PH bet, 3rd runner-up in 2013 Miss Universe contest
The Philippines continues its winning streak in international beauty pageants as Miss Philippines Ariella Arida won as 3rd runner-up in the 2013 Miss Universe beauty contest held at the Crocus City Hall in Moscow, Russia, last Saturday night, a show dedicated to the Philippines and Vietnam battered by super-typhoon Yolanda.
Miss Venezuela Gabriela Isler, 25, was crowned 2013 Miss Universe. First runner-up honors went to Miss Spain Patricia Rodriguez. Miss Ecuador Constanza Baez was second runner-up and Miss Brazil Jakelyne Oliveira was fourth runner-up.
For the fourth year in a row, the Philippines maintained its Top 5 finish in international beauty contests. If the Philippines wins a Top 5 finish next year, it will tie with Finland for countries with the most consecutive Top 5 placements.
Arida, 24, of Alaminos, Laguna, earned a spot in the Top16 semi-finalists after she won the highest placement by a fan vote via online voting. Eighty-six candidates competed in this year’s beauty pageant held in Russia for the first time.
Other candidates in the Top 16 were the candidates from Costa Rica, Ukraine, China, Ecuador, Great Britain, Indonesia, Venezuela, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Spain, USA, Nicaragua, Switzerland, India, and Brazil.
From Top 16, the candidates were narrowed down to 10, then the Top 5.They were judged in swimsuit, evening gown, and Q&A portions.
Miss Isler will pose today wearing the most expensive swimsuit worth US$1 million created by Italian desiginer Yamamay, in an audience with international press. With her win, Venezuela now ranks second for countries with the most Miss Universe titles — seven. The USA leads with eight crowns.
This is the fourth time that the Philippines has won third-runner up in the Miss Universe beauty contest. It started with Maria Rosario Rivera Silayan in the pageant held in South Korea in 1980, followed by Maria Desiree Erese Verdadero in USA in 1984; Shamcey Supsup in Brazil in 2011; and this year Arida.
Dressed in a canary-yellow gown created by Colombian designer Alfredo Barraza, Arida was asked, during thre question-and-answer portion of the pageant: “What can be done about the lack of jobs for young people starting their career around the world?’’ She replied: “I do believe we should invest in education — and that is my primary advocacy. Education is the primary source and it is the ticket for a better future.’’
Fans expressed disappointment when it was announced that Arida finished third runner-up. They said she was the only candidate who did not use an interpreter in the field of Latina co-semifinalists. In 2011, Filipino fans expressed the same sentiments when Supsup won third runner-up in the beauty contest in which she was the only one in the Top 5 who did not use an interpreter.
At the beginning of the show, viewed by an estimated one billion people around the world, multi-awarded MSNBC host Robert Thomas and former Spice Girl Mel B. dedicated the show “to the people of the Philippines and Vietnam who are experiencing terrible weather right now.’’
“We send our very best, our thoughts. We dedicate tonight’s show to you,’’ Thomas said.
The Binibining Pilipinas Charities, Inc. (BPCI), which sends delegates to the Miss Universe, Miss International, and Miss Supranational beauty contests, issued a statement on Arida’s win:
“The Binibining Pilipinas Charities, Inc., would like to congratulate Ariella Arida for placing third runner-up and besting more than 80 of the world’s loveliest women in the Miss Universe 2013 pageant in Moscow last November 9. Ariella’s win fortifies the world’s recognition for Filipina beauty, grace, and elegance and her title is a fitting reward for her unparalleled dedication and determination in her journey to the crown. Congratulations Ariella and we eagerly await your arrival. We are so proud of you!’’
Arida is expected to arrive in the country tomorrow, November 12, 2013.
During pre-pageant activities, Arida was among those tipped to win the crown, along with Miss Spain.
She was also chosen as one of six candidates and the only Asian to appear for a TV commercial on Mercedes Benz, one of the major sponsors for the Miss Universe contest. Other candidates in the luxury brand commercial were the delegates from Austria, Germany, Russia, Mexico, and Poland. The commercial will be shown in Russia after the 2013 Miss Universe pageant.
Arida was also selected one of seven candidates appearing in a music video by Russian pop star Emin, one of the performers for the coronation night. She was one of a few candidates who took part in the Tony Ward fashion show in the Moscow Fashion Week. She earned the ultimate “Ice Princess’’ title based on the Miss Universe winter-themed photo shoot.
Arida’s “Truth and Dare” YouTube video for the Miss Universe pageant remains the most viewed video among the contestants, with more than 173, 000 views. In the video, she was asked about what she missed about being a kid. She answered: “I miss being young, fearless, and carefree.’’
Born on Nov. 29, 1988, to public school teachers Alresito and Estella, Arida graduated from the University of the Philippines Los Banos in Laguna. Her father served as public school sports coordinator teacher for 44 years before he retired. He was also a district coordinator for physical education for 20 years. Her mother, who started teaching in 1972, has been a school principal since 2005. Her parents and friends watched the Miss Universe competition in Russia.
Arida began studying veterinary medicine at UPLB in 2005 but shifted to chemistry on her second year. Her undergraduate thesis entitled “Virtual Binding of Synthetic Nucleoside Analogues and Phyto-brassino steroids to NS5 Dengue Virus mRNA 2’-o-Methyltransferase Domain Using Dock Software” was presented in the 2010 Philippine Chemistry Congress held at Subic Bay in Zambales.
She first competed at the 2012 Miss Philippines Earth beauty contest and is a former Binibining Laguna contestant. She is a member of the Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) and loves sports such as volleyball and marathon.
In the 61-year history of the Miss Universe beauty pageant, the Philippines has produced two winners — Gloria Diaz (1969) and Margie Moran (1973). “The pressure has been there from the start, ever since I won in the 2013 Bb. Pilipinas beauty contest,’’ says Arida.
But instead of letting the pressure get the best of her, especially the back-to-back wins of Mutya Johnna Datul and Megan Lynne Young in the Miss Supranational and Miss World contests, respectively, Arida took things in stride.
“It is a good sign that Mutya and Megan won. It serves as motivation for me to work harder; it pushes me to exert more effort,’’ said Arida during the competition. The 5’8 stunner underwent months of rigorous and expert training on personality development, Q&A, speech and language lessons, social graces, gym, pasarela, hair and make-up, and one-on-one coaching with fellow Binibinis.
Arida says she was excited to experience the cold weather in Russia but expressed concern over its anti-gay laws. “I’m concerned about the anti-gay laws of Russia because I really respect the gay community. But then we have to respect the laws of other countries.’’
Asked if she has a boyfriend, Arida said, “I’m single.” Reports say that Arida and basketball star Ervic Vijandre are in a relationship. But both refused to confirm the rumors.
Vijandre, 27, was the boyfriend of actress Marian Rivera for eight years. They broke up in 2009. He is a player for Rain or Shine Elasto Painters and currently appears in the GMA telenovela “Kahit Nasaan Ka Man” starring Kapuso stars Julie Anne San Jose and Kristoffer Martin.