Gomez can't believe she won Miss Tourism Int'l

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 03 2013 03:06 PM | Updated as of Jan 04 2013 08:21 PM

MANILA, Philippines – Filipina beauty queen Rizzini Alexis Gomez is still on cloud nine days after she was named Miss Tourism International 2012 in Malaysia on Monday night.

Rizzini Alexis Gomez, Miss Tourism International

During her courtesy call on Philippine Ambassador to Malaysia Eduardo Malaya on Thursday, Gomez said she still could not believe that she won the title.

“I was still floating, asking myself if this really happened. I am honored to represent the Philippines in this pageant. It gave me an opportunity to travel and meet other people. I am excited to travel and learn about new things and culture, which I did during the pageant,” she said.

Malaya, for his part, extended his congratulations to Gomez for giving "further honor to the country.”

“This is a beautiful start of the new year for the Philippines... The Filipino community in Kuala Lumpur is honored to be among the first to congratulate you on your victory, and I hope that you will be a continuing inspiration to other Filipinos. We hope to welcome you again on your next visit to Malaysia,” Malaya told Gomez.

Aside from the courtesy call at the Philippine Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Gomez also met members of the Filipino community.

“She has a very warm persona, and mixes with people very well,” remarked community member Jean Mendoza as Gomez gamely posed with Filipinos transacting business at the embassy.

The Filipina beauty bested more than 50 other contestants from all over the world.

Coming in at number two was Miss Venezuela, followed by Miss Australia and Miss Paraguay.

This is the second time that the Philippines won the crown in the international beauty pageant, which promotes the tourism industry. In 2000, Filipina beauty Ma. Esperanza Manzano won the title.