Nagbalik-bayan sa Lebak, Sultan Kudarat si 2018 Miss Asia Pacific International Sharifa Areef Mohammad Omar Akeel.
Our newly-crowned queen, Sharifa Areef Mohammad Omar Akeel, shared her inspiring back story and personal advocacy to promote diversity in a recent interview with Philippine Daily Inquirer. She is indeed a perfect fit for the Miss Asia Pacific International crown, and her message is one that is relevant and timely to the diversity issues this generation faces. Link to the full article is on our bio.
Si Sharifa ang maituturing na unang kapatid na Muslim sa na sumali sa isang prestihiyosong international pageant at naiuwi ang korona.
Joining Mutya ng Pilipinas this year was never a part of my plan because all I want was to take the Board Exams, but God wanted me to learn one thing, that is to never give up on your dreams. One day I realized, why not give it a try. Everything seems like yesterday, should I say the dream I had yesterday is now a reality. After all the challenges I've been through on this journey were all finally paid off.It is indeed true that there are things that sometimes our mortal heart and mind failed to conceive. I still can't believe that I was able to handle all the things that confronted me. Since the first day of my journey, all I asked is that God may guide and bless me with strength, tenacity and wisdom, for I need those to carry the pressures in every day. Well God was really good I made it through, with the help of those people who never left me during the most difficult moments of life. After I was crowned Mutya ng Pilipinas 2018, I faced the biggest battle of my life, that was to represent my country the Philippines to an international competition. Since I dont have enough preparations for my international pageant, all I have with me was that very dream, I used to dream years ago. I hold on, I worked hard and I made it. This accomplishment of mine is for all of us, and for the community and country I belong. Thank you @mutya_ng_pilipinas, and @missasiapacificintl for opening your doors to women like me who came from diverse culture. Thank you for making my childhood dream a reality. To the ONE UP THERE who made everything possible my billion thanks. Please don't get tired of supporting and together we will walk this journey. 😭❤️❤️ Love, your Miss Asia Pacific International 2018, Sharifa Mangatong Areef Mohammad Omar Akeel
Sa mga kuhang larawan, mas lalong hinangaan si Sharifa sa kanyang determinasyon na maiahon sa kahirapan ang kanyang pamilya.
Kasabay ng kanyang reign bilang Miss Asia Pacific International, nasa plano din ng beauty queen ang kumuha ng lisensya para maging isang ganap na guro.
Photos courtesy to John Kristoffer Ferlarca