18-year-old beauty crowned Miss Philippines Quest USA

Posted at 07/24/2014 2:42 PM | Updated as of 07/24/2014 5:03 PM
(L-R) 3rd Princess Jenica Balmes, 2nd Princess Isabela Estella, Miss Philippines Quest 2014 Alexa Kirby, 1st Princess Misook Mendonca, and 4th Princess Erin Manansala.

MANILA – An 18-year-old summer camp counselor was crowned as the first-ever Miss Philippines Quest USA winner at the Symphony Space in Manhattan, New York City, last July 12.

Alexa Kirby, who was also adjudged as Best in Evening Gown, will represent the Filipino-American community in the 2014 Miss World Philippines pageant to be held in Manila on September 7.

Kirby was joined on stage by four other newly crowned beauty queens-- First Princess, Best in Talent, and Best in Swimsuit Misook Mendonca; Second Princess Isabella Estella; Third Princess Jenica Balmes; and Fourth Princess and People's Choice Award Recipient Erin Manansala-- during the coronation ceremony.

Aside from winning the crown, Kirby has won a round-trip ticket to the Philippines, plus an allowance of $1,000. She will also don a stunning evening gown, courtesy of One.10 Collection, during the Miss World Philippines competition.

Cory Quirino of Miss World Philippines, Alexa Kirby-2014 MPQU and Grace Labaguis of Synergy Production and Marketing Inc.

During the question and answer portion, Kirby named young American actress-singer Demi Lovato, who has been vocal about her personal struggles, as one of the new beauty queen's personal women heroes.

"She [Lovato] was able to overcome self-harm problems and is trying to help other people with similar problems to overcome it as well," she said.

Kirby recently graduated from Downington West High School in Pennsylvania. She is not new to beauty pageants having joined Miss Teen Pennsylvania USA and Miss Teen Philippines in the past.

In 2011, she was a dance scholar at Touch of Class Dance Studio in Pennsylvania. She also received community service awards twice from Kohls' Cares for Kids, a volunteer program that supports children's health and education.

Miss Philippines Quest USA was hosted by former beauty queen-turned-recording artist Bessie Badilla, Beth Tamayo, and Ian Medrano.

Synergy Production and Marketing Inc. is the franchise holder of Miss Philippines Quest USA in the East Coast.