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The highs and lows of the Miss Universe Philippines 2024 coronation night

By Yoniel Acebuche Published May 23, 2024 4:02 pm Updated May 24, 2024 10:18 am

After a long and glittering journey, the Miss Universe Philippines 2024 competition has finally come to an end. It's safe to say that it was an intriguing yet interesting pageant journey, especially since this year's edition was full of surprisesfrom the set of candidates and the announcement of winners.

Bulacan's Chelsea Manalo, a Filipino-American beauty queen emerged as the winner of this year’s competition, which took place on Wednesday, May 22. She bested 52 other Filipina delegates.

Now that it's done, let's walk through the highs and lows of the Miss Universe Philippines 2024 tilt.

HIGH: A woman of color wins the crown

Chelsea Anne Manalo of Bulacan was crowned the newest Miss Universe Philippines titleholder during the pageant's grand coronation night held at the SM Mall of Asia Arena on May 22.

Chelsea's win comes after she impressed the selection committee in the pageant's nerve-wracking question-and-answer portion, where she was asked how she would use her beauty and confidence to empower others.

"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," the beauty queen said.

"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," she continued.

Considered a dark horse, Chelsea, who was a first-time MUPH delegate, emerged victorious despite not being on the radar of most pageant predictors.

LOW: Excessive commercials

With the excitement that comes along with the coronation night, this year's edition of Miss Universe Philippines made rounds on social media due to delays.

For one, the pageant took about six hours to finish and it aired an excessive number of commercials in between segments.

"They can't even keep a live stream on long enough for their finale night? 45 minute commercial blocks? The entire event should be 2 hours. Periodt," one X user said.

HIGH: Jeannie Mai Jenkins and Gabbi Garcia as hosts

American TV personality Jeannie Mai Jenkins and actress Gabbi Garcia added flavor to the local pageant, bringing extra energy to the jam-packed MOA Arena.

"Appreciation post for Jeannie Mai. She is taking over the Miss Universe Philippines 2024 Coronation night and I love how she brought so much energy to the show," a fan tweeted.

More than the glossy visual production, Jeannie Mai's way of hosting especially the casual interview gave the delegates a relaxed and calmer conversation, thus bringing out their inner personality in answering the question.

Gabbi, on the other hand, surprised the crowd with her hosting skills.

"Whoever saw the potential in Gabbi Garcia to host this event deserves a raise," said an X user.

Joining them were actor Alden Richards and Miss Universe 2022 R’Bonney Gabriel who welcomed the crowd with wide smiles to this year’s edition of the pageant. Tim Yap also served as the backstage host.

LOW: Technical difficulties

Audio quality issues and stream lag were also encountered that evening, prolonging the agony and excitement of the pageant fans. 

Fans on X claim that the audio sounded different from the fan cam, which showed clips of Win Metawin's performance.

"I am kind of shocked reading the response to Win’s performance tonight at MUPH 2024. He honestly did so good and it was perfect. In fact, he was loved by the crowd. I think Win isn’t the problem here," one user said.

It can be remembered that last Monday, May 20, the MUPh organization issued an apology for the technical difficulties encountered during the streaming of the preliminary competition. The original airing time at 6 p.m. was not uploaded until 1:51 am on May 21, causing frustration among pageant fans.

"Even with enhanced capacity, our computers and hardware were not enough to handle hours worth of HD footage, hence the delays," MUPH explained in a social media post. 

HIGH: A 'Filipina Winnah' opens the show

The Miss Universe Philippines 2024 pageant opened with 2023 titleholder Michelle Dee walking the runway before RuPaul's Drag Race: UK vs. The World top 4 queen Marina Summers took the stage.

The Pinay drag queen made history as the first drag queen to ever grace the stage of MUPh. That evening, she performed AMAFILIPINA in a sparkly silver body suit.

“This is for every baklang chikiting that dreamed of saying this iconic line. Oras na para tayo naman ang rumampa,” she wrote on Instagram, sharing a clip of her introduction.

As she sang, the candidates walked the stage and later introduced themselves.

LOW: Late announcement of four other crowns

Traditionally, the crowning moment of a pageant queen is a joyous celebration shared with everyone—both the live audience and the ones at home. This year, however, Miss Philippines took a different approach as the remaining four winners were announced after the conclusion of the live stream.

Ahtisa Manalo of Quezon Province, who won 2nd runner-up at the tilt, was crowned Miss Cosmo Philippines. MUPh 2024 3rd runner-up Tarah Valencia of Baguio, meanwhile, won Miss Supranational Philippines.

Alexie Brooks of Iloilo was announced as the Miss Eco International Philippines titleholder, while the Miss Charm Philippines crown was given to Cyrille Payumo of Pampanga.