Precious Lara Quigaman. File Photo
MANILA – Former beauty queen Precious Lara Quigaman spoke up after getting flak online in relation to her Instagram posts while Pope Francis was in the country.
On January 17, the third day of Pope Francis’ Philippine visit, Quigaman posted images bearing Bible quotes, stressing that people can only be saved through Jesus Christ.
While she did not directly mention Pope Francis in her posts, Quigaman received negative comments from some Filipino Internet users, who said they got the impression that she is “disrespecting” the Supreme Pontiff.
“Wow, perfect timing? We know what this means, sad,” one Instagram user commented.
“She could’ve posted this on a different day and not during these times when people are in so much awe of the Pope’s presence. She’s trying to imply something with this post,” another noted.
Shortly after, Quigaman uploaded an image showing the text “Respect,” saying she does not understand why some people were offended by her posts.
The Born Again Christian stressed that she respects Pope Francis and explained that she posted the Bible verses as her “own personal reminder not to look anywhere else but to focus on Jesus.”
She said that even the Pope himself “reminded us to focus on God and not him.”
“I respect Pope Francis. I am grateful to him for bringing home to our kababayans and making a lot of us smile. I think he is doing a great job,” said Quigaman, who won the Miss International beauty pageant in 2005.
“Whether you are a Catholic or a Born Again, we are all Christians – and you will find that in your Bible. I’m sure even the Pope believes these verses,” she added. “And you know what made me sad? People asking me to respect them when I think they don’t even know what it means to respect someone. You are the ones who are not respecting me and what I believe in.”
Pope Francis left the Philippines on Monday morning after visiting parts of Metro Manila and Leyte province as part of his state and apostolic visit.