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Filipina African American makes historic win as Miss Universe Philippines 2024

MANILA, Philippines — Chelsea Manalo of Bulacan was crowned Miss Universe Philippines 2024, besting 52 other hopefuls at the close of glitzy ceremonies in Pasay City.

Outgoing titleholder Michelle Marquez Dee passed on the beautifully crafted La Mer de Majeste crown to the dusky Bulakeña as the first national winner who is Filipina-African American, who won the title on her first try.

Days leading to the pageant, fans were mouthing "Manalo" as the eventual winner – referring to the one from Southern Luzon. True enough, a "Manalo" did win but the one from North Luzon.

A dark horse, in the truest sense of the word, though not alluding to her skin color, Chelsea was beneath most of the prediction radars, probably because she was a first timer to the national stage. She came out of nowhere to win the most coveted title.

The "Walk, Win" video from shoe sponsor Jojo Bragais sort of gave a glimpse into her huge potential. And when she was proclaimed Miss Bragais, pundits began to reconsider their respective bets.

Cainta's Stacey Daniella Gabriel was proclaimed 1st runner-up.

Fan-favorite Ma. Ahtisa Manalo of Quezon Province was awarded 2nd runner-up and was crowned Miss Cosmo Philippines. She was the most awarded delegate at the preliminaries. Ahtisa was named Miss Acqua Boracay, Miss Smilee Apparel, Miss Fairy Skin, Miss I-Color Great Lengths, Miss Danielito's Home Kitchen, Miss Queen of Hearts Sleepwear Collection, Miss Hellow Glow, and one of Zonrox's Colorsafe Top 3 winners.

Baguio's Tara Valencia was proclaimed 3rd runner-up and was crowned Miss Supranational Philippines. Meanwhile, Alexie Mae Brooks was crowned Miss Eco Philippines and Cyrille Payumo was crowned Miss Charm Philippines.

Taguig's Christi Lynn McGarry was named 4th runner-up. She was also proclaimed as Miss So-en and Miss Jewelmer during the preliminaries. Since she has aged out from the four more titles of the evening, she didn't get an appointment.

Thai sensation Win Metawin serenaded the finalists during the evening gown competition.

The other ladies who made it to the Top 10 were:

  • Kris Tiffany Janson (Cebu),
  • Victoria Velasquez Vincent (Bacoor), who was also awarded as Miss Kemans and one of Zonrox's Colorsafe Top 3;
  • Cyrille Payumo (Pampanga),
  • Anita Rose Gomez (Zambales),
  • and Alexie Mae Brooks (Iloilo), who was named Miss Jell Life, Miss Buscopan Venus, and one of Zonrox Colorsafe's Top 3 winners.

While Runway challenge winner Angel Rose Tambal (Leyte), Swimsuit challenge winner Patricia Bianca Tapia (Hawaii), Casting Reel challenge winner Tamara Ocier (Tacloban), Christina dela Cruz Chalk (United Kingdom), Kayla Rabaya Carter (Northern California), Alexandra Mae Rosales (Laguna), Raven Doctor (Palawan ), Kymberlee Street (Australia), Selena Antonio Reyes (Pasig), and Maica Cabling Martinez (Nueva Ecija) who was named Miss Bingo Plus, all made it to the Top 20 semifinal round. They competed in the swimwear competition wearing copper-colored monokinis and bikinis with sarongs to the tune of "Raining in Manila" as performed by Lola Amour.

Deanna Mate of Cavite was awarded as Miss Creamsilk, but failed to place in the semifinal round.

The evening opened to a production number with outgoing queen Michelle Marquez Dee and drag queen Marina Summers who performed her "Drag Race UK versus the World" song, "I'm a Filipina," before the first cut of the evening was made.

The members of the selection committee included:

  • Stanley Ng,
  • Joy Marcelo,
  • Archie Carrasco,
  • Miss Universe 2021 Top 5 finalist Bea Luigi Gomez,
  • Jason Co,
  • Miss Universe 2013 3rd runner-up Ariella Arida,
  • and Crystal Jacinto.

Chelsea will be the country's representative to the Mexico pageant toward the end of the year. She will also be the country's first delegate who is Filipina-Black American.

Hosted by Emmy-award winner Jenny Mai, Miss Universe 2022 R'bonney Gabriel, and actor Alden Richards, together with anchors Tim Yap and Gabbi Garcia, the 2024 Miss Universe Philippines coronation night unfolded in SM Mall of Asia Arena and was beamed live to a global audience through the Empire PH channel on YouTube.

Those who missed the final show can still catch the replay on Sunday, May 26, on GMA.

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Credit belongs to : www.philstar.com

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