MANILA -- Some of the candidates of the 70th Miss Universe were asked about their favorite titleholders, and two Filipina beauty queens made the cut.
Pia Wurtzbach and Catriona Gray, who won in 2015 and 2018, respectively, were among those mentioned in a recently released video on Miss Universe favorites, as shared by this year's delegates.
Wurtzbach was praised by South Africa's Lalela Mswane not just for being a great representative of the Philippines, but also of the Miss Universe brand.
"Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach. I just think it's so amazing that you see someone so proud to represent Miss Universe. Also not just her country, but the whole Miss Universe brand," she said.
Shariëngela Cijntje of Curacao even picked up Wurtzbach's popular line during her Miss Universe stint.
"Pia made me realize that being a Miss Universe is an honor. We have the responsibility to influence the people around us while doing it confidently beautiful with heart," she said.
On the other hand, Gray was able to inspire Paraguay's Nadia Ferreira with her "beauty and charisma that goes beyond the screens," and Silvia Naa Morkor Commodore of Ghana with her "lava walk."
Anchilee Scott-Kemmis of Thailand, where Gray was crowned Miss Universe, also considers the Filipina as her favorite titleholder. "Her performance really showed how genuine... and how hard work and perseverance can really shine when you need it to shine the most," she said.
For her part, Tamara Jemuovic of Canada described Gray as "a true example of a woman who is following her dreams."
Meanwhile, Philippine representative Beatrice Gomez opted to mention another Miss Universe winner instead of Wurtzbach or Gray.
She said she is able to "identify with" Andrea Meza of Mexico, who won the crown earlier this year.
"The first Miss Universe winner that I identify with is Andrea Meza. She has that quiet confidence and strength that I can relate to. She's always been very calm and yet when she performed on stage, she brought it," Gomez said.
The 70th Miss Universe pageant will be held in Eilat, Israel on December 12 at 7 p.m. ET (December 13, 7 a.m. in the Philippines).
Pageant fans around the country can watch the live telecast on A2Z channel 11 on December 13 starting at 7:30 a.m.