From the indomitable spirit, the passion and precision of local camps, to the unparalleled creativity of designers, Miss Universe shines the spotlight on many Filipino standouts.
Four crowns later, and a potential fifth one from Miss Universe glimmering from the horizon, it can be said that the Philippines is a powerhouse when it comes to pageantry. Not just a baseless claim, the country has in fact a stellar sash factor with its standing in what is considered the big four of international beauty pageants. With an impressive 94 placements and 15 wins, including that of Miss Universe, Miss World, Miss International, and Miss Earth, the participation of the Philippines is not only held to a high regard, but is often considered the standard, especially in the course of the last decade or so. With a glowing track record and well-oiled machinery, it comes to no surprise then that the rest of the world turns to the Filipino system of passion and pomp in pageantry.
It isn’t only the beauty queens that get noticed when pageant season comes along, after all, they are only as good as their training and preparation. Just like in other countries where pageantry is a big deal, including the USA and Latin America, there are organizations or strongholds that up the ante so to speak, and for a powerhouse like the Philippines, there is no shortage of skill all over the Philippines. From pageant camps to designers and creatives, the Filipino talent, ingenuity, and generosity have been a go-to for many would-be and competing queens across many pageants, the highly sought after crown of Miss Universe included.
The Filipino Excellence
In the progression of the 69th Miss Universe, the Filipino flag has been hoisted with much pride, passion, and persistence by our force to be reckoned with of a queen, Rabiya Mateo. Her stunning showings of unparalleled Philippine excellence in fashion, culture, and energy aside, as well as of her humility and heart, there have been many moments where the Filipinos have made an indelible imprint, too. Whether it be the proudly local made footwear to the many designers and artisans who have had a hand in the garments of the queens from all over the world, there was a lot of ground covered in the domination of the Filipino spirit.
From the unsinkable enthusiasm of fans to the skills and standards set by industry experts, there is no denying that the Philippines is a true powerhouse in the ravishing, robust, and riveting realm of pageantry. Whatever happens during coronation night, it is assured that from the Philippines to the rest of the universe, no one can come close to the Filipino spirit—and that’s a fact.
While we wait in anticipation for the conclusion of the week-long Olympics of pageantry, let’s take a look back at all the times the Filipino flag was raised at the 69th Miss Universe competition.
Walk And Win To The Crown
Hitting a stride as a staple in local pageants and a trusted confidence booster for Filipino beauty queens, Bragais Shoes by designer Jojo Bragais has made a huge leap this year as the official footwear of the 69th Miss Universe competition. Made to empower those who wear his sky-high creations proudly made in the Philippines, Bragais Shoes “has always been designed to be uncompromising in style, comfort, and quality.” This year, the selection sent to Florida included heels in cream, caramel, cocoa, and silver, were worn all throughout the activities, further empowering the women to walk and win.
Skincare Fit For The Universe
Following her introduction into Miss Universe in 2019, O Skin Med Spa led by Olivia “Miss O” Quido-Co is this year’s official skincare partner. Aside from holding a skincare master class for the delegates, the LA-based skincare clinic also played host to a few candidates who made a detour there, including Miss Colombia, Miss El Salvador, and Miss Universe Philippines, Rabiya Mateo. The camera- and crown-ready glow of the candidates were maintained all throughout with the O Skin Beauty Queen Kit.
Training From Filipino Coaches
While the indomitable pageant camps such as Aces And Queens and Kagandahang Flores have been responsible for the rigorous training and preparation of beauty queen hopefuls and titleholders in the Philippines, international delegates have sought after their reputation for precision and passion as well. Most recently, Miss Grand International 2020 Abena Appiah was known to be made pageant ready by Kagandahang Flores together with first runner up, Samantha Bernardo. In Miss Universe this year, there have been several candidates with Filipino coaches, including that of Miss Romania (Bianca Tirsin), Miss Cameroon (Angele Kossindra), Miss Cambodia (Sarita Reth), and Miss El Salvador (Vanessa Velasquez).
Taking into account the inherent passion of the Philippines for pageants, as well as of our candidates consistently placing well, the Filipino coaches are also commissioned for personality development, question and answer preparation, beauty and styling coaching, and pasarela (runway), which speaks volumes of our work-ethic and talent.
National Costumes Made In The Philippines
A celebration of global culture, the national costume competition is always a highlight in Miss Universe. From the classic, charming, and for some, crazy, the concepts both elicit education and entertainment, much to the delight of the fans, of course. From Miss Singapore’s flag-inspired number with the words “Stop Asian Hate” painted on the back (Arwin Meriales and Paulo Pilapil Espinosa) to Miss Cameroon’s lioness ensemble (Kennedy Gasper), Filipino resourcefulness, statements, and creativity truly reigned supreme, even catching the attention of international media outlets including Vogue, Vice, and Newsweek.
Filipino Designs Worn By Other Miss Universe Candidates
While the Philippines has long left the era of Colombian designer Alfredo Barraza behind in favor of rightfully deserving and immensely brilliant Filipino designs, one thing that will not be missed during any international pageant is the not-to-be-missed presence of Filipino designs on the lacquered runways. Over the years many proudly Philippine-created originals have graced the Miss Universe stage, and the 69th edition is no exception. Where Rabiya Mateo has worn a cheerful and hope-bearing yellow gown that glistened like the sun it was inspired by, as crafted by Furne Amato, other beautiful Filipino designs were seen from the likes of Rian Fernandez (Miss Cambodia), Jian Lasala (Miss Belize), Benj Leguiab (Miss Cameroon), and Michael Cinco (Miss Romania, Miss Czech Republic, and Miss Canada).
Speaking of the impalpable Michael Cinco, the Filipino designer commissioned a photoshoot with Miss Canada, Nova Stevens, featuring two of his designs, and from Jaggy Glarino as well. Set against the rocky terrain of Dubai, Nova Stevens stunned in an indulgence of tiers and cascading ruffles realized in a delicious butter yellow and spellbinding electric blue. Meanwhile, Jaggy Glarino cocooned the towering beauty from Canada in an artisanal red, white, and black striped knitted dress and jacket from his archives before swathing her in cloud-like tufts of immaculate white.