MANILA — Miss Universe Philippines Beatrice Gomez has “no regrets” about her performance in the international pageant, where she finished in the top five and extended the country’s semifinals streak to a 12th year.
In a phone interview with ABS-CBN News’ Dyan Castillejo shortly after the coronation night on Monday (Manila time), Gomez recalled she felt “exhilarated” whenever the Philippines was called by host Steve Harvey as a finalist.
Gomez advanced thrice, as a finalist in the top 16, top 10, and lastly, the top five.
India’s Harnaaz Kaur Sandhu was crowned Miss Universe 2021 at the three-hour final night in Eilat, Israel.
“I’m just really happy that I was able to deliver a really good performance for the Filipino people,” Gomez said. “Especially the majority of the audience were Filipinos, of course I wanted to show them what we are capable of and really just do my best.”
“I’m very satisfied with everything that I did. No regrets. Alam kong nabigay ko lahat. Walang doubts. I’m really happy that we were able to reach the top five,” she added.
Donning a gold gown was a “dream come true” for Gomez, who had originally planned to don the color for the national pageant in September. For the coronation night in Israel, she wore a Pintados-inspired creation by Francis Libiran.
As a top-five finalist, Gomez was among the few candidates who participated in the question rounds.
Gomez admitted she felt “nervous” when she heard the question she had picked at random. Miss Universe 2016 Iris Mittenaere asked for her opinion on mandating a universal vaccine passport.
“Ini-enjoy ko lang po ‘yung tanong, at the same time kinabahan po ako kasi I didn’t expect na ganoon ‘yung mga questions,” she said. “I thought [it would be] more about our personality. Iyon lang… I’m satisfied naman with how everything went well.”
Her satisfaction with the results extends to the crowning of Miss India, whom she and other candidates predicted would win.
“Si Miss India, she’s one of our roommates. We all knew na siya po talaga ang mananalo. We were all rooting for her, kasi nga she works really hard. There are even times na sobrang pressured niya na tinutulungan namin siya.
“We’re very happy for her. We know what she’s capable of, and we’re very happy with the result. We’re proud of her,” Gomez said.
Sandhu is the third Indian to win Miss Universe, after Sushmita Sen in 1994, and Lara Dutta Bhupathi in 2000.
Sandhu was an early frontrunner, and like Gomez, was a fan favorite for the title.
Unlike Sandhu, however, Gomez enjoyed tangible support at the Universe Dome in Eilat, as Filipinos based in Israel trooped there to support their compatriot.
“Na-surprise nga po kahit si Steve Harvey na ang daming Pilipino sa audience. Parang hindi raw Israel ‘yung pinuntahan natin!” she recalled.
“I’m really grateful for the support. ‘Yung iba, galing pa sa ibang bansa, lumipad lang talaga dito para manood ng Miss Universe. Despite the situation of COVID here in Israel, marami pa ring nakarating, so grateful talaga ako sa lahat ng suporta ng mga Pilipino,” she said.
Gomez is set to return to Manila on Tuesday. She will undergo mandatory quarantine upon arrival here, before resuming official activities as Miss Universe Philippines.