Frances Cham, 26, won RM100,183 (around P1,371,442) while representing the Philippines in the 2014 Miss Chinese Cosmos Southeast Asia held at the Palace of the Golden Horses, as reported on Malaysian news site The Star Online.
Moreover, aside from winning the crown, she was also awarded as Miss Beautiful Smile, receiving an additional bonus of RM1,000 (P13,689).
Eugenee Ooi of Malaysia won RM68,684 (P940,215) for being the first runner-up while Irma Janita of Indonesia received RM66,184 (P905,993) for being second runner-up.
For winning the Southeast Asia pageant, Cham will represent the region in the Miss Chinese Cosmos International World Final 2014.
“Life is a continuous learning process, therefore education is life itself and very important,” said Cham, in answer to the judges’ question. The answer earned her the favor of the judges.
A report on the Inquirer mentioned how Cham sprained her ankle days before the pageant yet managed to carry on gracefully to win the crown. She even managed to walk on heels throughout the coronation event, despite the pain.
Inner beauty over outer beauty
The pageant does not focus on the outer beauty, but also takes into consideration the inner beauty of its participants, says Carrie Lee Sze Kei, the regional franchise owner as well as the founder of the White Fairy Sdn Bhd events company handling the pageant.
She is no ordinary franchise owner because Lee was also the winner of the international title of the same pageant, the Miss Chinese Cosmos International World Final in 2004.
Marking the 10th anniversary of her international title win, she performed to “Set Fire To The Rain” by Adele during the 2014 Southeast Asia pageant. Afterwards, she joined the sexy dance number performed by past winners of the regional pageant.
Miss Chinese Cosmos Southeast Asia does not just focus on a pageant with beautiful women, but also helps raise funds for charity organizations. This year, part of the proceeds is set for the Belum rainforest’s Jahai Orang Asli tribe.