Philippines turns over Miss Universe crown to South Africa

Marje Pelayo   •   December 9, 2019   •   1358

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.

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

PH bet Rabiya Mateo ends Miss Universe journey in Top 21

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 17, 2021

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.

Catriona Gray asks NBI to track down those behind fake online photos

Robie de Guzman   •   July 21, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray on Tuesday appeared at the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to press charges against those who uploaded a digitally-altered and malicious photo of her online.

Gray met with NBI Deputy Director Vicente de Guzman to discuss her complaint.

Gray’s lawyer earlier said a “fake” topless photo of the beauty queen is circulating online and denounced the “vicious attempt to tarnish the good name of Ms. Gray.”

NBI’s Cybercrime division was tasked to handle the investigation. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Joan Nano)

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