The inspiring journey of two Cebuana bets for Miss Universe Philippines

CEBU CITY, Philippines—In every household where there is a girl, there’s a big chance one of their dreams would involve being a beauty queen.

The glitz and glam seen on stage presented by poised ladies in gowns, bathing suites and intelligence showcased during the question and answer portion is such a sight to see for little girls with big dreams.

Two beauty queens from Cebu who had humble beginnings had the same dreams. Now, they are set to live that dream as they compete in the national stage, representing their respective cities in the Miss Universe Philippines 2024 pageant on May 22.

READ MORE: These are Cebu’s 5 bets for this year’s Miss Universe Philippines

Let’s get to know a little bit about these two beauty queens representing the Talisay City and Toledo City in Cebu.

Mary Josephine Paaske, Talisay City

Cebuana Miss Universe

Mary Josephine Paaske during the Miss Universe Philippines’ glam photoshoot. | Miss Universe Philippines Facebook page.

This 21-year-old, half Filipina half Danish shared on her introduction video on Facebook for MUPh 2024 that moving from Denmark to the Philippines was such a big change for her and her family.

Life took a different turn when her father suffered from a mental illness.

In her Mother’s Day greeting to her mom, she shared how amazing and strong her mother is when she left their stable life in Denmark to live a simple and well-rounded life here in the Philippines.

“I am confident to show the universe who I am, because I know that I am now the woman you want me to be,” she dedicates a short message to her mother.

Paaske grew up in a farm. She is also well-versed in five different languages.


“An interesting fact about me is that I grew up with a simple life in the province. I grew up raising chickens, pigs, and goats in the province,” she shared on her video.

Kim Iris Placibe

Cebuana Miss Universe

Kim Irish Placibe during the Miss Universe Philippines’ glam photoshoot. | Miss Universe Philippines Facebook page.

From sweeping the streets to sweeping pageant fans off their feet, this simple yet courageous beauty queen from Toledo City, Cebu is here to make her mark in the pageant world.

Growing up in the laidback part of Toledo City, Placibe was able to battle life with the help of her grandma who raised her and taught her the meaning of hard work and perseverance.

From selling food and sweeping the streets with her grandmother, Placibe was determined to give the best life to her grandmother one dream at a time.

“Despite the weight of my obligations, I remained steadfast in my pursuit of education. I persevered, emerging as a consistent honor student and a dedicated student leader, determined to overcome the obstacles in my path,”said Placibe on her Facebook post.

Not only is she helping her grandmother, but she is also a passionate student leader wanting to spread inspiration to young people to work hard to achieve their dreams in life.

Placibe was presented an opportunity of a lifetime when she was crowned as Miss Toledo City 2024, making her their first delegate to complete for the most prestigious crown in the country.

Paaske and Placibe are two young and strong women fighting to get the most coveted crown in the country in the hopes of bringing pride and joy not just to their family and friends, but for the country.

As the curtains draw close on this tale of resilience and determination, the stories of  Paaske and Placibe stand as a symbol of hope in a world often overshadowed by adversity.

Laban mga Bisaya!

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