Gazini Christiana Ganados of Talisay, Cebu was crowned Miss Universe Philippines as the Binibining Pilipinas 2019 coronation night dragged close to dawn today, 10 June, with most Filipinos probably already asleep with a fresh workweek mere hours away.
Representing Bataan, Bea Patricia Magtanong, was adjudged Binibining Pilipinas International while sashaying her way to win the coveted Best in Swimsuit Award. Ganados was Best in Long Gown.
The other big winners were Emma Mae Tiglao, Binibining Pilipinas Intercontinental; Samantha Ashley Lo, Binibining Pilipinas Grand International; and Leren Mae Bautista, Binibining Pilipinas Globe.
Emerging First Runner-up was Maria Andrea Abesamis while at Second Runner-up was Samantha Mae Bernardo.
Ganados seemed to have gotten the nod of the judges with her answer to the question posed by Bobby Barreiro, who asked: “If you win the crown tonight, what can you do to get more women in the workplace?”
Without batting an eyelash, the Cebuana answered that if she wins the crown, “what I will do is to promote my advocacy. My advocacy is for us women to fight for our rights and for the elderly care and for us to be able to know that someone is loving and someone is pushing us to whatever ambitions that we have.”
“We will be able to rise from our decisions to whatever dreams that we have, goals that we have, and we will achieve it because of those values, those wisdoms that they gave us. Thank you,” she concluded to wild applause of the crowd at the Araneta Coliseum.
Miss Universe 2019 Catriona Gray crowned Ganados, but said a few heart-rending words following her final walk as Bb. Pilipinas Universe 2018.
“Philippines!” exclaimed Gray. “My heart is overflowing with gratitude, because here, on this exact stage, I was given the chance to pursue this dream. This journey has been made even more meaningful, because every single step of the way I felt each and every one of you right there with me.”
“I am so humbled and immensely grateful to each and every one of you who has given true meaning to feeling the love and support of the Filipino people,” said Gray who had noticeably gained weight.
“I knew I had a big role to step up to once the Miss Universe Philippines sash was placed across my heart. Along the way, I had to surmount three mountains, to conquer three Mayon Volcanos,” continued the beauty who made famous the so-called “Lava Walk.”
“The first one was conquering myself. Like every single person, I had to overcome the fear that comes from within. The fear of falling short, the fear of failure, the fear of not measuring up. But I conquered my fear with faith – faith that God purposely set me on this path and that He would not give me a burden too heavy to carry,” the reigning Miss Universe added.
“And faith in myself, because I knew that I was not perfect. But I knew I’m determined. And I knew that out of all 95 women that I was to compete with in Miss Universe, I would be the one and only Filipina, and that gave me strength,” Gray said in ending her speech.
A production number featuring Philippine Flags, clearly in celebration of Philippine Independence Day on the 12th of June, got the ball rolling followed by videos of the 40 candidates and the winners in 2018 being shown on the screens.
The Big Dome was rocked to its core as the crowd went wild when the candidates came out in white casual wear. Then things went awry as the music suddenly stopped and a voice announced a re-start of the show once the technical issue was resolved.
(All photos from Binibining Pilipinas website. No copyright infringement intended)