ABS-CBNnews.com | 01/04/2013 10:01 AM
|Rizzini Alexis Gomez|
MANILA, Philippines - Newly-crowned Miss Tourism International 2012/2013 Rizzini Alexis Gomez paid a courtesy call to the Filipino community at the Philippine Embassy in Kuala Lumpur before flying home.
“This is a beautiful start of the new year for the Philippines, as another Filipina showcased the talent, beauty and grace of our race, and gave further honor to the country," said Ambassador Eduardo Malaya.
The 22-year-old, 5’10 Cebuana beauty is a registered nurse and the eldest child of former professional basketball player Roel Gomez of Alaska in the Philippine Basketball Association. Her mother is a nurse working in New York.
“The Filipino community in Kuala Lumpur is honored to be among the first to congratulate you on your victory, and I hope that you will be a continuing inspiration to other Filipinos. We hope to welcome you again on your next visit to Malaysia,” Malaya added.
Gomez greeted people transacting their business at the embassy's consular waiting area. She also gamely posed for pictures with embassy officers and staff.
"She has a very warm persona, and mixes with people very well,” said community member Jean Mendoza.
Gomez arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 via a Cebu Pacific flight on Thursday evening.
She bested 55 contestants from around the world to clinch the title last December 31, 2012 in Kuala Lumpur. She also won the Best in Evening Gown in the said pageant.
She won the right to represent the Philippines in the pageant when she was crowned 2012 Mutya ng Pilipinas-Tourism. She also bagged the Best in Swimsuit, a major special award, in the same national beauty contest.
This is the second time that the Philippines captured the title in the international beauty contest, which is the most extensive pageant that promotes the tourism industry. In 2000, Ma. Esparanza Manzano of Quezon City won the title.
With this victory, the country now ties for the most number of wins with India (2001 and 2008) and Poland (1998 and 1999).