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Bulacan’s Chelsea Manalo takes throne as the new Miss Universe PH

by Joanna Deala

Recently updated on May 24, 2024 11:17 am

THE COUNTRY has crowned its new Miss Universe Philippines: 24-year-old beauty queen Chelsea Manalo of Bulacan.

Manalo made history as the first Black Filipina to win the title during the coronation night of the Miss Universe Philippines 2024 competition, held at the SM Mall of Asia Arena on Wednesday, May 22.

The Bulacan bet bested 52 other delegates and succeeded Miss Universe Philippines 2023 Michelle Marquez Dee. 

Prior to being the new Miss Universe Philippines, Manalo made a remark during the Top 5 question-and-answer portion where she was asked about how she would use her beauty and confidence to empower others.

Her winning answer: “As a woman of color, I have always faced challenges in my life. I was told that beauty has standards, actually. But for me, I have listened to always believe in my mother, to always believe in yourself, and uphold the values that you have in yourself.”

She added, “Because of these, I am already influencing a lot of women who are facing me right now. As a transformational woman, I have here 52 other delegates with me who have helped me to become the woman I am.”

Manalo emerged victorious in the national pageant despite criticisms she previously dealt with because of her tourism video where she featured the New Manila International Airport, which will rise on a 2,500 hectare coastal property in Bulakan, Bulacan.

Several netizens raised the environmental impact of the airport project, including the damage to over 600 mangroves. These trees were cut down in 2018 in Taliptip where the airport will be built.

Manalo’s triumph in the national pageant will serve as her ticket to the 73rd Miss Universe competition, to be held in Mexico. Sheynnis Palacios of Nicaragua is the reigning Miss Universe.

The Philippines has four Miss Universe crowns courtesy of Gloria Diaz in 1969, Margie Moran in 1973, Pia Wurtzbach in 2015, and Catriona Gray in 2018.

Netizens react

The Miss Universe Philippines (MUPH) organization took to social media to congratulate Manalo.

“PILIPINAS! Meet our new Miss Universe Philippines!” it wrote, posting a photo of Manalo waving her hand as the new Miss Universe Philippines.

Many netizens commented on the post and congratulated Manalo, saying that her victory was “well-deserved.”

“Dasurved!!!!! Ipakita mo Chelsea ang tunay na PINOY BARBIEEEE,” one netizen commented.

“Congratulations, Chelsea Manalo of Bulacan! We will follow your journey to the universe!” said one Facebook user.

Another netizen said, “Congrats! She peaked at the right time! Truly an underdog story.”

“Ang gumulat sa lahat at sumira sa mga prediction list nang karamihan. The underdog, dark horse but the eventual winner of the most coveted crown,” another online user added.

Meanwhile, other netizens encouraged the public to keep supporting Manalo in her journey to the upcoming Miss Universe pageant.

“Let’s keep supporting pa rin guys, let’s show to the international stage once again what bayanihan truly is!!” they said.

Runner-ups and other titleholders

The runner-ups in the national pageant are:

  • 1st runner-up: Stacey Gabriel of Cainta
  • 2nd runner-up: Ma. Ahtisa Manalo of Quezon Province
  • 3rd runner-up: Tarah Valencia of Baguio
  • 4th runner-up: Christi Lynn McGarry of Taguig

The MUPH organization also announced the names of other delegates who will represent the country in four other international pageants. 

Valencia was named Miss Supranational Philippines 2025, while Manalo was crowned Miss Cosmo Philippines 2024.

Meanwhile, Alexie Mae Brooks of Iloilo took the Miss Eco International Philippines 2025, while Cyrille Payumo of Pampanga was hailed Miss Charm Philippines 2025.

The coronation night was hosted by Miss Universe 2022 R’Bonney Gabriel, Kapuso actor Alden Richards, and American TV personality Jeannie Mai. Meanwhile, Gabbi Garcia and Tim Yap provided backstage updates and commentary.

The event also saw performances from Filipina drag queen Marina Summers, OPM band Lola Amour, and Thai actor Win Metawin.



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