MANILA, Philippines — Beauty queens are like battle-hardened warriors. They're expected to go to the war hopefully to bring home the crown and make their countrymen proud.
On May 16, queens from all over the world are set to vie for the Miss Universe 2020 title straight from Florida, United States.
Reigning Miss Universe 2019 Zozibini Tunzi and Miss Universe Philippines 2020 Rabiya Mateo know well that shared experience of taking home the crown after going through rigorous preliminary and pageant proper competition.
During a recent online press conference organized by Lazada Philippines, Rabiya and Zozi shared pieces of advice for the ladies who are vying for the crown on May 16 — tips that can also be followed by anyone, not only beauty queens, as they face the biggest fight of their lives.
1. Find something that you're passionate about.
Rabiya is experiencing the same problems caused by the pandemic. She had friends who lost their jobs and are anxious about their future. Her advice is general, and also applies to anyone who is confronting challenges.
“Always remember that for every setback, there’s a bounce back... There are always opportunities in life. We are Filipinos, we can adapt to situations like this. Find something that you’re passionate about. Plant a seed and blossom not only for yourself, but also for people around you,” she said.
She added that Filipinos are known to be resilient, and thus, in times like these, they should be reminded of this admirable trait.
2. Read a motivational quote.
Words can have a positive impact and Rabiya said it has helped her get through tough times, especially when she was vying last year at the inaugural Miss Universe Philippines tilt held in October.
“Aside from the physical stress, I have to protect my mental health as well. So, I make sure that before the day ends, I would read a quote that would motivate, that would empower me," she shared.
She said that the upcoming beauty tilt is the "biggest fight of my life." She is looking forward to enjoying it and hopefully making her kababayans proud.
3. Show your genuine stuff.
The Ilongga beauty queen admitted that she grew up insecure with her curly hair. Rabiya recalled that having straight hair was the "in" thing then. She would go to the salons to have her hair rebonded. Things, however, are different now, and she gives a reminder of loving one's attributes.
"We celebrate who we are as a person and we channel it to the universe. Show your genuine stuff and the universe will give back," she advised.
4. Unfollow toxic sites for the good of your mental health.
Zozibini knows the obsession towards pageantry. Miss Universe, in particular, is so popular and the most anticipated beauty contest and it attracts millions of viewers annually.
With social media a factor in the competition for the past years, fan interactions and engagement have become a crucial element in both the contest proper and off it.
Candidates take to their social media to update their pageant journey. Likewise, coverages and news stories about the pageant and the candidates abound leading to the coronation day.
Zozibini said that while it is good to keep tabs, it might be helpful to take a break from social media for a time especially when it affects one's mental health.
"We love pageant fans and we love pageant pages. But if you feel like they are not doing well for your mental health, it’s okay, unfollow them for a little while. Not only unfollow, don’t pay attention to anything the people are saying at that time because it’s you who’s competing. You have to be there," the South African beauty advised aspiring candidates.
She continued, "Thank them for the support, thank them for being there, because we wouldn’t be there if not for the Miss Universe fans and we appreciate them. But if you’re getting a lot of negative energy and it’s disrupting you from competing, it’s okay to build the walls and just focus on yourself."
"Don’t let the noises disturb you from doing your greatest work," Zozibini also noted a fact most people forget.
“There is nothing you can do as a single human being. You will always need people, you will always need a village to push you forward. If you want to go fast, you can go alone. If you want to go further, take people with you."
5. Have fun and all else will follow.
It might come across as lip service but there's a reason why Zozibini gave this advice to the candidates.
"They have already done such an impeccable job in winning their own national pageants. So by the time you get to the Miss Universe location, be ready to compete but also, just know that you’ve already worked hard so don’t forget the memories and don’t forget to have fun," she reminded.
"Sometimes, when you forget to have fun, you work yourself up and you end up not doing well in your interviews or not doing well on stage. So, be ready to do that interview, to do the best you possibly can. When you are onstage, you’ve done everything you can. So that is the final stage, have fun, let people see the heart. Just do things that you really will be proud of. That is my biggest advice."
Via the Lazada App, fans can still vote for their favorite contestants to enter the Top 16. To vote for your favorite Miss Universe Philippines 2020 contestant, access this link to the Miss Universe Philippines 2020 voting page.