MANILA – Celebrity couple Christopher de Leon and Sandy Andolong were a picture of extremely proud parents after their daughter, Mariel, bagged the Binibining Pilipinas International crown on Sunday night.
Calling his daughter’s win the “most exciting time of my life,” de Leon said: “I am so proud of her. I’ve been dreaming of this. I’ve been wanting something really, really good for Mariel.”
The veteran actor admitted that he particularly prayed for Mariel to win the Miss International crown.
Following her win, de Leon only has one advice to his daughter. “It’s always humility and victory. Once you’re really grounded, you will make it. That really counts a lot,” he said.
Meanwhile, Andolong couldn’t help but gush over how special this victory is for their family.
“She’s a princess. She’s our princess. Now she’s a queen. This is very special. This has been her dream. Second time na nga and finally, she won. She really prepared for this. Talagang determined,” she said.
Mariel previously joined Binibining Pilipinas in 2013 and finished in the Top 15.
Now a titleholder, Mariel said: “I haven’t absorbed anything yet. Miss International is the crown I’ve also wanted besides [the Universe]. I am really proud of how far I’ve come. It’s just the start of another adventure.”
She also thanked her parents for their unwavering support.
“Thank you nanay, tatay for all the love and support that you’ve given me since birth. I love you so much and this one’s for you,” she said.
Aside from Mariel, the other winners include: Binibining Pilipinas Universe Rachel Peters, Binibining Pilipinas Globe Nelda Ibe; Binibining Pilipinas Supranational Chanel Olive Thomas; Binibining Pilipinas Intercontinental Katarina Sonja Rodriguez; and Binibining Pilipinas Grand International Elizabeth Durado Clenci.
Charmaine Elima and Kristel Guelos finished in first runner-up and second runner-up, respectively.