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6:34 pm on 12 November 2022, Saturday
by: Jade Veronique V. Yap
Comedianne turned beauty queen Herlene Budol has withdrawn from the Miss Planet International pageant "due to uncertainties by the organizers," her manager announced.
"Due to uncertainties by the organizers, I have decided to withdraw Herlene Hipon Budol from the competition despite numerous attempt to fix some pageants debacles," Budol's manager, Wilbert Tolentino said in a Facebook post, Friday.
Without specifying the issue, Tolentino went on to say, "it seems like the Ugandan Government has no initiative to intervene."
He then apologized to Herlene’s supporters, sponsors, and designers and thanked them.
"Thank you to the Filipino community in Uganda for the comfort and well wishes… for protecting and keeping my queen, Herlene and her team safe," he added.
Tolentino said that as the MPP Director, "he is very hurt."
"Not only we lost a crown, lost of money, lost of effort; but lost of time," he lamented.
Despite this, Tolentino said he will never lose hope "because we have a bright future back home awaits,"
"This is indeed a traumatic experience for all of us, but we fought for it until the end. And that is our mission," he added.
Herlene arrived in Uganda on November 5. Upon arrival, the beauty queen shared her travel mishap in the country and revealed her national costume had been damaged by the airline on the way to Uganda.
Miss Planet International was supposed to be Herlene’s first international beauty pageant after her successful bid at the Binibining Pilipinas 2022 where she finished as first-runner up.
The 23-year-old beauty queen, who went by the stage name "Hipon Girl," shot to stardom after serving as a television host for the variety show Wowowin.
First held in 2019, Miss Planet International seeks "a beautiful woman who truly believes in and supports all causes related to conservation efforts being carried out by champions of the planet."
The coronation will be held on November 19 in Kampala, Uganda.