It was Sept. 30 when Cebuanos—especially pageant enthusiasts—were beaming with pride as Cebu City’s very own Beatrice Luigi Gomez was officially crowned Miss Universe Philippines 2021.

The 26-year-old Cebuana, who was crowned by outgoing Miss Universe Philippines 2020 Rabiya Mateo, also bested the 29 other finalists and bagged the Best in Swimsuit and Best in Evening Gown awards, to name a few.

On Nov. 2, Gomez literally brought home the crown as she came home for the first time after winning Miss Universe Philippines 2021 in Hennan, Bohol.

Right after the courtesy call at Cebu City Hall, the homecoming was held in Golden Peak Hotel organized by DiaGold Jewelry in partnership with Origin Model and Artist Management.

The first openly out member of the LGBTQIA+ community beauty queen—who looked divine in a white modern terno by designer Mike Yapching—sported a tireless smile from the start until the end of the event.

Gomez talked about her Miss Universe Philippines 2021 journey, and the lessons she learned along the way, including never allowing anyone to dictate the narrative of your life, and that you are totally in control of who you are and who you want to be.

“I came here representing a lot of people—the children in conflict with the law who I advocate for, and the LGBTQIA+ community. I’m here to be myself, because by doing so, I am carrying with me the people who are like me,” said Bea.

She also shared her preparations for the upcoming 70th Miss Universe pageant in Eilat, Israel in December 2021.

“I’m already having all of my trainings for Q&A, my physical [form] and pasarela. But what I’m most excited about are my outfits and my national costume which will be made by Miss Axel Que. I am definitely ready for the universe. When I joined Miss Universe Philippines, I wasn’t just preparing for the national competition, but it was already a preparation for the international competition,” she said proudly.

The titleholder answered confidently when asked what she will do if she will win Miss Universe 2021.

“I would go back to the children in conflict with the law whom I was originally advocating for. Even before I won Miss Universe Philippines, I would go back to their community and as I promised, I will be giving them the assistance that they need, continue to spread awareness on what they need from society, and hopefully expand the reach of my community development work.”

Ten years from now, Gomez sees herself as a philanthropist building communities and improving lives.