Still High on the Coronation of MJ Lastimosa, Miss Philippines Universe 2014…
It’s been 6 days since MJ Lastimosa became our newest Miss Philippines Universe as I write, and I’m still feeling the thrill! So here’s a post of my best photos of her taken on the night she was crowned. Enjoy!
“Mom, I hope MJ wins!”
About 22 hours before this North Cotabato/Davao beauty was crowned, I was chatting with my daughter Diandra on Skype. Diandra has ALWAYS been a major major fan of MJ. When MJ lost in 2012, my baby girl and I were so upset. Anyway, I was telling my daughter about how gorgeous the girls were this year and she said, “Mom, I hope MJ wins!” Well, she got her wish! MJ Lastimosa IS Miss Philippines Universe 2014!
The Biggest Spoiler of the Night?
One ABQ reader asked me this question: Most of the other forums (if not all) and pageant-related blogs including yours were not able to pick MJ as their universe. she’s not even in your top 5 knowing that she is a pageant veteran. Can you tell us your reason?
While I do adore MJ and have written many many times on why I love her, I did not think she’d win because I felt there were politics going on and that there were certain biases against her that would diminish her chances. But I was wrong!
Here’s the best explanation from one of my readers, Jay the Pogi, who felt exactly the same way:
In the end…… MJ was the biggest ‘spoiler’ of the night…. she is the girl that we all thought can win but will most likely not win… she is that girl who has all the qualities of a winner- but we all thought may not get it for whatever reason.
I have to say Im guilty of this mistake…. but was still hoping for MJ to get just about anything for the finals… and then she won MUP 2014, even Shamcey was crying 🙂 you can feel that everybody is happy even those who felt that she will not win MUP… and because we all wanted to be wrong……. and we were all happy to be wrong 🙂
MJ on her Haters…
Well, what is life without haters? They will always be there so might as well embrace them. Because they are wasting their time reading something about you. It means that you’re running through their head. – MJ Lastimosa, Miss Philippines Universe 2014
Best in Swimsuit Winner!
For the first time ever, MJ Lastimosa wins the Best in Swimsuit award. The first time she joined Bb. Pilipinas in 2011, the award went to Queenierich Rehman. When she joined again in 2012, the swimsuit honor went to Nicole Schmitz. This year, MJ won the award and it sure is much deserved! I think when she goes to the Miss Universe 2014 (it was supposed to be in Brazil but that’s been cancelled) she will score big in the swimsuit competition.
Note that Binibini Batch 2011 has given us 3 Miss Philippines-Universe titleholders – Shamcey Supsup, Janine Tugonon and now MJ Lastimosa. 2011 was truly a super batch!
MJ’s Winning Q&A
That MJ Lastimosa would end up with judge Gabriela Isler as her ‘questioner’ – was that luck or destiny? Since I think very little of luck, I believe MJ was destined to get Gabriela who is our reigning Miss Universe 2013. The question was also very graciously answered by MJ.
Question from Miss Universe 2013 Gabriela Isler: March is the women’s month. For you, what is the greatest advantage of being a woman?
Bb. #25 Mary Jean Lastimosa: The greatest advantage of being a woman is being able to compose herself. Just like here, we’re standing in front of thousands of people, not knowing if you’re going to cheer for us or boo us. But we try to compose ourselves. We keep the emotions and show the beauty that is in us and tonight, thousands of people are standing here, celebrating the beauty of women.
What I really liked about her answer is that it’s not a common one. I have never heard of anyone else choosing ‘composure’ as the greatest advantage of being a woman. (Correct me if I’m wrong, guys!) But it is so true. I agree that our ability to keep calm and composed in the midst of uncertainty (and even danger) is one of the greatest advantages of being a woman. We know how to hold our own!
MJ’s Winning Moment!
MJ Lastimosa’s winning moment was precious and my wonderful hubby Ron caught it all on cam! When they announced her name, the audience went into a roaring wild frenzy. I was jumping in my seat and my co-blogger Domz (check out his blog here) was screaming at the top of his lungs. We hugged in joy and joined the crowd in cheering for MJ’s vindication and win!
“Now I can say that I am a risk-taker!” – MJ
MJ Lastimosa was a crowd favorite that night garnering thunderous applause every time it was her turn on stage. I think people were amazed that she had decided to give Bb. Pilipinas a third and last try so the applause was not just for her stunning beauty but for her bravery as well. I heard rumors that some people close to her told her to forget about Bb. Pilipinas because it was too late, she would not win. But she also had friends that encouraged her to give it one more shot. It was the latter group that convinced her to try again.
