The frenzy over first Filipina Miss World Megan Young has died down a bit, as news hogging the headlines now is the devastation brought about by the 7.2 magnitude earthquake in Bohol last Tuesday morning.
It’s really heartbreaking, as aside from the deaths in Bohol, Cebu and other places, centuries-old churches, all symbols of Filipino heritage, tumbled down like lego blocks.
The earthquake was compared to 32 Hiroshima bombs, experts said. Yes, that strong. The only good thing about it, though, is there’s no radiation affecting the surroundings, otherwise it could have been a holocaust.
Reportedly, water turned yellow and odor emanated from underground. Could be because of sulfur.
Prayers are said every hour, every minute for those affected. Disaster after disaster has over time tested Filipinos’ spirit and resiliency. And despite all these, as a people, we still manage to smile.
If and when there’s something that would cheer us, it’s a triumph or honor brought about by a fellow citizen in the vast realm out there—whether it’s a beauty title (like Megan’s and Mutya’s), sports championship or recognition in the field of arts and entertainment. People have become hopeless if for once government could give us reason to laugh without sarcasm.
Happening soon is the annual Miss Universe Pageant, this time it’s held in Moscow, Russia. Having placed honorably in the Top 5 the last three years (4th runner-up Venus Raj in 2010, 3rd runner-up Shamcey Supsup in 2011 and Janine Tugonon who almost got the crown if it were not for Miss USA in 2012), Filipinos are hopeful Ariella Arida can bring home the bacon and become the country’s third Miss Universe (after Gloria Diaz in 1969 and Margie Moran in 1973).
Two organizations—Missosology and Beauty Pageant Grand Slam—both dedicated to global pageants’ winners and candidates since the inception of the contests have put our very own Ariella Arida among the frontrunners.
Although the result of their respective surveys don’t have bearing to the judges’ scores, people all over the world have come up with their own favorites in the organizations’ People’s Choice. Ariella is running first in Grand Slam votes and second in Missosology.
There is an interesting opinion that came out in Missosology, that among the 87 or so candidates, Miss Philippines is one of the five being anticipated in Moscow for one reason or another.
Said the opinion, “There are five Miss Universe candidates to watch out for this year. Not to say that they are the sure winners or sure semifinalists. Rather, this is a list of candidates where circumstances are actually working on their favor. These are the contestants that people are already talking about even before they arrive in Moscow.”
Miss Philippines: “Normally there will be deafening fan screams from the Philippines and it doesn’t matter if their contestant is a clapper or not. But with Venus Raj breaking the drought in 2010, this country is on the path towards its third Miss Universe crown. It almost happened last year, so this year is very special with hopes running high. Ariella, with her own brand of class and elegance, is the perfect candidate for a hopeful nation.”
Miss Israel: “Born in Ethiopia, Yityish Aynaw represents the struggles of Beta Israel or Ethiopian Jews within the Israeli nation. Her victory somehow created a stir to the point that she was featured in CNN and got an appointment with Barack Obama. Beautiful and elegant, Yityish reminds us of Leila Lopes. She exudes class and her confidence got a lot of boost with all the media attention.”
Miss France: “Hinarani de Longeaux represents the French clout at Miss Universe. She will be elevated by the past performances of her predecessors from Marie Payet to Chloe Mortaud. Her interesting Tahitian background earned her a legion of fans. Her beauty is a fusion of Gallic flair and the easygoing Polynesian glow. People are already talking about her and the possibility of bagging the crown for France.”
Miss Great Britain: “Amy Willerton, a celebrity in her home country, will give hope to her nation Great Britain at the Miss Universe contest. Amy is banking on her showbiz aura to steer past clear of the competition. She has the looks, the glamor and certainly the chutzpah to become the first Miss Great Britain at the Miss Universe semis.”
Miss USA: “With Venezuela having its own back-to-back win, why not the United States, too? As the world’s beauty pageant superpower, this Big4 Ranking topnotcher is very much satisfied by having Erin Brady as its representative. She has a compelling personal story with a sweet personality and with the looks to die for. Indeed, there will be no question at all if the Connecticut native will become Miss Universe 2013.”
The candidates are scheduled to arrive between October 20 and 24 for the Pageant that culminates on November 9, telecast over US network NBC at 9 p.m. Ara, as she’s fondly called by family and friends, had her send-off press conference earlier today.
Many times over in her various interviews, Ara said she can take the pressure and will do her best as competing in the Miss Universe is not just for herself but for the whole country.
We see a gleam of sunshine that would elate the country once more in Ariella Arida.