Khalifa took to Instagram to share the news. “It has always been my dream to visit the beautiful country of the Philippines, and I cannot believe I am already here, especially [because] I have Filipino cousins here,” she said.
“It feels like a shower of blessing (in Bahrain there is not so much rain so I feel like a kid). Hoping everyone is safe,” the Miss Universe candidate added.
The 24-year-old beauty queen, alongside Miss Universe Bahrain national director and Dubai fashion icon Josh Yugen, will stay in Manila for two weeks to attend a boot camp led by some of the country’s best.
According to the Miss Universe Bahrain organization, Khalifa will also hold a “secret photoshoot” and media interviews as part of the said preparation.
Khalifa said she’s excited to feel the warm support of the Filipino community, especially when it comes to pageantry.
“Growing up in the Middle East, I have encountered a lot of Filipino friends and acquaintances and they are truly one of the most loving, most humble and most happy people I have met,” Khalifa said in an interview with The National.
After being diagnosed with anorexia, Khalifa aims to spread awareness on eating disorders and advocate for a healthy lifestyle.
The beauty queen holds a degree in finance and banking.
Khalifa bested more than 300 candidates to be crowned Miss Universe Bahrain last September.
The Philippines is known as a pageant powerhouse, with four Miss Universe titles under its belt. The last time a Filipina won the Miss Universe crown was by Catriona Gray in 2018.
Recently, the Philippines also received a warm shout-out from Miss Universe Spain, who spoke about her time living in the country and the positive influence it had on her.
The 71st Miss Universe competition will take place in New Orleans, Louisiana in the United States on January 14, 2023. Miss Universe Harnaaz Sandhu from India is the reigning title holder.
Lé Baltar is a Manila-based freelance journalist, covering entertainment and lifestyle stories for Yahoo Philippines. Follow them on Twitter @baltarle for latest news and updates. The views expressed are their own.
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