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New Miss U to Filipinos: You are exceptional!

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By Philippine News Agency

For Miss France Iris Mittenaere, winning the Miss Universe 2016 title was a “dream come true” but she said that getting a warm welcome from Filipinos was also worth celebrating.

Miss France Iris Mittenaere waves to the crowd after being crowned winner in the 65th Miss Universe beauty pageant at the Mall of Asia Arena, in Pasay, Metro Manila, Philippines January 30, 2017. REUTERS/Erik De Castro

Miss France Iris Mittenaere waves to the crowd after being crowned winner in the 65th Miss Universe beauty pageant at the Mall of Asia Arena, in Pasay, Metro Manila, Philippines January 30, 2017. REUTERS/Erik De Castro

“Thank you to all Filipinos—you are exceptional. You are so welcoming and so lovely with us,” the 24-year-old beauty queen said in a press conference after she was crowned.

Mittenaere, a dentistry student, said that all the candidates in the pageant loved the country and the people.

Her favorite tourist destination in the Philippines, she said, was Cebu because she enjoyed the “sunny” weather.

She said that like her predecessor, 2015 Miss Universe-Philippines Pia Wurtzbach, she was looking forward to travelling around the world.

“Miss Universe is a dream. I saw what Pia did. I want to do that also. I want to understand people. I want to travel and meet people that’s why it is a dream for me to be Miss Universe,” Mittenaere said.

She stressed that it was about time that France got another Miss Universe title because according to her “French people love beauty pageants but don’t really know Miss Universe” because her country barely won.

The French beauty, however, said that she feels that more French people and Europeans would start to love Miss Universe even more with her as the new queen.

Asked what advocacies she would like to pursue, the aspiring dentist said that she would like to focus on oral hygiene and education.

“I will be dentist in two years. But now, I will represent the universe and I want to do more than that,” she said.

During her spare time, Mittenaere said that she engages in extreme sports, travelling the world and cooking new French dishes.

She is the third Miss Universe to be crowned in the Philippines. The other candidates crowned in the Philippines were Miss Universe-Spain Amparo Muñoz (1974) and Miss Universe-India Sushmita Sen (1994).

She is also only the second French woman who won the coveted crown. This ended France’s 63-year title drought since the victory of Christiane Martel (1953).

The French beauty queen will move to New York City where she will live during her reign and become a spokesperson for various causes.

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