Teen queen Nikki De Moura eyes PH’s first Miss Grand International crown
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines has come so close to the Miss Grand International crown in many occasions, but has always fallen short in the end, with the strongest finish at second place. Teen queen Nikki De Moura is looking to change that and finally snag the elusive “golden crown” that many Filipino pageant fans have been dreaming of.
“I have been training for months, and I know I am ready,” the 19-year-old international model said at her sendoff press conference held at Savoy Hotel at the Newport City in Pasay City on Oct. 1.
“Of course there is a lot of pressure because this is my firsr international pageant. But I try to not let that get into my head, because I know it could affect my performance,” she continued. “I switch my attention to myself, and what I could do to prove myself and also my team, and the things that I’m grateful for. So I’m very balanced.”
The Philippines finished fourth in the pageant’s inaugural edition in 2013, with Binibining Pilipinas alumna Ali Forbes proclaimed as third runner-up. Parul Shah and Elizabeth Clenci also posted podium placements afterwards.
Nicole Cordovez and Samantha Bernardo were the two who got closest to the crown, finishing as first runners-up in 2016 and 2020, respectively. Last year’s representative and the last delegate to be sent by the Bb. Pilipinas pageant, Roberta Tamondong, initially finished in the Top 21. She later assumed one of the five fifth runner-up spots when a semifinalist rescinded the slot.
De Moura won her national title in the standalone Miss Grand Philippines pageant mounted by ALV Pageant Circle of talent manager Arnold L. Vegafria, who is also the national director of the Miss World Philippines pageant.
The Brazilian-Filipino lass from Cagayan De Oro City edged out 29 other aspirants to inherit the Miss Grand Philippines title from Tamondong, beating early favorites Michelle Arceo and Herlene Budol, who were crowned Reina Hispanoamericana Filipinas and Miss Philippines Tourism, respectively.
De Moura will fly to Vietnam for the 2023 Miss Grand International pageant, which will culminate in a coronation show to be held at the Phu Tho Indoor Stadium in Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam on Oct. 25. Isabella Menin from Brazil will crown her successor at the end of the ceremony. EDV