Reigning Miss PBA (Philippine Basketball Association)-Michigan 2011 Brittany Elizabeth San Agustin bagged the Miss NABA (North American Basketball Association) 2011 crown during a beauty pageant held on September 2, 2011 at the Prince Ballroom of the Westin Prince Hotel in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
[box type=”default” size=”medium”] Brittany San Agustin tops Toronto beauty contest in a runaway fashion [/box]
NABA, founded in 1987, is composed of Filipino-American athletic groups in 26 cities in the United States, Canada and United Kingdom.
Brittany, who represented the City of Detroit, won the crown in the pageant participated in by 13 Filipino-American and Filipino-Canadian beauties. She topped the beauty contest in a runaway fashion, receiving three special awards – Miss Charming, Miss Congeniality and Miss Photogenic – before she was proclaimed Miss NABA 2011.
The announcement of the top winner sent the members of the Detroit delegation into euphoria. They jumped, danced and clapped in wild abandon after hearing the emcee’s announcement that candidate No. 5 (Brittany) is the winner of the Miss NABA 2011 title.
The delegation members included Brittany’s grandmother Fe San Agustin, treasurer of the Michigan chapter of the National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA-Michigan) and widow of Tony San Agustin Sr.; Brittany’s father, Tony San Agustin Jr.; Willie Dechavez, NaFFAA-Michigan chairperson; Wilson Rodriguez, PBA-Michigan deputy commissioner; Dante Manipula, also PBA-Michigan deputy commissioner, and his wife; and Brittany’s boyfriend Johnny Keith.
The beauty pageant was a prelude to the holding of the basketball tournament in which 115 teams from member-cities in the US and Canada competed.
Picked by the pageant’s panel of judges as first runnerup was Miss Nesel Batle who represented North York, Ontario. Second runnerup was Bea Santiago, who was the candidate of Vaughan, Ontario.
The other candidates who also received special awards were Miss Chicago (Illinois) Adrienne Ignacio, Miss Personality; Miss Newmarket Michelle Kiocho, Best in Long Gown; and Miss Washington, DC, Danielle Pray, Best in Sportswear.
Brittany, 18 years old, told the Filipino Star News that after she was crowned Miss NABA 2011, some of her fellow candidates asked her if she is really a Filipina. She said she told them, “Yes, I am; my grandmother is over there,” pointing to Fe San Agustin who was seated some two rows of chairs from the stage.
“My papa migrated from the Philippines to the US when he was only seven years old,” she also told them.
Tony San Agustin Jr. was born in Jordan, Guimaras, Philippines from which Fe and her late husband hail. The family has kept their ancestral house in Guimaras, which is noted for its export of sweet mangoes.
Brittany, a first-year college student, is actually 50-percent Filipina as her mother, Kathleen, is a full-blooded American. “I’m in some kind of a melting pot, being at the crossroad of two cultures,” she said, adding “I love being half-Filipina.”
She is the youngest of three children. Her siblings are Ryan, 21; and Eric, 20.
Brittany visited the Philippines for the first time early this year when she joined the medical mission of Kahirup-Michigan in Bacolod City.
She related that when she went shopping at a mall in Bacolod, many people were ogling at her. “Some asked me if I am a movie actress,” she said.
Asked if she may consider staying in the Philippines for good, she said, “I want to have a vacation house in the Philippines.”
Asked what the Miss NABA 2011 title means to her, she commented, “Being Miss NABA means having the opportunity to get involved in fund-raisers and participating in charity events. I am now in a best position to speak about sports such as basketball.
It’s more than just a game as team sports play a vital role in the development of future leaders.”
During the pageant’s question-and-answer portion, she displayed deep intelligence. She was asked what should she do to avoid making the same mistake again.
Her answer: “Albert Einstein said the definition of insanity is to do something wrong twice and expect a different outcome. When I make a mistake, I change the factors that caused the mistake. Whether changing the people you hang around with or the place where you hang out, these small things will change the end results. I believe there’s wisdom in acknowledging my mistakes and learning from them instead of just forgetting them.”