Miss Universe PH contestants rehearse in Baguio Country Club. The contestants are all wearing face masks, while some have face shields, and are observing physical distancing. Video courtesy of Miss Universe Philippines
MANILA — Two Miss Universe Philippines candidates have pulled out of next week’s pageant after testing positive for COVID-19.
Sorsogon representative Maria Isabela Galeria, in a Facebook post, said that she first experienced symptoms of the virus last September 27, leading to her getting tested and self-isolating.
She was declared free of COVID-19 last October 11, though she decided to not compete anymore as “even with a strong will to fight, [her] body is not well conditioned yet.”
“With a heavy heart, I believe now is not the right time to join the pageant,” she wrote.
Galeria was followed by Vincy Vacalares of Cagayan de Oro, who has also withdrawn after contracting COVID-19 last Wednesday.
She said on her Instagram page that she is currently confined in a Manila hospital and will not be able to participate in the pageant.
“My team and I did all our best to strictly follow all the health and safety protocols, but still the virus hit me,” she shared.
With a heavy heart, allow me to break the news to all of you that I tested positive for Covid-19 last October 14. This means that I will not be able to continue with my journey to the Miss Universe Philippines crown this year. ✨👑🌎 My team and I did all our best to strictly follow all the health and safety protocols, but still the virus hit me. To those I had in close contact with, please inform the City Health Officers so they can also check on your state. I pray that you are safe from the virus. I am currently confined in a hospital here in Manila and rest assured, I am in good hands. 👌🏼 I sincerely apologize for what happened. Please be always on the lookout for your health and safety. Finally, I would like to thank the MUPh team who never hesitated to aid me: Tito Albert Andrada, Mama J, Sir Angel, Sir Pau, Sir Jory, and to those that I failed to mention. Thank you also to my family, to Ms Mags Cue, and to my #TeamAmegaBeauties family for constantly checking on me. To all my friends, colleagues, students, parents, and supporters, I am forever grateful for your love and support in this endeavor. Thank you so much. I love you all. ❤️ Once again, I am deeply sorry for whatever I have caused you. Please don’t forget to include me in your prayers. Daghang salamat! Stay safe mga higala! 🙏🏼 #keepgoing #lifegoeson #missuniversephilippines
The Miss Universe Philippines pageant is set to be held this Saturday in Baguio City.