Miss Asia Pa­cific beau­ties pay trib­ute to Marawi heroes

Manila Bulletin - - Mindanao News - By ROBERT R. REQUINTINA

Can­di­dates of the Miss Asia Pa­cific In­ter­na­tional 2017 beauty con­test paid trib­ute to the brave Filipino sol­diers who fought and got wounded in Marawi City re­cently.

Dur­ing their visit to the Armed Forces of the Philip­pines (AFP) head­quar­ters in Que­zon City, the can­di­dates watched videos of en­coun­ters and their af­ter­math in the cap­i­tal of Lanao del Sur.

What was ini­tially planned as a neu­rolin­guis­tic pro­gram­ming sem­i­nar turned into a nat­u­ral and gen­uine un­rav­el­ing of shared be­liefs and per­sonal sto­ries be­tween the can­di­dates and the sol­diers.

“We of­ten feel like no one un­der­stands what we go through. We feel like we are taken for granted, and so we thank you for tak­ing the time to lis­ten to us and share your time with every­one here,” 1st Lt. Christo­pher Mon­te­cillo told the vis­it­ing in­ter­na­tional beau­ties.

Tes­ti­monies from the sol­diers touched and in­spired the en­tire group to the point of com­pelling Miss Ice­land to stand up and give an im­promptu mes­sage to the men.

Miss Nepal, whose fa­ther is also part of the army in her coun­try, fol­lowed. Soon, more can­di­dates ap­proached the stage to share their thoughts and of­fered their sin­cer­est em­pa­thy.

The beauty queens then gave red roses to all the wounded sol­diers in the camp

Essa San­tos, pageant gen­eral man­ager, said: “In a world where the term ‘dif­fer­ences’ is al­most al­ways thought of as some­thing neg­a­tive, it is our dream to foster a com­mu­nity that fo­cuses on the beauty and op­por­tu­nity to grow and learn from all things dif­fer­ent and un­fa­mil­iar.“

Dubbed as the old­est beauty pageant in Asia, the Miss Asia Pa­cific In­ter­na­tional con­test has been around since the 1960s.

Forty-two in­ter­na­tional beau­ti­ful and em­pow­ered women from all over the world are vy­ing for the ti­tle of Miss Asia Pa­cific In­ter­na­tional 2017.

Some of the women com­pet­ing in this year’s pageant are mod­els, nurses, lawyers, doc­tors, singers and ac­tresses.

At the end of the press pre­sen­ta­tion held at a ho­tel in Man­daluy­ong City, Miss Sri Lanka Hasini Sa­muel was cho­sen Dar­ling of the Press. First run­ner-up was Miss Mauritius Ay­lasha Ram­rachia and Miss Viet­nam Vuong Thanh Tuyen, 2nd run­ner-up.

“More than hav­ing the girls com­pete with each other, the or­ga­ni­za­tion is fo­cused on forg­ing sol­i­dar­ity among the girls and in­spir­ing them to be epit­o­mes of a strong and con­fi­dent woman who is proud of her­self, her cul­ture, and ev­ery­thing that makes her what she is,” said Jac­que­line Tan-Sainz, pres­i­dent of the Miss Asia Pa­cific In­ter­na­tional pageant.

Tan-Sainz also said: “This is not just an­other beauty pageant - this is a pro­gram that hopes to cre­ate am­bas­sadors that ig­nite pos­i­tive change in the global com­mu­nity.”

Reign­ing Miss Asia Pa­cific In­ter­na­tional Tessa He­lena Le Conge from the Netherlands and Tan-Sainz also pre­sented the new pageant crown de­signed by Manny Halasan of Bu­la­can.

Halasan is a pro­fes­sional fash­ion de­signer who comes from the fam­ily who es­tab­lished Halasan Me­tal Craft in Mey­cauayan. He is cur­rently one of the top crown de­sign­ers in the coun­try. He was a part of Project Run­way Philip­pines Sea­son 3 and has been shar­ing his tal­ents with var­i­ous char­i­ties and fash­ion shows both lo­cally and abroad.

The fi­nals will be held at the New­port Per­form­ing Arts Theater of Re­sorts World Manila on Novem­ber 29 at 6 p.m.

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