How does it feel to be the last of a legacy? What if that legacy did not disappear but merely changed into a new form, under a new organization? The 56th Binibining Pilipinas beauty pageant held June 2019 was the last time this over half-a-century old competition has sent its “top” winner, Bb. Pilipinas – Universe (alternatively Ms. Universe Philippines since 2012), to represent the country at the Miss Universe pageant. Afterwards the Miss U franchise was spun off to its own contest, Miss Universe Philippines.
Palestinian-Filipina beauty Gazini Ganados was crowned Miss Universe Philippines that 2019 by Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray. In October 2020 she crowned the first separate Miss Universe Philippines in Rabiya Mateo. But her tenure actually ended this past Sunday, July 11, at the 57th Binibining Pilipinas (2021). Though, as Inquirer.net tells it, Rabiya’s farewell walk and speech might not have made it to the airwaves during simulcast due to technical issues. Thus, the now-former Miss Universe bet from Bb. Pilipinas posted photos of herself that evening on her Instagram, along with her musings on her journey, and appreciation for those who shared it with her.
In acknowledging her supporters and fans during her time in the Bb.Pilipinas and Miss Universe pageants, Ganados writes, “Our journey has finally come full circle. My life changed forever. I was blessed not only with seven beautiful queen sisters, but also a Family.” She was referring of course to her fellow five Bb. Pilipinas 2019 winners and the two runners-up. The original Bb. Pilipinas Grand International 2019 Samantha Lo had resigned and 1st Runner-Up Maria Abesamis replaced her, while 2nd Runner-Up Samantha Bernardo was arbitrarily appointed the representative for Miss Grand International 2020. Thus, everybody in the Top 8 that year became Queens without exception, from Gazini’s point of view.
“Tonight is a celebration of gratitude,” she continues. “Binibinis, congratulations for taking this leap of faith. In all that you do, do it with all your heart. A binibini has the voice to inspire others, a compassionate heart to act, a determination to carry on…that, is Beyond Beautiful.” She signed off her Instagram message as the last Bb. Pilipinas Universe, a worthy if not winning (Top 20 finish) final successor in the legacy of Miss Universe as part of Binibining Pilipinas. She may have already crowned her successor in Rabiya Mateo back in 2020, but it was in July 11 that the story was brought to a close. And as expected, Gazini’s fans were greatly appreciative of her words online.
Image courtesy of Panay News