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All flights go to Japan tonight as the 53rd Miss International Beauty Pageant is happening at Shinagawa Prince Hotel Hall in Tokyo. Some 67 delegates, each representing her own country, have been excited to compete since they arrived in the capital city three weeks ago: for one of the world’s most prestigious beauty titles, Miss International.

No less than our very own Miss Philippines Bea Rose Santiago granted me a gracious chat via online for us Filipinos to know that she’s more than honored to be representing the Philippines. It’s impressive because, considering the slew of hectic pre-pageant activities, Bea was kind enough to accommodate me.

With Mutya Datul’s winning the Miss Supranational 2013 crown in Belarus as well as Megan Young’s Miss World 2013 crown in Indonesia and bringing pride and glory to our country, Bea is not pressured to win the Miss International 2013 crown because of their successful feats from their pageants, respectively. She says, “This is for our brothers and sisters, especially those devastated and affected by Typhoon Yolanda. I want to make them happy and proud.”

Of the four Binibining Pilipinas 2013 crowned queens: Ariella Arida (Miss Universe 3rd runner-up), Cindy Miranda (Miss Tourism Queen International semifinalist), and Mutya Datul (Miss Supranational winner), Bea Rose Santiago credits her being the last to compete as her best preparation and says, of the best advice she’s been given by her Binibini sisters: “They’ve been very generous by sharing their personal experiences and stories with their respective competitions abroad. So I’m very thankful to each of them.”

As of this writing, Bea Rose Santiago should be busy as a bee perfecting her moves onstage in tune with the choreographer’s instructions, yet shining with natural grace and the distinct Filipina charm that could easily steal her co-candidates’ thunder. And as to backstage preparation, Bea says, “We’re advised to do our own makeup, and I’m very excited and confident about it, because I was at a number of makeup tutorials in Manila before I left.”

Our country has won four Miss International crowns: Gemma Cruz (1964), Aurora Pijuan (1970), Melanie Marquez (1979), Precious Lara Quigaman (2005). Will Bea Rose Santiago be the fifth? We can only google the Miss International 2013 results later tonight, since there’s no live telecast of the pageant to the Philippines, as far as I remember.

And let’s remember to pray for Bea Rose Santiago to do well in every segment of the show. Almost always the Miss International Beauty Pageant is known for its unpredictable results, so to pray that Bea may wow tonight’s judges is the least we can do to support our country’s bet. At the end of our online conversation, Bea wrote, “Please pray for me.”

And so for that, I must say and be willing to risk sounding corny that Bea deserves to wear the Miss International 2013 crown because she will be a perfect inspiration for young women not only in the Philippines but also in the whole world. Her faith and humility will inspire many, young and old.

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