Beatrice Luigi Gomez, the trailblazing, 26-year-old Cebuana beauty queen—a member of the LGBTQ community and an advocate for equal rights—concluded her Miss Universe journey as part of the Top 5.
The pageant’s coronation night was held in Israel, and broadcasted live starting 7 a.m., Dec. 13 (PH time). India’s Harnaaz Sandhu went on to win the pageant, crowned Miss Universe 2021.
Filipino fans and supporters alike took to social media to express their admiration for Gomez who held her own in the midst of other international beauties. Joining Gomez in the Top 5 were the candidates from Colombia, Paraguay, South Africa and India. Paraguay, South Africa and India moved on to the Final 3, with India eventually pulling through as the big winner.
Gomez had her moments: She wowed viewers with her stunning maroon one-piece during the swimsuit presentation, and dazzled the stage with the gold-studded dress for the evening gown section.
Gomez also impressed the judges with her strong answer during the Q&A:
“Given the ever-changing Covid situation, what is your opinion of mandating a universal vaccine passport?” Miss Universe 2016 Iris Mittenaere asked Gomez.
Gomez replied: “I believe that public health is everyone’s responsibility, and to mandate vaccine inoculation is necessary. If mandating vaccine passports would help us in regulating the rollouts of the vaccine, and mitigate the situation of the pandemic today, then I would agree on mandating the necessary passport of vaccination. Thank you.”
One notable facet of Gomez’s life was also brought up during the competition, as the 5’7’’ stunner shared about being part of the Philippine Navy Reserve Force.
“I joined the Navy for a reason, and that is to help the most vulnerable communities in my hometown in Cebu City,” she said.
The National Government, through Acting Spokesperson Karlo Nograles, tweeted its congratulations.
“The Palace commends Miss Philippines Beatrice Luigi Gomez for bringing joy to our people and honor to our country at the 70th Miss Universe competition in Israel.”
“A member of our armed forces, an athlete, and a youth advocate, Ms. Gomez is an inspiring figure whose participation in Miss Universe allowed the world to see what we in the country witness every day: the strength, grace and beauty of the Filipino woman,” it added.
During the competition, Gomez attributed her strength and fortitude to her mother, who she considers as her role model when it comes to women empowerment.
“She raised me and my sister; she was a single mom. She showed me that the challenges you can go through in life, you can overcome as long as you are determined and responsible for your actions.”
Gomez made history in September 2021, as she was the first openly bisexual winner of Miss Universe Philippines.
In the last 12 years, the Philippines has held the record for the longest streak of semifinal placements in the Miss Universe pageant.
The last Filipina to win the Miss Universe title was Catriona Gray in 2018.
Other Miss Universe Filipina titleholders include Pia Wurtzbach (2015), Margarita Moran (1973) and Gloria Diaz (1969). The Philippines ranks fourth overall with its four wins, only following Puerto Rico (5), Venezuela (7) and the United States (8).