Cebuana beauty Gazini Ganados made the entire country proud when she represented the Philippines at the Miss Universe 2019 pageant held on December 8, 2019, in Atlanta, Georgia. Although she reached only the top 20 finalist and failed to make it to the top 10, Filipinos across the country and all over the world celebrated her stint on the global stage.
In an interview with local media, Ganados said of her performance in the annual pageant, “I was very proud [because we got into the] Top 20, and then I just did all my best.” She considers being selected as part of the Top 20 as a great achievement already, considering she had to go against over 90 other participants. In her statement, Ganados thanked her fellow Filipinos who supported her and cheered her on during the pageant as well as those who celebrated her Top 20 finish in the competition.
She went on to congratulate the crowned Miss Universe, Zozibini Tunzi from South Africa, and related her experiences bonding the the newly crowned winner. “There was this one time when we were sitting at the table for breakfast, she’s so humble. She let me fix her face, her eyelashes, and we just had some bonding throughout the journey. Though it was just a short amount of time, we had a little bit of bonding. I know Zozibini will do great as Miss Universe. She’s kind.”
Ganadoz, who was born Gazini Christiana Jordi Acopiado Ganados on December 26, 1995, hails from Talisay City, Cebu, where she was raised by her grandparents on her mother’s side. She has been joining pageants since 2014, when she entered the Miss World Philippines 2014 pageant and got into the Top 13. She joined Binibining Pilipinas 2019 in June and was crowned Miss Universe Philippines 2019, making her the second Cebuana after Pilar Pilapil in 1967 to win the title.
Ganados represented the Philippines in the Miss Universe 2019 competition at the Tyler Perry Studios located in Atlanta, Georgia, in the United States. After her selection as one of the Top 20, she shared her advocacy, which focused mainly on the importance of providing elderly care. Aside from being a Top 20 finalist, she won the Best National Costume Award. She wore a creation of Cary Santiago, who also created her evening gowns for both the Binibining Pilipinas and the Miss Universe contests. Her costume was inspired by the Philippine Eagle. The last time the Philippines won this particular award was in 1994, when Charlene Gonzales wore a Pitoy Moreno creation that was based on the traditional designs of the Bogobo tribe.
There was a slight misunderstanding when she won the award. When host Steve Harvey announced Ganados as the winner, the image of another contestant, Malaysia’s Shweta Sekhon, was shown on camera. The Miss Universe Organization clarified the situation, however, when they announced that Steve, this time at least, did not make a mistake. They later tweeted, “@IAmSteveHarvey had it right: Miss Universe Philippines Gazini Ganados is the winner of the #MissUniverse2019 National Costume competition! Congratulations, Gazini.”Philippines’ Gazini Ganados Settles for Top 20 Finish at Miss Universe 2019 Pageant by Holly