11.09.2018

Venezuela Wins Its 8th Miss International Crown



Mariem Velazco of Venezuela was crowned Miss International 2018 on Friday, November 9,  at Tokyo Dome City Hall in Tokyo, Japan. Mariem was crowned on her 20th birthday by the outgoing Miss International Kevin Lilliana of Indonesia. Her victory marks Venezuela's eighth Miss International crown. The finale lasted for over five hours.


 Velazco's court includes first runner-up Ahtisa Manalo of the Philippines, second runner-up Reabetswe Sechoaro of South Africa (who was also awarded Miss International Africa title), third runner-up Bianca Tirsin of Romania, and fourth runner-up Anabella Castro Sierra of Colombia. Completing the top 8 were the delegates from Ecuador, Spain and Japan. Rounding up the top 15 were the candidates from Australia, Indonesia, Madagascar, Mexico, Paraguay, Thailand and Ukraine.


Photo credit: Facebook

11.08.2018

Miss Earth 2018 Candidates Allege Sexual Harassment


Miss Earth-Canada Jaime Yvonne Vandenberg, Miss Earth-England Abbey-Anne Gyles-Brown, and Miss Earth-Guam Emma Mae Sheedy


Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 8) — Three candidates of Miss Earth 2018 bravely came forward to reveal their experiences of sexual harassment involving a sponsor during the international beauty pageant, which was recently concluded in the Philippines.

Miss Earth Canada Jaime Yvonne Vandenberg, Miss Earth England Abbey-Anne Gyles-Brown, and Miss Earth Guam Emma Mae Sheedy all shared how excited they were to compete and to enjoy the Philippines, but it was ruined by a pageant sponsor's alleged sexual requests.
Vanderberg, who eventually withdrew from the competition, said the sponsor started harassing her on her second day in the country. She said the sponsor got her mobile number without her consent and kept calling her to ask for her hotel and room number.
But it didn't stop there. The candidate said the unnamed sponsor offered her competition mileage if she grants him sexual favors.
"He showed up to almost all of my events telling me he could take care of my needs and asked for sexual favours in exchange to get me further in the pageant. I was disgusted," Vandenberg wrote on her Instagram page on Wednesday.
 
Miss Earth England Abbey-Anne Gyles-Brown also attested to this.
"I enjoyed 50% of my trip but the other 50% was over shadowed by feeling exploited, vulnerable, unnerved & sexually harassed as I was approached by a sponsor on many occasions who asked for sexual favours in exchange for the crown," she wrote on Instagram.
All three candidates recalled their experience with the sponsor when they attended two sponsored events at the Manila Yacht Club.
Miss Earth Guam Emma Mae Sheedy said the Filipino sponsor, whom she identified as Amado Cruz, ensured that the team managers and security personnel were separated in another room during the event at the yacht club. She said he grabbed her bare backside during the National Costume Competition, but told her not to tell anyone about it.
 
Vandenberg said seven candidates left the event after they felt uncomfortable and unsafe in the sponsor's yacht. She added some candidates were even invited to go to the newly-rehabilitated Boracay.
"At an event at the Manila Yacht Club he took all of the delegates in my group to his yacht and had some girls take sultry photos. Again, I was disgusted. Later in the pageant we had another sponsor event at the Manila Yacht Club and he was telling girls he could take them to Boracay, as long as we didn't tell any one. A group of us left to sit out side as we did not feel comfortable. He followed us outside and was upset we were not dancing with him. The team mangers laughed and told us to be nice," she wrote.
Gyles-Brown recalled how she and the other women were harassed.
"It was not only myself and Canada who were approached on this night but other delegates who I believe are going to come forward and tell their side of the story... Myself and Jaime removed ourselves from this uncomfortable environment and sat on the bus away from further exploitation," she said.
CNN Philippines is trying to reach Cruz for comment.
Officials of the Manila Yacht Club, where the incident supposedly took place, said Cruz is not a member and could have just been sponsored by a friend who happens to be part of the club.

