On Monday morning in the Philippines (Sunday night in Florida, USA), people around the world witnessed the “most beautiful night in the universe.” After a year-long postponement due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the recently concluded Miss Universe 2020 pageant finally happened at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Miami, Florida.
Philippine bet Rabiya Mateo was able to reach the Top 21 of the competition, with many Filipinos praising her for being a Pinoy Pride and waving the Philippine flag once again in the international pageant scene. And before we knew it, the competition was already down to its Top 5 contestants: Peru, India, Dominican Republic, Mexico, and Brazil.
The Top 5 is one of the most awaited segments in the whole Miss Universe pageant. It is where the contests get to face the nerve-wracking Question & Answer (Q&A) portion, and showcase their individual advocacies while keeping grace under pressure. (Read: How Beauty Pageants Inspire Us to Handle Defeat Graciously)
While Mexico’s Andrea Meza was declared as the winner of the competition, many had their different bets based on the contestants’ answers to the Q&A portion. But how did the five ladies really fare in the segment? Here are their answers!
Miss Universe 2020 Q&A: Adline Castelino (India)
Miss Universe India, Adline Castelino, drew Tatyana Orozco, CEO of Arena Del Rio, as her questioner. Her question was, “Should countries lockdown due to COVID-19, despite the strain on their economies, or should they open their borders and risk a potential increase in infection rates?”
Adline said, “Coming from India and witnessing what India is experiencing right now, I have realized something very important that nothing is more important than the health of your loved ones.” (Read: Here’s Everything You Need to Know About COVID-19 in India)
She explained that while the economy is important, health is, too. She stressed that the government has to work together with the people to create a good economy-health sector balance that will affect both positively.
Miss Universe 2020 Q&A: Janick Maceta del Castillo (Peru)
Miss Universe 2006, Zuleyka Rivera, was responsible for asking Miss Universe Peru her question. “What would you say to the women watching tonight who are currently experiencing sexual or domestic abuse?” she asked Janick Maceta del Castillo.
The 27-year-old audio engineer answered that she herself has been in a similar situation as sexual and domestic abuse victims. “I will tell them that I admire their strength, and that they’re survivors and that I’ve been there too.” She added, “I became the hero of my own story.” (Read: 3 Strong Filipinos Who Survived Modern-Day Slavery)
Janick said that it was what motivated her to advocate for little girls who are victims of domestic and sexual abuse. “They are survivors, they are heroes. They have the power, and don’t ever, ever make anyone silence your voice,” she ends.
Miss Universe 2020 Q&A: Andrea Meza (Mexico)
It was Miss Universe 1997 Brook Lee who asked Miss Universe Mexico, Andrea Meza, her question. She asked, “If you were the leader of your country, how would you have handled the COVID-19 pandemic?”
The Mexican beauty queen answered, “I believe there is no perfect way to handle this hard situation such as COVID-19, but I believe what I would have done is to create the lockdown even before everything was that big.”
Andrea adds that we have already lost so many lives to the disease and “we cannot afford that… We have to take care of our people, that is why I would’ve taken care of them since the beginning.”
Miss Universe 2020 Q&A: Kimberly Jimenez (Dominican Republic)
The president of the Carnival Cruise Line, Christine Duffy asked the Dominican Republic representative, Kimberly Jimenez, this: “The night she won Miss Universe, Zozi Tunzi explained the importance of teaching leadership to young girls. How would you do that as Miss Universe?”
“I come from a family completely filled with women, of which have propelled me to help them today,” Kimberly started. “Working with my non-profit Niños de Cristo, I understand that I don’t need a title to help others and to be able to support them.” (LIST: Strong Women Who Inspire Young Girls Around the World)
Kimberly is a founding member of the Dominican Republic Women’s Club, an institution that provides assistance and services to women with breast cancer.
Miss Universe 2020 Q&A: Julia Gama (Brazil)
Miss Universe Brazil, Julia Gama, drew Sheryl Adkins-Green, CMO of Mary Kay, Inc., to ask her the question. The CMO asked, “Women are still considered incapable of becoming world leaders. Convince these countries that they are wrong.”
The 27-year-old entrepreneur and motivational speaker answered, “Women are such an important part of this society, and just because we are not encouraged in the same way that men are, we have our potential wasted.” (Read: Meet the Davaoeña Artist Who Celebrates Women Through Painting)
Julia added that the world needs women’s contributions, and that women should understand that “we are the leaders of our lives… Please, take your power!” Julia ended.
You can watch the entire Q&A portion here.