By Robert Requintina
A 25-year-old model from Brazil and an advocate of diversity in beauty was crowned Miss Asia Pacific International 2017 at the Resorts World Manila in Pasay City early yesterday morning.
Crowd favorite Francielly Ouriques bested 41 other candidates for the title that advocates love and appreciation of cultural, physical, and spiritual diversities.
Miss Philippines Ilene de Vera of Cebu City was named 4th runner-up in the pageant, as she continued the winning streak of Filipinas in international beauty contests.
The 5’8 Ouriques, was likewise named best in swimsuit, best in festival costume and Miss Sheridan.
During the final interview, the Top 5 candidates were asked a common question: “Do you think the advocacy of fostering love, appreciation and unity in diversity is relevant in this day and age? Why or why not?”
“Absolutely. Fostering love nowadays is essential. I believe that we are all equal before God and all of us should be able to respect love and spread good things among everybody. Respect, unity and love are things that my parents taught me and everybody should foster them. Thank you very much,” Ouriques replied:
Also making it to the Top 5 were Miss New Zealand Acacia Walker, 1st runner up; Miss Honduras Cardona Valeria, 2nd runner-up and Miss Netherlands Morgan Doelwijt, 3rd runner-up.
Candidates from Nicaragua, Mongolia, Costa Rica, Japan, South Africa, Russia, Colombia, Peru, Cook Islands, and Egypt made it to the Top 15.
Special awards were presented to Miss Cook Islands Lydia Simonis-Tariu (Miss Talent and Miss Photogenic), Miss Australia Louisa Brown (Miss Congeniality), Miss Honduras Cardona Valeria (Best in Evening Gown), and Miss India Sonika Roy (People’s Choice).
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.