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Get to know Chelsea Manalo, a youth advocate who was crowned Miss Universe Philippines 2024

By Melanie Uson Published May 23, 2024 2:42 am Updated May 23, 2024 3:58 pm

We have a new MUPh queen! 

Chelsea Anne Manalo of Bulacan won the highly coveted crown at the Miss Universe Philippines 2024 pageant on Wednesday, May 22 at the Mall of Asia Arena.

The Filipino-American beauty queen made sure to stand out from the preliminaries to the grand coronation night with her charm, talent, and wits. During the question-and-answer portion, where she was asked how she would use her beauty and confidence to empower others, she opened up about being a woman of color as well as how she has defied beauty standards and learned to embrace who she is.

Her winning answer: “As a woman of color, I have always faced challenges in my life. I was told that beauty is... has standards, actually. But for me, I have listened to always believe in my mother, to always believe in yourself, uphold the vows that you have. Because of these, I am already influencing a lot of women who are facing me right now. As a transformational woman, I have here 52 other delegates with me who have helped me to become the woman I am. Thank you.”

The 24-year-old bested 52 hopefuls from across the country during the final round, making her the country's representative for the international competition happening in Mexico later this year.

Read on to know more about our newly crowned Miss Universe Philippines.

A model and pageant girl by heart

Chelsea has been in the fashion industry since she was 15. While she started her modeling career at a young age, she mentioned in one of her Instagram Q&As that she never saw herself as a model but as a car racer instead. She, however, learned to love it over time.

The print, ramp, and commercial model has worked with publishing companies like Mega Magazine, Preview, and renowned fashion designer Mark Bumgarner. 

She also decided to enter pageantry in her teenage years. According to her MUPh profile, she has been joining beauty competitions since high school. One of the notable ones was in 2017, when the Bulakenya beauty joined the Miss World Philippines and finished in the Top 15.

A fur mom 
@manalochelsea / Instagram

Outside the glitz and glam of the industry, the beauty queen is a loving fur parent to her shih tzu, basset hound, pomchi dogs, and love birds. 

An advocate for youth education and body positivity

Chelsea made her advocacy of empowering the indigenous young people's education shine throughout her MUPh 2024 journey.

She collaborated closely with Kids for Kids—a youth-led organization that aims to create a safe space for children, especially those in far areas, and to empower them to be the catalysts of change in their communities. 

Apart from this, the Filipino-American beauty queen also advocates for body positivity. In one of her profile videos for the pageant, Chelsea shared that she previously struggled with insecurities and bullying due to her skin and hair type. Now, she uses her experiences to inspire others to challenge beauty standards and appreciate their own beauty.