ATLANTA, GEORGIA. Filipino pride literally exploded in shouts of jubilation when Philippine candidate to the 68th Ms. Universe, Gazini Ganados, was the first one called as a wildcard candidate. Thus earning her a place in the Top 20 semi-finalists.
Filipinos have always had a sentimental connection to the Ms. Universe event, considering that it has won four Ms. Universe titles to date, with Gloria Diaz in 1969, Margarita Moran in 1973, Pia Wurtzbach in 2015 and Catriona Gray in 2018.
That early jubilation turned into disappointment however, when the beautiful Philippine candidate, failed to clinch a spot in the Final Top 10.
The 23-year old Filipina beauty queen with a soft spot for the elderly, did manage to highlight her advocacy on behalf of the elderly. “The world is aging and my grandparents raised me and I’ve worked in an organization that was supporting elderly care … I realized then there’s this stigma between ageism, poverty, exclusivity and invisibility. It is rightful for us that they are the ones who paved the way for us and we should reciprocate that love and no one should be left behind,” she said, during the 15-second speech allotted for the Top 20 Finalists.
Despite the disappointment, Filipinos were quick to praise the beauteous Filipina for her achievements. In the end, South Africa’s Zozibini Tunzi of South Africa won the coveted Ms. Universe Crown.
The 68th Ms. Universe, aside from being held in the state of Georgia, was also the first-time when an all-female selection committee was chosen with Gaby Espino (Venezuelan actress), Suzan Hendrix (American businessman and social media personality), Riyo Mori (Ms. Universe 2017 from Japan), Cara Mund (Ms. America 2018), Bozoma St. John (American businesswoman and marketing executive), Crystle Stewart (American actress and Ms. USA 2008) and Paulina Vega (Ms. Universe 2014 from Colombia), comprising this historic first.
Ms. Universe-Philippines Gazini Ganados, was the Philippines’ representative to the 68th Ms. Universe competition held at Atlanta, Georgia