Miss International 2016 Kylie Verzosa returned to the country Friday, November 11, to a warm welcome as she promotes her advocacy on mental health and cultural diversity.
“I am really happy to be back here today. I left with the Philippine sash and I’m glad to come back with the Miss International sash. Like I said in my speech, I did not go into this journey alone. I had help from my mentors, I had help from Binibini, I had help from my angels, I had help from the people of the Philippines who have prayed for me. This is not only my journey but your journey as well,” said Verzosa during a victory press conference at the Novotel in Cubao, Quezon City.
“So I stand here in front of you as your new Miss International. I promise to be the best Miss International,” Verzosa, 24, ended her welcome remarks.
Verzosa, an Ateneo De Manila University alumna, was recipient of the Manila Bulletin Readers’ Choice special award during the 2016 Binibining Pilipinas beauty pageant in April.
Asked why she did not wear her crown, Verzosa said: “It will follow. It’s still with Miss International.”
She is the sixth Miss International from the Philippines since the pageant started in 1960.
Verzosa also said that she will promote mental health and cultural diversity as part of her advocacy.
Sought to give to advice to people who are suffering from depression, Verzosa said: “It’s important to know that you have it. To accept that you have it. Once you know it, it is easier to fight depression like what’s really causing it. You take care of your body, your mind, your thoughs. It’s not easy but you have to surround yourself with good people, educate yourself and a lot of other things going through it. You are not alone and it is curable.”
The beauty queen from Baguio City also clarified reports that President Rodrigo Duterte visited her during his state visit to Japan recently.
“President Duterte did not visit me. He was at a conference in Japan and a lot of people think I met him. No. I chased him. But what I liked about it was that he stopped for me, He did not stop for anyone else but me. Fan moding at that time. I’m looking forward to meeting the president again,” Verzosa said.
Verzosa also said that she prayed a lot during the finals of the pageant and that she could have done better with her speech during the semis. In the contest, girls who made it to the semifinals round were asked to deliver a speech on why they should be chosen Miss International.
“Actually with the speech, I could have done better. It wasn’t as perfect as I wanted it to be. In the middle I stumbled a bit. But I told myself, ‘bawiin mo ito ‘cause it’s not perfect.’ So I made it the best that I could. On stage you don’t know how you’re performing. You just do the best you can and you’ll see the result in the end.”
A victory parade will be held at the Araneta Center in Cubao, Quezon City on Friday, November 18. Another victory parade has been scheduled in her hometown.