Aurora Pijuan withdraws Mikimoto tiara from auction, gallery says

Joel Guinto, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 19 2019 04:27 PM

MANILA -- Beauty queen Aurora Pijuan withdrew her 1970 pearl and gold tiara from an online auction this weekend, citing personal reasons, a consultant for the auction house said Friday.

Pijuan picked up the tiara from Leon Gallery on Friday, the eve of the auction, Lisa Guerrero-Nakpil, told ABS-CBN News.

The tiara by Japanese jeweler Mikimoto is part of Pijuan's prize when she won Miss International in Osaka in 1970. She is the second of 6 Filipinas to win the title.

The last Filipina to win Miss International was Kylie Verzosa in 2016. Mikimoto also crafted the phoenix-inspired tiara of the current Miss Universe and the fourth from the Philippines, Catriona Gray.

Pijuan's tiara had a starting bid of P60,000. She told ABS-CBN News earlier this week that she hoped to use the money from the sale to help Filipino fishermen who figured in an incident with China in disputed waters.

It was still listed on invaluable.com for the Leon Gallery auction as lot 396 as of 4 p.m. Thursday.

Last month, 22 Filipino fishermen were left at sea for hours after a Chinese vessel hit their boat near Reed Bank, causing it to sink. A Vietnamese ship rescued the Filipinos.

The incident sparked a fresh diplomatic row between Manila and Beijing.