The world seems to stop whenever there are prestigious competitions done related to sports, talent contests and beauty pageant, especially to Filipinos. The past week was full of exciting updates regarding the Miss Universe particularly when the preliminary round has started and I was one of those fans who truly waited that day to give support to our country’s representative Gazini Ganados.
I am not an expert in it but I love watching such competitions and also do appreciate the alluring candidates. Of course all women who competed were beautiful and stunning but there can only be one who will wear the crown and hold the title. First, I congratulate Miss Universe 2019 from South Africa, Zozibini Tunzi for winning the coveted title Miss Universe for she truly deserves it.
I can say that this year’s event was much tougher than that of the last year’s as the format of the pageant had changed. This year was not about just the charisma and popularity but rather about the genuine expression of one’s self on top of beauty, wit and confidence.
When I watched the livestreaming of Miss Universe I felt so nervous as if I were there in the actual event and I truly want our candidate to get a higher spot. The statement of Gazini was good enough though you could really feel how pressured she was during that moment and maybe the judges wanted to break something in thoughts of the people…That it was not just about wearing the crown and having the title. If you noticed, some of the judges were former beauty queens. I believe they were chosen not to disregard any candidate or to put anyone backstage but rather because they knew exactly what is being looked for by the said organization. For the past 9 years of the Filipino candidates, 2 of them became title holders- Pia and Catriona, and the rest got places. It is amazing that the candidates from Philippines made their way to top for those consecutive years. However, I also noticed that there may have been something gone or lacking why the result of our candidate’s placement became different this year. Surely Gazini did her best in every way. I liked how she walked, she dressed and dolled-up her looks, but maybe she forgot or her trainors forgot the true essence of being a Miss Universe. It is a beauty pageant that looks for someone with authentic expression and compassion towards the humanity, someone who is aiming to be the voice of those who cannot speak for themselves with grace, confidence and womanly strength. I am not saying that she does not have such qualities, but the expression of her advocacy was not so strong compared to those who entered the top 10. I mean, it sounded and looked like the crown is a reward for all the effort rather than a symbol of someone who would represent and stand for the people. I have nothing against anyone but this was just my observation.
When I heard the answer of Miss South Africa for the final question, I knew that she was the one who will be crowned. I also then thought of my current self after her words has sunk in my mind. Many things have already changed in my physicality since then, that somehow I could say, my beauty has faded. Zozibini’s words were intended for children but it has also got stucked in my mind and heart. It was so empowering that I immediately looked at the mirror and realized that yes, some people will really not consider you beautiful if you don’t look pleasing to their eyes… and that must be stopped. I felt the hope that her words could bring to anyone who is also experiencing the same thing. It was the exact feeling I had when Miss Universe 2016 Iris Mittenaere of France delivered her answer. That time I was studying German language and failed in so many ways but her words were truly an encouragement to continue until you become successful.
For me, I believe that Filipino candidates are great and competing in an international pageant means you have to embrace fully the country and introduce it thru being a „symbol“ and not just a contentant. Catriona was right when she stated that she wanted other people to recognize her as the Miss Philippines without her sash.
That way she has truly set the bar of standard so high that you’ll see a touch of her image in some candidates of different pagent platform. Many Filipinos took it negatively and some said that those candidates do not have originality etc… I believe this was also the reason why the Miss Universe format is quite different… maybe to remind the people that they are not looking for another version of Catriona but a representative for all races.
I’d also like to express my opinion regarding the bashers of other candidates. Yes, you read it right. I believe that it must be stopped because at the end, the deserving candidate will be the one wearing it and there is no point arguing to other people that our candidate or their candidate is better. There are so many ways to promote our representative without hurting others. The sad thing about it was when Miss Philippines did not enter the Top 10, many said „ligwak“, „failed“, „uwian na“, „goodbye Philippines“. I find it painful for the part of our Queen, even if she might have not read it. She did her best but some people said those… Maybe Filipinos should be tamed when it comes to those things… Maybe we should also learn how to peacefully and lovingly support and project our own no matter what happens.
Once again congratulations to the newly-crowned Miss Universe and also to Miss Philippines who did great in every way. Cheers to all!