Friday, April 4, 2014

                                                                 Words by Edgar Petallo
Mary Jean Lastimosa burst into tears of joy after she 
was hailed as Miss Universe-Philippines 2014. She was crowned by last year's predecessor and the current Miss Universe Third Runner-Up Ariella Arida with the assistance of the reigning Miss Universe titleholder Gabriela Isler of Venezuela who also served as one of judges during the coronation night.

            "I wanted to be an inspiration to everyone that you shouldn't give up on your dream. I never give up on my dream. And now, its becoming a reality." - MJ Lastimosa, Miss Universe-Philippines 2014

The whole country rejoiced when MJ was crowned. Even the past beauty queens and titlists
                                         were greatly overwhelmed with her victory.

"Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time". - Thomas Edison

I just couldn't help it but be overjoyed with MJ's recent victory in clinching the most coveted Miss Universe-Philippines' crown. After being defeated twice in a row (in 2011 where she placed as Shamcey Supsup's second runner-up and also in 2012 where she ended a semi-finalist to Janine Tugonon despite bagging the lion's share of awards that night), she pulled herself up once again and fought the hardest battle on her way to her dreams. Her unflinching commitment, sheer determination and unparalleled tenacity have finally been rewarded and achieving the top plum of what has been touted as the most competitive batch in Binibining Pilipinas history was immensely inspiring. 

Mary Jean Lastimosa in swimsuit through the years. That bombshell hourglass figure is simply captivating. Achieving and maintaining such an excellent physique is definitely not an easy task. Her persistence and self-discipline is incredibly  admirable!

"Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting. But the woman who fears the Lord is to be praised." - Proverbs 31:30
I couldn't agree more on the notion that this year's edition of Binibining Pilipinas could be the toughest since its inception (so far) for the reason that the quality of the girls joining the said pageant this year is immeasurably outstanding (well, thanks to the grandslam achievement of the Philippines in the international pageant arena, a bunch of gorgeous ladies are coming out of their way to be the next Binibini queens). In fact this season has been lauded as the battle of the previous runner-ups, repeaters, and beauty queen 'cross-overs'. Aside from MJ, we have Pia Wurtzbach (last year's BbP first runner-up), Kimverlyn Suiza (Miss Earth-Philippines 2013 first runner-up), Carla Jenina Lizardo (Mutya ng Pilipinas Intercontinental 2010), Parul Shah and Ellore Punzalan (2013 BbP semi-finalists) and many others. Despite the given number of crown-worthy contenders and seasoned pageant veterans, it was undeniable that MJ's stars shined the brightest that evening and her unyielding faith sealed her the sweetest victory in donning the highest honor, representing the country in this year's Miss Universe pageant.

"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 they're going to cheer 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 a woman." - MJ's winning answer after being asked by Miss Universe 2013 Gabriela Isler of Venezuela regarding the advantage of being a woman during the make-or-break Q&A.

"A good woman is hard to find and worth far more than diamonds". - Proverbs 31:10

Photo Credit: Dennis Natividad (Sash Factor)
MJ's third try and definitely her last bid to win the title has finally been paid off and greatly rewarded. Joining the country's most prestigious pageant for three times isn't a walk in the park. One has to undergo the scrupulous screenings, a half-year of painstaking training and workshops, the taxing two-month pageant activities before the coronation finale and not to mention those heartless online bashers and rabid detractors ever-ready to spit their rancorous vile to every candidate who could be an incredible threat to their bets. All of these, MJ had graciously and triumphantly succeeded with such inimitable charm and humility. Her experiences, not withstanding her previous defeats and failures were actually designed to shape her and mold her into the best and strongest contender that she could become in the upcoming Miss Universe season. I firmly believe that her unswerving determination and unwavering faith along with that graceful charm and inner beauty would certainly make her shine through in her quest to bring home the seemingly elusive third Miss Universe crown for the Philippines.

"What I've been asking from my supporters are prayers because I believe that's the most powerful thing in the universe. Now I'll be asking (you) to pray for me because I believe that if the whole country will pray for me then the Miss Universe crown will be ours." - MJ Lastimosa, Miss Universe-Philippines 2014. Photo Credit: ScoopBoy.

"Whatsoever you shall ask for in prayer, believing that you will receive it, then it will be yours." - Mark 11:24


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