explore her legal options against the author and his family.

Channel 5

Miss Belize: the Rebecca Response
Everyone is entitled to an opinion, Sher and I respect your right to yours. I reached out to you multiple times and I always expressed how thankful I was to you. After I won Miss Belize, my life quickly spiraled and got busier and you of all people should know that that is how it goes. Being new and "green" to pageantry, I didn't realize it but I continued..I thought we had formed a bond and when I realized that you never reached out to me either I was sad about that too. I always took your advice and never felt like I knew it all. Not once have I ever thought I am better than anyone nor have I let any "fame" go to my head but I don't need a Facebook post for people to see that. I work hard, I am fair and I know what it is I believe in. My experience with Opal was not good and I saw how badly she treated the other girls. She did not do even the basics of what she was supposed to do to get to Miss Universe. If it was not for my family and the Belizean public we would never have made it to Manila...

Miss Belize: former Queen Responds to Opal By Tanisha Vernon
Wolf in Sheep Clothing vs The Controversial Miss Belize Universe 07-08. Approximately 10 years ago I had participated in the Miss Belize Pageant. I remembered the series of events that occurred like it was yesterday. Before I venture into all the mishaps and adversities. Let me briefly introduce myself, I am 29yrs Tanisha Vernon, the last Miss Belize Universe to be crowned at the former Belize Civic Center by Maria Jeffries, who had recently crowned Rebecca Rath. Confusing right? Yes, Opal Enriquez and her team had intentionally omitted my title and reign for her own selfish reasons. Prior to the pageant they had the audacity to ask for my mentorship and sponsorship that I humbly denied for many reasons. At no point their organization members had offered an invitation to me so that I can passed on the crown to Ms Rebbeca Rath.

Miss Belize: the response to Tony Rath
I am not a photographer, not a journalist, nor a lawyer, but I am simply a person who has a heart just as anyone else. Perhaps we will never know all sides. And whilst you the reader will form your own opinion, allow me to assist you in developing your view on the matter, as I merely share my experiences with Rebecca Rath and her family. In the world of pageantry, all is never the way it really seems. I, Sherima Guity can remember convincing Rebecca to enter the Miss Belize pageant, which was clearly not on her bucket list. However, her ‘green’ state to pageantry only challenged my abilities because I trusted my passion for pageantry and was confident that once I had the support of my family, It would have been easier to capture yet another crown for my beloved Stann Creek district. In this light, Rebecca Rath was treated with the very same respect as all other queens I had trained vying for a pageant title. This even meant travelling to all events and personal practices I had with Rebecca at my own expense, as I have always done when dealing with any other contestant. I did all this while simultaneously training another queen for a different national level pageant.

Music Ambassador Shyne Speaks on Miss Universe Controversy

The 5-part blog uploaded to the internet by Tony Rath on the behind the scenes accounts of the Miss Belize/Universe event has stirred emotions from various circles of society and in some cases have enraged many Belizeans. His account to what transpired between the contestant, Rebecca Rath and the Pageant Director, Opal Enriquez has basically indicated that the support was lacking and some under minding took place in Manila, Philippines. Since the blogs were released, one past pageant queen, Sherima Guity has countered them via the use of adjectives against Rebecca Rath which has added fuel to the already heated comments posted. It is quite a black eye on local pageantry and it is something that Belize’s Music Ambassador, Shyne Barrow, says can be reconciled sooner rather than later.


“I would really like to see the Ms. Belize organization and the Rath handlers try to resolve whatever issues are there and I would really encourage everyone involved to try to preserve this opportunity for the next Ms. Belize 2017 which I am very much looking forward to so I would really like to see reconciliation and a way forward but I really can’t say more than that I just want to see that all parties could reconcile differences and maybe chart a way forward because certainly we need to look at what this means for the 2017 Ms. Belize and I really wouldn’t want to see anything negatively impact their opportunity to go to Ms. Universe and compete on behalf of Belize so I really encourage everyone to try to be unified and try to resolve our differences and lets all come together to support the next Ms. Belize. We need to come together to provide that platform for the contestants and I hope we rally as a nation behind the next Ms. Belize.”

Ambassador Barrow says that he would be willing and available to render any assistance in getting the situation resolved in order to offer the next Belize an opportunity to head to Miss Universe.


“Whatever I could do. You know I have a great respect for Rebecca and what she’s accomplished I have supported her from the very beginning. My office and me personally I supported Rebecca I respect her parents, her grandmother even I’m very much a fan of her grandmother and I respect Opal and the Ms. Belize Organization and so yes certainly whatever I could do to be a bridge between the two and just get everyone on board so that we can chart the way forth so that the next Ms. Belize contestants and the next Ms. Belize winner has the unified support of the nation and all the resources that she needs and that none of the mistakes that were made previously be repeated.”

Pageant Director, Opal Enriquez is yet to respond to any of the allegations made against her in the Rath blogs.


Why Alex Sanker wants his Miss Universe painting back from Rebecca Rath
The fury over photojournalist Tony Rath’s blog continues to burn like wildfire online, where responses to the five-part article are being posted to Facebook in the wake of the lengthy tell-all. Rath has chosen to document his daughter Rebecca’s journey as a local contestant in the Miss Belize pageant to the world stage at Miss Universe in Manila, Philippines, back in late January. Rebecca didn’t make it among the finalists but the country rallied behind her. Along the way, however, the acclaimed photographer has stepped on a number of toes, including those of country director Opal Enriquez and Belizean artist Alex Sanker. Sanker was commissioned by the National Institute of Culture and Heritage, NICH, to paint a piece that would be offered as Belize’s gift to Miss Universe. That painting was completed and handed over to Rebecca Rath prior to her departure to Southeast Asia. Somewhere along the way, the artwork was lost, misplaced or discarded, in favor of a seascape by renowned Garifuna artist Pen Cayetano. The revelation of the painting’s disappearance has raised the ire of Sanker who today responded to Rath’s exposé. [...]

So what actually happened to the painting?
What became of the commissioned artwork remains unknown. Sanker maintains that the painting was deliberately set aside in favor of a Pen Cayetano piece and that he personally hand delivered the painting to Rebecca Rath before boarding her flight. Alex Sanker, Belizean Artist: “This is actually a print off the original that I did. So, the only painting that I did a print and blow up because I was in love with this painting. Why? It came out way past my expectation and what I wanted to accomplish on canvas, and most importantly it’s one of the most dedicated pieces that I did. I spent five weeks on this painting, fourteen to eighteen hours a day. So weh people have to understand, I noh need this type of publicity. My painting sells itself, but I choose not to be used as a floor cloth fi get my name of my painting smothered and thrown to the side. That’s what this is all about.”

Posted By: Marty

Re: Miss Belize Universe Pageant 2016 - 04/25/17 10:39 AM

Therese Rath speaks on -The Rocky Road to Miss Universe Expose
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