Malacañang on Monday congratulated Cebuana beauty Beatrice Luigi Gomez, who landed among the Top 5 contestants in the 70th Miss Universe pageant in Israel.
“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,” Acting Presidential Spokesperson, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said in a Palace statement.
Nograles described Gomez as an “inspiring figure” for her accomplishments even before joining the international beauty pageant.
“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,” he added.
He also wished her success in all her future endeavors.
India’s Harnaaz Sandhu was crowned the 70th Miss Universe, topping a field of some 80 contestants.
“We wish Beatrice all the best in her future plans and undertakings. We are all proud of you,” he said.
Despite failing to win the crown, Gomez was hailed for bringing the country back in the Top 5 since Catriona Gray won the Miss Universe title in 2018.
During the Question-and-Answer portion, French TV host and Miss Universe 2016 Iris Mittenaere, who won the crown when the Philippines hosted the pageant, asked Beatrice about her take on mandating a universal vaccination passport.
“Given the ever-changing Covid situation, what is your opinion of mandating a universal vaccine passport?” Mittenaere asked.
Gomez’s said: “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.”
Gomez, 26, is a community development worker and a Philippine Navy Marines Reservist under the 82nd Marine Battalion Reserve of the Naval Reserve Center of Eastern Visayas, according to her profile in the Miss Universe website.
She is an advocate of youth empowerment and has been closely working with Children in Contact with the Law at a juvenile facility called Operation Second Chance of the Department of Social Welfare Services of Cebu City.
She is passionate about social welfare offering outreach programs to the most vulnerable communities in Cebu City.
As a sports enthusiast, Gomez played in the volleyball varsity team for six years from high school to college.
She is also the first openly bisexual winner to snag the Miss Universe Philippines title.
The 70th edition of the annual pageant, being held in Israel for the first time, faced complications from the Covid-19 pandemic.