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Michelle Arceo dons dazzling waling-waling inspired PH national costume for Reina Hispanoamericana

By AYIE LICSI Published Jan 22, 2024 12:10 pm

Philippines' bet Michelle Arceo paid homage to the biodiversity of the Philippines with her waling-waling-inspired national costume for the Reina Hispanoamericana 2023 pageant in Santa Cruz, Bolivia.

The 25-year-old beauty queen shared a close look at her Philippine national costume, designed by Chino Christopherson, on Instagram, adding that it embodies the "essence of the 'Queen of Philippine flowers.'"

Her costume features a skin-tone bodysuit bedazzled with rhinestones, crystals, and Japan-cut beads and dripping tassel accents. 

Drawing inspiration from vibrant carnivals and Victoria's Secret fashion show wings, Michelle also donned a sculpted waling-waling orchid, which was spray painted and glittered with rainbow stones to represent water droplets. She also donned a silver headpiece along with the Philippine-native orchid.

The attention to detail for the look also shows through her rhinestoned tights and heels which go all the way up to her thighs like vines. Waling-waling flowers also adorn her footwear.

"This costume not only reflects the magnificence of the Waling-Waling but also pays homage to the biodiversity and cultural richness of my country. It's a proud representation of our heritage, showcasing the beauty of our culture, flora, and fauna on the global stage," Michelle wrote on Instagram.

The waling-waling is a species of orchid considered to be the "Queen of Philippine flowers." It's endemic to Davao, Cotabato, and Zamboanga, and was considered to be declared the national flower alongside the sampaguita in 2013.

Michelle is the reigning Reina Hispanoamericana Filipinas 2023 after winning the title at the finale of Miss Grand Philippines 2023 in July of that year.

The coronation night for the Reina Hispanoamericana pageant, which celebrates Hispanic heritage and culture, is taking place on Jan. 28 in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. The Pinay beauty queen must best 28 other candidates to succeed Arlette Rujel of Peru.

To help Michelle secure a spot in the pageant's top 12, vote for her through the Reina Hispanoamericana app available on Google Play and the App Store.

The last time the Philippines took home the pageant's crown was in 2017 with Winwyn Marquez.