Bb. Pilipinas Nicole Borromeo visits Japanese ambassador ahead of Miss International pageant in Tokyo | Inquirer Entertainment

Bb. Pilipinas Nicole Borromeo visits Japanese ambassador ahead of Miss International pageant in Tokyo

/ 06:17 PM October 07, 2023

Nicole Borromeo

Japanese Ambassador Koshikawa Kazuhiko (left) shows Bb. Pilipinas Nicole Borromeo his Voltes V figure displayed inside his residence. Image: P. Adina

MANILA, Philippines—Binibining Pilipinas Nicole Borromeo has now safely landed in Tokyo, flying in ahead of the expected arrival of the 2023 Miss International delegates. But before she embarked on her journey to the “Land of the Rising Sun,” the Cebuana beauty first paid a courtesy call on Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Koshikawa Kazuhiko.

“I want to take a way what it feels like to feel the heart of Japan. I believe that the ambassador is a wonderful representation of what it’s like to meet the Japan people when I get there. And to have the support on this journey is what I really treasure,” the 22-year-old model and host told during her visit to the ambassador’s residence in Makati City on Oct. 3.


Koshikawa told Borromeo that she enjoys his support, and he will contact his colleagues and friends in Japan to rally behind the Filipino beauty in Tokyo. “I do not know Miss Japan,” he joked. The ambassador also showed his garden to Borromeo and her mentors Gerry Diaz and Mikee Andrei from the Aces and Queens pageant camp. He also delighted the beauty queen with his display of a Voltes V figure that plays the beloved anime’s theme song. The ambassador even asked Borromeo and her team to visit him again after the competition in Japan.


Borromeo said the Japanese embassy officials have been accommodating. “The moment we called, I can already feel from our virtual meeting that they were really open to giving the resources, and getting me to meet the ambassador. And this was more than I ever expected. I mean, we’re here at the residence of the ambassador. And you’re all here with me today, the media. So I’m very, very proud,” she shared.

The Bb. Pilipinas titleholder is the first Miss International delegate from the Philippines to pay a courtesy call on an incumbent Japanese ambassador before her competition in Japan. Borromeo also shared that the embassy has facilitated her courtesy call on Philippine Ambassador to Japan Mylene Garcia-Albano when she arrives in Tokyo. Borromeo is also scheduled to meet members of the Filipino community there before the 61st Miss International pageant officially starts next week.

The Filipino beauty said she is looking forward to the “ikebana” experience, a staple activity in the Miss International pageant. “We were talking about this earlier with the ambassador, the beauty of the ikebana, and I understand that that’s a certain aspect that’s brought during the tea ceremony, special occasions. And I just really appreciate the mindfulness of it all, that it is a shared experience. It’s people coming together, appreciating the beauty in front of them, taking the time to arrange the flowers, sip on the tea, and thank the world for what it has to offer,” Borromeo said.

She also said that while preparing for the Miss International pageant, a competition that espouses cultural understanding among nations, she discovered similarities between the Philippines and Japan. “People in the Philippines spend so much time preparing the food. And I think that it’s the same thing with Japan. That’s a labor of love, made with love. They put it down and the whole family really comes together,” Borromeo shared.

“And that’s the time you get to bond. That’s the time you get to share your stories. And I think that’s an aspect that’s very similar between the cultures. It’s really about the upbringing, that upbringing started the family, and that really nurtures this culture of respect as well,” she continued.

This is her second visit to Japan. She first went to Tokyo last year to support her predecessor Hannah Arnold’s bid for the Miss International title in December 2022. “Some of the best memories I had there was actually walking around the temples, seeing the ponds and the gardens, and just immersing myself in the nature of it all. It was wonderful, so many memories,” Borromero said.


“Another would also include visiting [TeamLabs Tokyo]. So they actually combine digital art with a full experience, from the waters to the lights. So it really brings you to the present. And I think that’s something that embodies Japan as a country, that connection to the natural world,” she added,

Borromeo will attempt to score the Philippines’ seventh Miss International victory, after Gemma Cruz (1964), Aurora Pijuan (1970), Melanie Marquez (1979), Precious Lara Quigaman (2005), Bea Rose Santiago (2013) and Kylie Verzosa (2016).

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And for the first time since its inception in 1960, the Miss International pageant will hold its coronation program at the Yoyogi Gymnasium No. 2 in Tokyo’s Shibuya ward. The competition is scheduled on Oct. 26. Jasmin Selberg, the third German woman to win the title, will crown her successor.  /ra

TAGS: Binibining Pilipinas, Nicole Borromeo

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