• The queens in the Queen City of the South

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    After mingling with VIPs at the Governor’s Ball on Monday night at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City [read full story in today’s News Section], there was hardly time for the 86 Miss Universe candidates to rest as they jetted off to Cebu before dawn on Tuesday for the pageant’s swimsuit presentation on Tuesay.

    With additional reports from The Manila Times Entertainment columnist MJ Marfori, the highlights of Miss Universe in Manila on January 16 and 17 are rounded up below:

    All’s well for Miss Colombia Andrea Tovar who participated in swimsuit showcase in Cebu PHOTO FROM 65THMISSUNIVERSE.COM

    A minor incident worried guests of the Governor’s Ball when Miss Italy Sophia Sergio suddenly fainted. The 24-year-old complained of dizziness during the “Parade of Beauties” and had to be carried by security to an open area. After receiving first aid, Sergio returned to the night’s revelry and assured Marfori in a video posted on Instagram (@mjmarfori), “I am now OK,” flashing her beauty queen smile

    Miss Colombia Andrea Tovar found herself in hot water when her Instagram story circulated online, complaining about the welcome gifts given to the candidates upon landing in Manila. Offending both Filipinos and her fellow Mexicans, pageant news site Pageanthology 101 translated Tovar’s post to say, “And what do you think my dears, I’m speaking like a Mexican … What are those fattening filth? Look at this!”

    The candidate has reportedly apologized since, and at Monday night’s ball took on a very different tune. Again on Marfori’s Instagram video, the embarrassed Mexican said, “I love the Philippines. It’s the best place of the world [with]real people [who]love everyone. [You have] good energy and good food! I have an amazing experience.”

    In Cebu Tuesday, the sexiest part of the pageant unfolded with the candidates sashaying in swimsuits and sky high heels at JPark Island Resort and Waterpark for the swimsuit presentation. So high were Miss Vietnam Dang Thi Le Hang heels indeed that she ended up tripping at her turn on the runway—not an unusual sight in Miss Universe activities. Nevertheless, the 23-year-old picked herself up as if nothing happened and carried on with her strut. Talk about confidently beautiful!

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