The Gist


After more than a year of anticipation and multiple delays, the Miss World Philippines coronation finally took place at Subic Bay Exhibition and Convention Center Hall last October 3. The national pageant became significant despite its infamous reasons, including a set of public figures as judges.

/ 10 October 2021

The Philippines is a beauty pageant-obsessed country. In the last decade, it has won nine worldwide crowns, sparking a rise in beauty contests and pageant hopefuls. This year, 24 stunning candidates competed for the title of Miss World Philippines 2021. The event itself was delayed and postponed a couple of times which irked pageant-enthusiasts. However, it turned out that the competition is more memorable than expected.

MWP2021 Lasted for 6 Long Hours

The event started at 6:00 in the evening of October 3 and ended in the early morning of October 4 due to the lengthy deliberation of results. In contrast, MWP2019 that was held in Smart Araneta Coliseum, only lasted under 3 hours.  The 6-hour pageant angered numerous netizens, who expressed their displeasure on Twitter using the hashtag #MissWorldPhilippines2021.

Lauded Answer Towards Alleged Misogynistic Question

During the Question and Answer portion of MWP2021, the guest judge, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque asked Cebu Province’s Shaila Rebortera, “The frontrunner in all the surveys for the post of president is a woman. If she were to ask you, should she run for president even if her children are very young, what advice would you give her?”

Rebortera replied, “Other women are strong and brave because they sacrifice their career for their family, and if our candidate would like to pursue becoming a president despite sacrificing time for their family in exchange of[for] serving the Filipino people, then I would definitely support that,”

One netizen tweeted his discontent with the question.

Furthermore, the judges were impressed with the candidate’s performance. Rebortera is named Miss World’s Miss Multinational later that evening.

Candidate #10, Michelle Arceo’s “No Chill” Answer

“Would you rather live in a world without the pandemic or without corruption?” asked actress-model Anna Vicente.

Quezon City’s Michelle Arceo firmly replied, “I would pick a world without corruption because we’re surrounded by it every day and everywhere we look. It can really suffer the lives… people every day suffer from it and it can affect everyday people. If we can eradicate that, we can solve so many problems, and we can get through a pandemic easily the next time we go about it. We, the people, need to be taken care of. Thank you.”

Michelle Arceo received multiple positive responses for her courage to tenacious answer to the question in front of the judges, including public officials such as Bong Revilla, Migz Zubiri, and presidential spokesperson Harry Roque.

If this is how candidates answer questions and firmly echo their beliefs, I do not see any negative implications as being called “a pageant-obsessed country.” This kind of competition not only empowers women but also becomes a platform to discuss socio-political issues. Now that country is facing a crisis, the country needs more program that enlightens the youth more than ever. Despite the long deliberation and faulty organization of the event, Miss World Philippines 2021 candidates exemplified what true ‘beauty and brains’ entail.