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MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines’ bet Janicel Lubina finished as part of the top 10 at this year’s Miss International pageant held in Tokyo, Japan, Thursday, November 5.
Janicel also won the Miss Best Dresser award. Venezuela’s Edymar Martinez was crowned this year’s winner.
Fourth runner-up was Miss USA, 3rd runner-up went to Miss Vietnam, 2nd runenr-up went to Miss Kenya and 1st runner-up to Miss Honduras
During the final speech, Janicel became emotional, saying that if she becomes the winner, she wants to share her story to the world: that poverty shouldn’t stop any one from achieving one’s dreams. Janicel is former housemaid who also helps to financially support her family.
“To represent the Philippines here in Miss International is a great honor and an achievement for me. As a simple woman who came from a poor family, my dream to have a better life for my family motivates me to never give up. At a young age, I had to work at the rice fields to help my parents while taking care of my brothers since my parents were working.
“Life is full of challenges and hardships but I never stopped dreaming and working hard to achieve my goals in life. I want to be an inspiration to young people that nothing is impossible. Keep following you dreams and have strong faith in God. If I become Miss International, I would like to share my story to the world that poverty is not a hindrance to achieve success in life,” she said.
See Janicel’s photos from the competition.
Janicel wearing a Leo Almodal national costume.
Janicel during the swimsuit portion.
Janicel during the evening gown portion.
The Miss International organizers also handed out the following special awards:
- Best In National Costume – Japan
- Miss Perfect Body – Venezuela
- Miss International Asia – Korea
- Miss International Europe – Portugal
- Miss International America – Aruba
- Miss International Africa – Kenya
- Miss International Oceania – Hawaii
Janicel was one of the favorites to win the title as early as April. Prior to becoming a beauty queen, she started working as a maid to help her mother in earning for their family after her father suffered a mild stroke.
“At that time [I remember] it was my high school… So when I started doing those things yung bilang kasambahay (as a maid)… I was 14 when I worked at the farm,” Janicel told Rappler during her party send-off last October.
She said she would do various choses from cleaning the room to dishwashing. She also said the chores were normal for her because she would accompany her mother.
Janicel said that she will never tire of sharing her story with everyone.
“Hindi siya nakakahiya [being a maid.] Nakaka-proud nga kasi people are very inspired and happy to hear my story and I’m happy that they really appreciate that. And I’m not ashamed to share my story to different people I meet.” – Rappler.com