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Davao City representative Ybonne Ortega bows out of Miss Universe PH 2021 due to COVID-19

By Hannah Mallorca Published Sep 20, 2021 2:50 pm

Davao City delegate Ybonne Ortega has withdrawn from the Miss Universe Philippines 2021 pageant after testing positive for COVID-19. 

The physiotherapist and ramp model took to Instagram to announce her withdrawal from the pageant. 

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A post shared by Ybonne Ortega (@ybonneortega)

“It breaks my heart that I won’t be able to formally compete in the Miss Universe Philippines 2021. Even before meeting the MUPh team and co-candidates, I had tested positive for COVID-19,” Ortega said.

The aspiring beauty queen said she “kept quiet” about her decision at first, in hopes of testing negative on her second attempt. However, she accepted that it’s “not yet my time to compete in the final stretch of the MUPh pageant.” 

“The worst part about this experience is not about being positive. It was about those negative individuals who try to drag you down or spread false information while you’re trying to do your best. Despite this short but very exciting journey, I came across so many amazing people in different industries,” she added.

Ortega went on to thank her family, pageant training team, fellow Miss Universe Philippines candidates, and supporters. 

She also revealed that she will come back “better, stronger, and more ready” in her next pageant bid. 

Photo from @ybonneortega's Instagram account

In a separate post on her Instagram Stories, Ortega clarified that she's an asymptomatic patient. 

The 23-year-old Ortega successfully fulfilled the Miss Universe Philippines 2021 virtual challenges before she was announced to be part of the final 30 candidates.

Earlier this month, Zambales’ delegate Joanna Marie Rabe bid goodbye to the Miss Universe Philippines pageant after catching dengue fever. 

The remaining 28 candidates are set to compete on the pageant’s final stretch, with the coronation night postponed to a yet-to-be-announced date. 

Banner and thumbnail photos from @ybonneortega’s Instagram account