Representing Quezon City, Michele Theresa Imperial Gumabao, 28, almost won Miss Universe Philippines 2020 at the Cordillera Convention Hall of Baguio Country Club in Baguio City, Philippines. She was the second runner-up of the inaugural beauty pageant.
It was Rabiya Occeña Mateo, 23, of Iloilo City who won the title. The respective first, third and fourth runners-up were Maria Ysabella Roxas Ysmael, 24, of Parañaque City, Pauline Cucharo Amelinckx, 24, of Bohol and Kimberly “Billie” P. Hakenson, 26, of Cavite.
Including Gumabao, Amelinckx, Mateo, Ysmael and Hakenson, 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.
KC Montero hosted the Miss Universe Philippines 2020 coronation ceremony, which 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. In the question-and-answer portion, he asked Gumabao, “If you are under strict quarantine and isolation, what is the most important mobile app for you and why?”
“The most important app during this quarantine was my bible,” Gumabao said. “Having faith in the midst of this pandemic was very vital to me not only for my mental health but also for my sanity. It got me through the toughest of times, it helped me get through others in the toughest of times and it kept me centered and it kept me grounded and that’s the most important thing that I would need in a pandemic.”
The Top 5 finalists were also 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?”
“As we all know, pageants are a very, very inspiring event, not only to the Philippines but to every country who supports pageantry,” Gumabao answered. “It is important to stage a pageant and to show the Philippines that we are much more than our setbacks and our failures and we are able to overcome our adversity. Having a pageant symbolizes hope and right now on this stage, that is who we are.”
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.
The 46 candidates competed in national costume, swimsuit and evening gown rounds in the preliminary round at Baguio Country Club on October 23, 2020. Here is the list of special awards:
- Miss Lazada Fan Vote: Skelly Ivy Florida
- Best in Runway: Lou Dominique Piczon, Jo-Ann Flores (runner-up), Ysabella Ysmael (runner-up)
- Best in Swimsuit Photo: Tracy Maureen Perez
- Best in Swimsuit (presented by Frontrow Luxxe Slim): Rabiya Mateo
- Best in National Costume: Lou Dominique Piczon
- Miss Photogenic: Tracy Maureen Perez
- Best in Evening Gown (presented by Verzosa Aesthetic Clinic): Maria Ysabella Roxas Ysmael
- Miss MG Philippines: Michele Gumabao
- Miss Creamsilk: Pauline Amelinckx
- Miss Downy Sweetheart: Pauline Amelinckx
- Miss Cetaphil Sun: Pauline Amelinckx
- Face of the Universe Award (presented by Frontrow Luxxe White): Pauline Amelinckx