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​I received an invitation to interview the winners of the recently concluded Miss Asia Pacific International 2016. But because I just can’t flee my work in the office until two-thirty in the afternoon, I can’t make it to this morning’s press conference at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel & Casino. 

The pageant took place on Nov. 23, 2016, at the plush Sheridan Beach Resort and Spa in Puerto Princesa, Palawan, and was hosted by Asia’s Got Talent host and one of the Philippines’s most visible hosts, Marc Nelson, together with Miss Asia Pacific 1993 winner from the Philippines, Michelle Aldana. 

Thank you, Jessica Cardenas-Gamao, for the invitation. There’s always an eternal next time for a pageant buff like me. Congratulations to the Miss Asia Pacific International bigwig, Jacqueline Tan-Sainz, on the successful coronation. 

Personally, I love it that the winners were crowned in swimsuits, not in traditional evening gowns, especially because I think it’s just fitting and germane to the fact that the pageant was held in the island of Palawan, known for its world-class beaches with white sands and clear waters. 

Congratulations to Tessa le Conge (center) of the Netherlands on winning the Miss Asia Pacific International 2016 crown; as well as to the fourth runner-up, Miss Korea Soyeon Kim (extreme left); the second runner-up, Mutya Ng Pilipinas Ganiel Krishnan (next); the first runner-up, Miss Thailand Chawanya Thanomwong, and the third runner-up, Miss Cook Islands Felicia George (extreme right).