Sorsogon bet Maria Isabela Galeria has announced that she will be withdrawing from this year’s Miss Universe Philippines, less than two weeks before the coronation night airs nationwide.
The beauty queen is a COVID-19 survivor who only very recently recovered from the dreaded disease. Taking her current condition into consideration, Isabela thought it best to step back from the competition as she announced on her social media pages yesterday, October 15.
“With a heavy heart, I believe now is not the right time to join the pageant. I still feel tired, and I don't think my body will allow me to participate in the activities of Miss Universe Philippines,” she wrote on her Instagram. “I hope you understand this is something beyond my control. I've thought hard and cried for so many nights about this. I have the willpower, but my body is not cooperating. I'm praying for your utmost understanding. I love you all!! Mahal na mahal ko kamo!!”
Isabela started to develop symptoms of the virus last September 27, citing nasal congestion, loss of taste and smell, and slight difficulty in breathing. Though still bearable for the 22-year-old, she recounted how the symptoms quickly progressed and worsened to rashes, extreme itchiness, and dry skin.
“I woke up last October 3 with red, itchy, and teary eyes. I was under a handful of medications for more than two weeks to manage my symptoms,” she explained on her post. “Following the 14-day quarantine, I was supposed to be released on October 8. As per protocol, I needed to be asymptomatic for three days before discharge. Unfortunately, I was still manifesting some symptoms.”
“Last October 11, DOH declared my dad and me as COVID SURVIVORS. Praise be to God!! I'm forever grateful to each of you who invested so much time and effort in helping me through this journey; however, even with a strong will to fight, my body is not well conditioned yet.”
The grand finale for Miss Universe Philippines 2020 is set to air this October 25 on GMA-7.