Miss Universe-PH postpones coronation night as candidate tests positive for Covid-19

THE Miss Universe Philippines organization has postponed the coronation night of its 2021 pageant scheduled for September 25. The new date has yet to be announced.

“Mounting a safe pageant for all our stakeholders is our number one priority today. This is why we enhanced, even more, all of our safety protocols given our current situation,” a statement read on Instagram (@themissuniverseph).

“We will announce the final date of the pageant as soon as we get the final approval from IATF for our enhanced plans for the finals. Rest assured that once we receive the final go signal, you will be the first to know. Don’t worry, the finals will be just a few days away.”

© Provided by The Manila Times Ybonne Ortega of Davao City INSTAGRAM PHOTO/YBONNEORTEGA Ybonne Ortega of Davao City INSTAGRAM PHOTO/YBONNEORTEGA
© Provided by The Manila Times The contestants of Miss Universe Philippines 2021 INSTAGRAM PHOTO/THEMISSUNIVERSEPH The contestants of Miss Universe Philippines 2021 INSTAGRAM PHOTO/THEMISSUNIVERSEPH

Likewise, pre-pageant activities were rescheduled with the following dates: The national costume competition will now premiere on YouTube on September 23, and preliminary interviews and the swimsuit and evening gown competitions have been reset to September 24 and 26, respectively via KTX.ph. The last day of public voting for their favorite candidates via the official voting platform, Lazada, will be on September 29.

The organization further assured KTX users that their subscriptions would still be valid for these new release dates.

Miss Universe 2020 Rabiya Mateo will turn over her crown to the new winner who will represent the Philippines at the Miss Universe pageant in December in Eilat, Israel.

Besides delaying the pageant schedule, the pandemic has further affected one of the candidates, with Ybonne Ortega of Davao City testing positive for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19). She has since withdrawn from the contest.

“It breaks my heart that I won’t be able to formally compete in the Miss Universe Philippines 2021. Even before meeting the MUPh team and co-candidates, I had tested positive for Covid-19. I kept quiet, hoping that my situation would change and retesting would [be] negative. Unfortunately, this is not yet my time to compete in the final stretch of the MUPh pageant,” she wrote on her Instagram page (@ybonneortega).

Ortega shared that the worst part of her experience was having people trying to “drag [her] down or spread false information while [she was] trying to do [her] best.”

Thankfully, supportive individuals from different groups connected with the pageant also emerged when she needed them most. Davao City’s supposed bet added she is open to rejoining the competition in the future.

“Surely, it’s not the end… Instead, this is when my life will never be the same again. I will definitely come back better, stronger, and more ready to conquer the national stage.

“This is your Miss Universe Philippines 2021-Davao City, urging everyone to stay safe and healthy. Let us continue to pray for healing and peace during this time of uncertainty,” Ortega ended.

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