PH Bet Ma. Ahtisa Manalo Finishes First Runner-Up at Miss International 2018

TOKYO – Ma. Ahtisa Manalo, the Philippines’ bet to this year’s Miss International Beauty Pageant, was named first runner-up in the coronation night held at Tokyo Dome City Hall Friday night.

(L-R) Miss Romania (3rd runner-up), Manalo (1st runner-up), Miss Venezuela (Miss International 2018), Miss South Africa (2nd runner up) and Miss Colombia (4th runner-up)

The 21-year-old accountancy graduate from Candelaria, Quezon mentioned about empowering the younger generation in her speech during the tilt’s top 8 round.

Manalo in her national costume, swimwear and evening gown

“Miss International is a celebration of youth and empowerment. I’ve always believed that age is not a barrier to reach our dreams or to have an impact on others. At 15, I started to help programs in my community for street children. At 19, I graduated college. At 20, I realized that I can speak for good causes to a wider audience, that’s why I joined our national pageant,” Manalo said.

 Manalo reacts as she receives her Miss International 2018 first runner-up crown

“If I become Miss International, I would continue being the voice of the youth in showing that nothing is impossible with hard work and determination. And with these beautiful ladies with me tonight, a family of beauty queens – all beautiful young dreamers and achievers, we will show the world that it is love, peace, and beauty that we truly care about. And together, we shall make a difference,” she continued.

Miss Venezuela Mariem Velazco, besting 76 other candidates, won the crown.

The Philippines has six Miss International winners to date: Gemma Teresa Cruz (1964), Aurora Pijuan (1970), Melanie Marquez (1979), Precious Lara Quigaman (2005), Bea Rose Santiago (2013) and Kylie Verzosa (2016).

Here are the other winners:

4th runner-up – Colombia

3rd runner-up – Romania

2nd runner-up – South Africa

Special awards:

Miss International Asia – Singapore

Miss International America – Argentina

Miss International Europe – Netherlands

Miss International Africa – South Africa

Miss International Oceania – Guam

(Words by Florenda Corpuz, Photographs by Din Eugenio)