Is 2016 The Awakening of the Southeast Asian Phoenix ?

Despite the Latina domination in Miss Earth, Asia has awoken and is now emerging as the next big thing in beauty pageants!

It started with a 1-2-3 punch from Miss Grand International wherein Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand were the top three winners of the said pageant. Indonesia’s Ariska Putri Pertiwi bagged the gold crown in Las Vegas winning the first title for Indonesia in an international pageant of renown. Nicole Cordovez of the Philippines and Supaporn Malisorn managed to clinch the second and third spots of the pageant.

A day later, the Miss International pageant saw the crowning of the 6th Filipina Miss International via Kylie Verzosa. During the local pageant, she was deemed as the most apt for the Miss Universe Philippines title but was relegated to the Tokyo-based pageant. Little did we know that it was her destiny to win in Tokyo, Japan. Placing 2nd runner to her is Indonesia’s Felice Hwang, a Singapore-educated banker who is Korean-Indonesian by ancestry.

Then in the Miss Earth pageant held in Manila, we saw ladies from Vietnam, Korea and Macau representing the continent in the semis. Top 8 placer Nguyen Thi Le Nam Em of Vietnam is one of the few Asians who made it thus far (Sweden’s Cloie Skarne would not count despite being a full-blooded Filipina as she represented a European country). According to several Vietnamese friends we have, the question was mistranslated and thus the answer was a bit far from what the question was asked. Had it been that the translation been accurate, who knows if Vietnam could have gotten its first Miss Earth elemental crown. Not to forget that Vietnam recently won the Miss Global Beauty Queen pageant courtesy of Ngoc Duyen, proving that Vietnam is also a country on the rise.

This is why Asia & more specifically ASEAN countries should start learning to unite. There is strength in numbers and this is the time where Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Myanmar and the rest of Southeast Asia to stand together.

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