Miss Asia Pacific beauties pay tribute to Marawi heroes
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.