ILOCOS NORTE - The Miss Earth 2016 candidates received a warm welcome as they visited the different tourist destinations in Ilocos Norte.
Only 10 out of 90 candidates were selected to visit the province as part of the ancillary events of the international beauty pageant.
Joining the entourage who arrived Friday were candidates from Colombia, Korea, Ecuador, New Zealand, USA, Mexico, Vietnam, Suriname and Guadeloupe.
Miss Philippines Earth Imelda Bautista Schweighart also joined the trip.
Miss Vietnam Nguyen Thi Le Nam Em expressed her joy in experiencing the warm Filipino hospitality and in seeing the beauty of the country for the first time.
"I’m very happy to be here. The weather is very beautiful. The people are friendly. I love the Philippines," she said.
Schweighart, meanwhile, said she feels proud, knowing that her fellow candidates appreciate the country and its people.
"It’s so wonderful to be the host country. Dala ko ‘yung Philippines sa sash at ako talaga nagho-host sa kanila. Doble ‘yung pagod ko as in," she said.
On Saturday, a special mini-pageant sponsored by a beach resort and convention center was held. Miss Ecuador bagged the title as Miss Earth-Hannahs 2016, while Miss Philippines and Miss USA were runner-ups.
Retired Col. Ricardo Nolasco Jr, owner of the beach resort, hopes that the Miss Earth 2016 candidates' visit to Ilocos Norte will give greater impact to the province’s tourism promotion efforts.
The Miss Earth 2016 coronation night will be held on October 29 at the Mall of Asia Arena.