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By Prince Golez

She may have failed to win the Miss Universe Philippines 2020 crown but Alexandra Abdon of Manila City definitely won the hearts of netizens on social media.

Her performance during her preliminary interview took the Internet by storm, earning praises from pageant fans who described the 25-year-old Manileña as authentic, relatable, and someone giving out positive vibes.

Pressed on a question about one beautiful word in her local language, Alexandra, in jest, requested to pause the timer so she could take as much time as she needed to respond. The contestants were given only 30 seconds to answer each question.

The positive attention she’s getting from people caught her unawares, she told POLITIKO in an interview Monday.

“Kasi hindi talaga ako mahilig mag social media. Masaya ako na na-appreciate ako ng mga tao when they saw the real me. Kasi yun talaga ang mantra ko, it’s either magustuhan or ayawan nila ako dahil totoo ako,” according to her.

“Araw-araw ako naiiyak kapag binabasa mga comments and messages nila. Teary-eyed ako habang sinasagot ‘to. Sinasabi nila na na-motivate sila sa akin, pero ang totoo, sila ang motivation at inspirasyon ko. Mahal ko sila.”

Wondering how Alexandra would reply to the final question had she entered the pageant’s Top 5? Read on.

What are the things your fans should expect from you?

ALEXANDRA ABDON (AA): “A lot of people are requesting na mag-vlog ako. Meron ding gusto mag-PBB (Pinoy Big Brother) ako. Haha! I love them so much and I don’t want to disappoint them. Excited ako sa mga ‘niluluto’ ko. Para sa kanila ‘to!”

What were your takeaways from the competition?

AA: “Miss Universe Philippines is the best! Lahat ng mga babae, production staff, and everyone. I don’t see it as a competition. We are all queens. And I’m super grateful to be a part of the pioneer batch. Masaya ako na natapos ako sa pageantry na Miss Universe Philippines ang naging last ko. Ansaya ko sa buong journey ko. 101%!”

What one important advice can you give to aspiring beauty queens?

AA: “I was once an aspiring beauty queen, I was once a dreamer. Just be true to yourself. Dapat alam mo kung bakit mo ginagawa yung ginagawa mo. Gusto ko lang talaga na masaya lang lahat, ‘chill’ lang. At hindi ko talaga ine-expect na ganito mangyayari. Andito ako sa likod ng bawat nangangarap. Palaging bukas ang pinto ko.”

Assuming that you got included in Miss Universe Philippines Top 5, how would you answer the final question: “This pandemic has made clear our priorities, essential and non-essential. Where do pageants stand in this time of crisis?”

AA: “To be a queen, you have to make a positive impact. I always love to turn anything negative into something positive. Pageant, for me, is a great platform to spread good vibes, positivity and love. Kung hindi dahil sa Miss Universe Philippines, hindi ko makikita at malalaman kung ano ba talaga ang purpose ko. I will be forever grateful to the Universe.”

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