Florida-born Katarina Rodriguez crowned Miss World Philippines

Katarina Rodriguez

Filipino-American MTV video jockey and model Katarina Rodriguez has been crowned as Miss World Philippines 2018.

Katarina, who placed third at “Asia’s Next Top Model” season two, will represent her country at the upcoming Miss World 2018 in Sanya, China.

Katarina, who was born in Orlando to Filipino parents from Manila and Davao, triumphed other 40 other candidates at the pageant finals yesterday evening (Sunday, October 7).

Before being crowned with the tiara, Katarina won special awards along the way, including Best in Long Gown, Miss Resorts World Manila, Miss Bench Body, Beach Beauty Challenge, Miss Bluewater Day Spa and Miss Cosmo Skin. 

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During the final question-and-answer round at the Mall of Asia in Manila, Katarina was asked: “There are people who believe that beauty pageants are a form of women exploitation. What can you do to change their opinion?”

She replied: “I’d like to think that one should live by example. And I actually would like to admit that I was one of those before, until I learned more about what beauty pageants are about.

“One thing I can tell you is that you may think it’s very competitive but it’s not. You understand beauty pageants when you know that it is actually not competitive against other women. It’s actually competitive towards yourself. And in a sense, it’s all about woman empowerment. And you can feel that in this group of girls, each girl knows that we are all individually beautiful.”

Katarina succeeds Miss World Philippines 2017 Laura Lehmann. In the 2016 Miss World final, Australian-Filipino Catriona Elisa Gray was the bookies’ clear favourite to win, but only managed to finish in the top five.

If successful in China later this year, Katarina will become the Philippines’ second Miss World titleholder after actress Megan Young brought home the country’s first Miss World crown in 2013.

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