Miss Universe Bahrain Evlin Khalifa heads to the Philippines for training

The beauty queen will undergo a pageant boot camp ahead of the global competition in January

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Evlin Khalifa is leaving nothing to chance for her road to the Miss Universe title. The reigning Miss Universe Bahrain has landed in pageant-mad the Philippines to be trained by some of the best in the industry.

Khalifa, 24, who won the crown earlier this month after being picked from more than 300 applicants, will be in Manila for two weeks along with Miss Universe Bahrain national director Josh Yugen. While she's there, she will also be doing a "secret photoshoot" as well as several media interviews, the Miss Universe Bahrain organisation said.

"I am very excited to see the Philippines and of course the lovely Filipinos who have always been there to support us and the pageantry in general," Khalifa tells The National. "Growing up in the Middle East, I have encountered a lot of Filipino friends and acquaintances and they are truly one of the most loving, most humble and most happy people I have met.

"Of course I have Filipino cousins and am excited to meet them and eat chicken adobo here.“

Miss Universe Bahrain Evlin Khalifa with national director Josh Yugen in Manila. Photo: Miss Universe Bahrain

Khalifa is the first cousin of Filipino basketball star Dwight Ramos, from her mother's side.

Born to a Bahraini father and Russian mother, she is a trained pianist and has taken courses in dancing and taekwondo. She is passionate about education and believes it is never too late to learn something new in life.

A graduate in finance and banking, she is pursuing online classes to master her Arabic and English skills, as well as psychology. She has also done some professional modelling work, having starred in a make-up advertisement for Dior.

She is also outspoken about anorexia, having been diagnosed with it, and is keen to spread awareness and start conversations about the eating disorder, leading a healthy lifestyle and well-being.

Khalifa is currently one of the favourites ahead of the global pageant, ranking high on leaderboards compiled by hardcore pageant fans. This is something Yugen says should not be taken lightly, as these fans can often predict the eventual winner.

Following the postponement of Miss Universe 2022 to January 14, the Bahraini beauty queen will have more time to prep for the main competition, when reigning Miss Universe Harnaaz Sandhu from India will crown her successor.

New Orleans in Louisiana will play host to the pageant. While a number of countries are yet to name their representatives, 70 contestants have already been chosen through national competitions.

Scroll through the gallery below to see all the Miss Universe 2022 contestants who've been crowned so far

Updated: September 28, 2022, 8:20 AM