LOOK: Bea Gomez transforms into ‘Bakunawa’ dragon in Miss Universe national costume competition

Karl Cedrick Basco, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 11 2021 08:55 AM

Photo from Miss Universe Philippines Instagram account
Photo from Miss Universe Philippines Instagram account

MANILA— Philippine bet Bea Gomez turned into a “Bakunawa” dragon, a mythological character in the country, in the national costume competition at the Miss Universe 2021 in Israel early Saturday morning (Manila time). 

Gomez wowed the audience and netizens with her elaborate golden costume masterpiece by Filipino designers Axel Que and Manny Halasan, paying tribute to the serpent-like dragon believed to cause eclipses. 

According to the Miss Universe Philippines Instagram page, the Bakunawa dragon is part of rituals of the babaylans.

“It is said to swallow the moon. It’s also part of the shamanistic rituals of the babaylans or Filipino shamans,” the description said.

Gomez presented on stage the final form of the Bakunawa, the Golden Lunar Dragon, which drew parallels to the beauty queen’s growth and evolution. 

“The costume is done in gold as it is considered to be the perfect element and acts much like an enchanted armor. The Bakunawa appears in Philippine literature, arts, pop culture, and even children’s games,” Miss Universe Philippines added.

Gomez is the second candidate sent by the newly formed Miss Universe Philippines organization after Rabiya Mateo, who concluded her stint on the international stage in the Top 21 earlier this year. 

She is hoping to win the fifth crown of the country in the competition after Gloria Diaz (1969), Margie Moran (1973), Pia Wurtzbach (2015), and Catriona Gray (2018). 

The 70th Miss Universe pageant is set to be held at the Red Sea Resort in Eilat, Israel. It will be aired live on A2Z channel 11 starting on Dec. 13, 7:30 a.m.

The coronation night will have a same-day replay on A2Z at 11 p.m., and will be shown on later dates on the ABS-CBN cable channels Kapamilya Channel and Metro Channel, and streaming platform iWantTFC.

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