Ruffa Gutierrez took to Instagram today to post a throwback photo of her 17-year-old self in a swimsuit and to wish the candidates in tonight’s Miss World Philippines pageant the best of luck. According to Ruffa’s caption, the photo was taken at The Plaza in New York, after Stella Araneta handpicked her to join the Elite Look of the Year modeling competition in 1992. The prestigious modeling contest is organized by Elite Model Management to discover and launch fashion models into the international fashion world.
Joining the competition paved the way for Ruffa to enter the Miss World Philippines pageant. When she won, she represented the country in the 1993 Miss World pageant held at Sun City resort in South Africa.
There, Ruffa charmed the judges and the audience and emerged as the second runner-up after making a mark with her quick wit in the Q&A round. She was asked by singer Vanessa Williams, "[What] would you tell a girl who’s suffering from low self-esteem to feel better about herself?"
Ruffa replied, "I’ll tell her to believe in herself because it’s not only physical beauty that’s important but also inner beauty. Like what the Little Prince said, ‘What is essential is invisible to the naked eye.’ And I believe that character and personality are more important than physical beauty."
In her Instagram post today, Ruffa said, “Tonight, 40 candidates vie for the MISS WORLD PHILIPPINES 2018 crown. Good luck, ladies! May the best queen win!”
Avid pageant watchers are hedging their bets on three candidates who are said to be strong contenders for the crown: Katarina Rodriguez, Maureen Montagne, and Kim de Guzman. All three are no strangers to the pageant world. Katarina placed third in Cycle 2 of Asia’s Next Top Model in 2014. She is also Miss Intercontinental Philippines 2017 and the first runner-up in Miss Intercontinental 2017. Maureen was Miss Arizona USA in 2017 and the Century Tuna Superbods 2018 female grand winner. Kim is a former PBB housemate and Miss Philippines Earth-Air 2017.
To find out who gets to represent the country in the Miss World pageant, you can watch the delayed telecast tonight at 10 p.m. on GMA.