Vietnamese beauties bring cheer to Manila orphans
MANILA, Philippines—A quick precipitation drenched the small garden at A Home for the Angels in Manila on Oct. 4. But instead of a rainbow after the rain, what the orphans under the facility’s care saw was a shower of international beauties including 2015 Miss Earth Angelia Ong from the Philippines, and 2018 Miss Universe finalist H’Hen Nie and 2022 Miss Supranational second runner-up Nguyen Huynh Kim Duyen from Vietnam, among others.
The Vietnamese beauties had flown to Manila for a photoshoot, but they took advantage of their overseas gig to extend their queenly duties beyond their turf.
The activity, dubbed “Xin Chao, Manila,” also had 2014 Miss Manila KC Halili and 2022 Miss World Philippines Tourism Justine Felizarta mingling with the abandoned children, aged 3 and below.
Ong told the Inquirer that Nguyen Huynh initiated the charity event as a side activity for the Vietnamese beauties’ work trip to the Philippines.
“She feels like it was the perfect time to have an outreach while they’re here, and make the visit more meaningful,” the Filipino international queen told the Inquirer in an interview during lunch at the Ilustrado restaurant in Intramuros, Manila, after the charity event.
Ong revealed that her friends in the Vietnamese fashion industry served as a conduit when her fellow international beauties were looking for someone from Manila to help find an organization where they could conduct an outreach program.
The Filipino beauty immediately thought of her best friend from pageantry, Ladylyn Riva-Tieng, who is the most recent addition to the board of A Home for the Angels in Manila.
Tieng, wife of Manila Rep. Irwin Tieng, and Ong had been collaborating for many charity projects in the past, together with Halili.
For their visit to A Home for the Angels, Nguyen Huynh also reached out to Ho Chi Minh City-based food company Vifon to supplement her donation for the orphanage. Ong said a supplier in Manila facilitated the delivery of boxes of instant noodles for the charity event.
Nguyen Huynh also turned over an undisclosed amount of cash as her monetary donation to the orphanage, where they got a glimpse of Filipino culture through a series of dance numbers by young performers from underprivileged families.
The Vietnamese queens, along with Manila Vice Mayor Yul Servo Nieto who also attended the event, even tried their hand (or feet?) at dancing the “Tinikling.” Both H’Hen and Nguyen Huynh could not hide their astonishment at the seemingly dangerous dance with clacking bamboo poles.
The two ladies’ eyes also widened with amazement at the young lads’ “maglalatik” performance, and even tried to imitate the dancers’ quick arm movements from their seats.
After the cultural presentation, the orphanage brought their wards to spend some time with the queens over “sorbetes” (street ice cream) and “taho” (sweetened soft bean curd with tapioca pearls) courtesy of the Filipino beauties.
Ong said they had planned a second leg for the Vietnamese guests’ visit in the Philippines, but time constraints prevented it from materializing.
“We were supposed to go to El Nido, so that they get to see the beauty of the Philippines, because they also wanted to see the beaches as well. But they don’t have enough time,” she shared.
This was H’hen’s second visit to the country. Her first visit was in 2019 after the 2018 Miss Universe pageant in Thailand. Nguyen Huynh competed with Beatrice Luigi Gomez of the Philippines at the 2021 Miss Universe pageant in Israel, before joining the 2022 Miss Supranational pageant in Poland. /ra