KUALA LUMPUR: The Philippines continued its winning streak in beauty pageants this year when a Filipina was crowned Miss Tourism International 2017 at a pageant held in Malaysia last Wednesday night.
Jannie Alipo-on, of Navotas City, became the fourth Filipina to win in the 23-year-old beauty pageant. The 25-year-old model is a business management graduate of the De La Salle-College of St Benilde in Malate, Manila.
Previous Filipino winners in the same contest were Maria Esperanza Manzano (2000), the late Rizzini Alexis Gomez (2012) and Angeli Dione Gomez (2013).
The Miss Tourism International pageant is usually held on New Year’s Eve. But starting this year, organizers changed its format and decided to stage it before Christmas.
Alipo-on won a scholarship worth RM60,000 from Limkokwing University of Creative Technology; RM10,000 cash, trophy and other prizes from this year’s pageant sponsors.
Miss Poland Maja Aleksandra was named Miss Tourism Metropolitan International; Miss Indonesia Lois Merry Tengel, Miss Tourism Cosmopolitan; Miss Australia Diana Hills Miss Tourism Global; Miss Brazil Julia Do Vale Horta, Dream Girl of the Year; and Miss Thailand Kamolrut Tanon, Miss Southeast Asia.
Miss Malaysia Melissa Ng Sook Khuan won the Miss Glowing Glojas special award.
Mutya ng Pilipinas President Hemilyn Escudero-Tamayo congratulated Alipo-on for her victory. ”Thank you so much Father God! Congratulations to us!”
With the theme “Promoting Tourism, Culture and Friendship,” the beauty pageant is an international talent search platform aimed at promoting Visit Malaysia Year 2020.
In the competition, Alipo-on said on Instagram that she considers Miss Brazil a very nice person. “One of my favs Ms. Brazil @juliahorta. You’re always such a beautiful and kind hearted-person. Thank you for always being so nice to me. And congraaaaaats! The moment you’ve been waiting for! New sash! Miss Langkawi 2017.”
Before Alipo-on competed abroad, she said that she was very thrilled to represent the Philippines in the Miss Tourism International pageant.
“I still can’t believe this is really…really happening.. from not knowing what to do in life to representing my country Philippines in an international pageant. (Goose bumps!!!) This is a big responsibility (OMG). I guess, This is another awesome chapter in my life and I will be forever grateful, especially to those people who believed in me. Wohoo!” said Alipo-on.
Alipo-on is one of Filipino beauty queens to win an international title this year. Other winners were Miss Earth 2017 Karen Ibasco and Reina Hispanoamericana Teresita Marquez. Fellow Mutya ng Pilipinas Ilene won 4th runner-up in the Miss Asia Pacific International pageant held in Manila recently.
It wasn’t an easy road for Alipo-on in beauty pageants. She never stopped dreaming and joined Mutya ng Pilipinas three times. It was only during her third try in August this year that she won in the prestigious local competition. Alipo-on also competed in major pageants such as Miss Philippines Earth and Miss World Philippines.