Bea Rose Santiago, Miss International 2013, is technically Canadian. First of all, she holds a Canadian passport. She lived, studied and did modeling stints in Canada for years having moved there when she was 15 years old. She only returned in the Philippines in 2012 to the point that her residency is being questioned. Bea last year shrugged off those who tried to make an issue about her qualifications to join the Bb. Pilipinas pageant based on residency [the pageant requires six months of residency] . If anything, Bea’s Philippine passport is all that is needed to dispel any rumors about it.


In an interview with the Philippine media last year, Bea said, “Just last year [2012], I came back to the Philippines. My dad speaks Ilonggo and my mom speaks Bisaya so I get all these. I understand Ilonggo and Bicolano and Waray. But I’m very fluent in Tagalog and Bisaya because staying with my grandparents, that’s the dialect I grew up with.”


The Canadian in Bea Rose is perhaps a matter of necessity. The economic and educational opportunities in Canada far overshadow than those found in the Philippines. And there is nothing wrong with Bea seeking opportunities in greener pastures. After all, the laws of both Canada and the Philippines allow dual citizenships.  Whether Bea is a true Filipina or not is out of question as both of her parents are Filipinos by birth. The story of citizenship may have come to rest but it is a testament that one should never allow a piece of small paper or other people’s notion to define on who you are.