MANILA, Philippines – She spoke of sensitivity and how women like her use the heart to make decisions. And perhaps, it was all that mattered at the end of the night as Ariella Arida, a self-described average person, was crowned Bb. Pilipinas-Universe 2013 Sunday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao.
Arida, who hails from Laguna and is a Chemistry graduate at the University of the Philippines, had already won Best in Swimsuit earlier in the night. During the question and answer portion, she was asked by Philippine National Police Chief Allan Purisima what lesson in life women can teach men.
“One lesson in life that women can teach men is being sensitive,” Arida answered. “We all know that men are more logical when it comes to decisions. They are usually more rational and straightforward. Unlike women, we use our hearts and we tend to get emotional in some of our decisions. Sensitivity is something that we women can teach to men.”
Arida would later reveal that she felt lucky that she was asked that question because it was one of many that she had already prepared for.
Her own sensitivity was on display backstage after the pageant as Arida shared her feelings.
“Hindi pa din mag-sink-in sa akin that I got this crown,” Arida said. “When I saw my mom, she told me ‘hindi ko akalain.' From a different kind of life I used to have—I used to go to school wearing rubber shoes and a laboratory gown—and now here I am with the crown, wearing makeup.”
After which, she paused as her eyes darted around the room overwhelmed by all the attention that she and her fellow pageant winners were receiving.
“I’m sorry but it’s my first time being in front of many cameras,” she would then say.
Arida also revealed that when the winners were being called, the only thing she was saying was “Lord please give this to me, give this to me. Everything is all up to you now.”
“Thank God that He gave this to me,” Arida said.
With the title comes the pressure and responsibility of representing the Philippines in this year’s Miss Universe pageant, with the venue and exact date still to be announced. Arida, however, was confident in saying that she is prepared.
“I’ve never been this hardworking in my entire life,” Arida said. “I used to be just an average person, I don’t usually work hard because I would feel depressed if I fail. But during this pageant, I really worked hard physically, mentally, and emotionally. So yes, the pressure, I can handle it, I’m prepared and I’m ready to face all the challenges that will come to me.”