Ariella Arida Answers Questions About Miss Universe PageantMiss Universe 2013 third runner-up Ariella Arida finally had the chance to face the press and answer questions about the pageant.
She said she was overwhelmed by the warm welcome of the Filipinos during her homecoming, and that she is happy to know they thought she should have won the crown.
Ara, Ariella's nickname, also said other foreigners tell her how they think she was the one who deserved to win the title. However, the beauty titlist was just happy with the privilege of being the third place in the pageant.
The beauty queen believes there is a reason why God did not award her with the beauty title. In fact, she thinks that the reason why she just placed third was so she can come back to the Philippines to help the victims of Typhoon Yolanda.
If Ara won the pageant, she would have to travel first with the Miss Universe committee.
Ara wants to go to Visayas, so she can help in the relief operations. Even during Typhoon Ondoy, she has always been active in charity works.
However, the beauty titlist said it's up to the Binibining Pilipinas Foundation to work that into her schedule. She would have to wait for a word from them.
Ara answered questions about allegations that there is a "favoritism" in the Miss Universe pageant. This was revealed by a blog entry and then fueled by Miss Colombia Lucia Aldana's interview, wherein she said big countries such as the United States and Venezuela are handpicked to place in the top 16.
Donald Trump, the American businessman who owns the Miss Universe franchise, is said to be the brains behind this.
Ara denied these allegations and even added that Lucia couldn't have possibly said those things. Lucia, she said, is a very sweet girl who doesn't have the capability to say such things against the pageant.
"Tsaka hindi, e. Depende talaga sa girl yun. Depende sa kung paano mo dadalhin yung sarili mo."
Based from her experience, it is the candidate who has the sole responsibility of representing her country and of doing her best in the competition.
Being in the Miss Universe is a dream-come-true for Ara. What were the lessons she learned from it? During the trainings, Ara learned how to be more mature and responsible.
She learned how to act like a queen and speak like a queen without needing to change her true self.
Also, Ara was made prouder by her roots. In fact, when she was in Russia, she didn't even get insecure by the other beauty contestants.
"Pag proud ka sa country mo, hindi ka madaling ma-down. Kahit makakita ka ng mas maganda sa 'yong girls. Yun yung mga natutunan ko na kumportable ako sa sarili ko, confident ako sa sarili ko, sa kung ano ako."