• Filipina beauty queen Jeslyn Santos is Miss United Continents 2016
  • She is the first Filipina and the first Asian to win the title
  • The Miss United Continents pageant was held in Ecuador

A Filipina was crowned as the Miss United Continents 2016; making history as the first Asian to have won the title.

The 23-year-old beauty queen Jeslyn Santos beat 27 other contestants from all over the world; giving the Philippines its first win in this particular pageant, which was held this year at the Palacio de Cristal in Guayaquil, Ecuador.

Mette Riis Sørensen from Denmark was crowned Vice Queen or 1st runner-up, Lopamudra Raut from India was 2nd runner-up, while Brazil’s Taynara Gargantini was 3rd runner-up.

Completing the top 5 were Cynthia Lizeth Duque Garza from Mexico and Rita Silvestre from Panama, who were in fourth and fifth place, respectively.

In addition to winning the title, Santos also won the Most Beautiful Face special award.

Other winners of the special awards were Mexico’s Garza who was Miss Photogenic, He Jingye from China who won Miss Congeniality, and India’s Raut who won the Best National Costume award.

According to the pageant’s official Facebook account, Santos won a crown designed by jeweler Christian Quintero, whose design was inspired by the concept of the five continents.

The Miss United Continents pageant was first staged in 2006 as the Miss American Continent pageant whose participation was limited only to the countries of North and South America.

In 2013, pageant president María del Carmen de Aguayo, decided to expand the contest to women from all over the world, and thus the name was changed to the Miss United Continents pageant as it is known today.

Aside from being the first Asian and Filipina winner, Santos is also the first Miss United Continents to have come from outside the Americas, receiving the crown from her predecessor Nathália Paiva Lago of Brazil.