Santiago bested 66 other beauties from around the wold to win the 53rd Miss International crown.
During the question and answer portion, Santiago was asked, “What will you do if you win Miss International?” to which she articulately answered, “The whole world saw how my country suffered. One by one, other countries helped. You have opened my heart and eyes on what we can do to help each other. I will work to sustain the spirit of sympathy and the spirit of hope. As long as we work together, there is hope.”
Gemma Teresa Cruz was first to win the Miss International crown for the Philippines in 1964 followed by Aurora Pijuan in 1970. Then 15 years old Melanie Marquez became the youngest Miss International winner in In 1979 and was followed only after 26 years by Precious Lara Quigaman who was crowned Miss International 2005.
Completing the Top 5 winners are New Zealand’s Casey Radley as the Second Runner-Up, Colombia’s Loreana Hermida and Hungary’s Brigitta Otvos as Third and Fourth Runners-Up, respectively.
Top 15 finalists include USA’s Andrea Neu, Lithuania’s Elma Segzdaviciuti, Gibraltar’s Jamielee Randall, Ecuador’s Nathaly Hurtado, Brazil’s Cristina Alves da Silva, Thailand’s Chonticha Thiengtam, Puerto Rico’s Ashley Beth Perez, Iceland’s Sigrun Eva Armannsdottir, Russia’s Olga Gaidabura, and Spain’s Araceli Martinez.
Aruba’s Erialda Croes won Best in National Costume. New Zealand’s Casey Radley was adjudged Miss Friendship while Macau’s Adela Ka-Wai Sou is Miss Internet. Competing the special award winners is Lithuania’s Elma Segzdaviciuti who won Miss Photogenic.
Santiago scored the third international crown for the country this year as well following the winning streak of Filipina beauties Megan Young who was crowned Miss World 2013 and Mutya Johanna Datul who won Miss Supranational 2013.