Miss Asia Pacific beauties cheer up wounded soldiers
A beautiful surprise greeted the soldiers recuperating from wounds they sustained during the five-month long battle in Marawi City on Sunday morning when delegates of the 2018 Miss Asia Pacific International came to the AFP Medical Center in Quezon City.
All 42 pageant delegates joined the soldiers who relived their long, hard days in Marawi and paid respect to their fallen comrades through an audiovisual presentation.
Initially planned as a neuro-linguistic programming seminar, the activity turned into an open forum between the candidates and the soldiers as they shared their respective beliefs and personal stories.
Miss Iceland Donna Eunice Cruz thanked the soldiers for their heroism and imparted words of encouragement. The European beauty has Filipino lineage.
Miss Nepal Sahara Basnet spoke about his father who served in her country’s armed forces.
Essa Santos, Miss Asia Pacific International general manager, said that the pageant celebrated “differences” by fostering “a community that focuses on the beauty in all things different.”
The pageant, the first Asia-based international beauty contest, was relaunched last year under new management after a decadelong hiatus.
During the candidates’ presentation to the media at the Edsa Shangri-La in Mandaluyong City on Monday afternoon, Santos said that the pageant hoped to crown a winner who “exemplifies what it means to be an epitome of a strong, confident woman, who is proud of herself, her culture and all the things that make her who she is.”
The pageant was launched in 1968 as the “Miss Asia Quest” by a team of Filipino organizers. It was touted as the premiere beauty pageant in the continent.
The global competition later acquired the defunct “Queen of the Pacific” pageant and was rebranded as the “Miss Asia Pacific Quest.” The pageant welcomed delegates from countries on the other side of the Pacific.
By the end of the 20th century, the pageant accepted contestants from outside the Asia-Pacific region and was subsequently renamed as the “Miss Asia Pacific International pageant.”
Four Filipino women have bagged the crown in the pageant’s 49-year history: Inez Zaragoza (1982), Gloria Dimayacyac (1983), Lorna Legaspi (1989) and Michelle Aldana (1993).
Last year’s Filipino representative, Ganiel Akrisha Krishnan, finished third to winner Tessa le Conge of the Netherlands.