Miss Philippines Alexandra Faith Garcia was crowned Miss Aura International 2021 during a competition held in Antalya, Turkey last Sunday night (Monday morning in Manila).
This is the first time that the Philippines has participated in the 15-year-old international pageant. Established in 2006, the contest was formerly known as Miss Kremer International.
“We did it, Philippines! Your Miss Aura International 2021,” wrote Garcia on social media.
Other winners were Miss Romania Alexandra Stroe, 1st runner-up; Miss Ukraine Katerina Pidkopai, 2nd runner-up; Miss Colombia Maria Del Mar Meza, 3rd runner-up; and Miss France Cassandra de Soussa, 4th runner-up.
The Miss Aura International Philippines Organization initially planned to hold a national pageant, but due to time constraints and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, they opted to hold a special screening.
After considering the international pageant’s requirements and qualifications, Alexandra was chosen as the inaugural Philippine representative. During the final selection process, she won the nod of the organization as she fits the 4Bs qualifications that the international pageant is looking for – Beauty, Behavior, Brain, and Body.
Garcia, from Olongapo City, is no stranger to beauty pageants as she had participated in several national pageants since 2012. She joined Miss Silka Philippines 2013, Mutya ng Pilipinas 2014, Reyna ng Aliwan 2015 and Bb. Pilipinas 2016 and 2020/2021 editions.
The 16th edition of Miss Aura International has been scheduled to take place from Sept. 20 to Oct. 5, 2021 at Rixos Sungate Resorts, Antalya City, Turkey. Organized by Turkish business tycoon Adnan Seker, more than 40 countries and territories are expected to compete for the crown. Portugal’s Andreia Correia is the reigning winner.
Miss Aura International Philippines Organization is headed by Kathleen Katniss Griffiths – a Fil-Am Designer from California. Griffiths owns the Philippine franchise and also serves as the National Director. Other members of the Org are Jovita C. Laureola (Managing Director), Ferdinand Abejon (Overall Pageant Coordinator and PR Director), and Kenley Filarca (Multimedia Director).
Before Garcia left for the pageant abroad, she promised to raise the Philippine flag in Turkey.
“As I venture out to Antalya, Turkey, I’m taking you all with me. I have my whole country across my heart to support me. The moment I’ve been waiting for is bound to happen. After all the hard work, sleepless nights, training, and preparations, all I say is that I’m all set to raise our flag in the Miss Aura International 2021,” she said.
- National Costume
Garcia wore a national costume inspired by a beautiful Filipina woman who loves horses named “Philippa” which derived from the word the Philippines.
An elegant Filipiñana intricately designed and showcased the Philippines symbolism, it displays and mimics the beauty of the national flower which is Sampaguita, rained with thousands of pearls that represent the country as the Pearl of the Orient, and a Kalesa which is a small 2-wheeled calash used as transportation in the Philippines.
This national costume exhibits different elements as it was made of 3D laces, acrylic beads for body details, skirt that was made of dancing pearls and a hand-painted cape adorned with kalesa that illustrates Philippines culture and tradition.
Ensemble with a beaded fan derived from pamaypay or abaniko, a mainstay of women’s attire, and a crown made of pearls and crystal beads that shows a strong, passionate, and empowered Filipina.
On Facebook, Garcia wrote that there are many firsts that happened in her pageant journey in Turkey.
“The feeling is still so surreal. This moment was just a dream for the longest time, and now it is a reality. This was truly God’s plan.
“There are many “firsts” that had happened in my Ms. Aura International 2021 journey, and let me share some of it.
I was appointed as the “first” ever Filipina to compete in this year’s Ms. Aura International.
“Travelling to Turkey, I need to get a visa and it was actually my “first” ever Visa. During the process, my team had encountered problems with their Passport renewals and Visa processing since it was ECQ during the time in Manila.
“I had my “first” ever long flight and my “first” ever International travel all by myself. Not to mention the luggage and boxes (containing my NatCos) that I need to carry (I didn’t know how I was able to summon all the strength to carry those baggage which are actually heavier than me) 🤣
“I had to book my flight a few days earlier before the start of the actual activities to allow myself to adjust to the time difference. (+5hrs PHT) I didn’t expect it, but I was actually the “first” candidate to arrive at the venue here in Antalya, Turkey.
“At the start of the activities & after seeing our National Costumes, the Ms. Aura Team had decided to put me at the end so I was the “first” candidate in line, making me candidate #1.
“Today, in my ‘first’ ever International pageant, I was crowned as the “first” ever Filipina in Ms. Aura International.”
“I’m still in awe with all of the things that had happened. Thank you so much everyone for the love & support that you have given me. It would not be possible without all of you.”