MANILA – Miss World Philippines 2017 Laura Lehmann is planning to enlist the help of Megan Young before she competes in the Miss World international pageant.
In an interview with ABS-CBN News after winning the competition on Sunday, Lehmann said she intends to learn everything she can from Young, who is the first and only Filipina so far to bag the Miss World title.
“Luckily, we have our Miss World of our own. We have Megan. My plan is to interview Megan a little bit and ask for her tips and advice. I’m sure she’ll be able to give me the best advice that she can,” she said.
With the new challenge that she is about to face, Lehmann’s only hope is to make the Filipino people proud.
Miss World Philippines national director Arnold Vegafria, for his part, likes the beauty queen’s chances.
“I am very happy with the results. They are all deserving. I appreciate the judges’ decision. Malaki ang laban ni Laura. I am very satisfied with her performance. Actually all of them, they performed very well. Laura, I can see that she can be the best candidate for the Miss World competition in November,” he said.
Miss World Organization chairperson Julia Morley also expressed confidence in all the Filipina ladies who will compete internationally.
“To be honest, I think any girl that was up on that stage can win. They did a really good job. I just feel that they are going to get prepared now to meet 135 other nations. As long as they are true to the Philippines, just be themselves, they will do fine. They will be great representatives,” Morley said.
Meanwhile, the 24-year-old Lehmann revealed that her feat in Binibining Pilipinas in 2014 was one of her motivations when she joined Miss World Philippines.
“This crown means a lot to me. I joined my first national pageant back in 2014 so it’s been quite a while since I returned to pageantry. And back in 2014, I lost. I was a runner-up and I saw all the other girls with a crown. It’s nice that for the first time, I’ve got the crown on my own and not just any crown but a crown with a purpose,” she said.
Asked what she plans to do next following her victory, Lehmann said: “I know with a crown, you have a voice, you have a platform and I hope I can use that to raise awareness for a beauty with a purpose project, just to show people that beauty queens are not just about looking good.”
More specifically, Lehmann hopes to continue her advocacy of promoting rural education in the Philippines.
“Basically what we do is we visit rural elementary schools in the provinces. We interact with the kids and sometimes we teach them lessons that aren’t available in their typical curriculum,” she said.
“I think what makes it sustainable is that we always donate books and we build libraries so even after we’re gone, even after we left the school, there’s always a library for them to enjoy,” she added.
During the question and answer round of Miss World Philippines 2017, Lehmann was asked to respond to people “who believe that pageants do not provide an opportunity to empower women.”
She answered: “To anyone who doesn’t believe in pageants, I would ask them to take a look at the girls that we had on stage tonight. Because we had lawyers, we had architects, we had women of substance who are here to day not only because of what they look like, but also because of what’s in their heart, what’s in their mind, and because they brought forth ‘Beauty with a Purpose’ projects.”
“They are here fighting to represent the Philippines and become the best version of a Filipina. And to me, that is something to celebrate, not protest,” she ended.
Lehmann is set to represent the Philippines in the Miss World international pageant in China this November.