Indonesia to debut at Reina Hispanoamericana pageant

Indonesia is set to debut at Reina Hispanoamericana 2023 as Ivan Gunawan, founder of Yayasan Dunia Mega Bintang, has been officially announced as a license holder.

The first-ever Reina Hispanoamericana Indonesia will be chosen among the Top 5 finalists of the upcoming Miss Mega Bintang Indonesia 2023 pageant.

Originally called Reina Sudamericana until 2007, Reina Hispanoamericana is a Bolivia-based international beauty pageant organized by Promociones Gloria since 1991. It aims to celebrate the Hispanic heritage, language, and culture.

The annual competition started welcoming representatives from beyond South America in 2004. Indonesia will now be the second Asian country to take part. In 2017, the Philippines joined for the first time and managed to bag the crown with Teresita Marquez.

Fans have divided opinions on Indonesia joining the pageant. When compared to former Spanish colonies, the Muslim-majority country does not have as much Hispanic or Spanish influence evident in its culture. It may have, however, its slight share of past historical connections to Spain — the Spice Islands, or the Moluccas.

According to history, following the death of Ferdinand Magellan (Portuguese explorer who led the 1519 Spanish expedition to the East Indies) during the "Battle of Mactan" (in the Philippines), the survivors, in two ships, sailed to the Moluccas and loaded the hulls with spice.

Parts of the Moluccas (Maluku Islands), now belonging to Indonesia, may have been for a period of time among the Spanish East Indies territories that were ruled by Spain for over three centuries. However, no reliable source can be found yet to verify this information.

For whatever reasons Reina Hispanoamericana may have for inviting more countries, whether change, evolution, or inclusivity, its discretion to add Indonesia to its roster of national licensees marked another milestone in the pageant's 32-year existence, one that well may be for its best interest.

Photos: Miss Mega Bintang Indonesia / Instagram

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