Why Miss World 2018 Vanessa Ponce de Leon feels at home in the Philippines

MANILA, Philippines — Miss World 2018 Vanessa Ponce de Leon of Mexico is in the Philippines for the Mr World pageant scheduled on August 23.

During an event with Philippine media on Tuesday, August 6, she was asked about her life as Miss World, traveling to various countries, working with charities, and what she wants to do during her quick stay in the Philippines.

FIRST TIME IN MANILA. Vanessa Ponce de Leon says she wants to visit many places as she can in the Philippines including the beach.

FIRST TIME IN MANILA. Vanessa Ponce de Leon says she wants to visit many places as she can in the Philippines including the beach.

On feeling at "home" in the Philippines

I think it's just the people, the way that they treat you. They don't treat me like a stranger. They are very warm to me and they say hello, something we do in Mexico like we say hello to everyone if we know them, we don't know them. Here, people are warm and the food here is fantastic.

On how she handles answering controversial, tough, and naughty questions during interviews

I think I have very strong beliefs so nothing is very controversial. I've learned that people want to get your bad side and they will get your bad side out of a reaction, of an emotional reaction. But I have no emotional reaction, things are the way they are. So I just say the truth in my eyes and the only thing I can say, and it becomes not controversial, it just becomes the truth.

Also we're human beings, even I can make mistakes, anyone can make mistakes.

Is pageantry is sexist?

I think it will be sexist if you make it sexist. I feel very empowered by my postion. I feel so empowered by being Miss World and being to go to every corner of the world and help people and change lives for the better. What can be more empowering than that.

Also, I think it's not only about beauty because you have nothing to do with your beauty. That's in your genes of your parents. So who is going to get that medal? Give that medal to our parents because they created you because you have nothing to do with how beautiful you are. But you can work on your inside, on your education, on your talents, and your abilities. That's what you should be rewarded on. On what you've been working something that you've mastered and I think that's Miss World, you mastered your purpose.

BEING TRUTHFUL. Vanessa says she has strong beliefs which translates into her answers to tough questions.

BEING TRUTHFUL. Vanessa says she has strong beliefs which translates into her answers to tough questions.

On the power of social media and how she uses it 

I've never thought of social media as a negative thing because, again, it is with how you use it for and I only use it for good.  It's been hard to post at times because I have no wifi or no signal and I'm traveling and I can't do my own photos. I can't be Miss World, photographer, and blogger and everything, I'm too tired, I'm just a human being.

So I've discovered it's the most probable way I can talk to people. And i can know about you like before getting here, I got thousands of messages from Filipino people go to this place, try this food, hello and they were trying to speak in Spanish.

During the press conference, Vanessa said that she wants to visit as many places in the Philippines as possible. She especially wants to visit our beaches.

"Please someone take me to the beach. I want to do scuba diving. It's been one of my biggest dreams to do scuba diving in the Philippines ever since I saw all the videos of Katarina [Rodriguez, Miss World Philippines 2018], of all of your contestants — these images of beaches and the sea. So I want to go there," she said.

She also said that would love to meet Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray, who was a candidate of Miss World in 2016.

"She's fabulous. I'm glad that you named her. She's fabulous, she's such a great contestant in Miss World and I think as I say exactly where I have to be, she is exactly where she needs to be. She's done great, I've done great." — Rappler.com