Miss Universe 3rd Runner Up Ariella Arida on Yolanda, Turning 25, and Her Racist Twitter Controversy

Miss Universe 3rd Runner Up Ariella Arida on Yolanda, Turning 25, and Her "Racist" Twitter Controversy

Ariella talks about her Miss Universe journey and her plans on helping victims of Typhoon Yolanda.

Welcome home, Ara!

We attended the press conference of Miss Universe 3rd runner up Ariella Arida last night (November 12, 2013), where she talked about her experience in Russia and her plans to help victims of Typhoon Yolanda.

Read below for the highlights from her Q&A:

On her homecoming:
Sobrang saya ko. Una sa lahat, na-miss ko ang Pilipinas. Nung nanalo ako, unang sinabi ko, salamat sa suporta ng mga Pilipino. I really felt your support from the very start until the end. Everything I did was for the Philippines. Never ako nag-give up dahil sa inyo.

On hearing about Typhoon Yolanda during the pageant:
“On the day of the Coronation [Night], sobrang nalungkot ako kasi pag-bukas ko ng Internet, nakita ko kaagad yung nangyari sa Tacloban at kung paano nawala ang lahat doon. My friend asked me what happened so I told her, and even she was super affected by it. So I told her that I would dedicate this fight to the Philippines, especially to my countrymen in Visayas. Sana kahit papaano, nagbigay ako ng smile sa mga kababayan natin. Actually ngayon hindi ako alam anong magiging pakiramdam ko, kung matutuwa ako nang sobra, kasi at the back of my mind, naiisip ko  po yung mga taong nasalanta at may kailangan ng tulong natin.”

On her plans to help victims:
“This week, ang plano ko ay magpa-pack ng relief goods kasama ang Sagip Kapamilya. We will try to go to the places affected by the typhoon. My main concern for now is how to help. It’s hard to celebrate when my kababayans are suffering.”

On her birthday wish (She’s turning 25 years old on November 20):
“My birthday wish is for the Yolanda victims [to be okay]. I am very sad about the hardships that our countrymen are experiencing because of the typhoon, and I hope that my victory will be a source of hope for Filipinos during these trying times. Even my fellow Miss Universe candidates were very concerned about the Philippines when they heard about what happened. They extend their regards to Filipinos.”

On what was going through her mind when the Top 20 candidates were called:
“Top 8 pa lang, sobrang kabado na ako. Hinihintay ko tumapat sa akin yung camera kasi sa rehearsal namin, yun yung cue. Tapos nung Top 15 na yung tinawag, nakita ko na nandoon pa si Russia, Poland, at iba. Inisip ko ‘Lord please, ibigay niyo po ito sa akin.’ Ayun yung pinaka-kabadong stage para sa akin.”

On which candidates she became close to during the pageant:
“I was close to Canada, Panama, Spain, and Venezuela. Despite the Twitter controversy [wherein Miss Brazil allegedly ranted on Twitter about Ariella’s ‘racist’ comments about Latinas], I actually became good friends with her. Lumapit ako sa kanya to explain the whole Twitter situation, and she said that it wasn’t true and that she didn’t own that Twitter account. It was a very healthy environment.”

On her highlights during the Miss Universe pageant:
“Everything was memorable because I was experiencing everything for the first time. Russian Fashion Week was one of them. It’s a big event and it’s the dream of all models. The second most memorable was the commercial we did for Mercedes Benz. It was my first time to try drag racing. Pero sumakit ang pakirmadam ko after kasi 10 laps yun. Mas nakakahilo pa sa rollercoaster! Third, the music video I shot with the other candidates. And lastly, our charity work. We went to a hospital for cancer patients.”

On people’s reactions to the yellow gown she wore during the pageant:
Gustung-gusto ko yung gown ko. It fit me perfectly and it made me look like I had a 21" waistline. It also made my skintone stand out. Pag-naglalakad ko, sobrang natural ang flow niya.

On the reactions of candidates to Miss Venezuela’s win:
Masaya naman sila. Miss Venezuela is full of confidence, and her confidence is very sincere. She’s a natural.”

On her message to future Binibining Pilipinas aspirants:
“Personality is key. They want to see that you’re sincere and that you’re having fun. It’s a once in a lifetime experience so don’t spoil it by thinking it’s just a competition. Be natural and be yourself. Enjoy the moment and do your best in everything.”

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