The country’s quest for an international crown continues tonight as two Filipinas compete in two international beauty contests – Miss International and Miss Humanity International.
In Okinawa, Japan, Nicole Schmitz, of Cebu City will compete against 68 other candidates in the Miss International beauty pageant, in which the Philippines has already won four times since it started in 1960.
Schmitz, 24, is expected to do well in the pageant tonight, along with other favorites such as Miss Dominican Republic, Miss India, Miss Colombia, and Miss USA. The reigning queen is Maria Fernanda Cornejo of Ecuador.
Before she took off, Schmitz – a part-time model, psychology major, law student and a seasoned contender in various beauty contests – has undergone a series of rigorous trainings that ranged from a strict diet to personality development and short courses in Philippine history.
During an interview before she boarded a Japan-bound plane, Nicole said: “I’m just so thrilled about the opportunity to bring honor to our country. If I’m lucky enough to win, the first thing I’d want to do is celebrate my victory with my fellow Filipinos.”
Schmitz, who is half-German, also revealed her plans after she is done with her beauty queen duties. “In the near future, I’d like to focus on psychology here in the Philippines as it’s something that’s not really touched upon. My law degree would also come in handy for the legal aspects of it. Of course, the possibilities after the Miss International tilt are endless, and the future is open to just about everything, even show business.’’
The past two years saw Philippine representatives made it to the Top 15 semifinalists of the Miss International beauty contest.
Last year, Diane Necio placed and won the Miss Internet Popularity Award. Two years ago, Krista Kleiner also made it to the semis. She also won Miss Talent and Miss Expressive. Both contests were held in China.
In Bridgetown, Barbados, Ayelee Marie Dasalla will push for gender equality when she represents the country in the 2012 Miss Humanity International tonight.
Dasalla, 21, said she hopes to duplicate, if not surpass, the achievement of Czarina Gatbonton, who won second runner-up in last year’s inaugural contest. Dasalla hails from Mariveles, Bataan. She stands 5’8”.
Dasalla, who hails from Mariveles, Bataan, is a former candidate in the 2012 Bb. Pilipinas beauty pageant.
On her advocacy, Dasalla said: “Through my advocacy, I just hope that violence against women would be prevented.”
The beauty queen was appointed by John dela Vega, stage and events director, to represent the country in the international pageant. “I see in her a queenly image. She’s got a classic look which you don’t get to see anything like that in the Philippines every day. That’s why I picked her for the competition.”
Dasalla is a nursing graduate from St. Paul University, Manila. She is also into target shooting and chess.
Recalling last year’s pageant, Dela Vega said she is satisfied with the result of the beauty contest. “I wanted Czarina to win pero okay na rin for first time.’’
Dela Vega said Gatbonton, who represented the Philippines in the 2010 Miss World beauty contest, was a crowd favorite in Miss Humanity International contest last year.
But Miss Lesotho Karabello Mokoalla, an African princess, who also competed in the 2010 Miss World contest, won the pageant.
Founded by Stephanie Yates Chase, former Miss World candidate from Barbados, the Miss Humanity International is the newest innovative pageant which promotes humanitarian causes worldwide. It is also a pageant for young ladies who have strong passion for community and humanitarian service.
By ROBERT R. REQUINTINA