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2 pageant veterans vie for int’l crowns

Two pageant veterans are set to conquer the international scene after they were chosen to represent the Philippines in two prestigious beauty contests.

Nancy Lee Leonard will vie for the title of 2016 Miss Tourism Queen International in China on September 26 while Jeslyn Santos will compete at the Miss United Continents 2016 pageant in Ecuador on Sept. 24.

Leonard, 25, is a graduate of BS Psychology, major in Guidance and Counselling at the Ateneo de Zamboanga University.

Before she was handpicked for the pageant, Leonard was crowned Miss Zamboanga in 2011 which led her to compete at the Miss Philippines Earth pageant in 2013 and finished as Miss Philippines Earth-Water.

Two years later, she was also chosen as one of the official candidates of the Binibining Pilipinas beauty contest.

“I’m really honored and thankful to the Queen of the Philippines Foundation, Inc. for giving me this cherished dream which is to compete in an international pageant and represent the Philippines. Rest assured that I will give my very best to do well at the 2016 Miss Tourism Queen International and bring home the crown,” said Leonard who stands 5’7 tall.

Annie Refrea and daughter Roanne, owners of the Queen of the Philippines Foundation, Inc. and La Unica Events Management and Productions, Inc., said that more than 80 girls are competing in this year’s beauty pageant.

Santos, 23, of Hagonoy, Bulacan, was handpicked by John dela Vega, national director and franchise holder of Miss United Continents.

Santos, who stands 5’7, is a Broadcast Communication graduate. She loves to play volleyball and was the team captain of her team in college where she won gold medal.

An alumnae of Bb. Pilipinas 2014 and 2016, she was also named Bb. Republica Filipina and last year’s delegate to the inaugural Miss World Peace contest in Hong Kong.

“I’m thrilled to represent again the Philippines in an international contest. Please pray for my success in the pageant,” Santos said.

To prepare for the contest, Santos studied Spanish culture and language and underwent intensive physical training in the gym.