PH bet Rabiya Mateo ends Miss Universe journey in Top 21

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 17, 2021   •   617

The Philippines’ Miss Universe 2020 candidate Rabiya Mateo ended her journey in the 69th Miss Universe pageant on Monday (May 17) after making it to the Top 21.

Competing against 74 candidates, Mateo shined through and dazzled the audience with her beauty during the swimsuit competition.

However, she was not able to advance to the Top 10 and return the crown to the Philippines.

Candidates who made it to the Top 10 are:  Jamaica, Dominican Republic, India, Peru, Australia, Puerto Rico, Thailand, Costa Rica, Mexico, and Brazil.

Meanwhile, former Miss Universe Catriona Gray and Pia Wurtzbach showed their support to Mateo.

Mexico wins Miss Universe 2020

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 17, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Andrea Meza of Mexico has been crowned as the 69th Miss Universe, besting 74 other contestants in the Miss Universe 2020 pageant at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida, USA on Monday, Philippine time.

The first runner-up is Brazil’s Julia Gama followed by Peru’s Janick Maceta as second runner-up.  India’s Adline Castelino and Dominican Republic’s Kimberly Perez became third runner-up and fourth runner-up respectively.

During the question and answer, Miss Mexico focused on changing beauty standards.

“We live in a society that more and more is more than advanced, and as we advance as a society, we’ve also advanced with stereotypes,” she said. “Nowadays beauty isn’t only the way we look. For me, beauty radiates not only in our spirit, but in our hearts and the way that we conduct ourselves. Never permit someone to tell you that you’re not valuable.”

Andrea Meza has a degree in software engineering. She is also an activist, focused on women’s rights and inclusion. She has also been part of a global charity association raising funds in India, Indonesia and China for the downtrodden. Aside from being an activists she also practices crossfit and extreme sports. AAC

Philippines turns over Miss Universe crown to South Africa

Marje Pelayo   •   December 9, 2019

Newly crowned Miss Universe 2019, Zozibini Tunzi

MANILA, Philippines – Two years after winning the Miss Universe crown, South Africa has it again as the Philippines’ Catriona Gray returned the title to Zozibini Tunzi during the coronation night on Sunday (December 8) at Atlanta, Georgia in the United States.

The 26-year old model and beauty queen has been vocal about her struggles for education during her childhood before realizing her potential in modelling until finally graduating from college.

Tunzi eloquently answered the common question asked among the three finalists: “What is the most important thing you’d be teaching young girls today?”

Here is Tunzi’s winning answer:

“I think the most important thing we should be teaching young girls today is leadership. It is something that had been lacking in young girls and women for a very long time not because we don’t want to but because of what society has labeled women to be. I think we are the most powerful beings on the world and that we should be given every opportunity and that is what we should be teaching these young girls – to take up space. Nothing is as important as taking up space in the society and cementing yourself.”

Madison Anderson of Puerto Rico came 1st Runner Up while Sofía Aragón of Mexico was hailed the 2nd Runner up.

Tunzi is the third woman from South Africa to win the title with Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters in 2017 and Margaret Hardiner in 1978.

In 2018, Miss South Africa Tamaryn Green landed 1st Runner up to Catriona Gray in the pageant finals.

Catriona Gray wears Sampaguita-inspired outfit for homecoming parade

Maris Federez   •   February 22, 2019

Photo credit: Mak Tumang

MANILA, Philippines – Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray donned a jumpsuit terno for her grand homecoming parade in Metro Manila on Thursday.

Gray was onboard a majestic float inspired by her diamond-and-pearl-encrusted Mikimoto crown when she greeted her supporters along the parade route that passed by the cities of Pasay, Manila and Makati.

The Beauty queen wore a Sampaguita-inspired jumpsuit designed by Mak Tumang for her parade.

In a social media post, Tumang explained that Gray’s parade outfit, dubbed as “Sampaguita: A promise fulfilled,” was inspired by the Philippine national flower, Sampaguita.

“Legend has it that its etymology was derived from the Filipino words ‘sumpa kita’, which means ‘I promise you’. This ornamental flower is an inherent part of our landscape since time immemorial,” Tumang said in his Instagram post.

“Interestingly, this flower has a lot to do with the concept of ‘Coming Home’. You know you are home when its distinct sweet and aromatic fragrance tickles your olfactory sense. Moreover, the flowers are usually slung and made into leis which are used to welcome dignitaries or are being peddled in front of churches so as to become offerings,” he added.

Aside from sampaguita, Gray’s jumpsuit was also emblazoned with embroidery inspired by Anahaw.

Tumang said that “it is fitting that we welcome our Queen with Sampaguitas adorned with Anahaw – our national leaf. Catriona will wear this Philippine terno which is a ‘Callado’ (similar to Piña Barong) embroidered gown with stylized Panuelo and Mariposa sleeves.”

Despite the heat, Gray was all smiles as she waved to her supporters who went out to take a glimpse of her parade that started around 2 p.m. in Pasay City. The motorcade ended at Glorietta Shopping Center in EDSA around 6 p.m.

Several roads had been closed and a traffic rerouting scheme was implemented by the Makati City Government and Metropolitan Manila Development Authority to give way to the parade.

The closed roads were opened to the public after the motorcade. – Robie de Guzman (with reports from Mon Jocson)

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