Tokyo: A Philippine beauty queen has been crowned Miss International in a pageant marred by allegations of intimidation that kept her predecessor away. She will use her title to help victims of the country’s devastating typhoon.
“This is my dream. Thank you Japan for giving it to me,” an ecstatic Bea Rose Santiago said at the event, held late Tuesday in Tokyo.
“I’m going to use my crown and my title to help the victims” of Super Typhoon Haiyan, which raked the Philippines last month, leaving nearly 8,000 people dead or missing.
“So this is actually for my province, and this is for the Philippines.”
Santiago was selected from among 67 candidates representing countries and regions of the world.
In a break with pageant custom, she was crowned by Spain’s 2008 Miss International and not by her immediate predecessor, who stayed away from the glitzy show.
Yoshimatsu said since winning she has faced a running battle to maintain her independence from the management agencies that form the backbone of Japan’s entertainment industry.