Allegations vs Miss Earth organizers

All three candidates believe Miss Earth 2018 organizers did not act on their complaints.
Vanderberg said that she was able to talk to Lorraine Schuck, the founder and executive vice president of the production that runs the pageant. She said it took weeks before the Carousel Productions addressed her concerns.
"I went through almost two weeks of sexual harassment before anything was done about it," she said.
Gyles-Brown said that when she mentioned the Manila Yacht Club incident to Miss Earth organizers, they only scoffed at her.
"Myself and Canada approached Team Managers to express our disgust only to be laughed at. Another official attendee of the night told me not to cry as I would ruin my makeup! There was no respect or compassion shown to myself or Jamie. I felt traumatised by this experience and had many sleepless nights," she said.
Gyles-Brown said she was told by Schuck that the sponsor would not be allowed near the candidates, but it did not happen.
"The said sponsor in fact show up at a preliminary event and also attended the Coronation night," she said.
Sheedy believes that more candidates over the years will come forward with their revelations against the said sponsor.
Another allegation from Vanderberg was that Miss Earth organizers confiscated her passport on the first day of competition.
"The organization had confiscated my passport on the first day and I felt like I couldn't leave. When the team managers went into my room and took things from my luggage without my permission, I had completely lost faith in the organization," she said.
Vandenberg also explained her decision to withdraw from the competition before the coronation night on November 3.
"I was so excited because I had been to the Philippines before and loved the country and the people; however, the experience with the pageant was not what I had expected. I left Miss Earth because I did not feel safe under their care," Vandenberg wrote.
Shuck said they will ban the alleged sponsor from the pageant's next events.
However, she questioned why the candidates aired their issues online even if they have already talked about it. 
"Medyo na-blown out of proportion... Naiba. So ewan ko ba kung bakit umabot to sa social media, eh natapos na kami noong October 14 pa. So I really do not understand. So if they're saying na tuloy-tuloy pa din yung harassement na naramdaman nila, bakit hindi nila sinasabi sa team manager at sa police," she told CNN Philippines on Thursday. 
Source: CNN Philippines, 11/9/2018

11.04.2018

Venezuela Wins Reina Hispanoamericana 2018

Photo credit: Instagram


Nariman Battikha of Venezuela was crowned Reina Hispanoamericana 2018 on November 3 in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia. Battikha is the seventh Venezuelan to win the crown.  Elected as the Virreina ("Vice-Queen") is Isabele Pandini Nogueira of Brazil.

The list of runners-up include:
1st runner-up - Mexico - Aranza Anaid Molina
2nd runner-up - Paraguay - María Belén Alderete
3rd runner-up - Bolivia - Marian Joyce Prado
4th runner-up - Chile - Camila Ignacia Helfmann
5th runner-up - Ecuador - Lisseth Naranjo Goya
6th runner-up - Cuba - Gleidys Leyva Rodríguez
7th runner-up  - Peru - Jessica McFarlane
8th runner-up  - Europa Hispana - Daniela Santeliz Acosta

The pageant, which began in 1991, seeks to promote Hispanic culture around the world. It was initially limited to countries where Spanish is spoken, but a few years ago it opened to countries with some Spanish influence and to Hispanic communities in the United States and Europe.

11.03.2018

Vietnam Wins Miss Earth 2018




Nguyen Phuong Khanh, a 23-year-old marketing student from Vietnam, was crowned Miss Earth 2018 on Satuday, November 3, at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, Philippines. Nguyen is the first woman from Vietnam to win the pageant which is now in its eighteenth edition. 86 young women from all the world competed in the popular pageant whose mission is to promote the care and preservation of the planet Earth. 


L-R: Mexico, Colombia, Vietnam, Austria

Nguyen's court includes Miss Earth Air 2018 Melanie Mader of Austria, Miss Earth Water 2018  Valeria Ayos of Colombia, and Miss Earth Fire 2018 Melissa Flores of Mexico. Completing the top 8 were the delegates from Italy, Portugal, Philippines and Venezuela. Rounding up the top 18 were the delegates from Chile, Netherlands, Slovenia, South Africa, Brazil, Ghana, Japan, Montenegro, Nepal and Romania. 

Nguyen was crowned by outgoing queen Karen Ibasco

The show was broadcast worldwide and streamed live via Miss Earth's Facebook page and YouTube. James Deakin hosted for the second consecutive year.  Entertainment was provided by multi-awarded recording artist Brian McKnight

The pageant was without any drama. Miss Venezuela Diana Silva collapsed backstage and was unable to join the rest of the Top 8 finalists. Her faint is reminiscent of Clara Sosa who fainted after she was crowned Miss Grand International 2018 last week. Allegedly, Silva was replaced by the next top scorer, Miss Vietnam.


An Instagram photo shows Miss Venezuela Diana Silva (lying in a gurney) who recovered from her faint, surrounded by the Venezuelan team led by national director and former Miss Earth Alyz Heinrich (far left)






10.25.2018

Paraguay Wins Miss Grand International 2018



 Clara Sosa of Paraguay was crowned Miss Grand International 2018 on October 25 at The ONE Entertainment Park in Yangon, Myanmar. She is the first woman from her country to win the crown since the pageant began in 2012.  After hearing her country's name as the winner, Sosa was in state of shock, fainted, and fell on the stage floor while her first runner-up, Meenakshi Chaudhary from India, looked for help. 



