Miss Universe candidates arrive in droves to Manila; queens bask in warm welcome
Three weeks before the 65th Miss Universe pageant on January 30, candidates from different parts of the world started to arrive in the country at the start of the week, with more expected to do so in the coming days.
On January 7, Miss US Virgin Islands Carolyn Carter first landed in Manila. According to her biography on the Miss Universe website, Carter is a 26-year-old fashion blogger and painter. She is also an active spokesperson for HIV/AIDs awareness in the Caribbean, with her experience taking her all the way to Uganda.
“Mabuhay Pilipinas! I’m so happy to be reunited with the Philippines for the third time. It feels like I’m coming home, and may I say I am quite thankful all of my luggage has arrived!” she posted on Instagram.
After Carter, Miss Guyana was the second candidate to arrive at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport on January 9. Twenty-six-year-old as well, Soyini Fraser is a personality back home as a host and public relations officer for a TV network. She is also recognized as a Special Ambassador by the Guyana Tourism Authority and says she is looking forward to share “the warmth of the Guyanese people” with her sisters in Miss Universe.
Brazil’s Raissa Santana was the third candidate to arrive, who also posted a message on Instagram for the Filipino people: “Hello Manila! Such a warm welcome from this nice and sweet people!” She uploaded a second post later in the day, her photograph with Hawa Kamara of Sierra Leone, but did not indicate where the shot was taken.
Meanwhile, on January 10, Miss Thailand Chalita Suansane returned to Manila after attending the pageant’s kick-off party in December. She won over those who witnessed her arrival at the airport what with her thoughtful ensemble of a stylishly modern barong Tagalog.
“Safe and sound. Sawasdee ka & Mabuhay,” the 22-year-old Thai beauty queen wrote on her Instagram too.
Wednesday evening saw more candidates arriving, led by Miss Albania Lindita Idrizi, and Miss Tanzania Jihan Dimack and Miss Kenya Mary Esther who flew to Manila together.
Miss Costa Rica Carolina Duran and Miss Nicaragua Marina Jacoby arrived past 5 a.m. on Thursday, followed by Miss Canada Siera Bearchell, Miss Mexico Kristal Silva, Miss USA Deshauna Barber, Miss Vietnam Dang Thi Le Hang, Miss British Virgin Islands Erika Creque, Miss Singapore Cheryl Chou, Miss Indonesia Kezia Warouw, Miss Namibia Lizelle Esterhuizen, Miss Russia Yuliana Korolkova, Miss Malaysia Kiran Jassal, Miss India Roshmitha Harimurthy, Miss Belgium Stephanie Geldhof, Miss Chile Catalina Paz Caceres, Miss Argentina Estefania Bernal, and Miss Uruguay Magdalena Cohendent later in the day.
Expected in Manila, including these arrivals so far, are over 80 candidates who will vie for the coveted crown. As reported by The Manila Times in past issues, they will have a very busy pre-pageant schedule, which will take them all over the country, including Baguio, Vigan, Cebu, Davao, Boracay, and Batangas.
As of press time on Friday, 25 more Miss Universe candidates arrived, among them were Miss Great Britain Jaime-Lee Faulkner, Miss Cayman Islands Monyque Brooks, Miss Slovak Republic Zuzana Kollarova, Miss Curacao Chanelle de Lau and Miss Barbados Shannon Harris.
ARRIVAL PHOTOS FROM DOT