After asking her followers how they're all doing, Miss World Philippines Candidate #21 Paula Ortega says she's "still processing" the fact that she wasn't able to give her 100% at the coronation night last Sunday, June 5.
In a statement posted on her Instagram, Ortega addressed the issue on her performance during the second question and answer portion.
"Hello everyone. Hope you're doing well. Me? Not so much," she started. "Still processing the fact that I was limited to giving my 100% on June 5. But I am doing better after sleeping a whole day. (So make sure to sleep ha)."
She made it clear that she is "tremendously grateful" for her Miss World Philippines experience, saying it was "hectic but fun."
"I truly enjoyed every day of the pageant, to do such fun challenges around the Philippines, thanks to the sponsors, to be able to bond with the amazing organization of MWPH, and mostly, being able to meet such exceptionally empowered Filipinas around me. I mean it," she wrote, adding that she has learned a lot from her fellow candidates.
Ortega then continued her statement by addressing the final Q&A portion. She said that no one could "hear a thing on stage."
"From the opening dance, where I could dance thanks to the beat, from the announcement of the special awards (we were constantly asking 'what is the next award?')."
She even shared that she almost walked towards the stage when she misheard 21 for 25, pertaining to the candidate number.
"Gwen also didn't hear her name for the evening gown award," she said.
The beauty queen said she was able to understand the first Q&A "because I was reading Laura's (Lehmann) lips."
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When she was called to answer the second part of the Q&A, she said she "literally couldn't hear anything" from the stage so she asked the judge, David Licauco, to repeat the question.
"When he said the question, I could only understand 'Metro Manila' and 'silver lining'. That is why I had to ask to repear it but failed to understand it," Ortega explained.
She said that if it weren't for the host Katarina Rodriguez, who relayed the word "traffic," she "wouldn't have been able to answer at all."
Ortega wished she "wasn't that nervous" that evening, but "asking to repeat the question twice didn't help me at all to answer."
To close her statement, Ortega wrote her answer to the question.
"There is no silver lining in our traffic. It is about time we stop romanticizing our problems and act into it.
"I would encourage people to use more of the (improved) public transportation, advocate for economic help for our dear jeepney riders as well as investing to improve our MRT service so we reduce the number of cars in Metro Manila and consequently reducing our carbon footpring in the Philippines.
"Climate change is real, and we should work together to do as much as we can to save our home, our Mother Earth."
Fellow beauty queens expressed their support by commenting on her post.
Co-candidate Sam Santamaria, who was named Reina Hispanoamericana Filipinas 2022, left a long reply. She said: "I love you so much my queen P 🥺 thank you for always being the sunshine in all our days and the encouraging leader of the pack when we were just too tired to keep practicing. You have always been there for me since the day we met at final screening when you laughed because I would have chorizo breath from my sandwich 😂 You are so genuine, so strong, and you have empowered each and every one of us. Thank you for always sharing your light with us."
Former Miss World Philippines and host that night, Laura Lehmann, also replied: "You did amazing Paula ❤️ Hope to see you back on stage."
Binibining Pilipinas International 2021 Hannah Arnold left red heart emojis, as with Miss Universe 2020 Candidate Maria Isabela Galeria.
During the finals night held at SM Mall of Asia Arena, Ortega was asked the question: “How would you console the Filipino commuting public especially those in Metro Manila, that there’s a silver lining to traffic problems?”
To which she answered: “I think we should address our traffic problems by using more sustainable transportation. I think it’s about time that Filipinos are aware of how the climate change is really present right now. COVID-19 really happened because of climate change and we should start working all together to embrace our home, because if we don’t build things by using public transportation, by using alternative energy, we are making a better place for our future, thank you so much.”
Ortega finished on the Top 11 of Miss World Philippines.
The crown ultimately went to Gwendolyn Fourniol of Negros Occidental. She will represent the Philippines in the international pageant this year.