2018 Miss International South Africa, Reabetswe Sechoaro

South Africa is in a pageant Renaissance nowadays after winning Miss World in 2014 and Miss Universe in 2017. It is no surprise that that a gorgeous woman has been selected as the new Miss International South Africa.

Meet Reabetswe Sechoaro, she is the female winner of King and Queen of South Africa, the organization that selects the SA reps to Mister International and Miss International. Nicknamed Rambi, she is the half-sister of South African superstar Bonang Matheba. She is a model and a student taking up accountancy.

Below was her message on Instagram about her win…
Yaaaaay, we did it! I’m your new Miss International South Africa ‘18… 1st of all I’d like to thank God for entrusting me with this title. To the @kingandqueenofsa organization, the judges, my family, friends and everyone who believed in me and who supported me, your kind words and motivation has seen me through it all and without all of you I wouldn’t be in this position! I truly appreciate it, love love love you all… we are going to @missinternationalofficial baby🎉💥❤😘❤#missinternationalsa18 #missqueenofsa18
Do you think Rambi could be the first Miss International winner to emerge from Africa?

* https://www.all4women.co.za/1520600/entertainment/celebrity-photo-galleries/everything-we-know-about-reabetswe-sechoaro-bonang-mathebas-sister


Anabella Castro is Miss International Bound!

After months of speculation on whether Anabella Castro is being handpicked by Colombia’s Concurso Nacional de Belleza to compete in Miss Universe, an announcement has been officially made.

Anabella who was one of the finalists in last year’s pageant was designated the title of Srta. Colombia Internacional. This gives her the opportunity to compete in Japan for the Miss International crown. She will be aiming to win Colombia’s 4th MI crown.
Below is the official announcement on the Senorita Colombia Instagram account of her appointment!

Por designación del Concurso Nacional de Belleza®, Anabella Castro Sierra @anabellacastros , Srta. Cesar® 2017, será Colombia el certamen Miss International 2018. . Castro Sierra obtuvo los títulos de ”Reina de la Policia” y “Elegancia Primatela” durante su participación en el pasado certamen. ¡Deseamos muchos éxitos a nuestra Srta. Colombia Internacional®!

Congratulations to Anabella’s appointment as Srta. Colombia Internacional. All we need to wait for now is whether or not Vanessa Pulgarin will be designated to compete in Miss Universe this year!

The Winning-est Countries & Continents in Miss International

Today’s post focuses on the countries and the continents of the winners of the Miss International pageant. Established in 1960, the Japan-based pageant has 57 winners in its roster. The following breakdown shows the numbers per country and continent where the winners come from.

30 countries so far has won the Miss International title at least once… Out of the 57 winners of the Miss International pageant, only 7 countries account for almost half of its winners.  28 of the MI winners come from these top 7 countries, which is practically 49.12% of the total MI winnings…
1. Venezuela – 7 wins, 7 runners up
2. Philippines – 6 wins, 3 runners up
3. United States – 3 wins, 19 runners up
4. Australia – 3 wins, 6 runners up (Australia gets the lead over Colombia on our list as it has 3 1st runner up placements compared to the 2 of Spain)
5. Spain – 3 wins, 6 runners up
6. Colombia – 3 wins, 4 runners up
7. Poland – 3 wins, 2 runners up
Venezuela and the Philippines are the two countries with the most wins and have a share of 22% of the total number of wins.

Africa – ø wins
Asia & Oceania – 13 wins
Europe – 20 wins
North, Central America & the Caribbean – 8 wins
South America – 16 wins
35% of the MI winners come from Europe, the most for any continent followed by Asia with 13 wins. Africa has no crowns so far, which is why the pageant is criticized as being racist as no African has won the pageant. Even the first dark-skinned winner of the pageant, Cristina Sawaya is from Lebanon. Even that Cristina isn’t totally black, she is more of a mixed mulatto in color, much like Elizabeth Mosquera of Venezuela who isn’t totally black. Asia’s wins is mostly through the Philippines with half of the Asian titleholders being Filipinas.
Will this statistic see some changes this year? We will find out on November when a new winner is crowned.

Miss International Mikimoto Crown

Tokyo-based international beauty pageant is organized by The International Culture Association. Since 1968, the pageant has been mostly hosted in the Land of the Rising Sun with the exception of the years 1971, 2004, 2006, 2008-11.

