It's no secret that Miss Universe Vietnam 2018 H'Hien Niê is one of our favorite beauty queens of all time. On a recent trip to the Philippines, she served serious looks. Miss Vietnam in the Philippines wore the traditional Filipino-Hispanic baro't saya or terno, and looked bomb.
But more on the outfits later — it's what she said at a youth congress in Naga City, Camarines Sur, that blew us away.
Hailing from a poor family in rural Vietnam, Niê was required by her tribe's tradition to marry at the age of 14. However, she had bigger dreams for herself, and decided to pursue an education while working as a domestic helper.
Now a 26-year-old beauty queen, Niê donated her entire cash prize from the Miss Universe pageant (worth around US$43,000) to scholarships for underprivileged students and to the non-profit organization Room to Read.
"I created this miracle for myself."
“Without any part of my past, I wouldn’t be the person I am right now," she said. "I believe in the miracle of life, that if you truly believe, life will not give up on you.”
“Many people call me the Cinderella of Vietnam, but Cinderella has a fairy godmother to help her, while I created this miracle for myself. Believe in yourself, always make the efforts, think positively, you would definitely achieve your dreams!”
A true queen right there.
And now, without further ado, the outfits.
Miss Vietnam in the Philippines: The Outfits
Here she is with Miss Universe Philippines 2010 Venus Raj, who Niê called her "sister".
Then she wore the baro't saya.
OMG I love this dress, this is the traditional costume of the North of Phillipines, the Filipino Hispanic dress, and it’s gorgeous right? How do I look with it? pic.twitter.com/uNAfqLNmxI— H’Hen Niê (@HHenNie92) February 2, 2019
Netizens praised Niê for acknowledging the diversity of Philippine culture by specifying that it's the traditional costume of "the North of Philippines, the Filipino Hispanic dress".
"I love how she says 'North' (however broad) and 'Hispanic' because it's a recognition of our cultural diversity," writes Twitter user Makadiwata. "As far-reaching Spain's influence was during the colonial era, it's not representative of the entire country. Some of us weren't hispanicised but still 'Filipino'."
At the Youth Congress in Naga, she wore an outfit that was a mix between the traditional costumes of Vietnam and the Philippines.
This is a special dress for me, it’s mixed between the traditional costume of Vietnam and Philippines, designed by Aodai Kinzu (Song Toan) I love this !— H’Hen Niê (@HHenNie92) February 3, 2019
It’s time to say goodbye, Thank you so much Philippines, I will never forget your love and warm welcome, I love all of you ❤️?? pic.twitter.com/g0Zar9gkAL
We could use more of Miss Vietnam in the Philippines.