MANILA—The pressure to pull back-to-back wins in the Miss Universe pageant is “a good thing,” Miss Universe-Philippines Gazini Ganados said Tuesday.
The 23-year-old beauty queen will represent the Philippines in the pageant’s 68th installment, after Filipino-Australian model Catriona Gray took home the fourth Miss Universe title for the Philippines last year.
“Pressure is a good thing. That means I’m taking things seriously,” Ganados told ABS-CBN News
“I deal with it by working hard for it,” she said.
Ganados, a Filipino-Palestinian who was born and raised in Cebu, has been honing her skills in public speaking and responding to the question-and-answer part of the contest since she was crowned Binibining Pilipinas-Universe in June, said her mentor and Kagandahang Flores chief Rodgil Flores.
“She needs to devote more time sa Q and A pero I’m very happy na comfortable na siya dealing with people and organizing her thoughts,” Flores told ABS-CBN News.
The Cebuana model will begin her “intensive” training in pasarela (runway walk) and projection this month, he said.
Ganados said she stays active by boxing, and doing muay thai or yoga, and tries to maintain a diet of white meat and vegetables.
“I tried to be a vegetarian but one of my coaches told me that I’m gonna lose my muscle so I’m trying to go back to pescatarian,” she said. “Now, I’m eating white meat and plant-based diet.”
A daily dose of news and current events is also a must in a beauty queen’s regimen, she said.
“As much as possible when I wake up in the morning, I try to read the news because that is where your brain adapts to all the news,” she said. “I’ve been doing my homework.”
In the nearly 7-decade long history of Miss Universe, only Venezuela has managed to win back-to-back titles when Dayana Mendoza crowned her compatriot Stefanía Fernández as her successor in 2009.
Ganados said she is doing her best, but avoids taking the pressure for a repeat “too seriously.”
“If I take things too seriously, I might somehow collapse in the middle of the way so parang I’m just trying to enjoy my journey,” she said. “I just trust the process, most especially trust up above.”