Lastimosa during the swimsuit competition of the Binibining Pilipinas 2014 pageant. Photo by Fernando Sepe Jr. for ABS-CBNnews.com
MANILA - Newly crowned Miss Universe-Philippines MJ Lastimosa was once again asked the question given to her by Miss Universe 2013 Gabriela Isler during the finals night of Binibining Pilipinas.
The 26-year-old beauty from North Cotabato was the guest during the live episode of "Aquino & Abunda Tonight" on Monday. She was asked by co-host Boy Abunda if she would change how she responded in the question-and-answer portion of the finals night held Sunday.
Isler, who was one of the judges, asked Lastimosa what she considers to be "the greatest advantage of being a woman."
Lastimosa replied: "The greatest advantage of being a woman is being able to compose herself. Just like here, we're standing in front of thousands of people, not knowing if you're going to cheer for us or boo us. But we try to compose ourselves. We keep the emotions and show the beauty that is in us and tonight, thousands of people are standing here, celebrating the beauty of women."
Answering Abunda's question, Lastimosa said: "Actually, kasi kagabi, that's me, eh -- how I compose myself. Kasi if people would remember, in 2012, I lost the pageant. I [was] still composed. In my pictures at the back, I was still standing and smiling as if I won."
Lastimosa was referring to her Binibining Pilipinas bid in 2012, wherein she only managed to finish in the top 12. A year earlier, she placed 2nd runner-up in the same pageant, which crowned Shamcey Supsup as the Philippines' representative to Miss Universe.
That edition of Binibining Pilipinas, Lastimosa noted, saw three would-be Miss Universe candidates vying for the national crown. Janine Tugonon, who finished first runner-up in Miss Universe 2012, was also among the top five candidates in the national pageant which Supsup won in 2011.
Referring to her answer about "composure" as a woman's greatest advantage, Lastimosa said it reflects how she accepted losses in previous pageants, citing this to be as reason why she would not change it.
"I think I'm contented and I think people were happy, too," she said.
Asked whether she feels pressured to achieve a "five-peat" for the Philippines, in reference to the country's consecutive runner-up victories in Miss Universe in the last four years, Lastimosa said: "I'm not thinking about the pressure for now, kasi nag-si-sink in palang na nanalo ako!"