During the recent press presentation of the 40 finalists vying for the Miss World Philippines 2019 crown, the pageant’s national director Arnold Vegafria formally introduced their latest roster of beauty queen hopefuls. “Today marks another milestone in Miss World Philippines as we proudly introduce the newest numbers of our growing family. They may come from various persuasions and walks of life but they are committed to one common goal to uphold and perpetuate the Miss World Organization’s guiding principle of beauty with a purpose. They also stand united in promoting our country and acting as our best and brightest ambassadors of goodwill to promote our tourist industry as well as our rich history and cultural traditions,” he shared.
Two new titles were also introduced in this year’s pageant in addition to the Miss World, Reina Hispanoamericana Filipinas, Miss Eco International, and Miss Multinational. The 40 finalists will also be vying for the titles of Miss Eco Teen International and Miss Philippines Tourism. The pageant strengthens its resolve to support relevant causes and tourism. “The Filipina beauty deserves its rightful spot in the global spotlight,” Vegafria added.
Of the 40 candidates, three were familiar faces. From showbiz, former child actress Isabelle de Leon works closely with children who have cancer via the Center for Health Improvement and Life Development Haus in Manila (CHILD Haus). “Even before joining the pageant, I've always been active with certain charities like Child Haus. I've worked with them for nine years. Even as a child, I've always been active in giving my toys to kids at children's hospitals, but you can only do so much as an artist. And that's why it's really, really beautiful that a beauty pageant would have such a positive impact on society which is beauty with a purpose. So what I can contribute is encouragement that number one, we shouldn't let our fears become bigger than our dreams. And we shouldn't be afraid to strive for perfection. Although we'll never achieve it, it will help us push our limits. "And, lastly, we shouldn't be afraid to love and to accept love. We can do great things through love and love always wins,” she said.
Crowd favorite is model-turned actress Kelley Day who is representing Tarlac city. During the presscon, she revealed why her advocacy is very close to her heart. “As you may know, if you saw my intro video, I talked about my auto immune disease which is alopecia and of course that was my first time coming out about it. But prior to that I had done a lot of research on to how we can improve the system because I got it a year ago and I didn’t know how to deal with it. Looking online there wasn’t much especially in the Philippines. Imagine how cancer was 45 years ago. It wasn’t all over the news and people weren’t open about it. That’s where auto immune diseases are right now. And I want to work with everyone that has auto immune diseases. And to get people to accept it just like cancer is,” she shared.
Another strong competitor is Michelle Dee, daughter of Melanie Marquez who won the Philippines' third Miss International crown back in 1979. She is also the cousin of another actress turned beauty queen Winwyn Marquez who took home the Philippines’ first Reina Hispanoamericana crown two years ago. Just like her mom, Michelle has her eyes on the prize and admits she would love nothing more than be able to represent the country abroad. “I’d really love to win the Miss World crown. I love the ideals of the Miss World organization and I believe that my advocacy and the things that I believe in are aligned with the organization,” she said.
The Miss World Philippines coronation night will be held on September 15, Sunday, at the Araneta Coliseum, Quezon City. The winner will compete in the Miss World pageant on December 14 in London, England.