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Being the first of the five winners awarded, Parul Shah evidently felt blessed to have heaved a sigh of relief before the rest could, when she was proclaimed as Bb. Pilipinas Tourism 2014 during last Sunday’s Binibining Pilipinas Coronation Night in Quezon City. I bet she was thinking that it was a culmination of her dream—that is, to wear the Philippine sash to the global pageant stage, after doing her damndest but fell short to be numbered among last year’s bevy of beauties crowned. Congratulations!

Parul Shah is hoped to be the second winner from the Philippines of the global China-based quest, Miss Tourism Queen International 2014, in which she will be competing third or fourth quarter of this year. It was in 2006 when our very own Miss Philippines Air 2002 Justine Gabionza brought home the crown. And, take note, this is a totally different one from the Malaysia-based pageant, in which our country has won thrice: Maria Esperanza Manzano, Miss Tourism International 2000; Rizzini Alexis Gomez, Miss Tourism International 2012; Angeli Dione Gomez, Miss Tourism International 2013.

Let’s keep our fingers crossed that the once shaken stability of Miss Tourism Queen International won’t dash our anticipation again, after our beautiful and brilliant Binibining Pilipinas Tourism 2012 Katrina Jayne Dimaranan had nowhere to represent our country to, only because this annual search was put on hiatus. We don’t want another Filipino woman of worth like Parul Shah to wear her sash, let alone crown, in vain. After all, by the standards of those organizers with integrity and those judges with the trained eye for beauty, for sure our country will be one MTQI crown richer this year.