THERE are around 72 million Facebook users in the Philippines; that's almost everyone in the Philippines, and so there are 72 million or so reactions and instant "expert" analysis to why we didn't win the Miss Universe crown.

Why is the color of Rabiya Mateo's gown and swimsuit yellow? Yellow is the color of the sun, the sun that nurtured the land. Yellow is also the color that the Duterte supporters hate. Wear that and that is your death sentence. But wait, is Duterte or the DDS the judges here? Oh, he's the best president in the Universe. So there.

If Rabiya didn't wear yellow, she could have worn blue. Blue is the sea that surrounds our 7,100 islands minus the Spratlys, Scarborough, Mischief and Felipe. If she wore blue, she has to say we need to defend the West Philippine Sea. DDS will still hate.

If Rabiya just wore red, Parlade and Badoy will be triggered again. You just can't please anyone in the DDS-verse.

If Rabiya didn't say anything political like social justice and stayed cute. Mga ka-DDS, Miss Myanmar won Best National Costume because of that placard "Pray for Myanmar." The question and answer portions all talked political, from pandemic response, leadership to women abuse. The Miss Universe is adjusting to the world where women and men are woke, that beauty is more of substance than sha-shaying on stage. Or are you content with Harry Roque like putbacks as your criteria for Q&A?

If Jam Magno stayed out of her skin (and ours too, especially the Iloilo folks where Rabiya comes from). Maybe, we Filipinos believe in jinx, and this Tik-Tok personality earned that by tormenting Rabiya's every move since day one. I think Jam is the only Filipino cheering that we didn't make it to the top ten, and that has made everyone seething that she was the second most tweeted Filipino yesterday. Makes you wonder, what have we become on the Internet?

Is the Miss Universe really that important? Maybe it's the pandemic that has made us look for entertainment. Is it still a unifier to our country crazy with things that start with the letter B. Basketball, boxing, billiards, beauty contests, BTS?

A friend posted that her feminist told her "pageants breed a very toxic culture surrounding ideas of beauty." Women seem to live everyday like a beauty contest. Even the way we bash people who bash beauty queens end up saying, "murag bag gwapa ka."

And I wonder, how do beauty queens espouse peace and justice with a crown? Is it better if they instead bring a placard, build a pantry or grow a farm? Women need to do more to empower themselves and the nation, and that's a winner.