MANILA — Former “Pinoy Big Brother” (PBB) housemate Franki Russell is one of the aspiring queens in the first-ever Miss Universe United Arab Emirates pageant.
Russell, who was part of the 2018 “Otso” edition of the reality TV show, made the announcement Friday.
Russell shared on Instagram photos of her as one of the top 300 candidates who passed the application process.
“I am so inspired by everything this pageant stands for,” she wrote. “Diversity, celebrating women from all walks of life, empowerment and breaking stereotypes.”
“Stepping out of my comfort zone never felt so good,” Russell said.
Russell, who is Filipino-New Zealander, currently resides in Dubai, UAE.
Aside from “PBB,” she is known for her supporting roles in several ABS-CBN programs, notably “FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano.”
In a separate update on Twitter, Russell addressed her fans who may have been surprised with her joining a foreign pageant.
“It may not be the flag you prefer, but I am so excited because this particular pageant represent a lot more than that,” she wrote.
“To those who have shown their support, I see you and I feel so blessed.”
The first Miss Universe UAE pageant is scheduled to be held on November 7.
The pageant organization is headed by Josh Yugen, the Filipino founder and CEO of Yugen Events. Filipinos who are also part of the council is beauty queen Maggie Wilson, as creative consultant; and designer Furne Amato, as head of creatives, fashion, and design.