MANILA -- The Miss Universe organization on Friday released a video of the Philippines' candidate, Ariella Arida, addressing her countrymen amid the devastation brought to the country by the world's most powerful typhoon this year.
The video, where Arida is seen alongside her predecessor, Janine Tugonon, was posted on the official Facebook page of Miss Universe Friday afternoon.
The accompanying description of the video reads: "Miss Universe Philippines 2012, Janine Tugonon and Miss Universe Philippines 2013, Ariella Arida send their thoughts and prayers to their home country in midst of the super typhoon."
"Mahal namin kayo," Arida said. "This fight, I offer to you guys, to all my Filipino people. It's for the Philippines. Keep safe and keep on praying. Be strong."
The 24-year-old Alaminos-born beauty is currently in Moscow, Russia, where the coronation night of the 62nd Miss Universe will be held on November 10 (Manila time).
Classified as a category-5 super typhoon with wind gust of about 300 kph, "Yolanda" wreaked havoc in several parts of the Philippines on Friday, forcing more than a million to evacuate and cutting power lines throughout Visayas.
As of Friday morning, three fatalities due to the typhoon were already recorded, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.
Speaking with ABS-CBN News' Dyan Castillejo in a separate interview, Arida on Friday expressed confidence that Filipinos will manage to remain positive amid the calamity.
"Alam ko naman na no matter what happens, tayong mga Pilipino, positive pa rin at makakayanan natin 'to. Be strong, and just keep on praying kasi andiyan si God. Mas malaki siya kaysa sa mga problemang kinakaharap natin ngayon," Arida said.
Said to be an early favorite in Miss Universe, Arida is hoping to surpass the successes of her last three predecessors in the pageant – Venus Raj, Shamcey Supsup and Tugonon – who all finished in the Top 5.
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