Miss Universe 2012 Olivia Culpo with the Philippines' Ariella Arida. Photo from Culpo's Instagram page
MANILA -- "Gorgeous!" This was how the reigning Miss Universe, Olivia Culpo of the United States, described Ariella Arida, the Philippines' representative to the 2013 edition of the international pageant.
The 21-year-old Rhode Island beauty recently met Arida, who hails from Alaminos, Laguna, at the National Gift Auction at Crocus City Mall in Moscow, Russia.
The auction was one of the pre-pageant activities of the 62nd Miss Universe, which will hold its coronation night at the Crocus City Hall on November 10 (Manila time).
In a post on image-sharing service Instagram on Thursday, Culpo shared a photo of her with the 24-year-old Arida at the event. Culpo, in the photo's caption, referred to Arida as "the gorgeous Miss Philippines."
The Filipina beauty, on her own Instagram page, re-posted the photo shortly after. "I'm so happy seeing this," Arida said in the caption. "Thank you to the sweet, nice and very gorgeous Ms. Olivia!"
Several commenters, who appear to be Filipino, tagged Culpo in the original post as they referred to Arida as "your successor."
Arida is hoping to surpass the successes of her last three predecessors in Miss Universe – Venus Raj, Shamcey Supsup and Janine Tugonon – who all finished in the international pageant's Top 5.
Tugonon was Culpo's runner-up in last year's Miss Universe.