A New Zealand beauty queen has pulled herself from a pageant in the Philippines due to fears for her safety.
22-year-old Nicole Harding was in Manila for the Miss and Mister Pancontinental 2015 global pageant when the New Zealand Embassy contacted her with concerns involving her safety.
Harding was in Manila for the pageant since November 19 and was to stay till the end of the month.
Diplomatic officials from the embassy told Harding to leave the Philippines immediately due to safety and security concerns happening in Mindanao.
Harding posted a disheartening note on her Facebook page – saying “Unfortunately I am having to leave the Miss Pancontinental pageant early. Due to my safety and security the New Zealand Embassy has decided that it is best if I fly back to New Zealand.”
She also added a notation which many foreigners have when visiting the Philippines by saying “…But with the lack of organisation, climate and security it is unsafe for me to be here any longer.”
Harding, a resident of Christchurch, New Zealand, won the “Beautiful Smile” contest at the World Supermodel NZ pageant in 2015.
Officials said this is the first time that a beauty contestant had been recalled to her home country over security concerns.
A spokeswoman for the embassy said: “The NZ Embassy in the Philippines provided advise regarding Ms. Harding’s safety concerns in Mindanao.”
Mfat’s safetravel has posted advisories for central and western Mindanao, saying it in fact “remains at extreme risk and high risk for the rest of Mindanao.”
The safetravel site also says: “We encourage all New Zealanders traveling or living overseas to register their details on SafeTravel and ensure that they have comprehensive travel insurance.
“There is some risk to your security elsewhere in the Philippines, including in Manila, due to the threat of terrorism, risk of kidnapping and violent crime and we advise caution.”
Like Us on Facebook