Pinay firefighter makes her mark at Mrs. Universe pageant

Mario Dumaual, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 07 2023 06:37 PM

Mrs. Universe Philippines Veronica Yu in her long gown. Handout

MANILA -- Filipina beauty queen and firefighter Veronica Yu is still basking in the afterglow of her recent seventh-place finish at the 45th Mrs. Universe pageant last month in Sofia, Bulgaria. 

“I think ang nagpanalo sa akin was when I introduced myself that I am a firefighter," the 41-year-old Yu candidly told ABS-CBN News at her recent victory party in San Juan City. “They were all amazed! Kasi 'yung iba, beauty beauty lang. Real talk lang po, hindi ako beauty lang!” 

“Walang hocus pocus kasi I’ve been a firefighter since I was young,” she added. “It’s not a drill, 'yung nagpanalo sa 'kin is the courage as a firefighter. You must be strong to save lives and property, I’m proud to showcase that.” 

Elena Maksimova from Udmurtia, Russia won the pageant participated by 120 married women worldwide.

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A Rotarian and disaster relief volunteer, Yu has been a volunteer firefighter since she was 18. She elicited laughter at her victory reception, when she addressied fellow mothers regarding fire prevention month which also coincides with women’s month. 

“Paalala lang po ngayong Marc, bawal maglaro ng apoy. Stay away from fire,“ she quipped. “March is women’s month so let’s stay empowered. Maging strong tayo kahit ano pinagdadaanan natin. Let’s just have courage and reach out to the right people na puede tayong suportahan.” 

Yu also credits international designer Leo Almodal for boosting her status at Mrs. Universe where she also won the Mrs. Elegance title. 

“Parang blusang itim, nagta-transform ka. Gusto nilang bilhin but I said no, it’s my winning gown. Just talk to the designer Leo Almodal, he is known internationally!” 

Mrs. Universe Philippines national director Charo Laude also told ABS-CBN News the winning edge of Yu, who earned one of the highest ranks for Filipino representatives in the pageant. 

“She is authentic in her socio-civic work and advocacy , long before the Mrs. Philippines pageant last year, “ she said. “ Mrs. Universe saw the fire in her, literally.” 

Laude also announced that the next Mrs. Universe pageant, with over 100 global delegates, will be hosted by the Philippines this October.