MANILA -- While she was unable to win the Miss Universe Philippines crown on her second attempt, Bohol's Pauline Amelinckx said she is "happy" and "grateful" for the experience.
Amelinckx placed third as Miss Universe Philippines Charity, with Celeste Cortesi of Pasay getting the opportunity to represent the country on the Miss Universe stage this year.
In an Instagram post, Amelinckx congratulated Cortesi, saying she was "amazing" during the competition.
"You were amazing and I'm sure you will be even more amazing when you represent us all for MU (Miss Universe)," she said.
Amelinckx also took the opportunity to thank all those who have supported and believed in her. The Boholana beauty queen became a trending topic on Twitter over the weekend as many netizens dubbed her as their "sentimental favorite" to win the Miss Universe Philippines 2022 crown.
She said she takes comfort in the fact that she has touched many people's lives through her pageant journey.
"A lot of people now tell me, 'You have won the hearts of the Filipino.' And you know what, that's one of the goals this journey was for. To use this amazing platform with Miss Universe Philippines to reach as many people as possible," she said.
"My heart is happy and I am immensely grateful for all I have achieved, all the people who have been with me on this journey, and also for the people I was able to meet along the way," she added.
Amelinckx joined the first edition of Miss Universe Philippines in 2020, finishing as third runner-up to Rabiya Mateo of Iloilo.