(UPDATED) Beatrice Gomez of Cebu City is set to represent the Philippines in the Miss Universe pageant in December, after she was crowned the national winner Thursday night, besting 27 other candidates.
Gomez was named Miss Universe Philippines 2021, succeeding Rabiya Mateo, at the conclusion of the 3-hour coronation night held at the Hennan Resort Convention Center in Panglao, Bohol.
The event was livestreamed via KTX.ph.
The openly gay Gomez, who is in a long-term, same-sex relationship, expressed confidence that the Philippines would be proud to send a member of the queer community to the Miss Universe pageant. She spoke on the topic as she advanced as a finalist.
During the crucial question-and-answer portion, Gomez was asked: “If during your reign as Miss Universe Philippines, things happen in your life that make you sad and uninspired, how would you be able to continue inspiring others?”
Gomez answered: “It is very evident that all of us went through difficulties during this pandemic, but it is also proof that we are able to rise to the occasion.
“And if anything happened to me during my reign, I will not give up and inspire others by rising to the problems that I am encountering and by inspiring them that whatever you’re going through, you will be able to overcome it.”
Meanwhile, two new titles, rooted from the pageant organization’s advocacies, were also awarded on Thursday. Katrina Dimaranan of Taguig became the first Miss Universe Philippines Tourism 2021, while Victoria Vincent of Cavite was recognized as Miss Universe Philippines Charity 2021.
Neither will compete in any international pageant. The titlists, however, are in line to take over, respectively, should the national winner be unable to finish her reign.
Completing the queen’s court are Maureen Wroblewitz of Pangasinan, who finished 1st runner-up; and Steffi Aberasturi of Cebu Province, who placed 2nd runner-up.
The rest of the top 16 were:
- Kirsten Delavin, Masbate (Winner, Lazada Fan Vote)
- Christelle Abello, Aklan
- Chella Falconer, Misamis Oriental
- Izabella Umali, Manila
- Janela Cuaton, Albay
- Mirjan Hipolito, Angeles
- Maria Corazon Abalos, Mandaluyong
- Leren Mae Bautista, Laguna
- Maria Ingrid Santamaria, Parañaque
- Jane Nicole Minaño, Romblon
- Rousanne Bernos, San Juan
Winners of special awards, meanwhile, were:
- Face of Belo Sun Expert: Katrina Dimaranan, Taguig
- Miss Coppermask: Princess Kristha Singh, Pasig
- Miss Organic Barley: Leren Mae Bautista, Laguna
- Miss K-Pads: Janela Joy Cuaton, Albay
- Miss Save Point Plus: Katrina Dimaranan, Taguig
- Miss Air Asia Philippines: Maureen Wroblewitz, Pangasinan
- Miss Bragais: Leren Mae Bautista, Laguna
- Miss Red Fox Philippines: Kirsten Delavin, Masbate
- Miss Hennan: Maureen Wroblewitz, Pangasinan
- Best in National Costume: Maria Corazon Abalos Mandaluyong (Designer: Joji Aguilar)
- Miss Luxxe White Face of the Universe (Miss Photogenic): Kirsten Delavin, Masbate
- Miss Luxxe White Reveal Instabright Stunner: Steffi Aberasturi, Cebu Province
- Miss Luxxe ImmunPlus Game Changer: Beatrice Gomez, Cebu City
- Miss Universe Philippines Lazada: Kirsten Delavin, Masbate
- Miss Cream Silk: Beatrice Gomez, Cebu City
- Best in Swimsuit: Beatrice Gomez, Cebu City
- Best in Evening Gown: Beatrice Gomez, Cebu City
The final 28 candidates were trimmed down from the official 100 delegates announced in July. That number was narrowed down to 75, then 50, then 30, through a series of preliminary challenges. Two candidates withdrew due to health reasons.
The coronation night, which included live audience members capped at 100, was hosted by KC Montero and featured performances by Sam Concepcion and Michael Pangilinan.
The finale, as well as the pageant’s preliminary leg, had overcome numerous roadblocks in the past few months, due to the recent COVID-19 surge in the country and resulting restrictions.
The 2021 Miss Universe Philippines pageant is the second under the new eponymous organization, which had secured the local license in 2019 after 55 years with Binibining Pilipinas Charities Inc.
As Miss Universe Philippines 2021, Gomez will compete in the 70th Miss Universe pageant to be held in December in Eilat, Israel.
Aside from continuing the Philippines’ 11-year streak of placing the semifinals, Gomez is aiming for a fifth Miss Universe crown for the country, after the wins of Gloria Diaz in 1969, Margarita Moran in 1973, Pia Wurtzbach in 2015, and Catriona Gray in 2018.