A BEAUTIFUL 17-year old Dagupeña traveled to Thailand to seek honor for the province and the country, and as she had wished, she came home with the Miss Asian International 2018 crown.
Gerina Chanel Decena Ancheta who hails from Barangay Pantal, Dagupan City and a student of Phinma University of Pangasinan, bested 18 other candidates from different countries Australia, China, Thailand, Myanmar, India, Indonesia, among others who vied for the pageant title.
She was the youngest among the contestants yet she clinched several minor awards such as Best in National Costume, Miss Smile, Missosology’s Choice Award, and Upfront Model Agency choice.
In an interview with Ancheta on March 8 when she was guest in SM City Rosales’ Women’s Day celebration, she said her journey to the Miss Asian International 2018 competition began when she was approached by Harlijk Mirasol, an international pageant director from Canada and also from Pangasinan.
Her mom, Cristina Decena-Ancheta, was excited about the offer and encouraged her to grab the opportunity.
Aside from the Swarovski diamond- studded crown, she also won plane tickets to different countries for the duration of her reign. She also got a modeling contract.
“I didn’t expect I would be included in the top five,” she said, noting that she was after all, the youngest among the candidates.
She had joined local beauty pageants but only managed to win runner-up positions. But she said she decided not to give up until she gets a crown, and she did. That it was an international crown, was a big bonus.
Ancheta narrated she almost didn’t make it to the pageant because she was initially held and questioned at the Immigration already at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport for not having a formal parental consent to travel alone since she was a minor.
The plane was set to takeoff in 40 minutes and she was expected in Thailand that day. She hurriedly called her mom who who was still at the parking lot of the airport after sending her off. When told she couldn’t leave, her mom who, fortunately had her passport with her at the time, quickly bought a plane ticket to accompany her to Thailand.
“She didn’t have extra clothes and undergarments but good thing her designer’s friend gave her initial change clothes,” she said laughing.
Ancheta said she is proud to have represented the Philippines in the pageant, and having been raised in the country gave her the advantage over the other candidates.
She said she talked about Panagbenga Festival in Baguio City and President Duterte (about his being a strict disciplinarian) when asked during the pageant.
She said studies remain her priority and looks forward to earning her college diploma so it is important for her to keep an effective time management to enable her to do her studies and duties as Miss Asian International at the same time.
Meanwhile, Architect Luz Lani Delovino, assistant mall manager of SM City Rosales, said Ancheta has been tapped for photo shoots and fashion shows by SM since she was 15.
“So it’s heartening to note that she is part in giving inspiration, not only to the youth and the country as well, especially that she is from Pangasinan”. (Eva Visperas)
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