Katarina Rodriguez finished 1st runner-up in the 48th edition of the Miss Intercontinental beauty pageant held Thursday (Manila time) at the Sunrise Garden Resort in Hurghada, Egypt.
Hours before the coronation night of this year’s pageant, the 24-year-old model and MTV VJ topped the Final Hot Picks of pageant analysis site, Missosology, making her the odds-on favorite to win the crown. But in a surprise twist, it was unheralded Miss Mexico, Veronica Salas, who became this year’s Miss Intercontinental.
Miss Netherlands Catheljine Heppenhus won second runner-up while Miss Brazil Amanda Cardoso, Miss Colombia Lizeth Villanueva and Miss South Korea Lee Su Jin rounded up the Top 6 finalists.
Katarina, who previously finished second runner-up in “Asia’s Next Top Model” in 2014, looked every bit like a winner when she was asked during Miss Intercontinental’s crucial question and answer portion what was the most important thing that she had learned in joining the pageant.
“The most important thing that I have learned in joining Miss Intercontinental is an Arabic word named after one of the Sunrise Resorts and that is Meraki. It means to do all things with passion, soul, and creativity. When I heard this word and its definition, it resonated with me [un]til now and I think it will for the rest of my life. Therefore, that is the most important thing I learned while participating at Miss Intercontinental—to do all things with soul, passion, and creativity,” was her winning reply.
As the top Asian candidate in the final six, Katarina was also adjudged Miss Intercontinental Asia and Oceania, marking the fifth time for the Philippines to win the pageant’s Continental Queen title.
In a post-pageant interview with the newly crowned Miss Intercontinental and second runner-up Miss Netherlands, Katarina could not hold back her tears.
“Okay lang ito, okay, okay? (It’s okay, okay?). I miss all of you. I miss my country. It was a tough ride, it was a lot of work, a lot of hours…Malakas naman kami, alam kami kung sino yung magaling kung sino hindi pero yung winner at si Miss Netherlands at yung Top 5, magaling lahat kami. (We know we are strong, we know who is really good and who is not but the winner, Miss Netherlands and all of us in the Top 5, we are all good).”
Katarina is the second Filipina to finish first runner-up in Miss Intercontinental. Christi Lynn McGarry first achieved the feat in 2015.