MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines has come so close to the Miss Grand International crown many times but always fell short in the end, with the strongest finish coming in second place. Teen queen Nikki De Moura wants to change that and finally win the elusive ‘golden crown’ that many Philippine pageant fans have been dreaming of.
“I have been training for months and I know I am ready,” the 19-year-old international model said during her press conference at the Savoy Hotel in Newport City in Pasay City on October 1.
“Of course there is a lot of pressure, because this is my first international election. But I try not to let that get into my head because I know it can affect my performance,” she continued. “I’m shifting my focus to myself, and what I could do to prove myself and also my team, and the things I’m grateful for. So I am very balanced.”
The Philippines finished fourth in the first edition of the pageant in 2013, with Binibining Pilipinas alumna Ali Forbes named third runner-up. Parul Shah and Elizabeth Clenci then also achieved podium finishes.
Nicole Cordovez and Samantha Bernardo were the two closest to the crown, finishing first runners-up in 2016 and 2020 respectively. Last year’s representative and the last representative sent by the Bb. Pilipina’s pick Roberta Tamondong initially finished in the Top 21. She later took over one of the five fifth-place runner-up spots when a semifinalist withdrew the slot.
De Moura won her national title in the standalone Miss Grand Philippines pageant organized by ALV Pageant Circle of talent manager Arnold L. Vegafria, who is also the national director of the Miss World Philippines pageant.
The Brazilian-Filipino girl from Cagayan De Oro City defeated 29 other candidates to inherit Tamondong’s Miss Grand Philippines title, beating early favorites Michelle Arceo and Herlene Budol, who were crowned Reina Hispanoamericana Filipinas and Miss Philippines Tourism, respectively.
De Moura will fly to Vietnam for the 2023 Miss Grand International pageant, which will culminate in a coronation show to be held on October 25 at the Phu Tho Indoor Stadium in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Isabella Menin of Brazil will crown her successor at the end of the ceremony. EDV