Philippines 4th Runner Up on Miss World 2016

By Xyla Joelle L. Fernandez

Dec 20, 2016 07:36 AM EST

Stephanie del Valle of Puerto Rico was crowned Miss World 2016 in the United States on Sunday night, edging out runners-up from the Dominican Republic and Indonesia, and beauties from around the globe.

First runner-up was Yaritza Miguelina Reyes Ramirez of the Dominican Republic, followed by Miss World Indonesia Natasha Mannuela. Catriona Gray of the Philippines placed fourth and Kenya's Evelyn Thungu, fifth.

Crowned by Miss World 2015 Mireia Lalaguna of Spain after the three-hour ceremonies at the MGM National Harbor in Maryland, Del Valle called it an "honor and a great responsibility" to represent her Caribbean homeland.

Gray's Top 5 finish was met with mixed emotions, with some followers expressing disappointment over what they called an error in judgment on the part of the jurors, and others celebrating her placement as a source of pride for the Philippines.

The 22-year-old model and blogger advanced to the pageant's Top 20 when she bagged the "Multimedia Award," one of the "fast-track" events whose winners automatically advance to the quarterfinals. The other fast-track winners were China's Jing Kong who topped the "Top Model" contest, Mongolia's Bayartsegtseg Altangerel who won the Talent contest, Cook Islands' Natalia Short who dominated the "Sports Challenge," and Indonesia's Mannuela whose "Beauty with a Purpose" project was deemed the best.

For her final question, Gray was asked by Lalaguna, "Which qualities do you think it will take to wear my crown?" The Filipino beauty replied: "I think, first of all, it takes bravery. To be a Miss World is to carry a burning torch. It is like action carried out by one to illuminate the lives of many. And I would dedicate my whole self, my love for the arts and my voice to try to uplift, empower and educate people. And it would be my greatest honor and duty to hold this torch high enough so that all the world could feel and see its light." Quirino applauded Gray's performance

Canada's Miss World representative, Chinese-born Anastasia Lin, was embroiled in a controversy when pageant officials reportedly warned her against speaking to the press for three weeks about human rights abuses in China.

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