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All the fun and heartfelt backstage moments during Miss Universe Philippines 2024

By John Patrick Magno Ranara Published May 24, 2024 8:11 pm

The recently concluded Miss Universe Philippines 2024 saw lots of exciting scenes happening on the stage of the SM Mall of Asia Arena, but the thrill was just as palpable backstage.

Some attendees of the prestigious pageant took the time to share all the heartfelt moments that they've captured when cameras weren't rolling. 

Here are some of our favorite backstage scenes:

Chelsea Manalo's emotional parents

After winning the coveted Miss Universe Philippines crown, Chelsea Manalo getting greeted by her proud parents was the cherry on top.

In their Instagram story, MUPH shared a video of Chelsea and her mother Contessa letting out tears as they shared an emotional hug while her father was comforting them from the side.

"It's okay, it's okay," Chelsea told her mother.

In a recent Instagram post, the beauty queen expressed her appreciation to her parents, who she said served as her "pillar of strength and inspiration."

"I never stumbled as I envisioned myself walking with you. I was calm because I imagined you were holding my hands," she wrote.

"Every word I spoke came from the genuine heart you both nurtured. Every step I made on the stage, led us to achieving the crown we all dreamed of. You, both, deserve my eternal gratitude," she added.

Stacey Gabriel getting comforted by her mom

Cainta bet Stacey Gabriel, who finished first runner-up, received a comforting embrace from her mother following the end of her MUPH journey this year.

"At the end of the day, all roads lead to the warmth of your embrace," Stacy wrote in the caption of a video showing her and her mother hugging after the pageant, soundtracked to Taylor Swift's New Year's Day.

"I stepped into this journey with the promise of honoring the women who came before me—particularly my mother, who, at 20 years old and against all odds, sacrificed her own dreams so she could raise me to reach mine. All my life, I have stood on her shoulders as she lifts me to new heights," she added.

The recent pageant was the second time that the beauty queen almost won the crown after she previously ended up as a second-place finisher at Binibining Pilipinas 2022.

Despite her loss, she acknowledged that "the battle is not ours, but the battle belongs to the Lord."

"I am grateful beyond measure to be your 1st Runner-Up and will carry out my duties to His purpose, but I also know that it’s okay to be heartbroken over the shared dream that was within reach, but simply not for me last night," Chelsea said.

She continued, "It was, instead, meant for a beautiful woman who will carry the stories of all 53 incredible delegates with her to Mexico. I pray for your success, Chelsea."

She ended her message with some sweet words to her mother, "Thank you, mama, for being my whole Universe. Up and up… onto the next calling."

R'Bonney Gabriel and Jeannie Mai making TikToks

It's always important to have a little fun to ease your nerves before the big event. In the case of MUPH hosts R'Bonney Gabriel and Jeannie Mai, they're keeping things light by making TikToks.

R'Bonney tickled the funny bone of her followers when she shared a video of herself and Jeannie lipsyncing to a line from the sitcom Schitt's Creek, in reference to how she is now having a more chill life as a host since her Miss Universe reign is over.

"I'm the happiest I've ever been, so I'm just having a great time with myself. I'm a solo artist now, like Beyoncé. I used to have the other Destiny's Children, but now I'm just a lone superstar," R'Bonney said, much to the confusion of Jeannie.

In the caption, the 2022 Miss Universe titleholder wrote, "Making chika with Jeannie as we get ready to host MUPH tonight."

"I seriously loved competing but let me tell you, it’s nice to be on the other side now!" she added.

R'Bonney crowned Sheynnis Palacios of Nicaragua as her successor at the 2023 edition of the pageant.

Marina Summers' impressive rehearsal
Karlo Torio / Instagram story

It's no secret that drag performer Marina Summers always gives it her all when it comes to her performances—and rehearsals are no exception.

The fifth edition of MUPH was kicked off with a bang thanks to the RuPaul's Drag Race: UK vs. The World top 4 queen's performance of AMAFILIPINA, which is her adaptation of Maymay Entrata’s song AMAKABOGERA.

In an Instagram story by photographer Karlo Torio, Marina was filmed already slaying the stage as she practiced for the song number.

"Oh pak! Rehearsals pa lang," Karlo remarked.

After the event, Marina took to her Instagram account to highlight how proud she is to become the first drag queen to kick off MUPH.

"Massive thanks to the incredible dancers of D'GRIND, and all the stunning candidates for standing by my side as we spread self-love and Pinoy pride with every step," she wrote.

Michelle Dee's picture with her team before passing on the crown
Michelle Dee / Instagram story

It's been an exciting journey for Michelle Dee during her reign as the Miss Universe Philippines 2023 titleholder, and she couldn't have done it without her team of creatives who made her look her best during her appearances.

Now that she had to pass the torch to someone else, Michelle had one last group picture with her team while wearing her iconic Apo Whang-Od-inspired gown that she also wore at the Miss Universe pageant in 2023 in El Salvador.

In her farewell speech during her final walk, Michelle thanked the designer behind her tattoo-inspired gown, Mark Bumgarner. "Your designs will forever be centered in our history books and also forever tattooed in my heart."

Back when her gown was first revealed, the beauty queen described it as a "tribute to a legendary Filipina who has become an icon, preserving the rich cultural heritage of indigenous tattoo art."

"[Apo Whang-Od] has achieved global recognition and symbolizes timeless beauty, coinciding with Miss Universe lifting its age restrictions, championing inclusivity and challenging age stereotypes," she wrote.