MJ Lastimosa’s universe

The word “surrender” is not found in the vocabulary of Mary Jean Lastimosa, our country’s bet to the Miss Universe competition come January 25 next year in the US. She broke the record of the number of times a candidate has joined Binibining Pilipinas (three times!) and she never stopped until she won the Miss Philippines Universe 2013 crown.

A fitness advocate and a vegan, MJ is busy preparing for the pageant that might be hosted by the country in 2015 (there will be two pageants next year and wouldn’t it be great if she turns over the crown as Miss Universe in her home country!?). Slacking off is never an option.

MJ is currently leading the early favorite lists on the blogosphere and it goes without saying that her grown-up Christmas wish is to bring home the crown for her country.

Among the contestants vying for the Miss Universe crown, who do you think will be your strongest competitor?
Well, I don’t really search the other candidates online. However, there are pictures of other candidates from which I am tagged via Facebook and I have seen Ms. Ukraine and South Africa–those are the favorites. And Ms. Venezuela, of course. As of now, those are the only candidates that I have seen. And you know what, as expected from each Miss Universe, it’s all about the most gorgeous and beautiful and intelligent from all the countries. Everyone will be beautiful! It’s only a matter of who will get lucky that night.

What would be your biggest advantage during the pageant night?
I think the Filipino people. It’s just different when you have such great amount of support and it just burns you up to fight for your country.

Is there a part of your body that you’re insecure of?
Insecurity will always be part of a woman–even the most beautiful woman has her insecurities because a million times you look at the mirror you know what your flaws are. I do know that I have lots of flaws and I am just somehow praising them because they are a part of me. It’s what God gave me and He brought me here for a reason.

How do you feel that you are the last queen among the Bb. Pilipinas this year to compete since the MU pageant was moved to January 25, 2015?
The good thing about being the last to compete is that I get to enjoy my reign as Miss Universe Philippines. Unlike the previous queens who only enjoy their reign for like three months before they compete, I get to travel around the Philippines, meet and inspire a lot of Filipinos along the way.

Given the longest time to prepare, do you feel added pressure?
Pressure will always be there. I am learning a lot from the intensive training. In every session that I have, be it in personality development, question-and-answer or putting on make-up everyday, I have to be focused on it. Nowadays, beauty queens are on another level.

Our country’s Miss Universe title-holders are named Maria Gloria Diaz and Maria Margie Moran. You are named Mary Jean. Do you believe that destiny has a way for you to sustain our fifth year of landing in the magic five and bringing home our third Miss Universe crown?
I’m positive and I’m praying, like I did during Bb. Pilipinas, and I will claim it. It’s the power of the universe, and I’ll just do my best and enjoy the competition…  and just be the best representative for the Philippines.

MJ Lastimosa
What are you proudest of as a Filipina?
Gender equality is deeply rooted in our culture. From the 10th to 13th century, the early native Filipinos praises a golden vessel called Kinnaris, a half-woman, half-bird creature renowned for her dance, song and poetry. Filipino women have always been blessed to be given equal rights in society even before the age of modern civilization.

Please fill in the blank: People will be pleasantly surprised to find out that…
Since high school, I have always been deemed by my friends as the ‘love doctor,’ giving advice about relationships.

We read somewhere that you are a “kid magnet.” Tell us more about it.
There was an instance during an outreach event where the baby I was playing with wouldn’t go with her mom when she needed to take her for an operation. The baby cried so hard because she wanted me to carry her, and so I ended up being the one to take her inside the operating room.

As a traveler, what do you love doing best?
I like visiting theme parks in different countries; I can spend the whole day trying out all the rides in theme parks over and over again.

With a vital statistics of 36-24-36, you were named Sexiest Vegetarian Celebrity by the local chapter of the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). Is it true you are aiming for a 22-inch waistline in time for the Miss Universe pageant?
I am not aiming for it; I’m working on it.
MJ Lastimosa
What did you finish in college?
I earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Mindanao.

How do you deal with not-so-pleasant comments about you?
I look at it in a positive way that maybe there’s a point why they are saying that so I evaluate myself as well. If they say something that I need to improve on, I focus on that and try to be the best that I could be.

How will you be spending your Christmas?
I don’t know because that’s what I was thinking awhile ago. Pageant will be January 25 and I might leave first week of January so that would sum up my training by the last part of December and I might not spend it with my family. So if that would take me to win the crown then I would give up Christmas and New Year of my life, but it’s okay.

Do you believe in destiny?
I believe in destiny. I believe in the right timing.

Do you believe that three’s a charm?
I hope so!

What’s your Christmas message to the Filipino people?
It’s always Christmas in the Philippines no matter how hard life is and we always manage to put that smile on our faces. We are a positive people and hopefully we’ll just continue the positivity and hopefully spread it all over by letting other people feel how warm you are. Let’s help each other and bring each other up.


Dr. Francis Xavier Solis

TAGS: beauty, MJ Lastimosa, pageant
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