After a decade of hiatus, the mother of all beauty pageants in Southeast Asia is back. Last year, the official re-launching of the pageant took place in Puerto Princesa, Palawan, specifically at the renowned Sheridan Beach Resort and Spa. 22-year old stunner, Tessa Helena Le Conge from the Netherlands is the current titleholder. She bested the other international contenders with her overwhelming charm, wit and positivity. “I think nowadays it’s sad to see so much negativity in the world, because you see people don’t really respect each other. I would like to show people what you can do with a good light in your heart,” she quipped with her dazzling smile. She was joined by Chawanya Thanomwong of Thailand (1st runner up), RP’s Ganiel Akrisha Krishnan (2nd runner-up), Felicia George of Cook Islands (3rd runner up), Soyeon Kim of South Korea (4th runner-up)
This year, with over fifty stunning and empowered women from all over the world, the organization has decided to bring the coronation night to the nation’s capital, Manila. With its advocacy to foster love and appreciation of cultural, physical, and spiritual diversities, Miss Asia Pacific International is set to inspire the everyone to be comfortable in their own skin and to believe that their unique and distinct traits is one of the key qualities that make them beautiful.
Here is a sneak peek of the initial confirmed candidates set to vie for the crown
· Miss Netherlands - Morgan Doelwijt, 19,
This Dutch beauty queen is a sports, dance and travel enthusiast. She has big shoes to fill since Tessa Le Conge’s victory last year, but her strong desire to achieve a back-to-back win for the Netherlands is her greatest motivation.
· Miss Suriname – Francisca Wong Loi Sing, 21
She expressed her excitement in coming to the Philippines as she hopes to gain friends from different parts of the world and learning their diverse cultures along the way.
· Miss India – Sonika Roy, 23
This multi-lingual, trained Indian classical and Bollywood dancer, model and actress has worked in several movies and modelled for many luxury brands. She hopes to win not just the crown but the hearts of her fellow candidates and the global audience.
· Miss Bangladesh – Marjana Chowdhury, 23
This US-based beauty queen has joined a team of Columbia University members in empowering incarcerated youth at the Rikers Island Correctional Facility through workshops and prison reform programs. She plans to immerse herself in the unique Filipino culture but also in the cultures of all her co-candidates.
· Miss Myanmar – Htwe Ei Kyaw (Nang Thazin Tin), 20
This go-getter beauty queen enjoys reading a good book and learning new things on her own. She is currently getting her Bachelor’s Degree in English from the University of Dagon. Htwe hopes to become the first Miss Myanmar to be crowned as Miss Asia Pacific International.
· Miss Columbia – Yhully Bell Gomez, 23
Loves to keep herself fit by dancing and going to the gym regularly. This lawyer, model and beauty queen hopes to create a foundation that will focus in helping women and children through arts. She is looking forward to learn and experience the unique culture and hospitality of the Filipinos.
· Miss Philippines – Ilene De Vera, 21
This stunner is a BA Mass Communication graduate from the University of the Philippines Cebu. She is presently working as a Marketing Executive in a real estate company and has been modelling for six years under Models Association of Cebu on the side.
· Miss Japan – Yuki Du Sonoda, 23
Successfully finished her law studies at Rikkyo University in Tokyo. While preparing for her bar exam, she is currently working as an office assistant in a Tokyo-based real estate firm.
· Miss Mauritius – Aylasha Ramrachia, 22
This multi-tasking beauty queen is currently fulfilling her duties as Miss Mauritius by doing charity work and promoting Mauritius’ tourism sector. She is also preparing to take further studies specializing in Tourism and Hospitality Management.
· Miss Brazil – Francielly Ouriques, 25
this Brazilian model and businesswoman is a graduate of Human Resources Management. Apart from fulfilling her duties as Miss Brasil Empresarial 2017, she is busy with her social project called “We Are All Children”, an organization that partners with Hope House Institute, and aims to help the orphaned children in Brazil.
This year’s much-awaited pageant season is set to start with the candidates arrival in Manila on November 10, and to culminate with the Grand Coronation set to happen on the 29th at the Newport Performing Arts Theatre in Resorts World Manila.
For more updates, you may check their website at http://www.asiapacificintl.com/ or follow Miss Asia Pacific International’s social media accounts (FB: Miss Asia Pacififc International, IG: @missasiapacificintl TW: @ms_asiapacific)