The pearl crown of the Miss International pageant is one of the most iconic crowns among the Alpha pageants. It is even older in use than the Miss World crown which was first used in 1972. The first version of the MI pearl crown was used in 1967 when Mirta Massa of Argentina was crowned. In the year 1970 the second version of the crown was made to add the bigger arch at the front and the first to wear that crown was Aurora Pijuan of the Philippines. That crown was used until 1998 with Lia Victoria Borrero of Panama. In 1999, Paulina Galvez of Colombia wore the third version of the Miss International pearl crown made by Estelle As-me Jewellery Japan. This was used from the years 1999 to 2014, (15 years) with Valerie Hernandez being the last one to wear it.
Miss International made by the Japanese jewelry company Mikimoto, Japan. It is made of pearls and gold  with an overall total value of US$ 550,000*. The red velvet cap of the crown is attached to the fur-lined base (unconfirmed stories say that it is lined with mink  or ermine fur) to which a silk ribbon is used to fasten the crown to the head.

All Miss International winners get to go home with a smaller pearl and gold tiaras. The tiaras were part of the prizes given to the winners and came in a pink box lined with satin cushion.
* https://www.brilio.net/creator/harga-fantastis-mahkota-miss-international-vs-miss-grand-international-112071.html

National Costume Wish-List for Ahtisa Manalo

We know that the Miss International pageant is still quite far, but we just can’t help but to be excited at the prospect of what would our reps’ national costume be. So we came up with several ideas on possible options.
Today’s post is all about possible national costume ideas for Binibining Pilipinas International Ahtisa Manalo…

1. La Jota Moncadena Costume – the dancers in lavish Maria Clara costume would flick their feet to create a swooshing movement of the saya’s cola. The drama for this costume would be lavish enaguas (petticoats) underneath the costume. In the olden Hispanic times, the more elaborate the embroidery and lace work of the enagua, the more wealthy and affluent the family the lady comes from.
2. Ifugao-themed costume – it is rare to see traditional costumes from the Mountain Provinces being showcased in pageants. With the wealth of ideas and cultures from the collective Ifugao peoples (Bontok, Kankanaey, Ibaloy, Isnag and Kalinga tribes) or even the lowland tribes of the Gaddang and Yogad, surely there is a number of costumes that we can mine from its heritage and traditions.

Which of these wish-list for a national costume would you like for Ahtisa? Comment below!

The Philippines in Misses Universe, World, International & Earth

With the national pageant season on its peak during the first half of 2018, let’s go down and list our achievements in 4 of the biggest international pageants in existence.
How did we fare so far in Miss Universe, Miss World, Miss International and Miss Earth? And in which pageant are we the winning-est?

Miss Universe
– established in 1952 and was first held in Long Beach, California.
– 3 titles, 9 runner up wins and 10 finalist/ semifinalist placements for a total of 22 placements out of 61 participation. We didn’t compete during the years 1958 to 1961 as the two Filipina candidates didn’t opt to compete internationally and there were two years that no pageant was held to select a Filipina delegate.

Miss World
– established in 1951, the oldest of the four biggest international pageants.
– 1 titleholder, 4 runner up placements, 3 top 5 finalists and 11 semi-finalist placements for a total of 19 placements out of 49 participation. Instead of the 51 participations we had, we removed the two years that the Philippine government requested our delegates to withdraw their participation in the pageant in protest to the South African apartheid policy. The Philippines only started to field candidates in this London-based pageant in 1966.

Miss International
– established in 1960, this now Japan-based pageant is where the Philippines has been consistently doing well with the 2nd most wins behind Venezuela.
– 6 winners, 3 runner up placements and 22 semifinalist placements for a total of 31 placements out of 57 participation. The Philippines hasn’t missed a participation in the Tokyo-based pageant since its inception in 1960 except for 1977 when our delegate participated but later withdrew in the competition finals.

Miss Earth
– established in 2001, the Miss Earth pageant was borne from the same management that had organized the Miss Asia Pacific Quest for more than 30 years.
– 4 titles, 4 runner up wins and 10 finalist/semifinalist placements for a total of 14 placements out of 17 editions of the pageant. This is the only pageant among the 4 big pageants that the Philippines hasn’t skipped participating in.

Alpha Pageant Franchise Fees

Just before you read further, a disclaimer first: the figures included in today’s blog feature are neither actual confirmed nor accurate numbers. The pageant industry is notoriously secretive on the franchise fees that they charge different national directors.

