Zorayda Ruth Blanco Andam of Baguio City, Philippines won the top crown at Binibining Pilipinas 2001 almost 21 years ago. She was 24 years old and a senior law student at the time.
Born and raised in Baguio City, Andam has four siblings. She has always dreamt of becoming a lawyer not a beauty queen.
Andam is a Baguio City High School alumna. She graduated cum laude from the School of Economics of the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines.
In 2000, Andam, Emmanuel Lallana and Rudy Quimbo co-authored “ePrimer: An Introduction to eCommerce.” The book was instrumental in the enactment of the Philippines E-Commerce Law.
The Jonas Gaffud
Andam was scouted by Jonas Gaffud, who is now dubbed The Beauty Queen Maker. It was the first time he mentored a national beauty pageant contestant.
Gaffud graduated from the University of the Philippines in Diliman with a master’s degree in environmental and political geography. After Andam, he went on to scout and mentor more Filipino beauty queens including Miss Universe 2010 fourth runner-up Venus Raj, Miss Universe 2011 third runner-up Shamcey Supsup, Miss World 2011 first runner-up Gwendoline Ruais, Miss Universe 2012 first runner-up Janine Tugonon, Miss World 2013 Megan Young, Miss Universe 2014 third runner-up Ariella Arida and Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach.
Baguio City’s 3 Bb. Pilipinas 2001 candidates
During the Bb. Pilipinas days, three winners were chosen every year to represent the Philippines in Miss Universe, Miss World and Miss International. The most coveted title was Bb. Pilipinas-Universe.
Back then, the candidates’ respective hometowns were not considered so more than one candidate from the same city could compete at the same time. At Bb. Pilipinas 2001, three of the 26 candidates were from Baguio City.
Hosted by David Bunevacz, Dingdong Dantes, China Cojuangco and Miss World 1993 third runner-up Ruffa Gutierrez, the Bb. Pilipinas 2001 coronation night was held at the Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines on March 10, 2021. Andam’s fellow Baguio City residents Joan Marie Dimaliuat and Jeanie Alota Andersen also competed for the three crowns.
Dimaliuat, then 20, was unplaced while Andersen, then 18, finished in the Top 10. Gilrhea Castañeda Quinzon, then 19, of San Fernando City, La Union was Bb. Pilipinas-World 2001 and Maricarl Canlas Tolosa, then 22, of Marikina City, Metro Manila was Bb. Pilipinas-International 2001.
Aside from winning the Bb. Pilipinas-Universe 2001 title, Andam also won three awards namely Miss Lux Super Rich Star of the Night, Bb. Avon and Miss Philippine Airlines Sunniest Personality. She was second runner-up in the talent competition.
Miss Universe 2001, Miss Tourism World 2001 and beyond
On May 11, 2001, Andam represented the Philippines at Miss Universe 2001 and competed against 76 other candidates at the Coliseo Rubén Rodríguez in Bayamon, Puerto Rico. She was unplaced but she was runner-up to the Best in National Costume award.
On October 1, 2001, Andam represented the Philippines at Miss Tourism World 2001 and competed against 59 other candidates at the Metropolitano Theater in Medellin, Colombia. She finished in the Top 15 and was crowned Miss Tourism World-Asia 2001.
When Andam graduated from the University of the Philippines in Diliman with a law degree in April 2004, she received the Dean’s Medal for Academic Excellence. In September 2004, she took the annual Philippine Bar Exams.
In May 2005, Andam was admitted to the Philippine bar. From 2009 to 2010, she hosted “Good Take,” a television show that aired on IBC-13.