Philippines’ Sharifa Areef Mohammed Omar Akeel was crowned Miss Asia Pacific International 2018 last Thursday, October 4, in Newport Performing Arts Theater.
Akeel, 21-year old from Sultan Kudarat, is the first Muslim Filipina to win an international pageant for the Philippines. Akeel’s performances throughout the preliminaries have been consistent, bagging “Best in Long Gown” and “Darling of the Press” awards. Apart from that, she also won second place in Best in Swimsuit and third place in the National Costume Competition.
On pageant night, the final questions was, what do you think is the biggest issue of diversity that the world is facing today and how do you think you can play a part to help resolve it? Akeel’s answer, “One of the biggest issues in our country is cyber bullying. We have to accept the fact that all of us were born with strengths and weaknesses and with that we have our own imperfections. Let us appreciate one’s uniqueness and relevance. And as a millennial, I believe the millennials value compassion and idealism, striving for uniqueness and authenticity because you are a beautiful creation of God, no matter who you are and wherever you are in the world. Beauty is indeed diverse and it is visible to all of us.”
Akeel is the fifth Filipina to win the Miss Asia Pacific International crown since it’s founding 50 years ago.
List of winners :
Miss Asia Pacific International 2018: Sharifa Areef Mohammed Omar Akeel, Philippines
1st runner-up: Gabriela Palma, Brazil
2nd runner-up: Melania Gonzales, Costa Rica
3rd runner up: Misheelt Narmandakh, Mongolia
4th runner-up: Mariani Nataly Chacon Angarita, Venezuela