The (unconfirmed) Franchise Fee estimates of the Alpha Four Pageants…

So with that out of the way, here is the estimated approximation of the franchise fees for the four biggest international pageants.
Miss World – they charge around a measly US$ 10k for every national pageant but there is a catch, each pageant franchise are said to require to have a national pageant where its main winner goes to MW.
Miss Universe – one of the highest fees in the pageant circuit as the pageant is the most competitive among the 4. Newbie countries are supposedly charged around US$ 10k while bigger and more competitive countries like Venezuela and Thailand  are rumored to go beyond 100k.

Miss International – UPDATE (April 18, 12noon) according to some sources close to a ND, the MI has a ‘franchise fee’ that starts from US$1,000 up to US$ 10,000. However each of the franchise holders/ national directors can choose how much they can pay for the franchise fees.
Miss Earth – with the third biggest participants among the four pageant the ME  franchise fees are relatively smaller although not as much as MI.

Miss International 2018 on November 9th in Tokyo!

Anybody travelling to Japan on the first week of November? Well you are in luck as the Miss International pageant will happen on November 9th in Tokyo!

It has been recently announced and posted at the Miss International website that the pageant will take place at the Tokyo Dome come November 9th. An expected 70 candidates will participate from all over the world including the Philippines’ Ahtisa Manalo and Venezuela’s Mariem Velazco. With the recent announcement that the Miss Universe will take place on November 25th, seems like the month of November is going to be a busy month for pageant fans!

Eva and Vickie: On Fitting the Miss International Mold

Two exquisite doll-faced beauties, one singular title. Who gets to win it?

If there were any candidate that would fit immensely with the traditional mold of the Miss International title, those would be Eva Psychee Patalinjug and Vickie Marie Rushton. These girls are giving me headaches nowadays on who fits the Miss International title better. Both ladies are blessed with delicate facial features. Both ladies are blessed with curvy bodies. Both ladies are very well educated and well-mannered. Both are alums of the Mutya ng Pilipinas pageants. And both, are the type of girls that we would be proud of should they represent the Philippines in a global stage.

Vickie has always been one who flew under the radar and that has suited her personality. She falls into the category of the demure and behaved damsel, to which our moles have whispered to be allegedly within the favorites of the BPCI honchos. Eva on the other hand has a bit more spunk and is a bit more feisty than Vickie. Owing that perhaps to her being a Law student where she has to always have a stand. And she knows how to bring drama in her presentation. She too is allegedly an insider favorite.

Vickie stands at 5’6″ while Eva is at 5’7″, nowadays height has not become a major issue like in the past. Just look at the 5’6″ Demi Leigh Nel-Peters whose face surely won her the top plum. It all now boils to the face and the attitude. Both Vickie and Eva have the advantage on those.

#Nostalgia: Miss International 1995 Anne Lena Hansen

Back in the 90’s aside from Miss Universe, there are only 2 other international competitions that I followed closely: Miss Asia Pacific Quest and Miss International. So it is no surprise that today’s post is on another Miss International winner, this time from Norway.

Froken Norge 1994 (Miss Norway) was Anne Lena Hansen. Back in 1994, the blonde 2o year old was her country’s representative to the Miss World pageant held in Sun City, South Africa. She was one of the 87 contestants that year. Unfortunately for her she didn’t manage to crack the semifinalists that year that saw Aishwarya Rai as winner.

However, she was tasked to represent Norway in Miss International the following year. The 5’8″leggy,  blue-eyed beauty was a hit among the Japanese as she easily fit the mold of what the pageant is looking for. She easily sailed through the semifinalists that year and went on to bring home the second MI title for Norway. Anne Lena was named Miss International 1995 at the the Shinjuku Pension Hall in Tokyo on September 10th that year. The blonde stunner bested a chocolate skinned Miss Venezuela, Ana Maria Amorer in the pageant. The Philippines’ own Gladys Dueñas was one of the 15 semifinalists…

One special tidbit is that Anne Lena’s win was number 3 in a “four-peat” victory for Europe in the pageant (Poland-Greece-Norway-Portugal) in the 90’s. Plus another trivia is that in the decade of 1990 to 1999, six out of the ten winners in that 10 year span were all from Europe. It is also interesting to note that the blonde Anne Lena was crowned by Christina Lekka of Greece who was also blonde when she passed on her crown (despite the fact that she was a brunette when she won in 1994).

She became a model both in Japan, USA and internationally following her reign and even during her reign as she endorsed several Japanese brands and beauty products. Anne Lena later became an actress in both Norway and in Hollywood.