19-year-old Mariel Baltazar finishes 3rd, wins Miss Friendship award in Vietnam pageant
MANILA, Philippines — Mariel Baltazar is only 19 years old, but she was still able to finish third in the 2023 Miss Business Global competition, the first overseas pageant she took part in. She was also voted “Miss Friendship” by her fellow candidates.
“Actually I didn’t expect to be Miss Friendship, because at first I was afraid to socialize. I was the youngest, so I was scared to mingle because you cannot avoid getting intimidated as the youngest one there,” she responded to the Inquirer’s question at her victory press conference held at the Corte Ibiza club in Quezon City on April 3.
“When I got the award, I was very thankful because I thought that at only 19, they were able to appreciate me, they appreciated what I can show, and what I can do for the organization,” she continued.
Baltazar competed in a field of 19 contestants in the inaugural edition of the Miss Business Global pageant held in Dak Nong, Vietnam, on March 21. The crown may have eventually been won by host delegate Nguyen Thi Thao, but the Filipino teen said she had no regrets.
“I wouldn’t change a thing. I guess it just was not really meant for me. I think I gave everything I could. Perhaps in the next ones that I will be joining, destiny will be in my favor. But in my succeeding fights, I promise you guys that I will do my very best,” she declared.
She also revealed that she will be eyeing a national crown next. She was just appointed as the Philippines’ representative to the Miss Business Global pageant, and has had no national pageant experience yet. “For now, my ANR (management) team and I, we’re thinking if I’m going to go for Miss Aura. I think I will go for it, Miss Aura Philippines,” Baltazar revealed. She also said she is open to entering the entertainment industry. “If there’s an opportunity, I’ll go for it,” she said.
But she is still bound to fulfill her duties and responsibilities as Miss Business Global runner-up. “It will start with myself, being a good role model to the youth. Especially this generation, they need guidance. And the organization is all about business, so I’ll try my best to strive harder, to teach them about business and having confidence for themselves so that they can end discrimination against women,” she shared.
Baltazar also said that she will be returning to Vietnam in October, and also in December which means she will be spending her birthday and New Year’s Day in the neighboring country. EDV