EARLY pageant favorite Laura Lehmann did not disappoint supporters by winning the Miss World Philippines 2017 crown on Sunday night at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The 24-year-old beauty bested 34 other hopefuls, and vowed to try her best to win the country its second Miss World title when she competes in China on November 18.
Actress Megan Young was the only Filipina to be crowned Miss World, winning the title in 2013. A decade earlier, actress Ruffa Guttierez won second runner-up.
Besides Lehmann’s regal looks and sophisticated catwalk, she won over judges with her answer to the question, “What would you say to people who do not believe that pageants are there to empower women?”
Her winning reply: “To anyone who doesn’t believe in pageants, I would ask them to take a look at the girls we have onstage tonight because we have lawyers, architects, we have women of substance who are here today not only because of what they look like, but because of what’s in their heart, what’s in their mind, and because what they’ve brought forth – beauty with a purpose projects. They are here fighting to represent the Philippines and become the best version of the Filipina and to me that’s something only to celebrate not protest.”
An Ateneo de Manila University graduate, the new Miss World Philippines is a familiar face on TV, especially to those who follow University Athletic Association of the Philippines games. She served as courtside reporter during UAAP’s 77th and 78th seasons.
She later hosted shows for ABS-CBN Sports and then took a spot in the travel show “Listed” on cable’s Lifestyle Network.
Beauty contests are also nothing new to Lehmann. She previously competed in Binibining Pilipinas 2014, when MJ Lastimosa won the Miss Universe Philippines crown. Lehmann had a runner-up finish that year.
On Monday morning, the newly crowned Miss World Philippines took to her Instagram account @iamlauralehmann to share her emotions.
“Surreal, that’s the only word I can use to describe what I’m feeling right now. This is a dream to me and I feel like it’s going to end any moment.
“I truly believe in everything it stands for. Miss World reminds us all that the greatest beauty is that in giving, and I am so proud to be part of it,” she said.
Completing the Miss World Philippines winners were Winwyn Marquez, Miss Reina Hispanoamericana Filipinas; Cynthia Tomalla, Miss Eco Philippines; Sophia Senoron, Miss Multinational; Glyssa Perez, First Princess; and Zara Carbonell, Second Princess.
Save for the first and second princesses, the winners will represent the Philippines in the beauty pageants corresponding to their titles.