The newly-crowned Miss Global Sophia Ng from Hong Kong won her title after answering the pageant question about beauty queen role models saying, she looked up to Filipina Miss Universe Catriona Gray.

The Hong Kong beauty queen praised Gray’s winning the Philippines’ 4th Miss Universe title on a platform of advocacy for children’s education.

In the pageant’s question and answer portion Sophia Ng was given the question: “Beauty queens have become role models in their own rights. Which beauty queen do you look up to and why?”

“I really look up to Catriona Gray,” Miss Hong Kong answered.

Then the beauty queen added, “She really embodies what a beauty queen should be. She is empowered, kind and compassionate. She sees pageant for a purpose… And sees her platform to promote education, better education in the Philippines. That’s so powerful.

And I think that education is something that nobody can take away from anybody. And for her to use her platform and for her to use Miss Universe as her stage is such a beautiful way, as she’s beautiful inside and out.”

After the beauty contest held in Manila on February 11, Ng expressed her appreciation for the passion of Filipinos for beauty pageants as a form of women empowerment.

“Filipino fans, you’re this great. Your energies are so infectious. We know that obviously I am not your chosen, favorite winner but you have such passion and such love for pageants and I can see why. It’s really about women empowerment. So I appreciate all (your) enthusiasm and support.”

The country’s Miss Global bet, 22-year-old Eileen Gonzales, won two pre-pageant awards: Darling of the Press Award and Best in Philippine Cultural Attire for her white fully-embroidered and pearl-studded Filipiniana created by Ilocano designer Ira Baylon. Gonzales made it through to the semi-final round before bowing out of the competition.

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