The Miss World is finally home in Olongapo City, Megan Young visited her hometown on Saturday after a great flood left thousands of residents homeless and triggered a leptospirosis outbreak. The 23-year-old beauty queen was welcomed in a festive mood amidst the tragic incident that Typhoon "Santi" brought.
Megan Young looks majestic in her white knee-length gown as she took her hometown Olongapo City by storm and brought the much-needed cheer up to everyone. The young queen was blessed with a good weather and her visit was a respite from the difficult days ahead of coping the typhoon's aftermath and the landslides the hit the city two weeks ago.
People lined up the street, waved and cheered as the Miss World float passed by where the crowd supporters followed her from Harbor Point Mall at Subic Bay Freeport to her final stop at the City Hall. Young was all smiles when she welcomes by Olongapo City Mayor Rolen Paulino and was scheduled to join a feeding program in one of the flood-devastated villages.
"I'm trying my best not to be emotional kasi iyakin talaga ako (because I cry easily). Young told the crowd. "I used to walk around these areas - this mall on such a low profile and now I have this."
Aside from the overwhelming warm welcome, Young was also awarded with certificates of recognition for "bringing pride to the Philippines and shining a spotlight on the beauty of Olongapo and Zambales." The beauty queen was accompanied by Miss World Organization chairman Julia Morley and Miss World licensee Cory Quirino, and her mother, Vicky Young.
Young made sure to visit James L. Gordon Memorial Hospital to check on those affected by leptospirosis outbreak. Pepito Dublada, 43, a resident of Tabacuhan and one of the many patients who suffered from the outbreak was awestruck when he saw Young. "I only see her on television and she's really beautiful [in person]," he said.
Dublada is undergoing a dialysis and has been in the hospital for 5 days, and Young's visit is a breath of fresh air for people like Dublada. She also talked to patients and stopped by for few minutes, asking how they were feeling and give autographed pictures to some patients.
When asked how she stayed grounded after all the fame, Young said: "What people don't know is that the girls that I grew up with in high school [here] have been my closest friends," Megan told the Inquirer.
"We have been really close until now and they tease me every day. They tease me about being in show biz and they tease me about being Miss World. They don't make it a big deal," she said. "That's what keeps me grounded. They're so real to me I can be myself with them, and they don't judge me. That's what I love about them because they are so honest."
Megan Young is expected to do more charity work in connection to Miss World's Beauty with a Purpose, and is set to visit Tuloy Street Kids Foundation in Muntinlupa City - a beneficiary of Miss World Organization.
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