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Anna Valencia Lakrini was hailed Binibining Pilipinas Globe 2023 during the coronation night held on Sunday, May 28, at the Araneta Coliseum.
The 25-year-old Filipina-German beauty queen from Bataan will be competing in the Miss Globe pageant in hopes of winning the Philippines’ third Miss Globe crown.
Even though she grew up in Germany, Anna shared that she was able to stayed close to her Filipino roots thanks to her mother.
“My mother did her best in raising me based on the country we were living in, but without really intending it, my mother taught me our Filipino values that I hold close to my heart to this day,” she wrote in an Instagram post.
Anna said that it is her “strong bond” with her family that made her move across continents to reconnect with her “roots” and “home.”
In Germany, Anna has participated in Santacruzan activities, and even shared photos of her posing with her mom and aunt during the event. She also modeled and walked the runway for the 2017 Vienna Fashion Week.
When she’s away from the spotlight, she also works as a German teacher. During the Binibining Pilipinas 2023 press presentation, Anna also mentioned that she can speak English, Tagalog, and French.
In her profile in the Binibining Pilipinas website, Anna listed nutrition, animals, nature, first-aid, and getting to know different cultures and countries as her interests.
She’s also one sporty and talented gal as her hobbies include horse riding, running, doing sports, gym, hiking, diving, and playing the piano.
In an Instagram post, Anna wrote that when she was growing up, she had always wanted to “do more for [her] community.” “I tutored kids in my school, became a school nurse…and worked during the pandemic at a company that provides ventilators to COVID-19 patients,” she said.
For her, it’s “an even greater experience” to be able to give back to Filipino communities. “Since I received so much warmth and kindness, it is only fair to give it back in return, cause nothing great was ever accomplished without making a sacrifice,” she said.
Anna entered pageantry after she got inspired by the journey of fellow Filipina-German beauty queen Pia Wurtzbach. Anna has listed the Miss Universe 2015 titleholder as one of her role models, and wrote that it was one of her “biggest dreams” to meet Pia.
“I finally meet my idol,” she wrote, alongside a photo with Pia in June 2022. “It is because of you that I got interested in pageantry and I just want to be as determined and beautiful with a heart like you.”
In 2022, Anna left Germany to pursue a pageant career in the Philippines. Her first foray into the national pageant scene was the Binibining Pilipinas 2022 competition, where she made it to the Top 12.
During the question and answer round for the 2022 edition, Anna said that her “whole life changed” when she moved to the Philippines just “a couple of months ago” before the pageant. Despite uprooting her whole life, she said that didn’t see it as a “sacrifice.”
“It was my dream and I always wanted to be in the Philippines, not only to join Binibining Pilipinas, but also to be closest to my family and to my Filipino heritage. And today, I am living the dream on this stage,” she said.
When she joined Binibining Pilipinas for the second time, Anna took to Instagram to look back on her pageant journey, and how her “weakness, downfalls, and insecurities” made her stronger.
“When I take time to reflect [on] where I am today and where I used to be, I am truly amazed [by] the empowered Pinay I’ve become. It makes me feel so accomplished,” she wrote.
During the pageant’s talent competition, Anna did a pandanggo dance, saying that she’s proud to have been able to present her culture and the beauty of folk dance.
“I strongly wantd to make an effort to keep folk dances alive as an important cultural and religious piece of our history. Little Anna would be so proud to see me showcase and return to the traditional heritage of our ancestors,” she wrote.
For her national costume, Anna drew inspiration from the legend of the alitaptap or fireflies. The ensemble is meant to be a “representation of hope and courage in the face of adversity.”
Like a firefly, Anna is described as someone who can “radiate her own light” and “spread hope and positivity wherever she goes.”
Anna’s main advocacy is lobbying for accessible and affordable nutrition. During the press presentation, she shared that her journey as a nutritional scientist and advocate for proper nutrition stemmed from her mother’s breast cancer diagnosis.
“This experience made me realize the importance of making a change. That is why I inspire [sic] to have more feeding programs all across the country to teach more people about healthy diet,” she said.
When she was asked at the 2023 question and answer segment about the ways that a beauty pageant candidate aiming for a crown could be similar to a politician running for an electoral post, Anna again drew attention to proper nutrition.
Her winning answer was: “As someone who’s joining for the second time, I know that a beauty pageant has a platform on which we can talk about causes that are dear to our heart. My cause that is dear to my heart is nutrition, and as a nutritional scientist, as an advocate for proper nutrition, I know that in advocating with this platform from Binibining Pilipinas we can inspire so many people. And a politician can inspire a whole community. And so can we.”
Aside from the Binibining Pilipinas Globe 2023 title, Anna was also named Best in Swimsuit in the 2023 pageant. – Rappler.com