Miss La Union Louise Nicole Dabu has apologized for a statement in her introduction video that has drawn flak, while the Miss Universe Philippines organization asked the public to refrain from bullying the candidate.
In her intro video challenge entry, Dabu shared a "funny secret" about her. "I eat like a construction worker but I never get fat," the 25-year-old candidate said.
Dabu drew criticism for her statement, with online users saying it demeans the profession and fails to celebrate the diverse body types of women.
"I eat like a construction worker" this is really a bad metaphor to be used. "But i never get fat bcos i workout" teh, celebrate natin lahat body types nasa platform ka supposed to celebrate diversity of women.— Renz 🌷 #16NeriColmenares #95Kabataan (@renzdelaluna) March 15, 2022
Miss La Union ligwak na agad sa top 16! Hahaha
funny thing abt her daw is she eats like a “construction worker” daw but she never gets fat dugh ELITISTA pweh 🤮 pic.twitter.com/MdGNigraAb— rebolusyon (@lamieuxxst) March 17, 2022
The La Union beauty then took to Instagram to apologize for her statement on Mar. 16.
"In light of my recent video, I express my sincere apologies to anyone who I have offended or hurt by my statement referencing construction workers. It was in no way meant to discriminate, stereotype, or offend this noble and respectable profession," Dabu wrote.
"I take full responsibility for my words and even if it was not my intent, they have caused harm. I sincerely apologize for causing disappointment to the many people who are supporting me."
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MUPH also issued a statement on the matter, calling for an end to the bashing of Dabu online.
"The MUPH Organization does not condone bullying, discrimination, and harassment of any individual, group, or organization. We would like to appeal to the public to refrain from bashing La Union's Louise Nicole Dabu," it said.
"According to Ms. Dabu, she never intended to stereotype or cause harm to workers as she knows their plight. She deeply regrets expressing herself in that way and has learned from this humbling experience."
MUPH also said they will remove the candidate's controversial video and upload a new one. The latest version of Dabu's entry only has her talking about working out barefoot, without any mention of the term "construction worker."
"We hope that [the] public can extend their understanding and consideration to Ms. Dabu," it concluded.
The competition recently named the three winners of the introduction video challenge: Bohol's Pauline Cucharo Amelinckx, San Pablo, Laguna's Shaira Aliyah Diaz and Cebu Province's Lou Dominique Piczon.
The Filipina beauties are set to compete at the pageant's finals night on April 30.