The country's Miss Universe bet, Maxine Medina, is open to getting an interpreter for the pageant's question and answer portion.
It may be recalled that Medina's critics accused her of having poor communication skills after she made several grammatical errors during a press conference last week.
Medina told ABS-CBN News that she was open to getting help. "I'm here to win. Kung kailangan ko ng translator, kukuha ako (If I need to get a translator to win, I'll get one)."
Medina's decision also comes after several past Filipino beauty queens encouraged her to do so.
Miss Universe 1969 Gloria Diaz said, "She is a Filipina and I don’t think it will make her less of a beauty queen if she will decide to use our language on the grand coronation."
In a PEP.ph feature, Miss Universe 1999 first runner-up Miriam Quiambao complimented Medina's enthusiasm, saying, "What I appreciate about her is she is sure of her answers and she is confident when she tells them. Meron lang ilang grammatical errors (There are just some grammatical errors)."
Quiambao added, "Gumamit na lang tayo ng interpreter, kung dun siya magiging kumportable (Let's tap the services of an interpreter, if that's what will make her feel comfortable)."
ABS-CBN News noted that Raj's request was not granted, as the Binibining Pilipinas Charities Inc. (BPCI) didn't think she needed an interpreter. The protocol dictated that the BPCI had to approve Raj's request for an interpreter before it could be handed over to the Miss Universe Organization. Raj related, "They (BPCI) said, 'No, you don't need an interpreter, because the Philippines is actually known as [an] English-speaking [country], so hindi mo kailangan (so you don't need one)."
Reigning Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach also said Medina can get an interpreter if she wants to. She told Philstar.com: "When the judges ask questions, they’re not really looking for a perfect answer, but they just want to know more about you. They're interested in the girl inside you and your life outside the competition."
Wurtzbach added though that "it is a plus if a candidate can speak English not only to win in the contest, but because after having the title, 'a whole year of Q&As' await the winner and the interviews are mostly done in the US."