Last April, Kylie Verzosa guaranteed that she will win the sixth Miss International crown for the Philippines. Six months later, the 24-year old Business Management graduate and former pre-school teacher from Baguio City made good on her assurance.
Besting 68 other candidates during the pageant’s coronation night at the Tokyo Dome Hall on Thursday, October 27, Kylie was a picture of confidence throughout and made a very convincing case as to why she deserved to be Miss International 2016.
“Three things come to mind when I think of Miss International: culture, education and international understanding. These three work together to make the brand of the Miss International beauty pageant relevant to the global community and to our time.
If I become Miss International 2016, I will devote myself to cultural and international understanding because I believe that it is with developing in each of us sensitivity to other cultures that we expand our horizons, tolerate difference, and appreciate diversity.
All these enable us to achieve international understanding. And I believe I’m prepared to take on this responsibility. Domo arigatou gozaimasu. (Thank you).”
Kylie’s victory came just one day after Nicole Cordoves won first runner-up in the Miss Grand International in Las Vegas. Her victory also marks the first time that the Philippines has two concurrent international titlists as the reign of Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach will not end until January of next year.
Rounding up Kylie’s court as Miss International are Miss Australia Alexandra Britton (first runner-up), Miss Indonesia Felicia Hwang (second runner-up), Miss Nicaragua Brianny Chamorro (third runner-up) and Miss USA Kaityrana Leinbach (fourth runner-up).
Like Pia Wurtzbach, Kylie also had to go through a bumpy road in her quest for an international title. A two-time Binibining Pilipinas contestant, she admitted she was disappointed in her first try at the national pageant after finishing in the Top 15 semifinals.
In her second go-round at Binibining Pilipinas, Kylie earned the right to represent the country in the Miss International pageant. Even then, she admitted that she felt short of her actual goal.
“I wanted Miss Universe. And when you get into something, you should aim for the top,” she later told InterAksyon.
As excited as she was to compete and give honor to the country, Kylie said she is equally determined to use her reign to push for her advocacies, one of which is mental health awareness.
“I want to talk to the youth of the Philippines, especially the children, about this. Mindset is very important. You have to learn how to think big because it’s not only education that begets success but also proper attitude and mindset,” she mused during the same interview.
Being a volunteer for the Natasha Goulbourn Foundation, Kylie is also at the forefront of pushing for depression awareness as well.
“This is very relevant in this c
ountry as depression is not a tangible sickness and is something that people who have it are still embarrassed to admit. Throughout my reign, I will work to make people more aware of this,” she declared.