Whether you’re a pageant fan or not, expect to see a lot of news about beauty pageants from around the world. This year marks a very interesting year in pageantry because the 4 major international pageants (Miss Universe, MIss World, Miss International and Miss Earth) are all being held in November. Not to be outdone are other pageants that are slowly gaining a major following and establishing themselves.
Kicking off the international pageant season is Miss Grand International 2017.
Quick facts about Miss Grand International
Year established: 2013
Place of origin: Bangkok, Thailand
Advocacy: “Stop the War and Violence”, Peace
Founder: Nawat Itsaragrisil
First winner: Janelee Chaparro of Puerto Rico (2013)
Current Titleholder: Ariska Pertiwi of Indonesia (2016)
Host Cities: Bangkok, Thailand (2013-2015)
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA (2016)
Phú Quốc, Vietnam (2017)
The pageant’s main advocacy is to bring peace and to stop the wars in the world. We could not have sent anyone more appropriate to this pageant but Elizabeth Durado Clenci, Bb. Pilipinas Grand International 2017. Last September, she was appointed by the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) as the National Peace Ambassador.
“As an ambassador of peace, it is my goal to inspire us ALL to be ambassadors of peace, unity and understanding... Peace isn't achieved by just one person, one leader, one influencer. Each and every one of us plays equally just an important role. And I think that's where equality starts... knowing that you.. .no matter your age, race, religion or sexual preference... are just as equal and significant as anyone else, to make a difference in this world. “
Clenci said, “I’m super excited to represent the Philippines in Miss Grand International. I want to continue to have the morals of a peace ambassador. Because that is what I believe in. I reached out to OPPPAP as a citizen of this country and how can achieve peace in this country.”
Though the Philippines has done very well, the crown still eludes us. Asked about how this affects her, she said, “I’ve been working very hard. I’ve never really focused on what my predescessors have achieved. I’ve always said that we are all different individuals, this is our own journey. We already feel like winners and we’ve already grown as indivudals. So that’s the most important thing. However, I plan to be the first Miss Grand International from the Philippines.”
Clenci is not only a peace advocate but also a health advocate. A few days before she left, Clenci also spoke about “Redefining Inner Beauty” at the Global Mala Event in Taguig. She narrated her struggle with a severe case of eczema during college. It got so bad that her skin would tear when she would lift her arms. After consulting several specialists in Australia, she was told that she would have to be medicating herself for life with lotions and ointments.
Undeterred by this horrible diagnosis, Clenci said that she was so desparate to cure herself that she resorted to raw veganism cold turkey. In the initial months, her skin condition got worse but this didn’t stop her. She knew that by detoxifying herself through this it would eventually get better. Over a year into her regimen, Clenci started to see the difference. To this day, she remains a vegan. What a journey it has been for her to eventually become a beauty queen.
Photo by Martin San Diego/Rappler
Since her arrival in Vietnam last October 5, 2017, Clenci has been on fire on social media. She has made quite a fashionable impression with her outfits. Unlike other queens who solely rely on a stylists, Clenci was very hands-on in chosing her wardrobe. Her fashion choices reflect a sophisticated, elegant and classy woman. She has often opted for very clean, modern lines and less of the sequins, bodycon mini bandage dresses or nude illusion gowns.
Prior to the competition, Clenci wasn’t very active on her social media. She even said, “Social media is an interesting one. I keep having my sister, friends and mentors bugging me about posting more because I’m not very busy on it. It hasn’t been my main focus. I do use it as a platform for what I have to say and spread my message. It’s been a challenge for me but I’m doing my best.”
After seeing her Instagram posts since her arrival, Clenci seems to be doing more than her best as she’s been delighting pageant fans with her lively videos and outfit of the days (OOTDs). She also tore up the runway during her Swimsuit Presentation.
Mabuhay A post shared by Miss Grand International (@missgrandinternational) on Oct 16, 2017 at 3:53am PDT
here's an HD version of Liz's walk. #missgrandinternational #missgrandinternational2017 @mselizabethclenci @bbpilipinasofficial A post shared by Voltaire Tayag (@voltairetayag) on Oct 16, 2017 at 11:56pm PDT
Undaunted by the task at hand and seeing that this title is more than just a crown, it is trul a cause worthy of fighting for. Clenci brings it back to focus on the peace advocacy she shares with the MGI organization.
“Peace is built on effective communication, understanding and equality. So those are the 3 main keys of achieving peace, not just in our nation but i think in the world. One of the biggest things whic are lacking are communication and understanding. That’s the biggest focus I want to push as well as the rehabilitation psychologically of those suffering from war torn areas," she said.
Elizabeth Clenci is doing the country very proud because she is representing us in the best way possible. Not only has she worked very hard on her catwalk, her wardrobe, hair and make-up which are part of being a beauty queen. But more importantly, she walks the walks and talks the talk. She had the determination to fight her agonizing skin problem and succeeded. Now, she is staunchly working towards helping bring a mindset of peace not just to Filipinos but to the rest of the world.
Let us all support Elizabeth Clenci, Miss Grand Philippines 2017, on her bid to capture the Philippines’ first MGI title. The Preliminary Competition is on October 23, 2017 and the Finals Night will be on October 25, 2017. – Rappler.com
Voltaire has 10 years experience in the fashion industry. He previously worked with a luxury clothing and accessories brand in Los Angeles, CA. He graduated magna cum laude from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, major in Fashion Design. He also holds a BS in Applied Economics and BS in Marketing from DLSU. He is now doing real estate but finds time to pursue his passions in his spare time.
More Miss Grand International on Rappler