Russian woman from Udmurtia wins Mrs. Universe crown; 2 Filipinos in Top 25
MANILA, Philippines — Elena Maximova, a candidate from the Russian republic of Udmurtia, was crowned Mrs. Universe in the staging of the pageant’s 2022 edition at the National Palace of Culture (NDK) in Sofia, Bulgaria, on Feb. 4 (Feb. 5 in Manila).
Two candidates from the Mrs. Universe Philippines Foundation made it to the Top 25 in a field of 120 contestants — firefighter Veronica Yu, and single mother Gines Angeles.
The 2022 Mrs. Universe pageant was supposed to stage its coronation program in December in Seoul, South Korea, but unforeseen circumstances compelled the organizers to move the competition back to its home country. The delegate from Korea, Seo Yeon Choi, finished in fifth place at the culmination of the contest in Sofia.
Hoang Thi Thanh from Vietnam was first runner-up to Maximova, while Esther Suppa from Venezuela was second runner-up.
Mrs. Universe Philippines National Director Charo Laude fielded three more candidates to the international competition — Navy Lieutenant Commander Lady Chatterly Alvaro-Sumbeling, architect Jeanie Jarina, and dentist Virginia Evangelista.
All candidates were given special titles at a preliminary event held on Feb. 3 (Feb. 4 in Manila). Yu was proclaimed Mrs. Elegance, while Angeles was Mrs. Glamorous. Sumbeling was hailed as Mrs. Fabulous, while the Mrs. Aesthetic title went to Jarina. Evangelista was Mrs. Silver Heart.
Yu and Sumbeling shared with the Inquirer before leaving for Bulgaria that the Mrs. Universe pageant aims to bring awareness on violence against women and their children, and promotes measures to help end it.
Laude also announced earlier that the Mrs. Universe Ltd. has awarded her the hosting rights for the staging of the 2023 international competition. She said the Philippines will welcome more than 100 delegates from different parts of the world in October for the global tilt.
The competition should not be confused with another contest with a similar title. The international organization Laude is affiliated with is based in Bulgaria, and has been consecutively staging pageants since 2007. However, the Sofia-based entity is claiming that its Mrs. Universe contest is 45 years old now.
The other contest, the Mrs. Universe (Official), was established by Australia-based Filipino entrepreneur Maryrose Salubre last year, and held its first contest in Sydney in December. It will also reportedly hold its 2023 program in the Philippines in October.
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