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Like A True Queen: Katarina Rodriguez Gracious In Defeat After Almost Winning Miss Intercontinental 2017

The elusive Miss Intercontinental title may have slipped from the hands of Philippine representative Katarina Rodriguez, but she has nonetheless made the country proud with her impressive first runner-up finish.

Miss Intercontinental started back in 1971 as a promotional event for the tourism in Aruba, and evolved into an international, annual pageant that showcases beautiful and talented young women from around the world. This year's pageant, which was held on January 24 (January 25, Manila time) at the Sunrise Garden Beach Resort in Hurghada, Egypt, crowned Mexico’s Veronica Salas Vallejo as the Miss Intercontinental 2017. Placing second runner-up is Catherlinjne Heppenhuis from Netherlands.

Aside from being the first runner-up, Katarina was also named as Miss Intercontinental Asia and Oceania.

 

 

Katarina, who was also a runner-up on Asia's Next Top Model, was a strong contender. The beauty queen whose advocacies include peace and HIV-Aids awareness placed third in the pageant’s online voting. Then come the coronation night, she not only wowed in the swimsuit and evening gown portions, she also gave a very impressive answer during the question and answer portion.

The question: “What is the most important thing that you have learned about participating in Miss Intercontinental?" The 24-year-old Filipina beauty queen, who looked stunning in a pink strapless Francis Libiran gown, confidently answered:

"The most important thing that I have learned while participating in Miss Intercontinental is actually an Arabic word, which is named after one of the resorts in Sunrise. It’s called Meraki. It means to do all things with passion, soul, and creativity. When I heard this word and the definition, it resonated with me 'til now and I think it will for the rest of my life. Therefore, that is the most important thing I learned while participating in this pageant. Meraki, to do all things with soul, passion, and creativity."

 

 

It was a brief, straight-to-the-point, and very-well-said answer. She didn’t beat around the bush and, more importantly, she didn’t buckle.

Miss Mexico, on the other hand, was asked what qualities the Miss Intercontinental should have. Veronica said that she should have “passion, discipline, love” for what she does.

Knowing that she gave her best, Katarina naturally felt sad that she didn’t win. In a live video uploaded on the Facebook page of Miss Intercontinental, Katarina joined Miss Mexico and Miss Netherlands, and was seen teary-eyed as she commented, “Okay lang ito, okay? I miss all of you, I miss my country. It was a tough ride, it was a lot of work, a lot of hours.”

During the actual coronation, Katarina shared on Instagram that Miss Mexico’s crown fell off her head. She wrote, “YES, I did have to pick it up and hand it to her. How could I not say it was such a painful thing for me to do? But when giving the crown to her I swear to you there was this energy that went through her and straight to me and this is where I knew I am no longer a child but a woman.”

 

 

Here is the EXACT moment where I turned FULLY into a woman. Congratulations to Miss Mexico @veritosalasvallejo the new Miss Intercontinental 2017! You are a vision, truly. I came to Egypt for one thing and one thing only: the Miss Intercontinental crown. This crown to me represented my becoming a real woman. Myself, and DOZENS of people behind me dedicated so much time and effort to ensure I would win. I cannot say I would have done anything differently because I was very aware from the moment I stepped into the NAIA airport of every action and word I produced. I can tell you that after rewatching the coronation last night I can confidently say I was FLAWLESS. Never had I been more ready for anything in my life. I had hundreds of thousands of people right behind me and each of you were the gas to my fire. It was not about me anymore it was about YOU. Here is the thing though, a queen does not necessarily have to be flawless. The Intercontinental crown did fall off Miss Mexico’s head when she was crowned and YES, I did have to pick it up and hand it to her. How could I not say it was such a painful thing for me to do? But when giving the crown to her I swear to you there was this energy that went through her and straight to me and this is where I knew I am no longer a child but a woman. Seeing her beautiful face while handing it back to her, well, I felt PROUD for her, and no pain at all. It was the lightest feeling I have felt in weeks. That crown was never mine and somehow always her’s. I don’t want to read any comments talking superstitions or anything hurtful especially from my Filipinos. Vero is a queen and she is MY queen, MY Miss Intercontinental 2017. She is a sweetheart and very much deserving. She taught me grace by her energy and warmth in a matter of seconds and only a true queen could empower another woman in such a manner. Let us keep that grace Philippines, for this is only the beginning. Viva Mexico, Viva Pilipinas. ????????

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It truly takes maturity to accept defeat, and for that, Katarina is a true queen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Katarina collaborated with her good friend PJ Almera for this photoshoot, which was done just before she left for Egypt for the Miss Intercontinental pageant. On this shoot, PJ told Metro.Style, "We shot all these layouts in just one day from 4pm-12mn. We took a lot of layouts just to make the shoot very productive, and we didn't know we would come up with around 10-12 sets with wardrobe, hair, and makeup changes!"?

 

And as we’ve seen during Katarina’s Miss Intercontinental journey in Egypt, she is also a style queen in the making. Her outfits are smart and sophisticated yet fun as well.

Her fashion stylist and good friend, PJ Almera, shared with Metro.Style that each and every outfit went through careful planning: “We planned for almost a month but we finalized and packed everything only in one night.”

“Katarina is one of the smartest beauty queens I know. She comes up with concepts that are super well thought out, like her departure outfit; she wanted to wear the colors of the flag but didn’t want to make it look tacky or costume-y, still fashionable and elegant,” PJ adds. “Katarina is actually not a fan of high-end brands. She’s more of what looks nice rather than what is expensive.”

 

 

Airport #OOTD

 

Plane Jane Chic

 

My kinda airplane fashion. Head to toe in #GUESSPh ??

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Sultry in Sheer

 

Pretty in Pink

 

“I’ve got my ‘Rhett’ dress on tonight.” ?? So in love with this @rhetteala ??

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Blooming Beauty

 

White Hot

 

In this life, you are sometimes put through some of the most difficult challenges, where you may feel up against a wall, with nowhere to run, and no one to understand you, and there’s just this feeling of anxiety that you can’t shake off. Alone? That might be the word to label these moments. Think of one beautiful thing to hold onto that can act as a reminder that no matter what other people may think or say about you, what they might do to you, or even what awful obstacle the world might throw at you...just breathe, then smile, then throw LOVE right back at them. My reminder in a way is quite magical. For me that reminder is music. Here are some lyrics by Hundred Waters that I’ve been repeating to myself the last few weeks. (Feat. Chance the Rapper ofc!) ?? “Don't let me show cruelty though I may make mistakes. Don't let me show ugliness though I know I can hate. And don't let me show evil though it might be all I take. Show me love. Show me love. Show me love.”

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Sexy and Playful

 

Sharp and Smart

 

Gorgeous Pinay

 

Effortlessly Stylish and Dinner-Ready

 

Boho Chic

 

 

Congratulations, Katarina!

 

Photos from @katarinarodri (cover photo) and @misterpatrickjames (thumbnail)