MANILA — While she did aim for the title, Bea Gomez did not expect to be crowned Miss Universe Philippines after seeing the performances of her fellow candidates.
Gomez succeeded Rabiya Mateo on Thursday and will represent the country in the Miss Universe pageant in December in Eilat, Israel.
“Kanina ko pa lang na-process lahat when I woke up,” she told ABS-CBN News’ Dyan Castillejo on Friday. “I didn’t want to sleep, baka dream lang pala lahat. And then when I woke up, the crown was still there, everything was still there!”
“Kinikilig ako kanina, when I said, ‘Beatrice Luigi Gomez, Miss Universe Philippines 2021.’ Nakakakilig pa rin,” she shared.
Gomez did not expect to win, citing the strong showings of the rest of the candidates in the top 5.
Awarded with new advocacy titles on Thursday were Taguig’s Katrina Dimaranan as Miss Universe Philippines Tourism, and Cavite’s Victoria Vincent as Miss Universe Philippines Charity.
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.
“Honestly, I was just very satisfied when I joined the top 5. And then it was just me and Katrina. I was like, ‘Oh my God, whatever happens, I’m already a winner.’ Hinihintay ko na lang siya. Sabihin niyo na, para ma-relieve na ako!” she recalled.
“And then when they said it — ‘Totoo ba? Is this real?’”
Unlike most newly crowned queens, Gomez appeared collected and stayed composed during her winning moment.
“I looked calm, but I was just shocked and I didn’t know how to react. It’s not the usual reaction you get in the crowning moment, pero talagang I was happy inside.
“At the same time, I didn’t expect it,” she explained.
Even her special awards early on in the finale event — a total of four — came as a surprise for Gomez, noting she wasn't a sponsor favorite during preliminary leg of the pageant.
“It was very unexpected,” she said. “Ang daming nangyari last night na shock, shock, shock. Iyon lang ang na-feel ko.”
Asked why she thinks she won, Gomez surmised it was the genuine way she answered whenever she got the chance to speak.
“What made me win is my genuinity (sic) in the way I answered all of the questions, and my performances. I made it as natural and as genuine as it can be. I think that’s what was highlighted last night, just being myself, enjoying the stage. I think that’s what made me stand out,” she said.
As early as now, Gomez is raring to start preparations for the Miss Universe pageant, noting the relatively short amount of time between the national and international competition.
“I’m focusing more on trainings, especially sa communication skills ko and sa pasarela, and the entire performance as well. I’m very excited, and I’m looking forward to all the trainings,” she said.
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.