Cameras clicked as some of the candidates to the Miss Earth 2016 beauty contest made their first public appearance during a meet-and-greet event with members of the press in Pasig City last Monday night.
Miss China Earth Xiaohan Gang, who revealed that it was her first time to travel abroad, has cited the politeness of Filipinos.
“This is my first time to visit abroad. My deep impression about the Filipinos is that they are very polite.
Everywhere I go people say hi! and they greet. In Shanghai, it’s very different. I’m from Shanghai,” said Gang in an exclusive interview.
“Shanghai is a modern city in China. People are always busy. They just work and they don’t look at people. Even if they see beautiful girls or men in the streets, they don’t care. They will just look at you like an animal in the zoo,” added Gang, a third year college student who majors in English.
Gang, 20, said that she hopes to visit the beaches in the Philippines. The Chinese beauty got excited when she found out that there is a big Chinese community here.
“I’ve seen a lot of Chinese here. We didn’t talk but we just greet one another. I understand that many Filipinos can speak little Chinese,” she said.
Other candidates shared their positive thoughts about the Philippines.
“I came here for a reason. I’m going to make a change. But I’m going to say it’s an amazing country. I’ve heard some kinds of food I want to try,” said Miss Israel Mira Kahli, 20, a journalism student, during an interview at the Oakwood Premier.
Miss Netherlands Deborah van Hemert, 21, a beautician who is half-Indonesian, said that she wants to see everything about the Philippines.
Miss Uganda Priscilla Achieng said that she is excited to visit Davao City, hometown of President Rodrigo Duterte.
“I tried out so many foods but I like the cute egg (balut). We’re going to Davao in three days. So I hope to travel more here in the Philippines,” she said.
Achieng, 23, said that pageants have come a long way now that they have embraced black women. “It’s a good sign that black women are finally competing in beauty contests. It empowers women. It’s a stepping stone for us. If all women will come together, black and white, then something strong will come.”
Miss Ghana Deborah Dodor, 21, an accounting student, said that she wants to invite Filipinos to visit her country.
Miss Portugal Alexandra Marcenco, 18, said that she hopes to see more of Philippine nature and eat more tapa.
“The popularion is weldomg and warm. I’ve tried tapa here. They are delicious. I also love tropical fruits. I don’t know the names but they’re delicious.”
Miss Philippines Imelda Schweighart, 21, said that she wants to bring the candidates to her hometown in Palawan. “I want to bring them to my hub. I want them to ride the motorcycle or banca and experience the typical island life there.”
Eighty-four girls are competing for the title of Miss Earth 2016, the third biggest beauty pageant in the world. The grand coronation night will be held at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City on October 29.