Miss Asia Pacific Int'l Chaiyenne Huismann: Post-pandemic pageants will be ‘greater, better than ever’ | Inquirer Entertainment
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Miss Asia Pacific Int’l Chaiyenne Huismann: Post-pandemic pageants will be ‘greater, better than ever’

/ 05:29 PM April 21, 2021

Miss Asia Pacific International Chaiyenne Huisman (center) holds on to her crown during her coronation in 2019, not knowing she would be having it far longer than expected because of the pandemic. With her are her runners-up (from left) Fiorella Cortez Arbenz, Carolina Schuler, Jessica Cianchino, and Eoanna Constanza./ARMIN P. ADINA

MANILA, Philippines—Chaiyenne Huisman became the first Miss Asia Pacific International titleholder from Spain when she bagged the crown in the pageant staged in the Philippines in 2019. But it appears that she will become one of the longest-reigning queens of the Manila-based global beauty contest.

In June last year, the organizers said they are indefinitely postponing the pageant’s 2020 edition, citing health concerns brought about by the global health crisis caused by COVID-19. It had already donated its allocated budget for marketing and advertising to several medical institutions in different countries when it made the announcement.

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On April 20, the Manila-based team released another official statement saying, “it is with deep sadness that we have to further postpone the staging of Miss Asia Pacific International this year.”

Chaiyenne Huisman receives the Miss Asia Pacific International crown from 2018 winner Sharifa Areef Mohammad Omar Akeel (right) of the Philippines./ARMIN P. ADINA

Chaiyenne Huisman receives the Miss Asia Pacific International crown from 2018 winner Sharifa Areef Mohammad Omar Akeel (right) of the Philippines./ARMIN P. ADINA

The organizers said, “it is one of the toughest decisions we have had to make. But at the end of the day, the safety of our staff, our candidates, and their respective countries, our partners, and our supporters [take] ultimate priority.”

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Even before the postponement in 2020 was announced, several countries had already crowned their representatives to the 52-year-old international pageant. The organizers extended their apologies to them, as well as other stakeholders, “and most especially, to our passionate fans.”

The statement, released on social media, said, “we are only as strong as our most vulnerable.”

Huisman, in an online interview with the Inquirer, said, “like most that were stopped because of the pandemic, pageants will be greater and better than ever.”

She continued: “This crisis has made the world reevaluate our priorities. This would be a great time for pageants to highlight [their] relevance and value to society. I also think there would be more meaning to the roles and duties of [a] pageant winner.”

The reigning titleholder continued to champion the pageant’s cause of celebrating diversity, even with the restrictions brought about by the pandemic.

“I’m doing the best I can to entertain and help the community with our online dialogues and content. I believe it’s a great way to interact with everyone in a safe way. In this way, we still get to carry the advocacy of the crown,” Huisman shared.

The polyglot issued a strong statement when the “Black Lives Matter” movement erupted last year in the United States after the killing of George Floyd. Huisman and her runners-up had also posted online discussions on several topics via the pageant’s Facebook page.

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The organization said, “we promise to champion our shared advocacy through dynamic content and initiatives till we see each other again on stage.”

Huisman, for her part, said, “I have mixed feelings about it. Yes, my reign has been extended, but with the current conditions, our efforts are focused online. Nevertheless, I think this is better since the safety of the candidates is the most important thing at this point.”

The Dutch-Spanish beauty is currently based in her father’s native Netherlands, where she has found work during the pandemic.

“I don’t believe the pandemic has changed the perspective of my crown. I think it has only made me believe stronger that my voice will be more meaningful and heard louder once the pandemic is over,” Huisman continued.

The Miss Asia Pacific International pageant, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2018, is the longest-running international beauty contest in the region. It was established as the “Miss Asia Quest” in the Philippines in 1968.

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TAGS: Black Lives Matter, Chaiyenne Huisman, covid-19, Miss Asia Pacific International, Pandemic
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