Newly crowned Miss Asia Pacific International Francielly Ouriques of Brazil and her court spread holiday cheer to pageant fans during a mall tour in Quezon City recently.
Joining Ourigues were Miss New Zealand Acacia Walker, 1st runner up; Miss Honduras Cardona Valeria, 2nd runner-up; Miss Netherlands Morgan Doelwijt, 3rd runner-up; and Miss Philippines Ilene de Vera, 4th runner-up.
The beauty queens waved to the mall shoppers as fans lined up to pose for selfies and ask for their autographs. Later they answered questions from the media during an open forum where they raved about Filipino food and other popular desrinations like Boracay.
Some of the beauty queens also gave their Christmas wishes.
“I can’t wait to be home and spend Christmas with my family. I will celebrate the holidays in Cebu City,” de Vera said.
“I want to spend Christmas here with my new found family,” said Valera, in reference to Filipino pageant fans who have supported her even if she was still a candidate from another international pageant.
“I want so much love and peace this Christmas,” said Ouriques, who answered the question through an interpreter.
The Miss Asia Pacific International pageant is said to be the mother of all pageants in Southeast Asia. It made a comeback in 2016 following a 10-year hiatus. It is a pageant that promotes diversity in beauty
Started in 1968 as a non-stock, non-profit organization corporation with the aim of promoting tourism for the Philippines overseas, its original name was Miss Asia Quest Inc. and it was the beginning of 48 years of beauty pageantry in the Philippines.
Filipino beauty queens who made a name in the popular beauty pageant were Ma. Del Carmen Ines Zaragoza (1982), Gloria Dimayacyac (1983), Lorna Legaspi (1989), and Michelle Aldana (1993). (Robert R. Requintina)