Mary Jean Lastimosa (center) is crowned Binibining Pilipinas Universe 2014 by last year's winner Ariella Arida (right) and assisted by reigning Miss Universe Gabriela Isler. The 26-year old North Cotabato beauty bested 39 other contestants in the coronation night Sunday at the Araneta Coliseum. Photo by Fernando Sepe Jr. for ABS-CBNnews.com
MANILA – “Third time's the charm.”
This is what Mary Jean Lastimosa believes after bagging the title of Miss Universe Philippines 2014 on her third attempt at the Binibining Pilipinas beauty pageant.
On Sunday, the 26-year-old from North Cotabato took home the grand prize, beating 39 other constants during the Binibining Pilipinas grand coronation night held at the Araneta Coliseum.
After her victory, Lastimosa told ANC and ABS-CBN News’ Ginger Conejero that she did not expect to win.
“It was surreal. When they called my number, I was like, 'Am I really going to wear the crown?' Because I never imagined that I would. But when it happened, it was like a dream come true,” she said.
Lastimosa admitted that she was not a fan of pageants when she was younger.
“The first time, Davao City just convinced me to represent them, to just try it. I never trusted myself so I was hesitant to join. I joined the pageant because the whole city was supporting me. And then when I won second runner-up, I got addicted to it. I was like maybe I should try because I think I can do it. And then failure came. I was like no more pageants for me. But then acceptance would just come in and you just move on with life and do what you wanted to do,” she said.
Lastimosa took one last chance when Binibining Pilipinas adjusted the age limit for the pageant to 26 years old.
“When I was in the States, my friends were texting me to join. I was like no, that's it for me. But when I came here, the people in the pageant wanted to meet with me. They convinced me that maybe I can do it. I was like okay, because I don't have anything to do naman. Thank God I did it,” she said.
As she represents the country in this year’s Miss Universe competition, is Lastimosa pressured to continue the Philippines' winning streak in the pageant?
“I don't know. I'm still trying to suck in the idea that I won. Pressure will always be there no matter what the performance of the past winners would be. I think I just trust BPCI that they will give us the right training that we need,” she said.
For now, Lastimosa said she is excited to face the responsibilities of being the new Miss Universe Philippines titleholder.
“I've been seeing and watching Janine (Tugonon) and Shamcey (Supsup). How they did and prepared for the pageant. Now it's my turn. I'm excited for what's next for me,” she said.