After months of fierce competition, we’re down to the Top 30 Miss Universe Philippines contenders. If you’re like most pageant fans, you’ve probably had your bets as early as the start of the competition, and we can’t blame you since some candidates have been catching our attention all over social media ever since the preliminaries. But we’re not kidding when we say that, aside from clear fan favorites, this year’s competition has more strong contenders in their roster to watch out for.
Read through to get to know 10 more Miss Universe PH contestants who definitely deserve the spotlight, too.
10 Miss Universe Philippines 2021 candidates you should also watch out for:
1. Kheshapornam Ramachandran (Iloilo City)
A Filipino-Malaysian of Indian descent, Kheshapornam Ramachandran or Khesha for short, is a familiar face in the local pageant scene. Competing since she was 18 years old, she first proved to be a strong contender after she won the Mutya ng Pilipinas Tourism Queen of the Year International crown back in 2018.
Khesha was slated to represent our country at Miss Tourism Queen of the Year International in Beijing, China during the last quarter of 2018. Unfortunately, the organizers had to forgo staging the international pageant; but that didn’t stop this Ilongga beauty from reaching her dreams! Last year, she was crowned first runner-up in the Miss Iloilo competition, just second to reigning Miss Universe Philippines Rabiya Mateo.
ICYDK, aside from being a beauty queen, Khesha is also a model and an athlete. She plays basketball as a center guard and has represented Western Visayas at the Palarong Pambansa.
2. Leren Mae Bautista (Laguna)
On top of being a beauty queen, Leren Bautista is a professional commercial and runway model, and endorser. Just like most of the candidates this year, Leren is no stranger to the pageant scene. In fact, she was crowned in several major competitions such as Mutya ng Pilipinas Asia Pacific International 2015, Miss Tourism Queen of the Year International 2015, and Binibining Pilipinas-Globe 2019. She was also able to represent the country on the international stage at Miss Globe 2019 where she was crowned second runner-up.
Leren is also a member of the Philippine Tapestry, which aims to promote Filipino culture globally. Her involvement became her gateway to exploring different parts of the world!
Fun fact! Last June, she was featured in an ad propped up at Times Square in New York City! You go, Leren!
3. Katrina Dimaranan (Taguig)
A pageant titleholder in both the Philippines and the US, Katrina Dimaranan is a Filipino-American model, actress, and television personality. Her pageant journey started when she joined Binibining Pilipinas 2012, where she competed alongside Janine Tugonon and Mary Jean Lastimosa, and was crowned as Binibining Pilipinas-Tourism 2012. She then migrated to the US and competed in the Miss Supranational USA 2018.
Aside from being a beauty queen, Katrina is also a television host by profession. Through this, she gets to connect with other people and meet different personalities.
ICYDK, Katrina was also one of the contestants in the first season of the popular dating reality show, Love Island USA.
4. Janela Joy Cuaton (Albay)
Janela Cuaton first proved her worth in the pageant game when she was crowned Mutya ng Pilipinas-Tourism International in 2015, alongside her current Miss Universe Philippines batchmate Leren Mae Bautista. In 2016, she went on to compete internationally and placed as first runner-up at Miss Tourism Metropolitan International. She also made the Top 10 at Miss World Philippines 2017.
Aside from being a beauty queen, Janela is also a model and a professional interior designer. She’s a part of Casa Consunji, a design shop owned by former Miss World Philippines and entrepreneur Maggie Wilson-Consunji!
Ever since she was 15 years old, she has been an advocate of different charitable causes that focus on empowering and helping the youth.
5. Princess Kristha Singh (Pasig City)
Princess Singh is an Indian-Filipina who is a pharmacist by profession. She’s also worked overseas as a flight attendant, and has visited more than 50 countries around the world! She may be a new face to the pageant scene but a lot of onlookers think she has strong potential to take the crown. Princess started her beauty queen journey back in 2017 when she joined Miss Tourism Philippines and was crowned as Miss Tourism Philippines Luzon.
One interesting fact about Princess is that she’s a folk dancer and is a member of Filipino folk dance troupe Sindaw Philippines Performing Arts Guild. Through this, she is able to showcase her talent while sharing the rich and diverse culture of our country, locally and internationally.
6. Beatrice Luigi Gomez (Cebu City)
A name that’s been slowly but surely making her presence known in the pageant scene is 26-year-old Beatrice Luigi Gomez. The current title holder of Binibining Cebu, who began her reign last January 2020, is standing tall in not just representing the Queen City of the South, but the LGBTQIA+ community as well.
With her exemplary performance so far, Bea is surprisingly a rookie in the pageant scene. She’s only competed in one other pageant before bagging the title of Binibining Cebu 2020, which led her to her position now as a contender for the national crown.
You may read more about Bea's pageant journey here.
7. Maria Corazon Abalos (Mandaluyong)
Getting the support of none other than the Queen of All Media Kris Aquino, Maria Corazon Abalos is another name you should look out for!
Often placed within the ranks of the top performing candidates, the 23-year-old is the daughter of MMDA Chairman Benhur Abalos and Mandaluyong Mayor Menchie Abalos, who was a former Binibining Pilipinas candidate herself. Winning the Headshot challenge, it looks like beauty and pageantry truly runs in her blood!
Apart from her incredible performance in the virtual challenges, Corinne is a worthy candidate despite relatively being a newbie. Having a strong educational background, the International Studies graduate is also well-spoken. On Corinne's chances, Kris herself even remarked, “Definitely, hindi tayo mapapahiya sa Q&A.”
8. Victoria Velasquez Vincent (Cavite)
Emerging as the first placer of the pageant's Interview Challenge is Ms. Cavite Victoria Velasquez Vincent. The 25-year-old, who was born and raised in New Zealand, is actually a double-degree holder from the University of Auckland. Talk about beauty and brains! Having graduated last May 2020, she is now a Master of Professional Architecture and Heritage Conservation. She hopes to use her knowledge to help the country as she advocates for low-cost and sustainable housing for underprivileged communities.
As she’s shared in her competition videos, Victoria is a vegan who also has a passion for photography. She once sold her photographs for charity by donating the proceeds to Non-Governmental Organizations "that are working towards enhancing the livelihoods of underprivileged Filipinos and empowering them to thrive."
9. Christelle Abello (Aklan)
All eyes are on pageant veteran Christelle Abello as she tries her luck at the crown for the second year in a row! Besides being a consistent pageant contestant, who won the Binibining Pilipinas USA title in 2014, and finished as a semi-finalist in Miss World Philippines 2015, the two-time Aklan representative was also named as this year’s Ginebra San Miguel Calendar Girl.
But her qualifications don't end there. Christelle has a never-say-die attitude when it comes to her other pursuits. This is what drove her to earn a Communication degree from the California State University San Marcos despite her busy lifestyle.
10. Izabella Jasmine Umali (Manila)
Miss Manila Jasmine Umali is another legacy who is in the running for the crown! Daughter of former Mutya ng Pilipinas second runner-up Mary Jane Umali and Manhunt International 1997 Top 5 Finisher Vincent Pinto, Jasmine definitely has pageantry and beauty in her blood! However, she doesn’t think her parents’ former experience in the field is an advantage when it comes to her own journey. She is simply happy and grateful for their all out support as she vies for the Miss Universe PH title.
Jasmine is a model and a flight attendant. Originally starting her beauty queen journey by screening for the Miss World Philippines 2021 pageant, she eventually decided to switch gears and tried for Miss Universe Philippines instead.
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