THE Miss Universe pageant is over and those who are dreaming of the Philippines winning the title for the second year in a row will have to continue dreaming. Iris Mittenaere of France and not Maxine Medina of the Philippines is now wearing the crown Pia Wurtzbach won last year. Medina managed to land in the top 6, meaning she was among the few who wiggled into the question-and-answer portion.

In a way, former Miss Universe Gloria Diaz was correct when, despite the optimism of many Pinoys early on, she predicted Medina will lose. It wasn’t a putdown of Medina but rather an acceptance of the odds. One, a back-to-back win in the pageant is rare (only Venezuela did it in the long history of the pageant and that was in 2008 and 2009). Second, the Philippines is host and representatives of host countries rarely win.

But let us not dwell much on that. Rather, here are a few observations.

--The Filipinos’ obsession with beauty pageants showed. The coronation night yesterday was a blockbuster, with channels of most TV monitors in the country set on the live coverage of the event. Malacañang refused to declare yesterday a holiday but for the duration of the pageant, work in many offices, like those in the government, slowed down. If only we were as obsessed with other more important concerns of the nation.

--As expected, in the Q and A portion, Medina’s use of (or is it failure to use?)an interpreter and her answer (or was it non-answer?) to the question, “What is the most significant change you’ve seen in the world in the last ten years?” has become the trending topic. And the discussion is showing no signs of abating yet, proving the contention that Filipinos have an opinion on almost every topic under the sun.

--Lost in talks about what happened during the coronation night is the matter of the successful hosting by the Philippines of the event. No major hitches happened even in the pre-pageant stage of the competition and no security threat surfaced. Whether the event paid off economically for the country is another thing altogether. That will have to be assessed in the coming days.