Sharifa Akeel, a Muslim native of Lebak, Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao was crowned Mutya ng Pilipinas-Asia Pacific International 2018 during the pageant night held Sunday at SMO MOA Arena.
Akeel, whose real name is Sharifa Mangatong Areef Mohammad Omar Akeel, is a 21-year-old former Mutya ng Sultan Kudarat 2016 and Miss PRISSA 2017. She draws inspiration in joining beauty pageants, Mutya was her seventh, from her supportive grandmother. Akeel, who won the Best Answer and Best in Long Gown special awards, wants to work on empowering the Muslim women in the country.
During the Q&A round, Akeel was asked on what she thinks about the diversity in beauty pageants.
“I will set myself as an example of it because Mutya ng Pilipinas openly accepted me for who I am despite of my religion. It only means that Mutya ng Pilipinas promotes diversity, beauty in diversity,” Akeel answered.
Aya Fernandez, a broadcast communication student from the University of the Philippines, was named Mutya ng Pilipinas-Tourism International 2018. A native of Taguig City, Fernandez is the sister of Bb. Pilipinas-International 2008 and Mutya 2006 first runner up Patricia Fernandez.
Kesha Ramachandran was named Mutya ng Pilipinas Tourism Queen of the Year International while Pauline Amelinckx was crowned Mutya ng Pilipinas-Global Queen 2018.
Ramachandran, an 18-year-old, dusky native of Iloilo City, is a Filipino-Malaysian of Indian descent. While, Amelinckx, a 23-year-old native of Placer, Masbate, is half-Filipina, half-Belgian who won Miss Bohol 2017. She is presently a Tourism Officer in the Municipality of Tubigon. Amelinckx was awarded the Camera Club of the Philippines (Miss Photogenic) and Best in Terno special awards.
Jade Roberts of the Filipino community of Australia was named Mutya ng Pilipinas-Overseas Communities while Mary Justine Tengof Muntinlupa City and Kristine Micah Malicsiof Navotas City finished as 1stand 2ndrunners up, respectively.
Finishing in the Top 12 finalists were Best in Swimsuit Nina Ancheta, Agatha Lei Romero, Anie Uson, Ebony Bangit and Maria Fe Loayon. Rounding out the Top 25 were Rein Hillary Carrascal, Sabrina-Merlina Binder, Odessa de la Cuesta, Honey Grace Cartasano, Nikka Marie Cristina Castro, Harmony Mayson, Allison Lorenzo, Arianne Deseree Viardo, Maraeileise Perkins, Jeserey Sanchez, Bettina Eleanor Dingemans, Geri Franchesca Camargo and People’s Choice awardee Anna Clarice Patrimonio. Mayuko Hanawa won the Best in Talent award.
Akeel, who was crowned by last year’s Ilene Astrid De Vera, will vie at the 50th edition of the Miss Asia Pacific International to be held in Resorts World Manila on Oct. 4. Fernandez, who was crowned by outgoing Mutya and the reigning Miss Tourism International 2017 Jannie Loudette Alipo-on, will compete in Miss Tourism International 2018 in Malaysia.
Amelinckx will be sent at the Miss Global Beauty Queen contest in South Korea next year, while Ramachandran will vie for the Miss Tourism Queen of the Year International crown in China.
The 50th Mutya pageant special was hosted by Marc Nelson and Iza Calzado with delayed telecast on ABS-CBN.
READ: 50 delegates for Miss Asia Pacific International 50th jubileeREAD: Pinay Muslim bet wins Ms. Asia-Pacific crown
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