Miss Philippines Tourism 2023, Herlene Budol, expressed her gratitude after being crowned, clarifying that she appeared stoic during the coronation because the reality had not fully sunk in yet. Budol took to her Facebook page to set the record straight, sharing a video of herself with her crown and bouquet shortly after arriving home. In the video, she explained that the post she made without a caption was incredibly meaningful to her, as it was her way of directly thanking God and expressing her happiness for all that had transpired. She also expressed her gratitude to her talent manager, Wilbert Tolentino, and her team for their support.
Budol further elaborated that she was unable to immediately process her win due to her fear of receiving negative comments about her performance in the pageant. However, she emphasized that this fear did not diminish her happiness over her title. She concluded her post by stating that words of gratitude were insufficient to express her appreciation for the everyday blessings given to her by the Lord.
Budol was crowned Miss Philippines Tourism at the Miss Grand Philippines 2023 coronation night on July 13. Meanwhile, Nikki De Moura from Cagayan de Oro City was declared the Miss Grand Philippines 2023 titleholder. During the coronation, Budol’s seemingly serious expression sparked curiosity among fans, who questioned why she appeared “sad” while being crowned. Budol later humorously explained that she felt her potential had been “wasted,” which accounted for her seemingly unhappy facial expression.
It is important to note that Herlene Budol will not be representing the Philippines in the Miss Tourism World pageant, as clarified by the Hiyas ng Pilipinas pageant, which holds the franchise for the international competition.