Miss Universe Philippines controversy brews following posts from losing bet
Sandra Lemonon, who represented Taguig City in the 2020 Miss Universe Philippines pageant, rattled off social media posts about the truth coming out and justice being served in connection with the results of the competition.
Miss Universe Philippines photo

Miss Universe Philippines controversy brews following posts from losing bet

Charmie Joy Pagulong (The Philippine Star) - October 27, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — A few hours after Iloilo City’s Rabiya Mateo was crowned Miss Universe Philippines 2020, MUP Organization national director Shamcey Supsup posted an intriguing message about the qualities that make a “true queen.”

“To bear defeat with dignity, to accept criticism with poise, to receive honors with humility – these are the marks of a true QUEEN,” the 2011 Miss Universe third runner-up wrote in an Instagram story on Sunday.

According to a latestchika.com article, former Miss Universe Philippines MJ Lastimosa also posted a similar message right after the pageant’s pre-taped grand finale on her Twitter, talking about accepting defeat and rising above it.

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In the tweet, Lastimosa wrote “BBP2012 taught me my greatest pageant lesson in life. A true queen is someone who can accept defeat and rise above it. A crown doesn’t define us, we define it. This is not the end but only the beginning for our #MissUniversePhilippines girls. Congratulations everyone.”

It is not clear to whom these messages were addressed but pageant fans are now circulating cryptic Instagram stories of Miss Taguig and Top 16 finalist Sandra Lemonon on social media.

In an Instagram story, she wrote: “The truth always comes out. It’s just about timing. Karma is real soon because we deserve justice.”

Without mentioning names, she wrote in another Instagram story, “Accepting defeat graciously is one of the many marks of being a queen. But what you forgot to say is that REAL queens play FAIR don’t CHEAT.”

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque, who was one of the pageant judges, yesterday greeted Mateo for winning the Miss Universe Philippines 2020 crown and wished her a productive reign.

“The stars aligned and she was proclaimed the most beautiful Filipina in the whole universe. Congratulations to Ms. Mateo and may her reign be fruitful and productive,” he said at a press briefing.

In a tweet dated Oct. 23, Roque said serving as one of the judges of the Miss Universe Philippines beauty tilt was difficult. “Never thought judging Ms Universe Philippines would be this difficult! The Filipina, simply put, is the best!”

Mateo, who hails from Balasan town in Iloilo, will represent the Philippines in this year’s Miss Universe pageant.

In an updated post yesterday, Lemonon said she is “gathering all (her) strength to speak up and share the truth.”

“All I want is for us to improve for the next batch of ladies who will be in our shoes & I do not want them to face what we did. Because we can do better & DESERVE BETTER,” she said on Instagram.

In the same post, she quoted Martin Luther King Jr.: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

“Sometimes you will have to face many hate before people get to understand what really is happening behind the scenes,” she added.

There were rumors that circulated online that Mateo allegedly brought her own glam team to the competition, which was against the pageant’s rules. But Miss Davao 2020 Alaiza Malinao came to Mateo’s defense, saying the latter did her own makeup.

“She (Mateo) worked hard! She’s fair! She did not cheat. She is a deserving winner!” Malinao posted.

Meanwhile, an Instagram page dedicated to Philippine pageantry, Powerhouse.ph, shared a picture of the winner and her runners-up minus Quezon City bet and heavy favorite Michele Gumabao. The caption didn’t say when and where it was taken.

The camp of Gumabao, through Aces and Queens, issued a statement on Instagram explaining why she left the venue of the pageant.

“I left this morning sa Baguio Country Club while the pageant was ongoing. I knew who won last night pa I tried to go to our viewing party but everyone has kept asking what happened all the hugs all the looks I couldn’t handle that,” she said.

“I can handle defeat hahahaha I can’t handle the people asking me why why why… I’m sharing this with you because you deserve to know my side, we don’t need to defend anyone. I did my very best and I have no regrets,” she continued.

Gumabao thanked all her supporters for being with her on her MUP 2020 journey.

The MUP Organization shot “five different endings” featuring candidates not necessarily among the Top 5 finalists for the pageant’s pre-taped grand finale.

This was revealed by KC Montero, host of MUP 2020 pageant, amid the alleged leak of “coronation” photos that spread on social media ahead of the telecast and livestream.

In the circulating pictures, different candidates were seen wearing the “Filipina” crown. Popular shows often use this strategy of “multiple endings” to prevent spoilers online.

But some passionate pageant fans are still taking the alleged photo leak as a spoiler and blaming it on the organizers’ decision to shoot the leading national pageant in advance rather than air it live.

The 24-year-old Ilongga beauty Mateo was named Miss Universe Philippines during the pageant’s pre-taped grand finale held in Baguio City early on Sunday. She picked the late senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago when asked during the Q & A portion to choose a person she would like to see on a Philippine peso bill.

Narciso Santiago Jr., Miriam’s husband, extended his gratitude for the kind words.

“We hope that you would be successful in attaining all your goals in life. Just in case you will be needing help, please don’t hesitate to contact me and I’ll be more that happy to help you,” he said in a social media post.

The 2020 Miss Universe Philippines is the first edition of the pageant under the MUP Organization. It was previously run by Binibining Pilipinas Charities Inc. – Alexis Romero, latestchika.com

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