The International Cultural Association of Japan (ICA) which handles the Miss International beauty pageant project since 1969 has again made it less painful for the Philippines to achieve its 6th crown this year through Kylie Verzosa, inching its way closer to the crown-hegemony Venezuela.
I do not wish to provide you persuasive reasons or justifications why Philippines is Miss International 2016. The beauty pageant is first and foremost, a cultural performance platform wherein women of class, beauty and national identity come together to establish friendship and good relations, and eventually have a good understanding of the Japanese culture. Perhaps the Philippine representative has embodied the purpose more significantly than the other delegates and the judges were able to discern that, behind and in front of the stage.
What I really admire about the Miss International organization is its consistency in promoting Japanese culture among the delegates through different pre-pageant activities, forums and exchanges. The pre-pageant schedules are always on point which include school and city tours, dances, ikebana, kimonos, cherry blossoms and food festival and of course, shopping.
Do I really care about the minimalist backdrop or the hard-to-decipher Nihonggo during the pageant finals? Not really. I’m quite used to it even though I don’t understand anything about the Japanese language. One thing I fully understand though is that Japanese are keen on courtesy and social decorum especially on an event like this. Clapping and shouting at the same time is a big no-no for the audience. So the next time Philippines is called on the stage, just do a Meryl Streep nod as if crowning Philippines is just fairly part of a predictive science hitting the spot accurately.