Japan-based Filipino queens to compete in Malaysia tilt
MANILA, Philippines—Two Filipino women living in Japan are on their way to represent the Land of the Rising Sun in the 2023 Mrs. Tourism Ambassador Universe International competition in Malaysia next week.
Marivel Kawajiri and Wannie Ono paid a visit to their motherland before heading to neighboring Sabah in Malaysia for the international competition, and met up with select members of pageant media to discuss their participation in the global tilt.
The two were accompanied by their national director, another Japan-based Filipina, Myla Villagonzalo-Tsutaichi, at the intimate gathering held at Pavarotti restaurant at Okada Manila in Parañaque City on Monday, May 29. The matriarch is also a crowned global beauty herself, bagging the Mrs. Tourism Ambassador International title in 2020.
Kawajiri was crowned Mrs. Tourism Ambassador International Japan in the national pageant’s inaugural edition held in Tokyo in February, while Ono captured the Mrs. Tourism Ambassador International Philippines-Japan title in the same competition.
“It has always been my dream to help others. I asked the Lord to give me a mission, because I am also a community leader,” said Kawajiri, who will turn 48 in July. Tsutaichi revealed that her queen had to travel five hours from Kagoshima to attend the pageant’s activities in Tokyo.
For 51-year-old Ono, a single mother and grandmother to three grandchildren, pageantry provides her the opportunity to be of service to others. She is a certified Zumba instructor, gym trainor and cosplay artist based in Tokyo.
The two queens said Tsutaichi inspired them to embark on their own journeys in pageantry, because they saw how she was able to use her crown to touch other people’s lives and gain a bigger platform for her charity work. Kawajiri and Ono said their national pageant’s tagline, “beauty with a mission, dream with action,” is also a testament to their own aspirations for their respective beauty titles, and motivates them to succeed on the international stage for them to gain a wider reach.
Kawajiri and Ono will both represent Japan in the 2023 Mrs. Tourism Ambassador Universe International pageant, which will culminate in a grand coronation show at the Ming Garden Hotel in Sabah on June 4. They will fly out of Manila on June 1. /ra
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