Asia

Cavite’s Billie Hakenson is Miss Universe Philippines 2020 fourth runner-up, loses to Rabiya Mateo

Kimberly Hakenson (©Miss Universe Philippines)

Kimberly Hakenson (©Miss Universe Philippines)

Representing Cavite, Kimberly “Billie” P. Hakenson, 26, almost won Miss Universe Philippines 2020 at the Cordillera Convention Hall of Baguio Country Club in Baguio City, Philippines. She was the fourth runner-up of the inaugural beauty pageant.

It was Rabiya Occeña Mateo, 23, of Iloilo City who won the title. The respective first, second and third runners-up were Maria Ysabella Roxas Ysmael, 24, of Parañaque City, Michele Theresa Imperial Gumabao, 28, of Quezon City, and Pauline Cucharo Amelinckx, 24, of Bohol.

Including Hakenson, Mateo, Ysmael, Gumabao and Amelinckx, 46 candidates competed in the first edition of the national competition that selects the Philippines’ representative to Miss Universe. It was the first time the representative was not the top winner of Binibining Pilipinas.

 

Hosted by KC Montero, the Miss Universe Philippines 2020 coronation ceremony. It was held with no physical audience in the venue due to the new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on October 23, 2020 but was not broadcast until October 25, 2020.

“What advice will you give to a first time voter for the 2022 elections?” Montero asked Hakenson in the question-and-answer portion. She answered, “We have fought long and hard for our right to suffrage and this is not something that we should waste.”

“For us to be able to complain and be able to appreciate the things that we have as Filipino citizens, we have to vote,” Hakenson continued. “We have to participate in selecting our leaders.”

The Top 5 finalists were given a common question. Montero asked, “This pandemic has made clear our priorities, essential and non-essential. Where do pageants stand in this time of crisis?”

“I am someone who is usually an independent person but because of this beauty pageant, I realized that I needed to ask for help, that I needed to reach out to people, and same goes for everyone else,” Hakenson answered. “To be able to survive something as big as this pandemic, altruism should be practiced and cooperation is always the key.”

 

Miss Universe 2012 first runner-up Janine Tugonon and Miss Universe 2013 third runner-up Ariella Arida served as judges. They were joined by Philippine Fashion Coalition president Jackie C. Aquino, Frontrow co-founder and CEO Samuel Salonga Verzosa Jr., ACT-CIS representative Eric Yap, Raymond delos Santos, IPG Mediabrands Philippines CEO Venus Navalta, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, Baguio City first lady Arlene Magalong and Procter & Gamble group director for media Arthur Peña.

Frontrow was the official presenter of Miss Universe Philippines 2020 along with Creamsilk, Olay, Lazada and Downy as co-presenters. The beauty pageant was supported by major sponsors Ginebra, Cetaphil, Morris Garage (MG) Philippines, Huawei, Villarica, PLDT, Grab, Havaianas, Byaheng Busog, St. Luke’s Medical Center, Nix Institute of Beauty, Marqed Salon, Glam, Artist Management and Events (GAME), Empire Studios, Petron, Beauche, The Manila Hotel, Verzosa Aesthetic Clinic and Baguio County Club.

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