MANILA — Since the Miss Universe crowning debacle in 2015 involving the Philippines’ Pia Wurztbach and her runner-up from Colombia, the two countries have become perceived rivals in the annual pageant.
But over the years, subsequent representatives have proven there’s no bad blood between them, with photos of their warm encounters making fans smile.
The same was the case for Gazini Ganados, the Philippines’ 2019 bet, as she posed for a photo with two competitors from South America: Gabriela Tafur of Colombia, and Julia Horta of Brazil.
On Wednesday, the three shared an identical snap on their respective Instagram page, and exchanged sweet comments on each other’s post.
“If we shine together, we shine brighter. Congratulations Philippines and Brasil. You have wonderful, warm-hearted representatives,” Tafur wrote in her caption.
Horta agreed with Tafur, adding that she felt “honored” to share her Miss Universe journey with her newfound friends.
In her own post, Ganados, meanwhile, said, unedited: “Buenas dias, Bom dia, and Magandang umaga! Finally had some chat with mi amigas @gabrielatafur @juliahorta and they are both sooo sooo gorgeous and sweet! Makes me wait to visit South America soon! Gracias Colombia, Obrigado Brazil!”
Colombia and Brazil have each produced two Miss Universe titlists, while the Philippines so far has four, including reigning queen Catriona Gray.
Should Ganados be crowned Miss Universe 2019, the Philippines will become only the second country to have back-to-back winning representatives, after Venezuela’s 2008 and 2009 reigns.
The Miss Universe coronation is scheduled on December 8 in Atlanta, Georgia, or December 9, 8 a.m. Manila time, with a live broadcast on ABS-CBN.