Beauty queen-turned-actress Kylie Verzosa shared her thoughts about the cancellation of this year's Miss International pageant due to the threat of COVID-19.
During the media conference of the upcoming film Bekis on the Run, Kylie, who was crowned Miss International in 2016, acknowledged the efforts of the Japan-based organization to push through with the pageant despite the pandemic.
"'Yung Miss International po kasi, sobrang close ko po kasi sa organization and alam ko 'yung hirap na napagdaanan nila to push this pageant for the past years. Sobra sobra 'yung mga effort na ginawa nila pero, unfortunately, 'yung Japan government 'yung hindi pumayag for the pageant itself. So medyo restricted tayo doon, pero siyempre, it's still the safety of the girls na kino-consider. 'Yung Japan government na 'yung may say dito," she said.
For the second year in a row, the Miss International organization decided to cancel its pageant due to concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic. They made the announcement in late August, or a few months before the pageant's scheduled coronation night.
"We would like to express our deepest regret especially to the participants from all over the world and to all those who have been supporting our event every year. We humbly ask for your understanding in light of this unusual circumstance which is beyond our control," Akemi Shimomura, the organization's International Cultural Association chair, said in a statement.
Reacting to the cancellation, Kylie again stressed the struggles of the organization to push through with the competition amid the global health crisis.
"As hard as they try, there are factors talaga, most especially 'yung government ng Japan na hindi talaga nila maa-allow 'yung tourists to come in the country," she said.
With regard to the 2020 Olympics, which was held in Tokyo, Japan this year, she said: "I guess the Olympics was a different. Olympics is the Olympics and siyempre different story na 'yun, different celebration, and it's been there for so many years."
Meanwhile, Kylie said she isn't too worried that the Miss International pageant will lose its "essence" because of its consecutive postponements.
"I don't think it will ever. Pero I really know they try their best to establish themselves as one of the oldest pageants in the country, and patuloy ko pa rin naman nirerepresentahan 'yung Miss International. And happy ako na 'yung highest crown ng Binibining Pilipinas is still Miss International so it's something still to be proud of," she said.
She also shared her message to Hannah Arnold, who was supposed to represent the Philippines in the Miss International 2021 pageant.
"Pageant pa lang nakita ko na 'yung potential niya as Miss International, so kayang kaya niya 'yan," she added.
Catch Kylie in Bekis on the Run on Vivamax starting next Friday, September 17. The comedy-drama film directed by Joel Lamangan also stars Diego Loyzaga, Christian Bables, and Sean de Guzman.