Miss Vietnam H’Hen Niê recently visited the Philippines and wowed Filipinos as she munched on “tuyo”(dried herring) and wore Filipiniana gowns.
To those who may not be familiar with her, Archlight Media retells her story that will make Filipinos fall deeper in love with H’Hen.
“I was born in a family with six brothers and sisters,” H’Hen says. “At 14-years-old, my parents told me to find a husband but I told them that I had to follow my dreams.”
H’Hen comes from an ethnic minority called Ede or Rade in Vietnam. She said that their group is so small that it only makes up approximately 5 percent of Vietnam’s population. It is a tribal custom to get married at the age of 14.
But H’Hen believed that she was destined for greater things so she moved to Ho Chi Minh City.
To pursue her dreams, she took several odd jobs like being as a nanny, serving food and cleaning houses, working as a tutor and promodizer to go college.
In 2014, things got better for H’Hen.
She got a modeling stint. A year later, she joined Vietnam’s Next Top Model finishing 9th place.
The experience on the competition fueled her aspirations to become a beauty queen and represent Vietnam in the international stage.
She joined Miss Universe Vietnam in 2018 and won the crown.
Instead of keeping the prize, H’Hen instead shared her blessings.
“After becoming Miss Universe Vietnam 2018, I gave away all my prize money,” H’Hen reveals. “I opened a library deep in the countryside. It is a friendly library that helps children to read.”
She is now the global ambassador for the international organization, Room to Read. She also pursues advocacies on HIV awareness, women empowerment, education and helping orphans from distant provinces.
During the Miss Universe 2018 pageant, H’Hen stood out for her fierce look and distinct hairstyle. She eventually made it to the Top 5.
Miss Vietnam didn’t win the Miss Universe crown. But her touching story made her win the hearts of fans all over the world.