Giovanni Paolo J. Yazon, Manila Standard Today (Manila), April 12, 2007
A Filipina will wear the sash of Norway in the Miss Universe beauty pageant in Mexico this coming May.
Kirby Ann Tan Basken, 21, a mass communications graduate from a university in Sogn og Fjordane county, won the Froken Norge Universe (Miss Norway-Universe) title in a pageant held in Oslo yesterday.
Basken beat Lisa-Marie Moen Jünge, crowned Fröken Norge World (Miss Norway-World), and Anna-Marie Augustin, first runner-up, also of Filipino descent.
She is the first Filipino to win this beauty contest, which is participated in by some 1,200 girls in Norway.
Basken, 5’9″ and measuring 34 1⁄2″-26″-36,” was handpicked by nine judges. Junge was selected via “one-third Internet votes, one-third SMS votes, and one-third of judges’ votes.”
It was Basken’s second try at Froken Norge. She first joined in January 2006 but only placed first runner-up.
That same year, Basken went to the Philippines to visit her relatives and revive her modeling career. She then joined the Mutya ng Pilipinas beauty pageant, where she walked away with the Mutya ng Pilipinas-Asia Pacific title.
It happened that the Miss Asia Pacific Quest Inc. did not hold the Miss Asia Pacific International competition, where Basken was supposed to compete last year. As a result, officials sent her instead to the Miss Intercontinental pageant in the Bahamas, where she became one of the 12 semifinalists.
Basken is the daughter of Geir, a Norwegian craftsman, and the former Divina Diamante Tan, a native of Calamba, Laguna. She has already appeared in several TV commercials here.
Back in Norway, Basken has written several articles for the Web site Youth for the Youth, and also hosted a youth-oriented show, “Tinig Pinoy,” for radio station P4’s Guru. She considers writing her “ultimate love.”
Another ultimate goal is to duplicate the feat of Mona Grudt, Norway’s first Miss Universe, who won the title in 1990.