beauty pageants

Iloilo’s Vanessa Caro fighting for Miss Universe Philippines 2022 crown


Vanessa Ann Ka’Ihilani Caro, 25, of Iloilo, Philippines is one of the 50 women vying for the Miss Universe Philippines 2022 crown. Among her competitors is Ghenesis Padilla-Dalayday Latugat, 22, who is representing Baguio City, Philippines.

One of the twin towns of Baguio City is Pavia, the smallest municipality Iloilo in terms of area. The province is known for its old architecture similar to that of Latin American countries.


Miss Universe Philippines 2022

From 50 candidates, only 30 will be selected to compete in the coronation night at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines on April 30, 2022. The winner has big shoes to fill because if she is unplaced at Miss Universe 2022, it will end the Philippines’ 12-year winning streak in Miss Universe.

Beatrice Luigi Gomez, 27, of Cebu City, Philippines was crowned Miss Universe Philippines 2021 at the Henann Resort Convention Center in Alona Beach in Panglao, Bohol, Philippines on September 30, 2021. She finished in the Top 5 at Miss Universe 2021 at the Universe Dome in Eilat, Israel on December 13, 2021.


Vanessa Caro

Caro is 5’9″ tall and is fluent in English, Filipino and Hiligaynon. She is a professional Polynesian dance teacher and an advocate of women empowerment.

Aside from being a professional Polynesian performer, Caro’s mother Patricia Ka’Ihilani Caro also worked as a designer in her prime in Waikiki, Hawaii, United States. Vanessa and her parents moved from Hawaii to the Philippines in 2004 when her father was ready to retire in Iloilo.

While reigning as Miss Iloilo Dinagyang 2016, Vanessa worked with Bantay Bata and met 19 children who were each diagnosed with a specific cardiovascular condition that could only be cured by surgery. She also organized FitTahiti by Vanessa, a fitness dance workshop combining the authentic Tahitian dance and contemporary modern dance.

Vanessa holds a master’s degree, which she earned in New York, USA. On February 15, 2022, she and 26 others donated blood during the bloodletting activity of MORE Electric and Power Corporation, the power distributor of Iloilo’s capital city Iloilo City.


Armi Kuusela, Zorayda Andam, Rabiya Mateo

On June 28, 1952, Armi Helena Kuusela, then 17, of Finland was crowned as the first ever Miss Universe in Long Beach, California, USA. Months after her coronation, she visited Baguio City where she met Virgilio “Gil” Hilario, then 25, who became her husband.

On May 11, 2001, Zorayda Ruth Andam, then 24, of Baguio City was unplaced when she represented the Philippines at Miss Universe 2001 in Bayamon, Puerto Rico. Rabiya Mateo, then 24, of Iloilo City was crowned Miss Universe Philippines 2020 in Baguio City on October 25, 2020 and finished in the Top 21 at Miss Universe 2020 in Hollywood, Florida, USA on May 17, 2021.

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