After being revived by the pageant staff, Sosa managed to regain her strength, be crowned, and do her victory walk. 


Completing her royal court were (l-r):   3rd  Runner-Up Nicole Colón of Puerto Rico, 2nd runner-up Nadia Purwoko of Indonesia, 1st runner-up Meenakshi Chaudhary of India, and 4th runner-up Haruka Oda from Japan. 

Sosa will be staying in Thailand for one year during her reign and taking her journey to over 15 countries around the world to promote the campaign  "Stop the War and Violence."

Photo credit: Miss Grand International Facebook

10.21.2018

Miss Globe 2018




The 2018 edition of Miss Globe was held on October 21 at the Amfiteatri i Tiranës in Tirana, Albania. The lucky winner is Yu Yizhou of China. Her court includes:

1st runner-up  -  Montana Lynette Farrah-Seaton, AUSTRALIA
2nd runner-up  - Perihan Koz, TURKEY
3rd runner-up  -  Rosa Fariello, ITALY
4th runner-up  - Alba Bajrami, ALBANIA

Completing the top 15 were the delegates from 
Canada, Russia, Brazil, Vietnam, Myanmar, Estonia, France, Portugal, Philippines and Romania.

Special Award Winners:

MISS BEST NATIONAL COSTUME - Jasmeet Kaur Arneja, INDIA
MISS GOLDEN GIRL - Valērija Mickēviča, LATVIA
MISS TOURISM GLOBE - Paula González Falcón, SPAIN
MISS DREAM GIRL - Michele Theresa Imperial Gumabao, PHILIPPINES
MISS ELEGANCE - Yekaterina Sergeyevna Grudtsova, TATARSTAN
MISS PASSION - Paola Sofía Tanguma Villarreal, MEXICO
MISS PHOTOGENIC - Natalia Roczniak, POLAND
MISS BIKINI - Alba Bajrami, ALBANIA
MISS FRIENDSHIP - Paula González Falcón,  SPAIN
MISS TALENT - Laurène Gildas Via, FRANCE
MISS SOCIAL MEDIA - Michele Theresa Imperial Gumabao, PHILIPPINES

Forty-five young women from all over the world competed in the Albanian-based pageant.

Source: Miss Globe

10.20.2018

Miss Earth Lebanon 2018 Dethroned Over Photo With Miss Israel


Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 20) — A photo with an Israeli fellow has cost a Lebanese beauty queen her title.
Miss Earth Lebanon 2018 Salwa Akar had lost her title after posting a picture with her Israeli counterpart Dana Zerik on Facebook. The photo, which shows the two gesturing a peace sign with their hands, comes with the caption, "My advocacy is to help people find peace and love within themselves so they can love each others (sic) and become peaceful with our mother earth."
Akar, later on, took down the post.
The spokesperson of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday took to Twitter to react to the revocation of Akar's title. He also condemned "Lebanese apartheid."
Miss Lebanon Salwa Akar who participates in the pageant had her title revoked today in Lebanon b/c she "dared" to take this photo w/ Miss Israel.

Miss Israel Daza Zreik is an Israeli-Arab, who proudly represents her country.

Lebanese apartheid must be condemned.
204 people are talking about this
In what seems to be an act of defiance, Akar posted on Instagram, saying she would "finish what I started with or without your support and love."

Lebanon and Israel have been at war with each other for years now. In fact, people who hold Israeli-issued passports are prohibited to enter Lebanon. There are ongoing efforts to stop the conflict, but the two nations have still yet to sign a ceasefire agreement.
The management of Miss Earth has yet to comment on the incident.
The coronation night of the annual pageant will be held in the Philippines on November 3.
Source: CNN Philippines, 10/20/2018

10.09.2018

Miss America Leaders Strike Back At Rebel States


ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — The other heel has dropped at the Miss America Organization, which had endured a revolt by dozens of states this summer against the national leadership of the pageant headed by former Fox News host Gretchen Carlson.
The crowning of the latest Miss America took place last month with the pageant's national leadership largely silent on the calls for their resignation from many states.
But now the national organization is undertaking a purge of rebellious state officials, terminating the licenses of four states, threatening about 15 with probation — and thanking others whose officials stood by the national leadership in the first Miss America pageant without a swimsuit competition.
States whose licenses are terminated must replace current leaders. They can request an appeal hearing from Miss America's executive committee.
The Miss America Organization would not say how it decided which states to terminate and which to threaten with probation, issuing a statement to The Associated Press that read, in its entirety:
"The process regarding Miss America state licensees is confidential."
State officials say their dissatisfaction stemmed not from the elimination of swimsuits, but by the way Carlson and CEO Regina Hopper ran the organization since taking over in January.


