|Beauty pageant titleholder|
|Born||Melody Adelheid Manuel Gersbach
November 18, 1985
|Died||August 21, 2010
Bula, Camarines Sur
|Height||5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)|
|Weight||117 lb (53 kg)|
|Title(s)||Binibining Pilipinas (International 2009)
Miss Bicolandia 2008
Mutya ng Magayon Festival 2008
|Miss International 2009 (top 15)|
Gersbach was born in Daraga, Albay, but was raised in Angeles City, Pampanga. Her father is of German nationality (Wolfgang Gersbach) and her mother is a Filipina (Marina Manuel). She is the second of three siblings. She was a management graduate of the University of Asia and the Pacific and had been managing a family German restaurant business in Bicol. Before her death, Ms.Gersbach was supposed to appear on TV as the leading lady of Philippine matinee idol, Aga Muhlach. She was also into modeling and training future beauty queens in Bicol.
Gersbach, then aged 23, was crowned Binibining Pilipinas International 2009 on March 7, 2009. She was the second Bicolana beauty to hold a Binibining Pilipinas International title, the other one being the fellow Albayanon Georgina Anne de la Paz Sandico in 1999. Gersbach represented the Philippines in the 49th Miss International 2009 pageant on November 2009 in Macau, China, where she placed among the top 15 semifinalists. Gersbach was also one of the pageant coaches along with Stella Marquez-Araneta who help choose the wardrobe for Binibining Pilipinas Universe 2010, Venus Raj. Shortly before her death, Gersbach said she told Raj "to relax and enjoy the Miss Universe pageant."
Death and memorial
Gersbach died in a car incident around 11 a.m. August 21, 2010, when the Toyota Innova she was traveling in collided head on with a passenger bus in Barangay Pawili in Bula. Police said, "the bus was trying to avoid a tricycle when it collided with a Toyota Innova". Gersbach, her makeup artist Alden Orense, and her driver, Santos Ramos Jr., were all killed in the accident. The only passenger to survive was Ronald Lita, a friend of Gersbach's. Gersbach was supposed to attend Ms. Bicolandia Executive Committee meeting for Ms. Bicolandia 2010 at the Avenue Hotel in Naga City. Several of the passengers of the bus were also reported injured. Stella Marquez-Araneta, Bb. Pilipinas Charities Inc. (BPCI) chairperson, stated: "Our sincerest condolences and prayers go out to her family and friends. Her death, unfortunate and untimely, has left everyone at Bb. Pilipinas Charities, Inc. deeply saddened. Her passing will not only leave a void in our lives, but also in the hearts of everyone who knew her. Melody’s memory will always remain deep within our hearts."
Her remains were brought to the Heritage Park in Taguig City, Metro Manila, for a week. She was buried in Angeles City, Pampanga where she grew up. Her friends and relatives, including Miss Universe fourth runner-up Venus Raj, attended a funeral mass at 9 am. Wilson Fontillas, the bus driver who lost control of the passenger bus is under the custody of the Bula Police pending the filing of the case against him.
|Binibining Pilipinas (International)