MANILA, Philippines–For promoting positivity, a 20-year-old model from Madrid bagged the Miss Asia Pacific International crown, besting 53 other aspirants in ceremonies staged at the Newport Performing Arts Theater at Resorts World Manila in Pasay City on Wednesday evening.
“I believe that my positive outlook in life can guide the next generation to love themselves more and to believe that perfection isn’t everything. Because at the end of the day, we are unique in our own way, and that’s OK,” Chaiyenne Huisman responded to the crucial final question about the candidates’ legacy.
Huisman received her bejeweled crown from last year’s winner, Sharifa Areef Mohammad Omar Akeel, the fifth Filipino woman and first Muslim to win the title.
The Dutch-Spanish beauty who speaks six languages had previously joined the 2018 Miss Global pageant held in February 2019, representing the Netherlands.
In her recent pageant in the Philippines, Huisman had a slow start and took home only one special award—Miss Fashion India—from the pageant’s accessories sponsor.
Other competitors easily overshadowed her, including Mutya ng Pilipinas Klyza Castro who finished second in the poll for “Darling of the Press,” and in the preliminary swimsuit competition.
Castro, a political science student and campus debater from the Ateneo de Davao University, was earlier proclaimed Continental Queen of Asia for her “Beauty in Diversity” video submission, which earned her an automatic spot in the Top 25. She, however, failed to advance to the next stage of the competition.
First runner-up to Huisman was Eoanna Constanza from the Dominican Republic, while second runner-up was part-Filipino Jessica Cianchino from Canada, whose mother Brenda Virtucio is from Laguna.
Brazil’s Carolina Schuler was third runner-up, with Costa Rica’s Fiorella Cortez Arbenz rounding up the winners’ circle.
The global tilt started in the Philippines in 1968 as Miss Asia and later expanded to countries around the Pacific Ocean as the Queen of the Pacific quest. It later rebranded as “Miss Asia Pacific International” before going on a decadelong hiatus.
It was revived in 2016 by a group of young women led by hotelier Jacqueline Tan-Sainz. Since then, the international pageant has been promoting “beauty in diversity,” with this year’s theme being “Love the Difference.”
The Philippine Daily Inquirer is a media partner of the pageant’s 2019 edition.