Japanese beauty queen Hiro Nishiuchi has been doing her part to entice foreigners to visit the Philippines.
Hiro was appointed by the Department of Tourism (DOT) as Philippine Tourism Fun Ambassador last July. In an interview, she said her goal is to “promote fun in the Philippines through international conversations.”
The beauty queen was first runner-up in Miss Universe Japan 2014. She has visited several places in the Philippines, including Manila, Cebu, Bohol, Coron, and Iloilo.
She’s been in and out of the country these past weeks, and already Hiro feels at home here. She noted how cheerful and light-hearted Filipinos are.
“Here in the Philippines, it seems everybody is always happy. That is contrary to Japanese people because they are busy and they don’t have much time to enjoy. They are very serious with work, like, sometimes, they don’t take a day off.
“Every time I come here, I feel relaxed. My heart is so happy when I’m in the Philippines.”
Hiro shared some Japanese have misconceptions about the Philippines.
“They ask, ‘Is it really dangerous in the Philippines?’ And I always answer, ‘No. And there are so many good things about the Philippines,’” she said.
Hiro is open to the idea of living here.
“I love Makati, there are so many interesting bars there!” she laughed.
An avid traveler herself, having visited over 30 different countries, the 29-year-old hopes to visit Palawan and Boracay soon.
Hiro’s favorite Filipino dishes are Pork Sinigang, Kare-Kare, and Crispy Pata. She also likes to try balut.
She noticed many Filipino food have vegetables for ingredient and she loves that.
“It is very healthy and good for the skin,” she enthused.