Make no mistake.
Miss Global is here to stay. And in its fourth year, the stakes are even higher in terms of the quality of candidates. Yes, this batch is fewer than the last at just 40. But boy oh boy, there are a lot of smart and good-looking ladies vying for the 2016 crown.
In the Press Presentation expertly hosted by Angelee delos Reyes held earlier at the Crowne Plaza Hotel Ballroom in Ortigas earlier, I immediately realized how strong the contenders are after finding it difficult to cast my vote for Darlings of the Press (one main winner, 2 runners-up). Just when I thought I had my mind made up from among the A-M countries, along comes another set of excellent representatives from N-V who would make me change my choices.
After all ballots have been casted, host delegate Camille Hirro still emerged as Darling of the Press, followed by the uber gorgeous duo of Caitlynn Henry of Australia and Linnea Johansson of Sweden.
Anyways, I made an early shortlist of easy favorites. And aside from the Philippines, Australia and Sweden, top marks should also be given to Angela Bonilla of Ecuador, Nikola Bechynova of the Czech Republic, Sonam Patel of India, Ester Haikola of Namibia, Daryna Ilvovska of Ukraine, Tima Keilah of Kenya, Britt Rekkedal of Norway (remember her from a previous edition of Mutya ng Pilipinas?), Marina Shameeva of Russia, Elhem Ben Aicha of Tunisia, Malikeh Razavi of Iran and Buppha Nilsawat of Thailand.
Miss Global 2016 will have its Coronation Night on September 24 at the PICC Plenary Hall. But before that, a number of pre-pageant activities will be held in the days and week to come, the most exciting of which will be the Fashion Show and Evening Gown Competition on September 20 in collaboration with One Global FDAP.
Miss Universe 2005 Natalie Glebova will host the finals with actor Derrick Monasterio where former Miss America Nina Davuluri and Senator Manny Pacquiao will be two of the judges.
More updates on our coverage of Miss Global 2016 soon!