French embassy congratulates new Miss U

Perseus Echeminada, Helen Flores, Delon Porcalla, Alexis Romero, Paolo Romero - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - The French embassy congratulated yesterday Miss France Iris Mittenaere for bagging the 65th Miss Universe title, calling her the “brightest symbol”of the 70-year-old Philippine-French diplomatic relations.

“We are very proud that Miss France Iris Mittenaere has been crowned Miss Universe 2016, a year after Miss Philippines Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach,” French Ambassador Thierry Mathou said in a statement.

“It is even more symbolic this year as we mark the 70th anniversary of diplomatic ties between France and the Philippines. To witness Pia Wurtzbach pass the crown to Iris Mittenaere was truly a beautiful moment that represents the friendship between our two nations and our common quest for excellence,” he said.

Mathou also congratulated all the contestants of the 2016 Miss Universe competition held at the MOA Arena in Pasay City. The country’s bet, Maxine Medina, made it to the top six of the pageant.

By making it to the top six, Medina still deserves the country’s adulation, Malacañang said while congratulating Miss France.

“She represented the Philippines well in the international scene,” presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said in a statement yesterday.

He congratulated Mittenaere for winning “not only the nod of the judges but the affection of the entire world as well.”

“People of France are rejoicing. Truly, this is a proud moment for their country,” he said.

“Iris brought tremendous joy to her people by representing France well on the international stage with her winning grace, regal bearing and inspiring answer. Our best wishes to the 65th Miss Universe,” he added. 

For Vice President Leni Robredo, Medina will remain “an inspiration to Filipinos whose inner beauty, strength and confidence shine in every situation.”

Senators also congratulated Mittenaere but said Medina was the winner in their hearts.

Sen. Grace Poe cited Medina for her stellar performance in the competition.

“Landing in the top six of a prestigious pageant is a feat in itself. She has conducted herself with utmost grace and charm, and that makes her a winner in our hearts,” Poe said.

Sen. Nancy Binay said Mittenaere “shone brightest” and taught the people “to try and keep going to attain our dreams.”

“I also congratulate our country’s representative to the pageant, Maxine Medina, for displaying tremendous grace and poise amidst the pressures of the pageant,” Binay said.

She said Medina also exemplified the beauty of the country, as well as the world famous hospitality of the Filipinos.

Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian said Medina mesmerized viewers by “exemplifying the singular elegance and charm of the Filipina” in the pageant. “Maxine, you made us proud,” Gatchalian said.

Sen. Richard Gordon said Mittenaere would make a good ambassador of goodwill “with her stylish looks and charming personality.”

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