The Miss International 2013 Pageant in Tokyo, Japan is the last major beauty contest for this year. The successor to current titleholder Ikumi Yoshimatsu will be known on December 17.
Miss Philippines Bea Rose Santiago
Consistently the top picks among the 72 candidates are those from Netherlands, Philippines, Venezuela, Mexico, Iceland, Sweden, Spain, India, Brazil, Puerto Rico and Lithuania.
Other favorites are Misses Haiti, Gabon, Poland, Finland, Indonesia, Australia, Korea, Honduras, Japan and Gibraltar.
Bea with Miss Venezuela Nicelin Elian Herrera Vasquez
Beauty pageant aficionados are focusing on the Philippines and Venezuela, as both countries have two crowns each—Miss World and Miss Supranational for the Philippines and Miss Universe and Miss Earth for Venezuela. Puerto Rico is the first-ever Miss Grand International winner.
While Venezuela did not place in the other pageants, the Philippines strongly finished in the contests it did not win—3rd runner-up in Miss Universe, 3rd runner-up in Miss Grand International and Top 8 in Miss Earth.
As the torchbearer for the Philippines’ final hurray, Bea Rose Santiago said in her interview before she flew to Japan that she’s not pressured at all to win the crown. Confidently prepared, she said that she will bring storm to the Land of the Rising Sun, referring to the strongest storm ever to make landfall in history last month which devastated Tacloban City and many other areas in Central Visayas.
Barely a week into the finals, Bea asked her supporters not to be antagonistic in commenting on social media. As the world knows, beauty contests are taken seriously in this country and fans and supporters fight tooth and nail for their candidates.
An aficionado commented: Miss USA Andrea Neu surely likes to be with one who speaks English fluently
She posted on Facebook via mobile her sentiments of the brickbats online.
“To all my supporters, please be mindful of your comments about my fellow Miss International candidates. It’s me who’s having a hard time as we hurt other people with the comments even if they’re done in jest. I’m so thankful that I have lots of supporters but I hope for proper demeanor in making critical comments. They are all nice. Let’s just leave the competition on stage and through voting,” she said in Filipino.
Bea enjoins her supporters to vote for her at http://beautycity.jp/miss2013/prof_philippines.asp.
The 22-year-old pretty lass from Masbate spent half of her teen years in Canada but said she’s staying put in the country and vowed never to leave again, happy and contented with her life among friends and relatives.
The Philippines has produced four Miss International winners: Gemma Cruz in 1964, Aurora Pijuan in 1970, Melanie Marquez in 1979 and Precious Lara Quigaman in 2005.
The Miss International 2013 delegates
Unlike Miss Universe and Miss World, missinternational.org explains that this pageant is not based on looks alone.
“The contestants are expected to serve as ‘ambassadors of peace and beauty,’ showing tenderness, benevolence, friendship, beauty, intelligence, ability to take action, and most importantly a great international sensibility. The ultimate goal of the Miss International beauty pageant is to promote world peace, goodwill, and understanding,” the web site says.
Miss Photogenic is Miss Lithuania Elma Segzdaviciute
Miss International (organized in 1960) is part of the Big Four international beauty pageants. The other three are Miss World (1951), Miss Universe (1952) and Miss Earth (2001).
Though Miss World and Miss Universe are more popular, all four are considered the most coveted titles in international pageantry.
Miss International’s slogan is Love, Peace and Excitement to the World.
A parallel Miss Internet 2013 is also being conducted and votes can be cast at http://www.miss-international.org until December 16.
Missosology, an organization dedicated to beauty pageants, has its own online poll at http://359906.tbits.me.
Leading the pack is Miss Myanmar Gonyi Aye Kyaw with7000+ votes, followed by Miss Philippines with 5000+ and Miss Haiti Clara Luce Lafond at 1000.
Catching up are Miss Tahiti Ohana Huber, Miss Gibraltar Jamielee Randall, Miss India Gurleen Grewal, Miss Mexico Lucero Miroslava Montemayor Gracia, Miss USA Andrea Neu, Miss Nepal Shritima Shah and Miss Poland Katarzyna Oracka.