Stella Márquez Araneta, born Maria Stella Márquez Zawadski is a pageant director of Binibining Pilipinas and a former international beauty queen.
Stella Marquez Araneta is a Colombian of Spanish and Polish parentage. She was Miss Colombia in 1959 and was therefore able to compete in the Miss Universe 1960 pageant held in Miami Beach, Florida placing as a semifinalist. She then competed in the first Miss International beauty pageant held in Long Beach, California, United States in 1960. She won that competition by half a point, becoming the very first Miss International, and the first Latina Miss International.
She married Jorge Araneta, a Filipino businessman. Since 1964, she has been the organizer of the most prestigious beauty pageant in the Philippines, Binibining Pilipinas (Filipino for "Miss Philippines"), which sends its winners to the Miss Universe, Miss World, and Miss International competitions.
Bb. Pilipinas 2010/ Swimsuit
Binibining Pilipinas (Miss Philippines) is the organization that sponsors the beauty pageants held annually in the Philippines which choose the national contestants that represent the country in the annual Miss Universe, Miss World, and Miss International pageants, among others.
Since its creation in 1964, the Binibining Pilipinas Charities, Incorporated (BPCI), a non-stock, non-profit organization and foundation, the organizer of the Binibining Pilipinas (or Miss Philippines), has established skills trainings and educational workshops for the indigents and philanthropic/humanitarian projects and activities that have benefitted many orphans and street children, poor families and other less fortunate members of the Philippine society. BPCI also conducted medical and dental missions and participated in relief operations in Central Luzon during the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in 1991. Binibining Pilipinas past and then titleholders (beauty queens) visited the ash-laden town of Porac, the Tent City in Pampanga, and other refugee camps, to distribute food, medicines and other basic needs to the affected residents that included ethnic tribes that lived on the volcano slopes.
The annual pageant is the main source of the foundation's funds. Stella Marquez-Araneta, a former Miss Colombia, who became a Miss Universe semi-finalist and the winner of the first Miss International beauty pageant in 1960, is the chairperson of the BPCI which has been the official national franchise holder of the Miss Universe Organization since 1964. The Philippines, through BPCI, has produced two Miss Universe winners (Gloria Diaz in 1969 and Maria Margarita Moran in 1973) and three Miss International winners (Aurora Pijuan in 1970, Melanie Marquez in 1979, and Precious Lara Quigaman in 2005). The first Miss International crown for the Philippines, won by Gemma Cruz in 1964, is a product of the Miss Philippines pageant, the predecessor of the Binibining Pilipinas pageant.
Bb. Pilipinas 2010/ Swimsuit