Miss Universe memories

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MJ MARFORI

And what the candidates say they will take home with them

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In The Know has covered quite a number of Miss Universe pageants in the past, but with the actual events taking place in Manila, it’s been a totally different and enjoyable experience.

To get upclose and personal with 86 beautiful women from around the world—including our very own Maxine Medina—it was touching to see how bonds grew stronger by the day and how the candidates have genuinely come to love the Philippines.

I learned from Miss Belize that however the pageant goes, she has extended her stay for one more week to go to Puerto Galera and dive. And even though she rocked her swimsuit on stage, she confessed how her diet was almost none existent what with our “very yummy Pinoy food.” She is also hoarding dried mangoes for her flight back home.

The common sentiment among all the candidates is that Filipino hospitality is incomparable. Miss Argentina exclaimed she can’t wait to go back home and tell everyone about her Philippine experience.

The same goes for Miss Great Britain and Miss Germany, who said they’ll be taking home wonderful memories of Cebu. Almost close to tears, Miss Germany recalled how children lined up the streets at 4 a.m. under the drizzling rain, with a special dance number prepared for them.

Miss Brazil Raissa Santana and Miss Mexico Kristal Silva
PHOTO BY RUSSEL PALMA

Miss Curacao is overwhelmed by how well taken care of they are wherever they go—with seven security details to boot! Miss Netherlands said she felt like a movie star in Manila with all the requests for selfies and screaming fans, besides the security.

In the Know also asked some candidates how outgoing Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach inspired them. Most of them – like Miss Argentina, Miss Netherlands and Miss Germany – agree she is the “best Miss Universe.”

Miss Germany said she joined her own pageant three times until she emerged the winner, precisely because she was inspired by Pia’s journey to the crown.

Miss Brazil also appreciated how Pia differed from past Miss Universe holders by being so relatable and approachable.

She watched all of the Filipina’s videos, and even told In The Know that she could very much see herself in Pia’s elegant bearing.

Miss Mexico also appreciates how Pia takes time to bond with the candidates, while Miss Colombia admires how she stands up against bullying.

Indeed, like Miss Universe President Paula Shugart told them during the Governor’s Ball, “You ladies better give it your all because Pia is really a tough act to follow!”

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Since today is the last day of the pageant, with a winner crowned before noon, I thought I’d share with you a story of this leggy candidate with an attitude.

She’s a favorite of many including myself and she’s very bubbly when you first encounter her. But as the pageant festivities went on both in Manila and the provinces—to my dismay—what some of the Miss Universe Org staff had said is true: “She has quite an attitude!”

The day after their preliminary competition, it was obvious she didn’t like her performance and was acting up. She was ignoring the media at an early press junket call. It was clear she was having a bad morning, but being in the competition, the show must go on, right?

Leggy candidate was oblivious to the press and even rolled her eyes at one candidate who apologized for bumping her accidentally! What’s worse, she even tried to dodge an interview by saying she doesn’t speak in English—even though her interpreter was on standby right beside her! My oh my!

Back to regular programming!

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Until next week! Ta ta!

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