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'I can feel victory': Philippines' Nicole Borromeo sent off for Miss International finals |

Fashion and Beauty

'I can feel victory': Philippines' Nicole Borromeo sent off for Miss International finals

Earl D.C. Bracamonte -
'I can feel victory': Philippines' Nicole Borromeo sent off for Miss International finals
Nicole Borromeo / Earl D.C. Bracamonte

MANILA, Philippines — Binibining Pilipinas 2022 Nicole Borromeo was gladly sent-off my members of the pageant media during a mid-afternoon event at the Quantum Skyview in the newly-opened Gateway Mall 2 in Araneta City.

The beauteous Cebuana hopes to bring home the country's 7th International crowns after past winners - Gemma Cruz (1964), Aurora Pijuan (1970), Mimelanie Marquez (1979), Lara Quigaman (2005), Bea Rose Santiago (2013), and Kylie Versoza (2016) - won the title.

"I can feel victory. I can feel cherry blossoms. You are one of the most productive queens of our batch. You have dipped your toes in the pond. We are all rooting for you," gushed Stacey Gabriel,  Binibining Pilipinas 2022 2nd runner-up, in her message.

Rintaro Shigeyoshi, press officer from the Embassy of Japan, together with corporate sponsors graced the send-off ceremonies.

"There aren't enough nice things to say about you. This is kind of a full circle moment for me; seeing you grow from your early days of pageantry 'til now. You may be competing far away, but you'll be in our hearts all throughout your journey," intimated Katrina Johnson, Binibining Pilipinas 2023 1st runner-up.

It took 14 long months for Nicole to wait out for her chance to compete on the international stage. When the Miss International Organization cancelled the pageant in 2021, due to the global pandemic, it also moved the competing dates of the national queens starting with Hannah Arnold.

"When I won the national title, I know what I got myself into. I decided how to look at things. However long the wait, your time comes. It touches my heart that people believe in me, though they don't know me personally. I wouldn't be here without all my supporters," declared Nicole in her gratitude speech.

"I see myself as a sponge and its ability to open itself up and absorb everything from the outside world. In the end, you squeeze it up and give back to the world. My curiosity, view of the world, and what I've learned about other cultures are some of my strengths in this competition," she added.

Last year, Philippine delegate Hannah Arnold was the only Asian who qualified in the semifinal round. This year, fans and pageant aficionados are very hopeful that Nicole will achieve the highest placement.

"You've got to show them what an amazing person you are. We, your queen sisters, are supporting you all the way," well-wished Anna Lakrini Valencia, Binibining Pilipinas Globe 2023, who will also have her own send-off in a few week's time.

"We are all excited for this journey of yours. For sure, mai-uwi mo ang crown. We love you so much," said Binibining Pilipinas InterContinental 2022 Gabby Basiano in her message.

This year, the Miss International Organization added a new criteria to its annual selection.

"The new criteria of skin quality and body proportion is achieved through discipline and balance, to not go overboard. As regards my advocacy with the United Nations' sustainable development goals, I strongly believe in the importance of well-being; physically and mentally. For how can you have mental fortitude if you don't have a decent roof over your head. It's crucial that nobody gets left behind. Home is more than just a physical place. The best of humanity is done in a community," revealed Nicole.

"During my visit to Japan last year, I appreciated how mindful the Japanese were. You take a bite and savor it! I look forward to meet the Japanese people again, see the beautiful places, and taste their delicious food. Beauty is in a person's heart, much deeper than one's physicality.

"We'll never be as perfect as a 10, but we are better than we were yesterday. You'll never be ready for anything in a competition. I can give 100% but the results are not guaranteed. There's only so much you can change in the things you do. I don't want to look back with regret. But I'll go the extra mile to fight for the 7th crown for the Philippines. This is me, take it or leave it," said Nicole at the close of the event.

The 61st Miss International finale will unfold on October 26 in Yoyogi Gymnasium No. 2 in Shibuya, Tokyo. Reigning queen Jasmin Selberg of Germany will crown her successor at the culmination of the pageant rites. Stay tuned!

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