CANDIDATES of the 65th Miss Universe pageant did not disappoint the audience when they took center stage wearing their national costumes.

Among those who stole the show are Miss Myanmar Htet Htet Htun, Miss Bolivia Antonella Moscatelli Saucedo and Miss Venezuela Mariam Habach

Htun came dressed as a marionette, a puppet moved by strings while Saucedo and Habach impressed the audience with their humungous headpiece and intricate gown, respectively.

Wings were also a big hit during the National Costume presentation with Miss Indonesia Kezia Warouw, Miss Peru Valeria Piazza, Miss Argentina Estafania Bernal and Miss Nicaragua Marina Jacoby dazzling in their feathery outfits.

Miss US Virgin Islands Caroylyn Carter made true to the idea of "go big or go home" when she presented a giant carnival-like outfit.

Asian beauties, Miss Philippines Maxine Medina, Miss Malaysia Kiran Jassal and Miss Thailand Chalita Suansane also represented the region well.

Medina wore an ensemble inspired by the traditional vinta boats native to the islands of Mindanao. She finished the look with a head piece that contains south sea pearls, which costs over P1 million.

Jassal, on her part, literally wore the Petronas Twin Towers, the miniature version at that, while Suansane glitter in gold in her "Jewel of Thailand," an outfit that showcases the richness of her culture.

Other big hit during the presentation were Miss India Roshmith Harimurthy, Miss Germany Johanna Acs, Miss France Iris Mittenaere, Miss Panama Keity Drennan and Miss Norway Christina Waage.

The 86 candidates this year will compete for the coveted Miss Universe crown on Monday, January 30 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City. (Sunnex)