Friday, April 3, 2015

Anna Theresa Luy Licaros - Miss Universe Philippines 2007
Tere's winning answer to the final question which
sealed her the MUP crown.

Summa Cum Laude
2005, UP-Diliman
I was on my sophomore year in college that time when a Summa Cum Laude graduate from the country's most prestigious university broke out the news for nabbing the top honors of Binibining Pilipinas 2007 national beauty search. Anna Theresa 'Tere' Luy Licaros who was awarded with the highest academic distinction from the University of the Philippines-Diliman for her Bachelor of Arts degree in Broadcast Communication was crowned as Binibining Pilipinas-Universe 2007 (Miss Universe Philippines 2007), edging out a bevy of 29 beautiful candidates.

Binibining Pilipinas 2007 crowning moment.

Tere in her two-piece swimwear during the Miss Universe 2007 edition.

Miss Universe Philippines
I could still vividly recall how excited I was upon knowing that a brilliant overachiever who also happened to be a statuesque beauty (standing at 5'9") from UP-Diliman was able to win the rights to represent the Philippines in the 56th edition of Miss Universe. You know it's not a yearly affair that a gorgeous stunner with a towering IQ wins a beauty crown. So my curiosity zoomed up to the highest level and I became too preoccupied in following every update of her on the internet that I almost lost my focus in pulling off a straight A flat mark in my final exams. You know I was too ambitious when I was a college student and knowing Tere's achievements, I was inspired even more to clinch that Summa Cum Laude award which was too elusive in the College of Nursing during our time. Back then, I kept telling myself that if ever the odds wouldn't be on my favor, achieving the Magna Cum Laude
honor would be the very least I should be receiving on my graduation day, otherwise all my hardwork would just be in vain. Because if Tere can do it, why can't I? This has become my mantra all throughout my college journey and Tere's impressive academic accomplishment was one of my inspirations that time. I became more competitive and aggressive in reaching my goal that I was even ready to kill should my final grades would fall short of what's expected (lol!). And now, I just couldn't help but laugh at myself thinking about how crazy I was setting up an almost impossible mission to conquer that I didn't realize I was giving myself a lot of pressure. However on the flipside, my present self is also thankful of my old self for fiercely putting up a good fight in a battle victoriously won with flying colors. And I couldn't be thankful enough to our Heavenly Father for providing me the very means to succeed. To Tere for becoming one of my inspirations and for setting up a very good example.

Tere in her red evening gown created by Colombian designer Alfredo Barazza. 

Tere upon receiving her Miss Photogenic trophy.

Tere receiving her Miss
Photogenic award.
And came the 2007 Miss Universe pageant. Expectations for Tere to end the drought of the Philippines' 7-year non-winning streak in Miss Universe skyrocketed. But unfortunately her unparralled academic credentials didn't do any wonders for her to move up towards the semi-final round and I was sad that she didn't make the cut in the Top 15. Had she been given the opportunity to breeze through the Top 5 for the final question and answer portion, she could've given Riyo Mori of Japan who was the eventual winner, a run for her money. Although unplaced, she didn't go home empty-handed for she was able to nab an award as Miss Photogenic. She's the seventh Filipina and so far the last one to be given such a special distinction.
Tere during the Preliminary Swimsuit Competition.
Unfazed with her failed mission to bring home the honor of becoming the third Filipina Miss Universe, Tere continued pursuing another greater milestone in her education while guesting on various tv shows during her free time. In 2009, she graduated again with honors, being the class Salutatorian in the University of the Philippines College of Law. That same year, she took and passed the Philippine Bar Examinations leading to become one of the country's most brilliant licensed lawyers. Tere is now happily married, her husband is also a lawyer and a Bar Exam Topnotcher and they're blessed with one cutie toddler (I'm actually following her on instagram). She's presently working as a news anchor of Pilipinas News in TV5 channel while being hands-on as a loving mom and a dutiful wife.


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