How Kylie changed the Miss International global image
By Stephen I. Diaz
In every pageant system, the reigning queen automatically becomes the brand ambassador of the organization. Unfortunately, in this aspect, the Miss International Organization has failed in maximing the potentials of its winners throughout the years.
Among the Big 5 major international pageants, Miss International lags behind in terms of improving its global image. The final gala leaves nothing to be desired because it lacks the excitement and entertainment value that is expected from a major pageant. Basically, we hear nothing about the winner’s activities before she turns over her title to the next queen. While it remains as one of the most important international beauty pageants, the prestige of Miss International rests solely on its long history, and nothing else. But, it seems that this time around they have found a beam of hope.
In 2016, Miss International was the first to be held among the Big 5 pageants. What saved the pageant from being totally forgotten was their choice of winner. Kylie Verzosa of the Philippines was a silent performer during last year’s pageant activities. She made a strong showing in the final night and got the nod of the board of judges. She won the crown after four rounds of competitions, which included the final speech.
Definitely, Kylie is not just your ordinary beauty queen. She is exactly what any pageant organization would love to have as a winner: beautiful, smart, pro-active and hard-working. These and many other qualities have made her reign as the most memorable Miss International winner in recent years. During her reign, she has gone to more than ten countries, which is by far a record-breaking feat. She has crowned four national winners in three different continents, which is another record for a reigning queen under the Miss International system.
The 2012 winner, Ikumi Yoshimatsu, had also tried to accomplish what Kylie has successfully done. Unfortunately, her reign was marred by stalking issues which also prevented her from attending the 2013 pageant activities. Kylie, on the otherhand, had no similar issue at all and was able to set up a strong advocacy that is close to her heart: Mental Health Awareness.
Kylie believes that being a beauty queen means that she has a voice. She did not wait for opportunities to come, but she went after them. Last February, she flew to Singapore to visit the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy and Institute of Mental Health in order to learn and talk about mental health issues. On April, she was invited in Brunei to share her advocacy to a group of individuals. She got the chance to speak to an audience composed of representatives from several countries in the World Health Organization Western Pacific Region. As if that was not enough, she flew to New York to join the Philippine Independence Day celebration together with Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach and Miss World 2013 Megan Young.
Aside from crowning this year’s Bb. Pilipinas – International winner, Kylie got invited by the organizers of Miss International Myanmar. While in the Golden Land, she had the opportunity to sit as a judge and crown the sixth winner of Miss International Myanmar. Paraguay also invited her to crown the Miss International Paraguay 2018 winner who will compete at next year’s pageant. After her stint in Paraguay and a brief side trip to Brazil, she flew all the way to Europe where she had a short stop in the Netherlands and had some relaxing time in Belgium. The highlight of her Euro tour rather happened in France where she crowned the Miss International France 2017 winner.
Kylie also had a recent trip to Indonesia. She performed in a series of events sponsored by PT Amosys Indonesia. She was also fortunate to be in Indonesia during the World Batik Day.
After winning her title, Kylie had two separate visits to Japan. Her first invitation was in Tokushima, together with the reigning Miss International Japan. The other one was in Tokyo where she graced the Philippine Festival. Tomorrow, she will be coming back to Tokyo to officially start her duties as the overall coordinator of this year’s pageant actvities. With 72 expected delegates, Miss International 2017 is going to be the second largest edition to date. Interestingly, the largest number ever recorded was in 2014 wherein reigning queen at that time was also from the Philippines.
Indeed, Kylie may have traveled to several countries during her reign and may have been the most visible Miss International to date. But all these would have never been possible without her strong determination to make a mark. Miss International had hit a jackpot with Kylie, and it is a challenge for them to choose someone who is as formidable as her. She has definitely changed, for the better, the global image of Miss International. Needless to say, her successor will definitely have such gigantic shoes to fill.