Katarina Rodriguez is Miss Intercontinental first runner-up

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Katarina Rodriguez (right) is declared first runner-up to Mexico’s Veronica Salas Vallejo

Another Binibining Pilipinas has done the country proud in Katarina Rodriguez who was declared first runner up at Miss Intercontinental’s coronation night on Wednesday in Hurghada, Egypt (Thursday morning in Manila time).

Rodriguez wowed judges with her impressive performance in the swimsuit and evening gown competitions, and, proving she has both form and substance, garnered tremendous applause as well in the question and answer portion.

She was asked, “What is the most important thing that you have learned about participating in Miss Intercontinental?”

Rodriguez replied, “The most important thing that I have learned while participating in this beauty pageant is actually an Arabic word, which is actually named after one of the Sunrise Resorts. It’s called ‘meraki.’ It means to do all things with passion, soul, and creativity. When I heard this word and the definition, it resonated with me, until now and for the rest of my life. Therefore, that is the most important thing that I’ve learned while participating in this pageant. Meraki, to do all things with soul, passion, and creativity. Thank you.”


As the top Asian candidate in the competition, Rodriguez also received the titles Miss Intercontinental Asia and Oceania. She further placed in the Top 3 of the pageant’s online poll.

Mexico’s Veronica Salas Vallejo was crowned Miss Intercontinental 2017, with the rest of her court as follows: Miss Netherlands Cathelijne Heppenhuis, 2nd runner-up; Miss Brazil Amanda Cardoso, 3rd runner-up; Miss Colombia Lizeth Mendieta Villanueva, 4th runner-up; and Miss Korea Su Jin, 5th runner-up.

The pageant’s Facebook page showed a video of the coronation night with an emotional Rodriguez, trying hard to hold back tears. In a later video, the Filipina beauty assured fans she is doing well after the pageant and has accepted the results.

Flanked by the new Miss Intercontinental and the second runner-up, she said,

“Okay lang ito, okay? I miss all of you, I miss my country,” tears welling up in her eyes anew. “It was a tough ride, it was a lot of work, a lot of hours. Mabuhay! Mahal kita!”

Rodriguez also praised the winner’s circle and said, “Yung winner, si Miss Netherlands at ako, lahat ng Top 5, magaling lahat kami, promise. Sa beginning of the pageant to the very end of the pageant, lahat kami deserving. Thank you again so much for all of the support. I love all of you guys and I can’t wait to be back home,” she said.

Rodriguez, whose advocacies include peace and HIV-Aids awareness, duplicated the first runner up finish of Philippine bet Christi Lynn McGarry in 2015. Last year’s representative, Jennifer Hammond, made it among the Top 15.

Rodriguez’ significant win further boosted the standing of her fellow Binibining Pilipinas 2017 queens in their respective pageants as Nelda Ibe won first runner up in Miss Globe; Elizabeth Clenci, second runner up in Miss Grand International; and Rachel Peters and Chanel Olive Thomas emerging in the Top 10 of Miss Universe and Miss Supranational, respectively. Moreover, this latest triumph proves that the Philippines remains a powerhouse in the pageant world.

IZA IGLESIAS

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