It's official: After months of keeping us on the edge of our seats, the Miss Universe Philippines 2021 crown goes to Beatrice Luigi Gomez of Cebu City!
After starting out as a dark horse in the competition, Bea now finds herself as Rabiya Mateo's successor to the international stage. Charged by her passion as a proud queer woman, it would be an understatement to say that the morena beauty queen totally deserves the title.
With the crown freshly perched on her head, here are 10 things you have to know about Miss Universe Philippines 2021, Beatrice Luigi Gomez:
1. Miss Universe Philippines 2021 was only her third pageant.
It may surprise many to know that the national contest was only Bea's third time competing as a beauty queen. She's only competed in Miss Mandaue 2015, and Binibining Cebu 2020 prior, with her winning the latter. I guess we can say Bea is a natural when it comes to pageants!
2. Her reign as Binibining Cebu lasted more than a year!
After winning the title of Binibining Cebu in January 2020, the 26-year-old was eager to represent her hometown on the national stage. Though, her hopes were put on pause due to the onset of the pandemic.
During her prolonged term though, Bea kept herself busy and still made efforts to provide aid for her communities. Twenty months later and with the Miss Universe Philippines crown on her head, it looks like the wait was all worth it.
3. Her girlfriend, Kate Jagdon, is a DJ.
The Cebuana was never shy about her sexual identity, proudly flaunting her girlfriend of many years, Kate Jagdon. She's a performance DJ and is Bea's number one fan, frequently working out and going on trips with her. Couple goals!
4. She's a cat mom.
Having a number of pets has made animal welfare one of the causes closest to Bea's heart. She currently has a number of feline friends staying at home with her and Kate, one of them being Twix. Bea considers him her "handsomest boss baby," and you can find him looking as cute as ever on his own Instagram account!
5. She loves to play volleyball, among other sports.
The beauty queen is keen on staying active and fit, while having fun along the way. A former volleyball varsity, she continues to play the sport, alongside scuba diving and MMA fighting.
6. She started modeling in order to help her single mom.
Trust Bea Gomez to be a strong independent woman and a mama's girl at the same time. Joining volleyball varsity was actually Bea's way of sending herself to school so she could financially help her mom. The Cebuana then began modeling as a sideline career in order to have some allowance while she was attending classes.
7. She's part of the Philippine Navy Reserve Unit.
This phenomenal woman has beauty, brains, and brawns all in one. Just last year, Bea took part in the Basic Citizen's Military Course under the Naval Reserve Center of Eastern Visayas. On days she wasn't preparing for the pageant, she was knee-deep in physical training under the Navy Seals. Talk about a strong woman!
8. She's a staunch advocate for youth empowerment.
Bea is one of the founders of BEyouthfulPH, an organization that aims to uplift the lives of many disempowered children in different communities. As of late, they have reached out to kids who have been in conflict with the law, in hopes of inspiring them to become more proactive and law-abiding citizens of society.
"The objective here is [for them] to pay it forward to the kids they will meet in the future who [are going] through what they've been through… I want them to be role models who can come out of their situation, [who] remain hopeful and resilient [despite] the challenges they've been through," she says.
9. Her National Costume was inspired by the Bakunawa.
Surely, Bea's National Costume at this year's pageant was one of the most captivating. Collaborating with designer Axel Que, her mesmerizing frock was meant to resemble a Bakunawa, a mythical Visayan sea creature that is said to cause lunar eclipses and earthquakes. "Like the Bakunawa, [I] will rise," Bea writes on Instagram, and rise she did.
10. She also won Best in Swimsuit and Best in Evening Gown.
Nothing was stopping this supposed pageant newbie from bringing home all the bacon on that stage. Looking as stunning as ever in both looks, she bagged the Best in Swimsuit and Best in Evening Gown awards on top of the Miss Universe Philippines title. Though, she was already a victor way before coronation night, winning the Introduction Video challenge during the very start of the contest.
All the best, Bea! Congratulations to all the candidates for stellar performances at this year's pageant!
This story originally appeared on Preview.ph. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.