Filipino-Norwegian Beauty Queen Helps Promote Philippines’ Tourism

Basken, born to a Filipino mother and Norwegian father, was crowned Mutya ng Pilipinas last year. In April this year, she bagged the Miss Norway crown making her the European country’s representative to the Miss Universe pageant.
The 5-foot-9 television presenter arrived from Norway on 13 June 2007, not only to relinquish her title to the next Mutya, but also to take her Norwegian friends to several destinations in the country.
“I wish we have more time, we’ll be here for only two weeks,” Basken, 21, told the Philippine Daily Inquirer in an interview at the Sulo Hotel in Quezon City. She said she will take her friends to Boracay, and will later explore Palawan, Cebu, Mindoro and Iloilo if they still have time.
She also expressed enthusiasm at the prospect of taking Norwegians to see the Banaue Rice Terraces.
“It’s one of the wonders of the world!” she told her two friends.
Basken also said Miss Norway 2006 Martine Jonassen has accepted her invitation to visit the Philippines. The Norwegian beauty is set to arrive this month to shoot a television feature about Boracay and the Mutya ng Pilipinas pageant.
The Filipino-Norwegian stunner said that even after her reign as Mutya ends on June 22, she will still be an ambassador of Philippine tourism. “I’m not yet done bringing Norwegians to the Philippines,” she declared.
“Most Norwegians only know the bad things about the Philippines,” she said. “But I tell them these things are just blown up.”
But when she promotes the country, she avoids sugar-coating. “I tell them the truth. Sure there are lots of beautiful places and warm people but they can’t expect it to be just a paradise.” She said the people she invites “know what to expect,” but declined to elaborate.
“I tell them about places where they can get away from a lot of tourists, where they can really learn about the Filipino culture from the locals who are friendly and are ready to open their doors to other people,” shared Basken. “You can see the real Philippines through the eyes of these people,” she added.
And when she retires, Basken said she would still choose to stay in the Philippines. “I love Boracay. But when I am not working anymore, I would rather settle in a serene place, like Palawan,” she said, adding “definitely not in Metro Manila, I can’t take the traffic here.”

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