Georgia and West Virginia are among states that were notified in recent days that their state licenses are being terminated, Paul Perkins, a lawyer representing both states, told The Associated Press. And a Pennsylvania state pageant official, Chet Welch, confirmed his state has gotten a termination notice as well.
One other state also has been terminated, according to state officials and a former national board member, but its officials did not respond to messages seeking comment Monday.
Other states have been asked to explain — in writing — why they acted as they did in the run-up to the pageant.
A state organization that has its license terminated can no longer claim to be affiliated with the Miss America Organization and must, among other things, turn over bank accounts with scholarship money to the national organization.
Vaden Barth formed a GoFundMe account called the Miss America Organization Leadership Change Fund that has raised over $22,000 to help states defend themselves and advocate for new leadership at the top.
When this year's pageant was held last month, 46 of the 51 state pageant organizations (the District of Columbia is included) had called on the two to resign, along with 23 former Miss Americas.


It followed the release of a remarkable letter from the outgoing Miss America, Cara Mund, in which she said she had been marginalized and bullied by top pageant leaders. An investigation commissioned by the Miss America Organization found no evidence to back up that claim, but investigators did not interview Mund for the report, which was issued the day after the most recent pageant was held.
Carlson, who was Miss America 1989, and Hopper depict the opposition as a "noisy minority" resistant to change, particularly one as large as the elimination of the pageant's swimsuit competition.
But many state officials say their opposition is rooted in a lack of transparency and communication from national leaders, and does not involve the swimsuit decision.

Source: USA Today, 10/8/2018

10.07.2018

Miss World Philippines 2018




Katarina Rodriguez, 26, was crowned Miss World Philippines 2018 at SM Mall Asia Arena in Manila on Saturday, October 6. She will now represent the Philippines at Miss World 2018 pageant to be held in Sanya, China on December 8. Rodriguez is a pageant veteran; she was 1st runner-up at Miss Intercontinental 2017 pageant.


At the same pageant, three other winners were crowned. Maureen Montagne, 25, was crowned Miss Eco Philippines 2018 and will compete in Miss Eco International 2018 pageant in Cairo, Egypt. Alyssa Muhlach Alvarez was crowned Reina Hispanoamericana Filipinas 2018 and will compete in Reina Hispanoamericana 2018 in Bolivia. Kim-Lei Mugford is Miss Multinational Philippines 2018 and will compete in Miss Multinational 2018 pageant to be held in India. The First Princess is Chanel Morales and the Second Princess is Pearl Hung.

Photo credit: GMA

10.04.2018

Miss Asia Pacific International 2018



Hometown girl Miss Philippines, Sharifa Areef Mohammed Omar Akeel, was crowned Miss Asia Pacific International 2018 during the pageant's 50th anniversary at the Newport Performing Arts Theater,  Resorts World Manila on Thursday, October 4. 

Akeel's court includes 1st runner-up Gabriela Palma of  Brazil, 2nd runner-up Melania Gonzales of Costa Rica,  3rd runner-up  Misheelt Narmandakh of Mongolia, , and 4th runner-up Mariani Nataly Chacon Angarita of  Venezuela. 



PHOTO CREDITS: Miss Asia Pacific International Facebook

10.02.2018

Miss Colombia 2018



Valeria Morales, 20, representing the department of  Valle del Cauca, was crowned Miss Colombia 2018 on September 30th during a special "Rumbo a Miss Universo 2018" ("Road To Miss Universe 2018). She will represent Colombia at Miss Universe 2018 to be held in Bangkok, Thailand on December 16.  Her court includes Virreina (Vice-Queen) or 1st runner-up Isabella Atehortua Zapata (Antioquia) and 2nd runner-Alma Beatriz Díaz Bonilla (Chocó) .


Photo credits: Facebook

9.28.2018

Newly Crowned Miss Ukraine Dethroned For Being A Divorced Mother



Veronika Didusenko, who was recently named Miss Ukraine at the country's national beauty pageant, was stripped of her title after pageant officials learned that she lied about being a divorced mother in her application.
Didusenko was crowned the winner of the Miss Ukraine pageant in the country's capital of Kiev on September 20. But her reign as queen didn't last long after the pageant committee decided that she was to be disqualified on Monday.
The Miss Ukraine organization released a statement regarding the 23-year-old's disqualification which said, "In accordance with the Rules for conducting the National Beauty Contest Miss Ukraine, a person who wishes to take part in the National Beauty Contest 'Miss Ukraine' must comply, among other things, with the following requirements (valid for the period of the Contest): – not / was not married; – has no children."
The pageant statement continued,  “The same requirements are indicated in the official form, which is contained in the unified rules and conditions of participation in Miss World contest 2018.”
Source: Fox News, 9/26/2018