Eva Patalinjug to deliver Miss Asia Pacific Int'l ‘that people deserve’

Eva Patalinjug to deliver Miss Asia Pacific Int’l that ‘the people deserve’

/ 08:49 AM February 29, 2024

Eva Patalinjug to deliver Miss Asia Pacific Int'l ‘that the people deserve’

Newly appointed Miss Asia Pacific International President Eva Patalinjug (second from left) and General Manager Kristine Caballero-Aplal (second from right) pose with their predecessors Jacqueline Tan-Sianz (left) who remains as CEO, and Essa Santos-Gogna. Image: Facebook/Miss Asia Pacific International

Reigning Miss Asia Pacific International Chaiyenne Huisman received her title five years ago during the last edition of the global competition. Now, the Manila-based tilt will be back, and under new leadership, with pageant veteran Eva Psychee Patalinjug assuming the presidency.

“It’s truly an honor to lead Miss Asia Pacific International. I think some, if not all, will realize that this is quite a full-circle story for me. I was supposed to represent the Philippines in this very pageant 10 years ago, but fate had other plans,” the recently married lawyer and mother of one told INQUIRER.NET in an online interview.


Patalinjug was crowned Mutya ng Pilipinas-Asia Pacific International in 2014 and was supposed to represent the county. But the global competition did not take place, so she relinquished her national title without raising the flag on the international stage. She joined the Binibining Pilipinas pageant four years later and saw herself taking part in the Miss Grand International pageant.


The multiple titleholder is taking over the presidency of the Miss Asia Pacific International organization from Jacqueline Tan-Sainz, who will remain in her post as CEO of the global tilt. The turnover was made recently in a media gathering that announced the return of the competition this year after a five-year hiatus, which started because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are working very hard to give you the best Miss Asia Pacific International comeback that the people deserve,” Patalinjug told INQUIRER.NET. “In the current era when relevance has been a persistent question for the industry, I am more resolved in making sure that we appreciate the power of this platform—the dreams it can realize, the voices it can amplify,” she continued.

The international competition has been advocating diversity and inclusion, and acknowledging beauty in all forms, regardless of race, gender or background. As such, this year’s edition of the contest will start accepting married women and mothers. “We recognize that the platform has to be more open to more diverse voices,” she explained.

The 2024 Miss Asia Pacific International pageant will also start accepting participants aged up to 30 years old, “given the pageant seasons we have deferred due to the pandemic,” Patalinjug added.

Joining her in mounting the global pageant’s comeback edition is fellow Mutya ng Pilipinas alumna Kristine Caballero-Aplal, who has been working with the organization in various capacities for several editions already. She has taken over the post as general manager from Essa Santos-Gogna.

“I have witnessed the evolution of Miss Asia Pacific International throughout my more than two decades of being in the pageant industry.  It has been a pleasure to have been part of the organization starting in 2005, and especially thrilling when it was relaunched in 2016 under the management of [Sainz],” Aplal told INQUIRER.NET in a separate online interview.


As a huge fan of the global competition, Aplal said one of her earliest memories as a little girl was that of Miss Asia Pacific winner Lorna Legaspi singing a few bars of “Dahil Sa’yo” at the contest in Hong Kong in 1989.

“For the past few years, [it] has further evolved from being a heavily traditional pageant, to now, a more inclusive, advocacy-based platform for women. Our ‘Beauty in Diversity’ campaign was launched in 2016. And throughout the past eight years, [it] has made engaging steps towards realizing this campaign into a more concrete program and event wherein women from all over the world who are a part of Miss Asia Pacific International have made conscious efforts of living out this advocacy even beyond their reign and pageant careers,” Aplal said.

“It is my vision not only to continue enhancing this advocacy, but also to revolutionize the pageant’s demonstration of embracing the various standards of beauty. I envision for Miss Asia Pacific International to be the pinnacle for women’s celebration of the different types of beauty, and also be a platform for empowering any person about who they are,” she continued.

Aplal also said the public can “look forward to witnessing a ‘renaissance’ in Miss Asia Pacific International, as we create a thunderous and glorious reintroduction of ‘Beauty in Diversity.’”

The country’s representative in the 2024 Miss Asia Pacific International, Blessa Figueroa, has already been proclaimed. She was a finalist in the 2023 The Miss Philippines Culture and Heritage Celebration. The national competition earlier announced that it had acquired the franchise for the global tilt and would be selecting the Filipino contender who will raise the Philippine colors in the Manila-based tilt.

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Five Filipino women have won in the international pageant’s various iterations. Maria del Carmen Inez Zaragoza and Gloria Dimayacyac posted back-to-back victories in 1982 and 1983, Lorna Legaspi took home the title in 1989, Michelle Aldana scored the country’s fourth win in 1993, and Sharifa Areef Mohammad Omar Akeel became the fifth winner from the Philippines in 2018, when the competition celebrated its 50th anniversary.

TAGS: Miss Asia Pacific International

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