A runner-up noticeably absent during the post-pageant presentation… Cryptic posts on karma… and Shamcey Supsup posting an art card that defines a “true queen.”
These were among the trending topics on Instagram and Twitter hours after the coronation of Miss Iloilo Rabiya Mateo as the first Miss Universe Philippines on Sunday, 25 October.
Fans and pageant aficionados have been retweeting, liking and commenting on posts related to these issues, overshadowing what should have been a celebratory day for the inaugural Miss Universe Philippines pageant under the Miss Universe Philippines Organization (MUPO).
I can handle defeat
Netizens zeroed in on the group photo of Rabiya with her court. In the photo with her were first runner-up Ysabella Ysmael of Parañaque, third runner-up Pauline Amelinckx of Bohol and fourth runner-up Kimberly Hakenson of Cavite.
Noticeably absent was Michele Gumabao, who represented Quezon City and was named second runner-up at the tilt. Rumors spread that the professional volleyball player and Binibining Pilipinas Globe 2018 had immediately left Baguio Country Club after the coronation, which was taped prior to the show’s airing on Sunday morning on GMA-7.
At 6:00 p.m. on the same day, Aces and Queens posted an art card on its IG (@aces_and_queens) that was captioned as “LOOK: Miss Universe Philippines 2020 2nd runner-up Michele Gumabao breaks her silence to give thanks to all her supporters.”
“To all my Michelin stars thank you for being with me on this journey! I love each and everyone of you! Thank you for all your support! Till the very end Laban!”
The statement continued, “I left this morning sa BCC (Baguio Country Club) while the pageant was on going (sic). I knew who won last night pa I tried to go to our viewing party but everyone kept asking what happened all the hugs all the looks I couldn’t handle that.
“I can handle defeat hahahaha I can’t handle the people asking me why why why… I’m sharing this with you because you deserve to know my side, we don’t need to defend anyone. I did my very best and I have no regrets.”
Michele’s IG and Twitter accounts have no posts related to the results of the pageant as of posting time.
Gumabao trained under Aces & Queens, which was co-founded by Jonas Gaffud in 2001. Gaffud left the organization in 2019 to join the MUPO as its creative and events director.
Prior to this statement, Diemmy Alexi Tatlonghari’s IG stories (@diemmylhexie) went viral as she posted a series of posts that seemed to pertain to an issue on the pageant’s rules.
“Speaking up about the glam teams is not being bitter. It’s about the truth. If you can’t accept that then don’t be here. One of the rules is not having your glam team. No hair and makeup help from anyone but yet some of the girls had their MUA and whole glam team in there, helping in between. Ano to joke time!!!?” her IG story went.
Diemmy, who later posted a photo of hers with Michele and described the latter as teammate (DLSU volleyball team) and bestfriend, also contested Shamcey’s post about markings of a true queen.
Supsup had earlier posted on her IG stories, “To bear defeat with dignity, to accept criticism with poise, to receive honors with humility – these are the marks of a true QUEEN.”
Diemmy posted this and superimposed it with a remark. “Ah wow! (laughing emojis) Who’s talking now? You should practice what you preach! Hahaha. This is so funny.”
Real queens play fair
Miss Taguig Sandra Lemonon only made it to the top 16, unlike her Binibining Pilipinas 2018 batchmate Michele.
But like Michele, she also trended on social media for a series of IG stories that netizens believed had something to do with the pageant’s results.
Hours before the airing of the coronation, Lemonon posted, “Get ready loves, tomorrow I will be announcing big news. It’s time to be honest and speak facts.”
She followed it up while the finale was airing. Starting with an eye emoji, she wrote, “The truth always comes out. (frying pan with egg cooking emoji) It’s just about timing (heart emoji) Karma is real (coffee emoji followed by an alarm clock emoji) soon. Because we deserve justice.”
Her most recent IG story — a picture of a hand holding a cup of tea — came after Supsup’s IG story. It read, “Get your tea (heart emoji). Accepting defeat graciously is one of many marks of being a queen (heart emoji) But what you forgot to say Is that REAL queens Play FAIR don’t cheat.”
The Miss Universe Philippines IG account’s last post was a congratulatory art card for Rabiya.
I did everything that I could
In an interview with TV5 reporter MJ Marfori, Mateo broke her silence on the accusations thrown at her by her co-candidates.
“To be honest po, maybe because I wasn’t a frontrunner, people didn’t expect me to win. And now that I have the crown… I’m sorry I’m being emotional right now,” she said.
“Questioning, you know, my capability as a person, as a candidate, but I know that I did everything and anything that I could that night. And binigay ko talaga and yung mga nagsasabi na the question was given to me that’s why I answered that way, it wasnt given po sa akin,” Mateo added.
“I did everything that I could because I want to make Iloilo City proud.”
“Of course it was painful because there are things you can’t settle by talking with each other. At the end of the day, this is a competition and being the bigger person in the picture, I need to understand where they are coming from,” said the 24-year old Fil-Indian.