Dubai: Laguna native Ariella Arida bested 49 other contestants to win the Binibining Pilipinas (Miss Philippines) Universe crown on Sunday night in a star-studded golden anniversary celebration held at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City, Philippines.
Judges named Bea Rose Santiago as Binibining Pilipinas International, with Pia Wurtzbach as first runner-up and Mutya Johanna Datul as Binibining Pilipinas Supranational. Joanna Cindy Miranda bagged the title Binibining Pilipinas Tourism.
The Binibining Pilipinas selects the Philippine representatives to the Miss Universe and Miss International beauty pageants.
The second and third runners-up of the Binibining Pilipinas will also represent the country in minor global pageants, which are the Miss Supranational and Miss Tourism Queen International, respectively.
The 24-year-old new Miss Philippines struck a chord in the Q&A portion, when Philippine National Police Chief Allan Purisima asked her what lesson in life women can teach men. Arida answered: “Being sensitive because men are more logical unlike us women. We use our heart.”
Hurrah for Shah
Fans in the UAE were rooting for Dubai-born contestant, Parul Shah, who advanced to the top 15 but did not make the final cut.
Shah, the daughter of an Indian driver and a Filipina cleaner in Dubai, was considered one of the favourites to bag the crown. Read her story
With her mum cheering on her at the packed venue, Shah was on the brink of realising a childhood dream to win the prestigious beauty pageant.
At the Q&A, pageant judge Liliana Zawadski asked Shah: "What would you tell a child who is being bullied in school?"
The 24-year-old answered: "Never look down, even if he is being stepped on. Respect for oneself will eradicate people who bully children."