Michele Gumabao says beauty pageant industry ‘toxic’

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Miss Universe Philippines second runner-up Michele Gumabao made revelations on what happened to her during the controversial pageant, saying she heard “things that I shouldn’t have heard.”

Gumabao posted a video on her Youtube channel detailing her journey with the Miss Universe Philippines 2020.

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“I heard things that I wasn’t supposed to hear,” Gumabao recalled.

“It hurt. I must admit, I went back to my room, and I cried so hard…I was devastated that night. I called my family, and I wanted to go home,” she added.

The volleyball star turned beauty queen did not elaborate on what she heard and caused her “devastation.”

She said she already knew who the winner is the night before Iloilo City’s Rabiya Mateo was crowned Miss Universe Philippines 2020.

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Despite this, Michele Gumabao said she proceeded with the pageant after receiving encouragement from a fellow candidate.

“I knew that not so long, we would crown the winner, and everything will be over, and I would be able to go home. I went down, and for one last time, I told myself to smile for the show for the cameras,” she said.

But eventually, Gumabao said, “the news of the winner already leaked online.”

“At that moment, I just realized that for nine months, I kept putting this journey first, I kept putting this organization first. And it was my time to put myself first. And I did,” Gumabao said.

Michele Gumabao hurt by Miss Universe PH top 5 photo issue

Michele Gumabao also explained she was missing in the photoshoot of the top five candidates.

She said she told the pageant’s organizers she wanted to leave early after experiencing anxiety and even received permission from one pageant heads.

“I told him my reason. I told him that I was leaving. I told them everything. He said, okay. He said he was worried about social media and what everybody would think, and I told not to worry, and I would handle everything,” she said, recalling her message to Gaffud.

“I sent a message to our winner, and I congratulated her, and I told her the reason why I’m leaving. She replied, ‘Thank you,’” she went on.

She admitted she was hurt because Miss Universe Philippines Organization failed to defend her absence from the said photo.

“When people were making issues about me leaving and not being part of that photo, the organization knew why, they knew my reasons, they knew I left, but they never said anything. They kept quiet,” she said.

Michele Gumabao lamented the “toxic” pageant industry and reminded the public to be responsible netizens.

“I couldn’t believe that people are capable of such things, that we’re in this beauty pageant joining because of our dreams, because we want to empower people, but it’s so toxic. The industry, the fans, the bashers, the criticism, everything is just so toxic, and I just couldn’t believe it,” Michele Gumabao said.

“We should stop bashing. We should stop spreading lies and negativity. Even though we are free to speak our hearts and our minds and share our passions about a certain topic, it doesn’t mean that it is okay to bring and take people down,” she added.

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