Bea Rose clarifies residency issue

Posted at 12/18/2013 11:39 AM | Updated as of 12/18/2013 5:56 PM
Miss International 2013 Bea Rose Santiago

MANILA – Fresh from her triumph in the Miss International pageant, Philippines’ bet Bea Rose Santiago shrugged off questions about her citizenship.

This comes after an entertainment blog alleged that Santiago was supposedly being eyed to become the Binibining Pilipinas Universe but this did not materialize because the Masbate beauty has some residency issues.

In an interview with “Mornings@ANC” on Wednesday, Santiago said it doesn’t matter anymore because she has already bagged the Miss International title.

“For Binibini Miss Universe, you have to stay here for at least six months. My passport has many stamps in it. I don’t know if it’s that. But I really don’t care right now. I won. Ara was our representative for Miss Universe. I think it doesn’t matter anymore right now,” she said.

Putting an end to speculations, Santiago said: “I was born in Alabang and then I moved with my grandparents in Masbate. I went to elementary and I went to two years of high school there because my grandma is a teacher. I was raised in a province. When I was 15, I moved to Toronto and continued school there until college.”

The beauty queen said she returned to the Philippines only last year.

“Just last year, I came back to the Philippines. My dad speaks Ilonggo and my mom speaks Bisaya so I get all these. I understand Ilonggo and Bicolano and Waray. But I’m very fluent in Tagalog and Bisaya because staying with my grandparents, that’s the dialect I grew up with,” she said.

With Santiago's victory, the Philippines now boasts of five Miss International winners -- Precious Lara Quigaman (2005), Melanie Marquez (1979), Aurora Pijuan (1970), Gemma Cruz (1965).

Placing second to Santiago was Netherland's Nathalie den Dekker, followed by New Zealand's Casey Radley. Completing the Top 5 were Colombia's Cindy Aguilar and Hungary's Brigitta Otvos.