PHL's Bea Rose Santiago is crowned Miss International. Miss International Bea Rose Santiago of the Philippines waves on stage after being crowned Miss International Beauty Pageant 2013 in Tokyo on December 17, 2013. Representatives from 67 countries and regions from all over the world took part in the pageant. REUTERS/Yuya Shino
The night before the 2013 Miss International pageant in Tokyo, Japan on Tuesday, Philippine bet Bea Rose Santiago prayed for confidence and strength to help her win the crown.
And she did.
On her Twitter account, Santiago said: “Lord bless me! Give me confidence and strength for tomorrow. I want to give a Merry Christmas to the Philippines.”
Santiago also asked Filipinos to pray for her.
Santiago is the fifth Filipina to snag the Miss International crown, bagged earlier by Gemma Teresa Cruz (1964), Aurora Pijuan (1970), Melanie Marquez (1979), and Precious Lara Quigaman (2005).
Santiago, a 23-year-old model, said she offers her win to her kababayans.
Although she was born in Alabang, Muntinlupa City, she grew up in Cataingan, Masbate. At age 16, her family moved to Toronto, Canada.
On Twitter, she expressed her regret that her family did not have tickets to watch the finale in Tokyo.
Several other Filipinas figured well in international pageants this year: 2013 Miss World Megan Young; 2013 Miss Supranational Johanna Mutya Datul, Miss Universe 3rd runner-up Ariella Arida; 2013 Miss Grand International 3rd runner-up Annalie Forbes, and 2013 Miss Intercontinental 3rd runner-up ni Koreen Medina.
The Miss International Foundation, which was started 46 years ago, raises funds for charities such as UNICEF as well as environment preservation projects.
In the 2013 Miss International pageant, the other winners were: Miss Netherlands (1st runner-up) and Miss New Zealand (2nd runner-up).
Those in the top five included candidates from the Philippines, New Zealand, Hungary, Columbia, and Netherlands.
Meanwhile, those in the top 15 were the Philippines, Gibraltar, Brazil, Puerto Rico, Ecuador, Hungary, Netherlands, United States, New Zealand, Lithuania, Iceland, Colombia, Russia, Thailand, and Spain. — RSJ, GMA News