Philippines' Winwyn Marquez wins Reina Hispanoamericana

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Teresita Ssen "Winwyn" Marquez

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 5) β€” Filipina beauty queen Teresita Ssen "Winwyn" Marquez is the newly crowned Reina Hispanoamericana.

Marquez is the first Filipina to compete in the pageant, besting 27 other candidates.

She was crowned by last year's winner – Maria Camila Soleibe of Colombia, during the pageant held in Sta Cruz, Bolivia.

The 25-year-old daughter of Alma Moreno and Joey Marquez knew this was going to be a tough competition.

Prior to the contest, Marquez spoke to CNN Philippines saying she's feeling the pressure, especially because she's the first Filipina and the only Asian country participating in the contest. Plus, she was worried about not being able to speak Spanish.

"I don't know how to speak Spanish. I'm not fluent, but I'm learning now, even basic lang na words. And they're all Latinas. You know how they perform, they're very beautiful. So I have to live it up, I really have to train for it," Marquez said.

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She was favorite early on in the competition. During the pre-pageant activities, she won several special awards including Miss Personality, Best in Traditional Costume, Best Smile, and Miss Silhouette.

Her answer to the question, "How would you promote Hispanic-American culture with the great difficulty or barrier of language?" endeared her to the audience.

"Language can be learned, but the will and determination to contribute something to the organization cannot," she said.

Kindness, she added, was a universal language, and treating people with tolerance, patience, and love would lead to understanding.

"The Hispanic culture is not about language only. It's about love for God, love for country, love for history and culture, and love for family. And as a Filipina with a unique heritage, I have instilled that," she added.

In a clip posted on the Reina Hispanoamericana page, Marquez said she was very happy about winning and promised to "bring the Hispanic culture alive."

Marquez, an actress who starred in GMA Network's Encantadia, is the niece of Melanie Marquez, who won as Miss International in 1979.

Reina Hispanoamericana is an annual beauty pageant celebrating Hispanic heritage, language, and culture.

The Philippines, which had been colonized by Spain for more than three centuries, is the first country in Asia to join the pageant.

Netizens cheer Marquez's win

Social media lit up with messages celebrating Marquez's win in Bolivia.

Her win comes after Karen Ibasco won the Miss Earth crown Saturday.

One netizen said Marquez's win should not have surprised anyone given her name: