Mai Ngan edged out eight other candidates to win the Miss Southeast Asian 2016 crown, after an exhilarating and emotional week-long competition held in Pekanbaru, Indonesia.
Ngan, a 25-year-old business owner from Ho Chi Minh, also won the Designer Dress award. She inherited the crown from fellow Vietnamese Thu Vu, Miss Southeast Asian 2014-15.
Miss Borneo Cheryl Lynn finished first runner-up. Miss Myanmar Nay Thiri Tun placed second runner-up and won the Multimedia award.
Completing the Top 5 were Miss Philippines Kimberly Tee (Best Model winner) and Miss Malaysia Jane Wong (Talent winner).
The finale was held Saturday, May 28, at The Baliview Luxury Villa in Pekanbaru. The contestants paraded down the stage in their national dresses, featuring Splendors of Southeast Asia (dances from their own countries), and designer dresses.
The pageant was created in 2013 as an avenue to promote goodwill among Southeast Asian communities.
A tourism management student from Colegio de San Juan de Letran Manila will represent the Philippines in the third edition of the Miss Southeast Asian pageant.
Kimberly Sinuldong Tee, 21, was second runner-up in Miss Esplanade Philippines pageant held last year. She was appointed by Makoy Manlapaz, Miss Southeast Asian Philippines national director.
Tee, the third Filipina to wear the Philippines sash in this regional pageant, has big shoes to fill following the first runner-up placements of her predecessors: Clarize Barrameda (2013) and Princess Nicole Diloy (2014).
The finals will be held on May 28 in Bagansiapiapi, Indonesia, where 11 countries from the region will be participating. The event is organized by Alan Sim, president of the Mister International Pageant and Pradit Pradinunt, president of Mister Global.
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After the country’s victory in Miss Earth, runner-up finish in Miss Intercontinental and semi-finals placement in Miss Supranational and Miss World pageants, Philippine representatives in other minor pageants also showcased what Pinay beauty queens are made of.
Odessa Mae Tadaya was crowned Miss Heritage 2014 last December 20 in Johanesburg, South Africa. First princess was Anna La Borde of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines while Botswana’s Katlego Gaotsenelelwe finished second princess.
The pageant, formerly known as Miss Heritage World, aims to initiate “positive change in the world through the use of world heritage”.
Miss Global Catherine Almirante finished second runner-up in the Miss Global 2014 pageant last December 20 on board Crown Princess Cruise from Los Angeles to Mexico. The crown went to Ela Mino of Canada. Almirante also bagged the Best in Long Gown, Best in International Costume and Miss Fashion special awards.
The other runners-up were Australia’s Elise Duncan (first runner-up), Kazakhstan’s Aizhan Lighg (third runner-up) and Sri Lanka’s Benazir Thaha (fourth runner-up).
Miss Southeast Asian Precious Nicolle Diloy finished first runner-up to Vietnam’s Thu Vu in Miss Southeast Asian 2014 held in Thailand.Praethara Charoenkullachoy of the host country is second runner-up.
For seven days, the candidates took part in challenge events which included an evening wear and national costume competition, a speech contest and Cultural Showcase.
Miss Tourism Miss Tourism Philippines 2014 Cindy Madumma did not make it to as a semifinalist, but she did not go home empty-handed. She was awarded Best Evening Gown at the Miss Tourism 2014 World Final held December 10 in Venezuela.