BAGUIO CITY – Local officials and residents are now enjoying the limelight given to the country’s undisputed Summer Capital following the victory of home-grown model Kylie Verzosa as this year’s Miss International during the prestigious beauty pageant held in Tokyo, Japan Wednesday afternoon.
Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan extended the warmest greetings and congratulations of the people and the officialdom to Ms. Verzosa and her family for her bringing home the 2016 Miss International title which has brought honor and pride not only to the city but also to the country.
“We are proud that a Baguio girl was able to bring home the Miss International title. WE are happy that she was able to prove that local beauties have a place in international competitions. We hope that other local beauties will be able to follow her footsteps,” Domogan stressed.
Domogan said he will consult local officials on the preparations that will be done by the local government to welcome Ms. Verzosa when she decides to come home to the city and share to the people her illustrious victory.
Verzosa, 24, a business management graduate of the Ateneo de Manila University, was adjudged this year’s Miss International after she was able to underscore the importance of understanding the diversed culture of the people to make the world a better place to live, thus, cultural and international understanding will translate to lasting peace.
The homegrown beauty is the daughter of Art Verzosa and Raquel Gema Fausto, who was a semi-finalist in the 1985 Bb. Pilipinas beauty pageant. She is a teacher at the University of Baguio (UB) teaching the subject English for special purposes and has an advocacy in preventing depression among others.
In her speech after the announcement of the top 15 finalists, Verzosa said that should she win the title, she wants to focus on cultural and international understanding.
“If I become Miss International 2016, I will devote myself to cultural understanding and international understanding because I believe that it is in developing in each of us sensitivity to other cultures that we expand our horizons, tolerate difference and appreciate diversity,” she said.
In her speech after she was announced as winner, Verzosa thanked all those who joined her in her journey.
“I cannot believe this moment right now, and I am ecstatic and happy. Thank you so much to my family, to the Philippines, to everyone who supported me. I did not go through this journey alone, but I had a lot of help from the people who love me. I deeply appreciate this. This moment has only happened in my dreams. Thank you so much, Japan. Thank you, Miss International,” she said.
Contestants from Australia, Indonesia, Nicaragua and United States finished first, second, third and fourth runners-up, respectively.
Aside from the big winners, other contestants also received special awards: Miss International Asia – Hong Kong, Miss International Europe – Netherlands, Miss International America – Ecuador, Miss International Africa – Sierra Leone, Miss International Oceania – Hawaii, Meanwhile, the candidates who made the top 15 were: Finland, Mexico, Japan, El Salvador, Canada, Dominican Republic, Argentina, Russia, Thailand and Poland.
Miss Nicaragua also won for her national costume, while Miss Indonesia got the Miss Best Dresser award. The Miss Perfect Body award went to the contestant from Moldova.