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Ex-Miss World semifinalist tells fans: ‘We cannot be selfish with the crown’

A former beauty queen who also finished in the top 5 of Miss World pageant in 2003 has reminded pageant fans “not to be selfish” with the crown as she urged them to boost Miss Philippines Catriona Gray who placed fourth in the same contest held in the Maryland, USA last Sunday.

“We cannot be selfish that every Filipino should get the crown every single time. No. Everybody will be more competitive now. That’s what we have to remember,” said Maria Rafaela “Mafae” Yunon-Belasco, who represented the Philippines at the Miss World contest in China 13 years ago, during an exclusive interview in Mandaluyong City.

Just like Gray, a Filipino-Australian model, Belasco who grew up in Australia, placed fourth in the longest-running beauty pageant in history.

Filipino pageant fans were dismayed when Gray failed to make the top 3 of the Miss World pageant, saying that she gave the best answer in the question-and-answer portion and she was perfect for the crown.

Reacting to the negative comments of Filipino fans, Belasco said: “We are always gonna look for the negative. Why not boost her? We saw the hurt in her face after another country was called. We saw how Catriona really wanted the crown.

“All these bad comments, it’s reflecting Catriona, even though we don’t say it, you’ll never know she might be hurt ‘cause you guys are all upset. She might be even more depressed because she was not able to fulfill your needs. She is now an inspiration,” she added.

Belasco said that Gray performed well in the Miss World pageant.

“Catriona did well. I am so proud of her. I was even surprised she was not even top 3. That shocked me. Overall performance was wonderful naman. It was just a matter of the judges talaga what they like. But it’s something that every judge is different about. You can’t always say that this particular judge is from this country that’s why she chose this person,” she said.

Belasco, who now owns a talent company called Mafae Management, called on pageant fans to support Gray instead of dealing with negativity.

“We have to support her. There’s a lot of pressure in Catriona for not bringing home the crown. We have to boost her and the Miss World pageant. This is an on-going competition. We will have other Miss Philippines representing us.
This is not the end. So let’s unite in a positive way. We were also hurt when Colombians were putting Pia (Wurtzbach) down. So why are we going down to that level? We are there. Filipinas are on the map. So let’s continue that. She was top 5. That’s hard to do,” she added.