With just a few days left before she jets off to Moscow, Russia for the Miss Universe 2013 pageant, Miss Universe Philippines 2013 Ariella Arida is feeling excited. “I’m looking forward to going to Russia so I can represent the Philippines in the Miss Universe pageant. This is going to be my first time to experience the cold weather,” she shares.
Since winning one of the coveted crowns last April during Binibining Pilipinas Gold, the 24-year-old, 5’8” stunner has undergone months of rigorous and expert training. From personality development, Q&A, speech and language lessons, social graces, gym, pasarela, hair and makeup, and one-on-one coaching with fellow Binibinis Venus Raj and Shamcey Supsup, Ariella has got more than enough help in preparing for her upcoming pageant stint.
When asked how ready she is to compete, Ariella confidently answers, “I can go to the Miss Universe pageant anytime.”
In the 61-year history of the Miss Universe pageant, the Philippines has produced two Misses Universe, Gloria Diaz in 1969 and Margie Moran in 1973. In the last three years, the Philippines has consistently placed in the top five, with Venus Raj placing 4th runner up in 2010, Shamcey Supsup bagging the 3rd runner up spot in 2011, and Janine Tugonon’s impressive run to win 1st runner up last year. Because of this winning streak, the whole Philippines is now anticipating a third Miss Universe crown.
“The pressure has been there from the start, ever since I won in the Binibining Pilipinas 2013 pageant,” she says. Instead of letting pressure get the best of her, especially after the back-to-back wins of Mutya Johanna Datul and Megan Young in Miss Supranational and Miss World, Ariella takes 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,” she adds.
Like Venus, Shamcey, and Janine before her, Ariella is looking forward to representing the country during the Miss Universe pageant. “I’ve worked hard to prepare for the pageant. I feel proud to be representing the Philippines, and I am focused on winning the crown for the country. I want the universe to know that Filipinos are not only beautiful—we are also raised with a deep love of our country and God,” she says.
The statuesque beauty from Alaminos, Laguna will be buoyed by the support of her family, friends, supporters, and her fellow Binibining Pilipinas queens. Miss Universe 2010 4th runner-up Venus Raj offers a very important tip: “Think, and believe that you are the queen! Ikaw ang reyna, sa iyo ang korona!” she says.
Miss Universe 2011 3rd runner-up Shamcey Supsup, on the other hand, believes that staying true to herself is Ariella’s key to getting noticed among the candidates. “Be yourself. Don’t pretend to be who you aren’t. Always be sincere and be confident,” she says.
Even if it’s a competition, Ariella’s fellow queens also reminded her to soak up everything the pageant has to offer. “Just have fun! Enjoy the pageant, and absorb the whole Miss Universe experience,” shares Miss Universe 2012 1st runner-up Janine Tugonon.
The 61st edition of the Miss Universe pageant will be held on November 9 at the Crocus City Hall in Moscow, Russia. Olivia Culpo of the USA is the reigning Miss Universe. Ariella will be competing against 86 other candidates during the pageant. Help boost Ariella’s chances of getting into the latter stages of the competition by voting for her at the Miss Universe website, www.missuniverse.com.
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