Hannah Arnold, Source: Rappler

Hannah Arnold, Source: Rappler

Filo-Aussies are celebrating another win in a major beauty pageant. Hannah Arnold, representing her family's hometown of Masbate, bagged the Bb. Pilipinas International title in a glittering coronation event held at Araneta Coliseum on July 11, 2021. 

24-year-old Hannah who grew up in Canberra but moved to the Philippines a few years ago to pursue her dream of becoming a beauty titleholder is a graduate of Applied Science in Forensic Studies at the University of Canberra (Photo image from Rappler). Her advocacy includes providing quality education for kids.

Candidate #17 representing Masbate, Hannah wore as her national costume a white full skirted gown, which is enhanced by an arch of colourful flowers and pink feathers.  She looked confident as she showed off her costume and declared: "I am from Masbate, the melting pot of culture and languages. "

She looked resplendent in a glittery pink gown, with a long sleeve covering her left arm and sleeveless on the right side, and a long split  showing off her long legs. Her response to the question, which was the last segment of the beauty pageant, won her much admiration.  She cleverly tied it up with the upcoming election.

The question asked by Judge Pinky Webb was:  Given the reach and power of social media, do you believe that genuine freedom of speech exists in the Philippines nowadays. Why or why not?

Hannah's response: "First of all, freedom of speech is a basic human right that we all must remember. It is important for a democracy. With our upcoming election, we definitely need freedom of speech. For example, on Twitter, we are limited to a few characters, and what I have seen in these tweets is powerful. That has helped me think about who I'd like to vote for in the upcoming elections."

Hannah is slated to compete in the Miss International 2021 beauty pageant in Japan, which will be in November.

If she wins Miss International later this year, Arnold will join the roster of successful Filipinas who won the prestigious crown – Gemma Cruz (1964), Aurora Pijuan (1970), Melanie Marquez (1979), Precious Lara Quigaman (2005), Bea Santiago (2013) and Kylie Versoza (2016).

Other queens who will compete in international pageants were: Samantha Panlilio, Bb. Pilipinas Grand International; Cinderella Faye Obeñita, Bb. Pilipinas Intercontinental; and Bb. Pilipinas Globe, Maureen Montagne.

First runner-up honors went to Gabrielle Basiano; and second runner-up, Meiji Cruz.

Arnold is the second Pinay-Aussie in recent years to win the crown. Catriona Gray won the Miss Universe title in 2018. She is based in the Philippines but has family in Melbourne.

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