MANILA -- A Filipina-Kiwi beauty queen revealed on Tuesday that she was offered to represent New Zealand in the upcoming Miss Universe pageant.
Victoria Vincent of Cavite, who was crowned Miss Universe Philippines Charity 2021, said she received the offer shortly after the coronation night on September 30.
She said it took her "a week of contemplation" to decide to "politely decline the offer."
"So many people will say I'm crazy for turning down this opportunity, but I had to choose what I know in my heart was the right thing to do," she said.
According to Vincent, her heart "is and will always be here to serve the Philippines."
Acknowledging some people who think that she is "not Filipina enough," she said: "I know who I am. I know what I stand for. I am a Filipina."
Nevertheless, she expressed her gratitude to Miss Universe New Zealand for the offer, and to Miss Universe Philippines for supporting her "regardless of what I decided to do."
Vincent's current title makes her third in line as the Philippines' representative in the 70th Miss Universe pageant in Israel this December.
Beatrice Gomez of Cebu City is the country's current delegate, with Katrina Dimaranan of Taguig acting as her first runner-up on top of being Miss Universe Philippines Tourism 2021.