CANCUN, Mexico – Estibaliz Pereira Rabade was crowned Miss Spain 2009 on the weekend at the gala held for the first time in the Mexican Caribbean resort city of Cancun.
The 22-year-old brunette with brown eyes and standing 1.81 meters (5 ft. 11 in.) was selected from among 52 contestants for the title of most beautiful woman in Spain.
The panel of judges charged with choosing the new Miss Spain was headed by journalist Javier de Montini and made up of officials from the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, sponsors of the event and former beauty queens from the Latin American country.
Among the members of the panel were Miss Granada, Carmen Laura Garcia Fernandez, as the First Lady of Honor, and Miss Jaen, Alejandra Echevarria Pedrajas, as Second Lady of Honor.
Besides her physical beauty, her personality and “clear and direct” way of expressing herself were key elements in the judges’ decision to choose Pereira, the head of the panel told Efe.
Pereira, a native of the northwestern city of La Coruña, enjoyed from the first the admiration of her fellow contestants who, in interviews with Efe last Wednesday during the visit they made to the Isla Mujeres enclave, said that she was one of the favorites.
The young woman stood out over the other candidates from the start of the gala contest, which took place in the city’s convention center and had a marked Mexican flavor.
Miss Spain 2009 Estibaliz Pereira, center, poses with runner ups Carmen Laura Garcia, left, and Alejandra Echevarria, right, during the Miss Spain 2009 competition in Cancun, Mexico, Sunday, July 19, 2009.
The 52 aspirants paraded in bathing suits and evening dresses across the stage, which was decorated with reproductions of ancient Maya structures.
The music for the affair was provided by Spanish singer, Pastora Soler, who sang two numbers from her latest album, “Bendita locura,” and by Cuban duo BNK, as well as by a group of Mayaesque dancers, who presented spectacular choreographed works based on ancestral rites.
The gala was headed by television host Sandra Barneda and by Mister Spain 2007, Luis Muñoz, and other familiar faces were also involved, such as Spanish actors Santiago Urrialde and Dani Muriel.
Mexico also contributed a note of glamour with the participation of soap opera stars Kate del Castillo and Aaron Diaz, along with Venezuelan actress Catherine Fulop.
Miss Spain 2008 Patricia Rodriguez, center, crowns Miss Spain 2009 Estibaliz Pereira, right, from Coruna, in the celebration of Miss Spain 2009 in Cancun, Mexico, Sunday, July 19, 2009.