Sa November 14, 2017 pa gaganapin ang Miss International 2017 sa Tokyo, Japan.
Pero ngayon pa lang ay excited na ang kandidata ng Pilipinas na si Mariel de Leon.
“Super excited!" bulalas ng anak ng mga aktor na sina Christopher de Leon at Sandy Andolong.
Sabi pa niya, “Kasi it will be my first time din sa Japan, so I’m excited to just absorb the whole experience and to meet the other girls.
“And, of course, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime thing.
“Kasi, after this, parang I can’t join any other pageant na, so…”
Bakit naman niya ito nasabi?
“Well, parang… I won Miss International-Philippines na.
"So, after that, I don’t know where else to go!” sabay tawa ni Mariel.
Nakausap ng PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) si Mariel sa launch ng libro ni Jonas Gaffud na The Crown: Your Essential Guide to Becoming a Beauty Queen, sa Hello Kitty Café, sa Uptown Mall, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig, kahapon, August 21.
Si Jonas ang head ng Mercator Artist and Model Management at kilalang beauty-queen maker na siyang mentor ni Mariel at nina Miss World 2013 Megan Young, Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach, at Miss International 2016 Kylie Verzosa, among others.
GRACE UNDER PRESSURE. May pressure ba kay Mariel na ang reigning Miss International ay ang kapwa niya Pilipina na si Kylie Verzosa?
May mga nagsasabi kasing mahirap ang back-to-back win ng isang bansa sa Miss International.
Saad niya, “Yes, I’ve heard na it’s never been done in Miss International, but I choose not to think about that.
“I choose not to think about the pressure and having to win.
“Like, of course I want to win, but I won’t stress myself.
“I won’t be so gigil with it.
“I'll do the best that I can and put my faith in God.
“And, of course, the support from my family, Aces & Queens, and my other beauty queen sisters, and just have fun.
“‘Coz at the end of the day, it’s just about having fun.”
Ano ang sa palagay ni Mariel ang mayroon siya para siya ang manalong Miss International?
Tugon niya, “Of course, I’m very, I guess, sure of myself.
"And I’m sure of God’s plans for me.
“And I know that if I put everything in my life, in my faith to Him, He will give me what I deserve.
“And if I ask for it, of course, God-willing, He will give it.”
Dagdag ng Pinay beauty queen, “And when I get to the international stage, I’m gonna give it my all, my best.
“I will not hold back anymore, but I’ll still have fun.
“I won’t pressure myself, I won’t stress myself too much.
“And in my speech, I will talk about what’s relevant in today’s world and what’s happening around the world.”
FIRST IN THE FAMILY. Sa kanilang pamilya, si Mariel ang kauna-unahang sumali sa isang beauty pageant.
“Yes, I’m the first, in the De Leons.
"So, that’s nice,” nakangiting sabi niya.
Wala naman daw pressure sa kanya na kailangan niyang manalo sa international pageant dahil dala niya ang pangalan ng kanyang pamilya.
“Well, kasi for me naman, wala.
“’Coz in my head, my family is just like any other family.
"I guess, people think na porke showbiz, special na agad?
“Pero for me, it’s not the case, I guess.
“’Coz I’m used to it and I’ve grown up with it with everything that comes with it.
“So, I don’t think na we’re different from anyone else naman.”
Ayon pa kay Mariel, suportado siya ng kanyang mga magulang anuman ang maging resulta ng contest.
“Kasi my parents reassured me na whatever happens, they’ll still support me and love me.
“And, at the end of the day, that’s all we want, di ba?”