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The fall of the powerhouse

by Jericho Zafra

“TO be a Miss Universe is both an honor and a responsibility…”

This was one of the most iconic lines of a Miss Universe title holder in the Philippines. To all the pageant faneys (pageant slang for fans) out there, you already know who said this iconic line.

As one of the few countries to win the big four pageants (Miss Universe, Miss International, Miss Earth, and Miss World), the Philippines has been touted as a powerhouse in the world of pageantry.

Not only is it an honor, but it is also a responsibility to be taken seriously to maintain dominance on the stage.

For the past decades, the Philippines recorded 12 long years of consecutive inclusions in the semi-finals of the Miss Universe pageants, an achievement that only the Philippines has ever clinched in the 21st-century editions of the pageant.

But for this year, Filipino-Italian model and Miss Universe Philippines 2022 Celeste Cortesi ended the 12-year streak, something that left the global audience  shocked.

Cortesi, a critical crowd favorite and frontrunner of the 71st edition of the pageant, ended her journey in the competition earlier than expected after she failed to advance to the top 16 semi-finals round.

Winner has Filipino roots

United States of America’s R’Bonney Gabriel, who also has Filipino roots, was hailed as this year’s Miss Universe titleholder. 

She follows Harnaaz Sandhu of India as the next Miss Universe. She is the first to don the “Force for Good” crown created by Mouawad in partnership with the Miss Universe Organization under Anne Jakrajutatip, the organization’s new owner.

Venezuela’s Amanda Dudamel was hailed the 1st runner-up, while Dominican Republic’s Andreína Martínez won the second runner-up.

Placement of the Philippines since 2010:

2010 – Venus Raj (4th runner-up)

2011 – Shamcey Supsup (3rd runner-up)

2012 – Janine Tugonon (1st runner-up)

2013 – Ariella Arida (3rd runner-up)

2014 – Mary Jean Lastimosa (Top 10)

2015 – Pia Wurtzbach (Miss Universe 2015)

2016 – Maxine Medina (Top 6) 

2017 – Rachel Peters (Top 10)

2018 – Catriona Gray (Miss Universe 2018)

2019 – Gazini Ganados (Top 20) 

2020 – Rabiya Mateo (Top 21)

2021- Beatrice Gomez (Top 5)

Aside from the Philippines, other powerhouse countries like Mexico and Brazil also failed to assert their dominance in the competition. With Cortesi’s early exit from the competition, the world of pageantry was saddened as it signaled the end of an era for the country.

Can the Philippines rise from this fall?



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