I was there in the front row. Together with my kin, my eyes were glued to the 24-inch screen in our tiny living room miles away from cheering crowd and the glamorous stage where you fought with a beautiful smile, remarkable grace, and queen-like stature.
The crowd was not always cheering you on, I know. Some were ruthless in the light of their own utopian perfection, let them be. People will throw could-haves with bitter side comments, let them be. They may rant on and on with how they were disappointed, let them be.
Perhaps you know this better than I do, the world can be so tough it will try to rip you off your kindness and rob your smile, don’t let it.
At the end of the day, it’s how you fought that counts. You did your best and you know that along with 84 other beautiful girls who all did great tonight.
When you braved your way through tides of bashing and shaming with your chin up and graceful smile, when you showed humility by bowing to an apology and when you worked hard to give Filipinos hope and show Filipino warmth to other contestants, YOU HAVE ALREADY WON.
It must have been tough in your shoe. The road you took was paved with good intention—to give your representation the best you could… and you did, remember that. Your top 6 finish in Ms. Universe 2016 is not all of us can do in our lifetime.
Keep smiling…at least try. Congratulations, beautiful one! You made us proud.