(Joining a 3rd time) was a last-minute decision for me. That was around late December (2013). I was hesitant. I was praying a lot, am I going to join or not. A lot of friends were telling me, when I was in the States, that they adjusted the age limit in Bb. Pilipinas. It was a tough decision, one of the toughest in my life. I’m not the usual risk-taker but now I can say that I am a risk-taker. Some people made me realize that I have it. That I have the qualifications to be a Miss Universe. – MJ Lastimosa at her first press conference as Miss Universe Philippines 2014.
A Haunting Moment…
In this scene we see Pia Wurtzbach in the background, still smiling in the midst of her loss. What is haunting to me is that Pia here is living up to the very same words that MJ had just spoken that evening – that the greatest advantage of being a woman is being able to compose yourself. Such wisdom from MJ and such strength from Pia. I love them both so much! (Click here to read Pia’s post Bb. Pilipinas message.)
The New Queens Rejoice!
The queens are caught in different modes of joy – MJ Lastimosa is overwhelmed as Kris Tifanny Janson (Intercontinental) happily envelopes her in a sisterly embrace. Bianca Guidotti (International), in the dark blue gown is beaming from ear to ear and about to join the hug. On the left is Parul Shah (Tourism) who looks so pleased while Yvethe Santiago (Intercontinental) in light blue gestures to runner-up Laura Lehmann as if to say, ‘let’s join in the group hug and celebrate!’
Wait! No pictures til I get my crown back!
I was so busy taking photos that I did not realize there was a moment when MJ Lastimosa had her crown off. I just love her gesture here asking for a quick break until the crown is back on her head. In the foreground are the rabid photographers who rushed the stage to take their group shot. I was one of them, LOL!
This is like 3 years in the making! During the competition I would always imagine myself winning the Universe crown and nothing else. But I didn’t expect the feeling would be this happy. Finally, God heard my prayers! – MJ Lastimosa, Miss Philippines Universe 2014
From the Press Release of Bb. Pilipinas
Mary Jean Lastimosa, Miss Universe Philippines 2014
26-year-old North Cotabato native Mary Jean Lastimosa is an entrepreneur. A personal advocate of staying fit, she successfully established her own slimming center in Davao.
Growing up in a war-torn province, she developed values of determination and courageousness, and this is something she brought to her personal life, her career and her journey to the Bb. Pilipinas crown.
Bb. Pilipinas Unvierse 2004 Maricar Balagtas is her inspiration for joining the pageant again because Maricar joined three times before winning. Whenever MJ feels down, she looks to Maricar and thinks that if she was able to do it then so can she.
On her free time, she loves working out at the gym, traveling, modeling, dancing and surfing social media websites.”
Can MJ Win Miss Universe?
Why do I think we have an excellent Miss Universe rep in MJ Lastimosa?
Firstly – the Miss Universe Organization was here in Manila in the person of MUO President Paula Shugart when MJ won. Even if Paula did not sit on the board of judges, Gabriella Isler, the reigning MU winner was a judge and to my mind it’s impossible that they would be here and NOT have a hand in choosing the girl they felt would do best in this year’s Miss Universe.
The next reason – MJ Lastimosa has been tempered by loss. She has been humbled by it. She knows what defeat tastes like. And to her, this crown was three years in the making; almost like a college degree! Three years plus the risk of losing again is a HUGE investment. So I believe MJ is going to cherish her win and work hard for the Miss Universe 2014 crown. I do not doubt it!
Third reason – She is a complete beauty queen package. Her stunning body, Latina-flavored beauty and gracious way of answering questions will surely catch the attention of judges at the Miss Universe.
Lastly – she is backed by Filipino pageant fans who love her and you know just how crazy they can be! Expect a full-force of supporters online that will show their fierce love for MJ. Such a huge following will be difficult to ignore by the organizers of Miss Universe.
I do believe that we have a big chance of winning the elusive Miss Universe crown this year!
MJ on the Possibility of Winning MU:
What I’ve been asking from my supporters are prayers because I’ve believe that’s the most powerful thing in the universe. Now I’ll be asking (you) to pray for me because I believe if the whole country will pray for me then the Miss Universe crown will ours. – MJ Lastimosa, Miss Philippines Universe 2014
Ms. Gabriella Isler to MJ Lastimosa “What is the greatest advantage of being a woman?”
MJ Lastimosa Answered: It is being able to compose ourselves, just like here, we’re standing in front of thousands of people not knowing if they will cheer for us… we compose ourselves and show the beauty within us.