MANILA – This year’s Miss International pageant is set to happen this November in Japan and Philippine bet Hannah Arnold already has plans on how to prepare for it, as she goes for the country's seventh crown.
In an interview with G3 San Diego for her YouTube series, the 25-year-old beauty queen said she intends to study Japanese culture, which past delegates also did when they represented the Philippines in the international pageant.
"I am such a fan of Miss International that I really enjoyed the performance of Ate Bea (Rose Santiago), Kylie (Verzosa), Ahtisa (Manalo), Patch (Magtanong). Every year, I really watch it. I see what these girls do. They really study Japanese culture. They are so respectful by learning the language. Even their outfits, it’s so perfectly prepared. I know it’s going to take a whole village to prepare me,” she said.
Arnold said she actually studied Japanese in high school but would like to take a refresher “and make sure it’s a good representation of the Philippines that we are willing to learn their culture.”
She would also like to pay homage to Bb. Pilipinas Charities Inc.’s Stella Marquez Araneta, who was the first-ever Miss International.
“Madam Stella is the first Miss International and it’s the 60th Miss International so what I want to do is I want to celebrate her. I want to somehow incorporate maybe if she had a particular outfit that might have been captured. I want to bring that with me,” she said.
Furthermore, she would love to have a dialogue with the country’s past winners to get tips from them.
“I want to ask her lots of questions, all the past winners. I just really want to be the voice of the Filipinos there. Again, if I am allowed to travel around, I want to go in the community and hear what other people would want to say and hear their suggestions. It would really take more than just myself to bring home the seventh crown,” she said.
Arnold first joined Bb. Pilipinas in 2019 and finished in the Top 15. Clinching the crown on her second try, Arnold confessed she was not really thinking she would win the Bb. Pilipinas International title this year.
“I think everyone can see I wasn’t standing up very straight. I was a little slouched because I was just thinking I’ll come back again next year, it’s not my year. I was really thinking that. I wasn’t thinking I had done the best that I possibly could. Honestly, I was so nervous. I was just like, okay, hopefully my parents will be okay if I don’t have a crown this year. I was just thinking about them,” she said.
“When I heard Bb. 17, it was amazing. Because again, I was just thinking about everyone who helped me during this journey. It’s really their crown also.”
Arnold said she frantically looked for her phone so she could make a video-call to her parents who are based in Australia.
“It’s two hours ahead but they had a watch party so they had a lot of friends over,” she said. “My mom was crying so much. I think her dreams came true also.”
Arnold is Filipino-Australian whose mother hails from Masbate, while her father is of Irish-Australian descent.
She was born in Masbate province as well but grew up in Canberra, Australia. She has been flying back and forth from Australia to the Philippines since she was a kid.