By Robert R. Requintina
City of Malolos, Bulacan – The inaugural Jewel of the World beauty pageant, an international contest that celebrates cultural diversity, kicked off in this historic city over the weekend. “Jewel of the World pageant… is inspired by the May 21 declaration of the UN General Assembly as the World Day for Cultural Diversity,” said John dela Vega, director of the pageant, during an interview.
Twelve countries are competing for the first Jewel of the World contest. The candidates are Kristina Zamir, Azerbaijan; Laurra Kofi, Cote D’ Ivoire; Claire Boucau, France; Manpreet Kaur Sekhon, India; Miki Kojima, Japan; Ji Young Park, Korea; Ashley Tang Ci En, Malaysia; Chit Myat Noe Htike, Myanmar; Sapana Bhetwal, Nepal; Achelle Joy Medrano, Philippines; Neena Bezuidenhout, South Africa; and Raffha Khong-Ngam, Thailand.
Three special awards were handed to the candidates at the launch of the international contest. The winners were Korea, Best in National Costume; Myanmar, Best in Talent; and Cote D; Ivoire, Bulacan Jewel of the World.
Later, more special awards were handed. Winners of the Darlings of the Press were Myanmar and Philippines; and the Jewel Beauties of the Day as presented by Best Magazine were delegates from Thailand, South Africa and Azerbaijan.
De la Vega said that pageant was supposed to be launched in 2017 but it was delayed to give way to the staging of the Miss Universe pageant in Manila.
The grand finals of the Jewel of the World 2018 beauty pageant will be held at the Dance Vision Arena in San Juan on May 26.