Katarina Rodriguez was crowned Miss World Philippines 2018 Sunday night at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The Davao beauty bested 39 other aspirants to succeed Laura Lehmann.
Rodriguez also won a number of special awards such as Miss Blue Water Day Spa, Miss Cosmo Skin, Miss Resorts World Manila and Best in Long Gown.
During the question and answer portion, Rodriguez was asked how she could change the perspective of feminists who think that beauty pageants are a form of women exploitation.
The 26-year-old stunner admitted that she too was “one of those” feminists before, but later changed her mind upon learning the true meaning of beauty pageants.
“One thing I can tell you is that you may think this is very competitive, but in fact, you’ll understand beauty pageants when you know that it is actually not competitive towards the other women, it’s competitive towards yourself, and it’s all about women empowerment, and you can feel that in this group of girls, each girl knows that we are all individually beautiful,” she said,” she said.
Among the judges in this year’s competition were reigning Miss World Manushi Chillar from India, and 2016 Miss World Stephanie del valle from Puerto Rico.
Miss World Organization Chair Julia Morley also flew in from London to witness the national pageant.
Prior to competing in the pageant, Rodriguez was already hailed as 1st runner up in the Miss Intercontinental 2017 beauty tilt.