WILL Miss Philippines Nadia Lee Cien Shami bring home the Miss International crown? Let's keep our fingers crossed. Here are pics of some of this year's contestants courtesy of Agence France-Presse. That's Nadia with Miss Paragua Daiana Ferreira of Paraguay. And here she is with Miss USA April Strong and Miss United Kingdom Samantha Freedman. Here's Miss Thailand Chompoonek Badinworawat with Miss Mexico Priscilla Perales. Miss Japan Hisako Shirata with Miss Vietnam Duong Pham. The Miss International beauty pageant finals will be held in Tokyo on Oct. 15.
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By Armin Adina Inquirer MANILA, Philippines--Filipino-Jordanian Nadia Lee Cien Shami -- model, radio jock, dancer and photographer -- is out to add another entry to her long list of occupations. The 19-year-old native of Cotabato left for Tokyo, Japan, on Sept. 30 to compete for the Miss International title, which has been held by Philippine beauties Precious Lara Quigaman (2005), Melanie Marquez (1979), Aurora Pijuan (1970) and Gemma Cruz (1964). “I have butterflies in my stomach now,” Nadia revealed during her sendoff at the Araneta Coliseum Gazebo last Thursday, where she displayed her winning form. “I’ve seen the pictures of the other contestants. They are all so beautiful and everyone has a big chance to win. That is why I am asking for your prayers and support.” After her coronation as Binibining Pilipinas-International in March, the 5-foot-9 beauty lost almost 10 pounds, thanks to her strict diet and regular gym visits and Pilates sessions. “I hope to become the fifth Filipina to bring home the title,” said Nadia, who was crowned Miss Philippines-Air in 2005. Nadia, who has joined a host of national and regional beauty tilts, confessed to being most serious in her training for Miss International. As part of her grooming, she was made to take lessons in catwalk, poise, projection and even makeup application from Miss World 2005 Continental Queen of Beauty Karla Bautista, Miss Universe 2005 photogenic winner Gionna Cabrera and former titleholders Karen Agustin, Anna Maris Igpit and Denille Lou Valmonte. She was also given an overview of the international competition and pointers on how to catch the attention of the judges, the audience and her fellow contestants. But not everything went as planned. For almost a year, the international organizers harped about a month-long competition to be held both in Japan and China, only to announce way into the homestretch that Miss International delegates will only spend two weeks in Tokyo and the coronation night will be held in Japan on Oct. 15 and not in China on Oct. 30 as earlier announced. The confusion notwithstanding, Nadia expressed excitement on her first trip abroad. “I will tell my fellow contestants and the Japanese people that the Philippines is a beautiful country, blessed with magnificent beaches, tropical fruits and warm people.” And despite all the negative publicity the country has been getting in international media, “it is a wonderful country to visit,” she added. Nadia brings with her to Tokyo encouragement from her fellow Binibining Pilipinas beauties. Anna Theresa Licaros, Miss Universe 2007 Miss Photogenic, said, “Believe in yourself and have fun.” Miss World 2007 delegate Margaret Wilson added, “I’m proud of you. I know you can do it!” Miss International’s theme for this year is building a harmonious world, with focus on environmental awareness. Photo courtesy of the Philippine Daily Inquirer