Maria Luisa Varela of Philippines crowned Miss Planet International 2023

30 Jan 2023 | Priya Bhardwaj

The 2nd edition of Miss Planet International, i.e. Miss Planet International 2023, was held on Sunday, 29th January 2023 at Koh Pich Theater in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. At the end of the vent finale, Maria Luisa Varela from Philippines was crowned the new queen.

The finale was held amidst serious controversies; This year's edition was supposed to be held last November in Uganda but due to some controversial incidents with the host organizers, several contestants backed out and the pageant was canceled.

Maria Luisa Varela replaced Binibining Pilipinas 2022 first runner-up Herlene Nicole Budol who was originally supposed to represent Philippines at the pageant. Maria is a 26-year-old entrepreneur who also bagged the Social Media award at the finale. Maria became the first Filipina representative to win the international pageant. She succeeded Miss Planet International 2019 Monique Best of South Africa.


Maria Luisa Varela of Philippines crowned Miss Planet International 2023


Also at the end of the event finale, Jemima Ruth Mandemwa of Zimbabwe and Ono Aya of Japan were named the first and second runners-up respectively while Tiffany Ha of Vietnam, Katarina Juselius of Finland, Alina Safronova of Latvia, and Srey Leak Pok of Cambodia were adjudged third, fourth, fifth and sixth runners-up respectively.

Miss Planet International was founded in Cambodia. According to its official website, the pageant's advocacy focuses on environmental protection, multiculturalism, poverty, ethical economic progress, clean renewable energy, world peace, and education.