A controversy, although different from a previous one, is still a controversy.
This looks like what hounds Miss Asia Pacific World again in this year’s contest.
Won by Miss Myanmar May Myat Noe, all the other six finalists were from Asia – Miss Korea (1st Runner-Up), Miss Macau (2nd Runner-Up), Miss Philippines (3rd Runner-Up), Miss India (4th Runner-Up), Miss Singapore (5th Runner-Up) and Miss Thailand (6th Runner-Up).
Rounding up the Top 15 were two more Asians – Miss Pakistan and Miss Sri Lanka – while the rest come from countries situated along the Pacific Ocean: Trinidad & Tobago, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Germany, Honduras and Slovakia.
(See related story Miss Myanmar is Miss Asia Pacific World 2014; Miss Philippines 3rd Runner-Up https://arloc888.wordpress.com/2014/06/01/miss-myanmar-is-miss-asia-pacific-world-2014-miss-philippines-3rd-runner-up/)
Only a total of 47 entrants came to Seoul, Korea out of the expected 70 candidates.
The male English-speaking host averred that this year’s production is a lot better compared to last year’s. However, there’s so much to be desired of in this modelling and talent contest cum beauty pageant which originated in Korea.
(Miss Asia Pacific World is entirely different from and no connection at all with the defunct Miss Asia Pacific International or Miss Asia Pacific Quest organized by Filipinos held in Manila until its last staging in 2005 in Guangzhou, China.)
The first Miss Asia Pacific World held in 2011 was marred by various controversies – the sex-for-placement scheme as claimed by Miss Wales, Miss Guyana and Miss Costa Rica, the non-existent prize which made winner Miss Korea immediately resign the following day with Miss France taking over but was dethroned a month before the new contest with Miss Ukraine proclaimed as successor, no food provision for the candidates and poor hotel accommodation that made some of them sleep on the floor, giving awards to delegates even without the benefit of showing their mettle in the categories and candidates assured of top ranking way before the contest started.
(See related story Miss Philippines Hillarie Danielle Parungao top pick to win Miss Asia Pacific World 2014 crown in Korea https://arloc888.wordpress.com/2014/05/28/miss-philippines-hillarie-danielle-parungao-top-pick-to-win-miss-asia-pacific-world-2014-crown-in-korea/)
On Sunday, a day after the contest, Miss Philippines posted a cryptic message on Facebook.
“I celebrate only for what is fairly judged… Thank you to everyone who believed and supported me all the way!;)”
On Monday, a copy of the program flow showing a Final Interview segment for the Top 7 was also posted on social media. That Q & A portion was the deciding factor as to who should win the crown. As everyone knows (those in the venue and those watching the proceedings via live stream), that did not happen.
Analyzing the situation, it could be because of communication barrier—only one of the four hosts spoke English, and most probably out of the Top 7 only Miss Philippines and Miss India could speak English fluently.
The question is, how can the finalists share about their advocacies or just simply share their thoughts on any issue if the Final Interview was scrapped? Apparently, the scrapping of the portion was done at the last minute, otherwise it would have not been in the program flow at all.
Hillarie prepared for that moment. As shown in the transcript of her Missosology interview, the Filipina beauty is an advocate of children’s causes and was very excited to share to the Asia Pacific World her platform.
One of the judges was allegedly the national handler of Miss Macau and Miss Hong Kong. Out of the five, three placed Miss Philippines as #1, the other two did not. Was it right for the organizers to put a judge in the panel when he’s the handler of two contestants?
(Click link for details https://www.facebook.com/PageantsExpose)
The supposed-to-be Asia Pacific expanse was confined to the Korean peninsula at that very moment. No, it should be even a smaller area – around the streets of Seoul or even just within the four walls of Grand Hilton Hotel.
For the organizers, why go through the tedious process of staging an international beauty contest when you can do it the way where you are good at, like K-Pop Star search? That will surely erase the stigma of biased judgment as you can say it is done the Korean way and not according to international standards.
There are no complaints yet of sexual harassment, hunger or candidates being peddled to judges and sponsors (or maybe the girls just don’t want to talk) like what happened in 2011.
So if the organizers want to continue with this “noble endeavor” they should shape up to put credibility to their contest or the Interpol will be secretly watching next time.
Interestingly, the people of Myanmar are now the most active online voting participants, eclipsing the Philippines. Aside from the crown and title, May Myat Noe also won Missosologists’ Choice Award by garnering 223,133 votes as against Miss Philippines’ 151,971 and far third placer Miss Ecuador’s 23,645.
Myanmar first showed its strength online when Htar Htet Htet was declared winner of Miss Popular Award in the first Miss Grand International pageant held in Bangkok, Thailand last November 19, 2013. She was ahead by 2,000 votes to second placer Miss Philippines Annalie Forbes, who eventually ended 3rd Runner-Up. Miss Puerto Rico Janelee Chaparro was proclaimed the first-ever Miss Grand International.
First Runner-Up was Miss Dominican Republic Chantel Martinez (who also won Best in Evening Gown), Miss Slovak Republic Denisa Pacesiakova 2nd Runner-Up, and Miss Australia Kelly Louise Maguire 4th Runner-Up.
(See related story Miss Puerto Rico is first-ever Miss Grand International, Miss Philippines 3rd Runner-Up https://arloc888.wordpress.com/2013/11/19/miss-puerto-rico-is-first-ever-miss-grand-international-miss-philippines-3rd-runner-up/)