Miss Universe 2013 third runner-up Ariella Arida
MANILA - Miss Universe 2013 third runner-up Ariella Arida has lent a helping hand to the relief efforts for the victims of super typhoon "Yolanda" (international name Haiyan).
Arida, along with other beauty queens and volunteers, were seen at a repacking center in Pasay set up by the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
In an interview with ABS-CBN News, Arida admitted that during this time of need, she prefers helping out more than anything else.
"After Miss U, I would choose to do things na ganito. Binigyan ko talaga ng time ito. Kung pwede masingit sa sched, gagawin at gagawin ko talaga ito," she said.
Arida, who represented the Philippines in the pageant held days after the typhoon ravaged the country, hoped that her win managed to give inspiration to the survivors.
"Sana talaga kung ano 'yung naging achievement ko, kahit papano nagbigay ng smile sa mga kababayan natin," she said.
The beauty queen then expressed her admiration for the resilience the Filipinos have shown in these trying times.
"Natutuwa ako dahil for the past days, nakita ko paano naging strong sila, 'yung mga kababayan natin sa Visayas. They're starting all over again. Parang walang nangyari. Sobrang proud ako sa mga Pinoy," she said.
Arida was joined by current Binibining Pilipinas Miss International 2013 Bea Santiago, who will represent the country in the Miss International pageant in a few weeks in Tokyo, Japan.
In a separate interview, Santiago said the recent calamities will serve as her inspiration as she takes the spotlight on December 17.
"Mas inspired, mas pushed, mas motivated kasi gusto kong manalo para sa mga kababayan natin, lalo na sa Kabisayaan," she said.
But the 22-year-old said that she would like the focus to be on the victims rather than on her.
"Gusto ko naman kasi 'yung attention nasa 'Yolanda' victims kasi mas kailangan nila. I know na nandoon 'yung lahat ng support niyo sa akin, pero mas kailangan nila kaysa ngayon," she added.
On Friday, Miss World 2013 Megan Young personally visited the victims of the typhoon in Tacloban city.