Kylie Versoza, a 24 year-old model and preschool teacher from the Philippines, was crowned Miss International for 2016. Miss Australia Alexandra Britton won first runner-up while Miss Indonesia Felicia Hwang was second-runner-up. Brianny Chamorro of Nicaragua and Kaityrana Leinbach of the United States also made it to the top five. The competition featured ladies from 69 countries.
In her remarks shortly after the victory, an ecstatic Versoza dedicated her victory to her family as well as for everyone in the Philippines. “I didn’t go to this journey alone,” she said. She also thanked host country Japan for accomodating her and her fellow participants. “Arigatou gozaimasu, Japan for having me and the girls. Thank you so much, Japan,” she said.
During the question-and-answer portion, the finalists were asked what it means for them to win the Miss International 2016 crown. Here’s her answer:
“Three things comes to mind when I think of Miss International: Culture, education, and international understanding. These three work together to make the brand of Miss International pageant relevant to the global community and to our time.
If I would become Miss International 2016, I will devote myself to cultural understanding and international understanding because I believe that it is developing in each of us sensitivity to other cultures, that we expand our horizons, tolerate difference, and appreciate diversity. All of these enables us to achieve international understanding, and I believe I am prepared to take on this responsibility. Domo arigato!”
Versoza is the sixth Filipina to be crowned Miss International. Past winners from the Philippines were Gemma Teresa Cruz (1964), Aurora Pijuan (1970), Melanie Marquez (1979), Precious Lara Quigaman (2005), and Bea Santiago (2013).
— CNN Philippines (@cnnphilippines) October 27, 2016