MANILA – Laura Lehmann is coming home all smiles even though she failed to win the crown for the Philippines at the 2017 Miss World pageant.
Unfortunately, Lehmann fell short of making it to the competition’s top 15.
Nonetheless, Lehmann explained why she was beyond proud to wear the Philippine sash during the coronation night.
“I felt so proud showing the world that I come from the land known for its people - their laughter, smile, spirit & warmth no matter where in the world they are,” she said.
“When I first met the girls last month, the first thing almost all of them told me was that they had Filipinos in their neighborhood (kahit sa Caribbean guys paano kaya tayo na abot dun) & that they were the best & kindest type of people,” she added.
India's Manushi Chhillar was crowned Miss World on Saturday as the beauty queen beat out the competition to take first prize at the coveted pageant.
Despite the competition’s outcome, Lehmann said she doesn’t want any of her supporters to be sad.
“What’s important is that we live our lives with a smile & with a heart, because we are so lucky. I want you to know that I had an amazing journey here & that I learned much more than any classroom could teach me,” she said.
Although she wasn’t named the new Miss World, Lehmann is still celebrating her victory as one of the pageant's "Beauty with a Purpose" winners for her dedication to her cause of building a milk bank for a local maternity ward.
“Beauty With A Purpose is really the reason I chose to join Miss World. Watching everyone’s project was so inspiring & it made me so happy because some girls are really doing some amazing things,” she said.
Following this year’s pageant, the Philippines will have to wait at least another year to celebrate a second Miss World winner.
Megan Young remains the only Filipina to bring home the title. She won in 2013.