Graphics by Krizza Enriquez [@kxxeneriquez] / Text by R. Galvez [@the4ofustraveling]

In the next few days, the Miss International season will officially open and it will begin with the arrival of the candidates in Japan. As several contestants underwent the usual send-off and despidida ceremonies, our beauty experts analyzed their readiness for the competition. It seems the focus are now on Southeast Asian beauties not because the current titleholder is from that region but because of the investments made by these countries ranging from sponsorships to extensive training of their contestants.

Leading the pack as of the moment is Miss Philippines Hannah Arnold. Her country has a lot of sash weight and is second only to Venezuela in terms of number of titleholders. She is well prepared and well polished as she was groomed by the Philippines’ oldest and arguably the most prestigious beauty pageant – Bb. Pilipinas. The pageant is also responsible for five of the six Miss International crowns of the Philippines and is still headed by the first ever Miss International winner.

Miss Vietnam Phạm Ngọc Phương Anh is in the second place and serves as a reminder how her country rose into prominence at the pageant. Remember, they only started competing at Miss International in 1995 and has skipped several editions but by 2015, they already produced a third runner-up. It would also be interesting to see a Vietnamese beauty crowned with the brand new crown which was designed and made in Vietnam.

Another Southeast Asian country that has invested a lot on its contestant is Indonesia. Miss Indonesia Cindy May McGuire is under the tutelage of a premier pageant – Puteri Indonesia. The pageant has produced the country’s first ever Miss International and Big5 winner. A lot of effort has been exerted in honing and polishing her skills to ensure that Indonesia will have its second crown such that a higher placement this year is expected.

Miss Spain Julianna Ro is now considered by beauty analysts as the best contestant from Europe. Her elegant beauty and alluring personality will indeed propel her to the top. Her country has three Miss International titleholders already which means Spain has a pretty good sash weight.

However, if history will be made this year, we will see the first ever African winner. The frontrunner from the vast continent is Miss Cabo Verde Stephany Amado. She’s been tagged as a black barbie and her background as an experienced model will held her a lot in the competition.

Here is the complete list of Miss International 2022 Pre-arrival Hot Picks:

  1. Miss Philippines Hannah Arnold
  2. Miss Vietnam Phạm Ngọc Phương Anh
  3. Miss Indonesia Cindy May McGuire
  4. Miss Spain Julianna Ro
  5. Miss Cabo Verde Stephany Amado
  6. Miss Namibia Erika Kazombaruru
  7. Miss Canada Madison Kvaltin
  8. Miss Mexico Yuridia Durán
  9. Miss Peru Tatiana Calmell
  10. Miss India Zoya Afroz
  11. Miss Nigeria Precious Obisoso
  12. Miss Czech Republic Adéla Maděryčová
  13. Miss Norway Romée Dahlen
  14. Miss Colombia Natalia López Cardona
  15. Miss Venezuela Isbel Parra

Bubbling up: Germany, Ecuador, Nepal, Malaysia, South Africa