Celebrities greeted former Miss Asia Pacific International Sharifa Akeel who will marry Rep. Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu (2nd dirstrict, Maguindanao) in Cotabato City on Wednesday, Aug. 25.
“To our dearest Queen Sharifa , you were a Miss Universe hopeful to many. But your decision to embrace love opens up the Universe in more ways than simply winning a pageant crown. You have chosen the biggest crown of all, a union blessed with love. My prayers and wishes for happiness and a fulfilling life ahead,” said Mutya Pilipinas President Cory Quirino.
Former Mutya ng Pilipinas President Hemilyn Escudero-Tamayo and newly crowned Mrs Tourism Universe said: “Wishing you Toto and Sharifa every happiness together. Through the storms of life, may your love for one another be steadfast and strong. May this union mark the first of the rest of your lives together, filled with love and true friendship. Congratulations on your marriage and best wishes always!”
Jacqueline Tan-Sainz, president of the Miss Asia Pacific International pageant, said she has also extended her congratulations to the future couple.
Sharifa, 24, was a former Mutya ng Pilipinas titleholder. She also won the Miss Asia Pacific International 2018 crown.
When she was crowned Miss Asia Pacific International, the Qatari-Filipino beauty queen dedicated her pageant victory to the Muslims.
“Joining Mutya ng Pilipinas this year was never a part of my plan because all I want was to take the Board Exams, but God wanted me to learn one thing, that is to never give up on your dreams. One day I realized, why not give it a try.
“Everything seems like yesterday, should I say the dream I had yesterday is now a reality. After all the challenges I’ve been through on this journey were all finally paid off. It is indeed true that there are things that sometimes our mortal heart and mind failed to conceive.
“I still can’t believe that I was able to handle all the things that confronted me. Since the first day of my journey, all I asked is that God may guide and bless me with strength, tenacity and wisdom, for I need those to carry the pressures in every day.
“Well God was really good I made it through, with the help of those people who never left me during the most difficult moments of life. After I was crowned Mutya ng Pilipinas 2018, I faced the biggest battle of my life, that was to represent my country the Philippines to an international competition;
“Since I don’t have enough preparations for my international pageant, all I have with me was that very dream, I used to dream years ago. I hold on, I worked hard and I made it. This accomplishment of mine is for all of us, and for the community and country I belong.
“Thank you @mutya_ng_pilipinas, and @missasiapacificintl for opening your doors to women like me who came from diverse culture. Thank you for making my childhood dream a reality. To the ONE UP THERE who made everything possible, my billion thanks. Please don’t get tired of supporting, and together we will walk this journey,” said Sharifa three years ago.