Despite being surrounded by controversy, the 24-year-old beauty from Laguna emerged victorious at the Miss Universe 2013 pageant held in Moscow, Russia.
Ariella Arida was criticized when she said that her Latina counterparts are unable to communicate in English.
“Latinas cannot even speak a sentence, right? I mean, a complete sentence in English… You know, I think, it’s the Filipinos who are very critical about this [not being able to express herself in English properly],” she said during an interview.
Fans of the Miss Universe hopeful have suggested she use a translator but she feels that she will be able to deliver during the question and answer portion of the competition. Arida later apologized on her Twitter writing, “Sorry. I didn’t mean to offend anyone from my last interview. I hope you guys can understand what Im trying to say.”
The young beauty from Laguna bested 80 other candidates from across the world and made it to the top five alongside Spain’s Patricia Rodríguez who finished 1st runner up; Ecuador’s Constanza Báez as 2nd runner up; and Brazil’s Jakelyne Oliveira as 4th runner up.
Tension definitely rose among viewers when Ariella, who graduated with honors from the University of the Philippines-Los Banos with a degree in Chemistry, was called last in the top 16 after winning the official online polls.
She then strutted on stage wearing a red bikini and stole the show with her signature turn before advancing to the top ten.
For the final question and answer, Miss Philippines was asked by judge Tara Lipinski with the question, “What can be done about the lack of jobs for young people starting their careers around the world?”
Ariella, the only candidate who did not use an interpreter, confidently answered, “For the people who have lack of jobs, I do believe that we people should invest in education and that is my primary advocacy, because we all know that if everyone of us is educated and well aware of what we are doing, we could land into jobs and we could land a good career in the future. Education is the primary source and ticket to a better future.”
Ariella continues the winning streak of Filipina beauties who made it to the top five of the prestigious pageant ever since Miss Universe 4th runner up Venus Raj started the trend in 2010. She followed the footsteps of Shamcey Supsup who also finished 3rd runner up in 2011. Janine Tugonon remains to be the Philippine representative who came closest to the crown when she won 1st runner up last year alongside Miriam Quimbao who almost clinched the title in 1999.