Gazini Ganados excited for Miss Universe 2019 competition: ‘I’m fully set’

Voltaire E. Tayag

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Gazini Ganados excited for Miss Universe 2019 competition: ‘I’m fully set’
'Gazini speaks with an authenticity that comes from an honest place and comes across as very relatable,' says Rappler's resident pageant expert Voltaire Tayag

MANILA, Philippines – Miss Universe Philippines 2019 Gazini Ganados left for the United States on Tuesday, November 26, to compete in the Miss Universe 2019 pageant in Atlanta.

Gazini has the beauty, wit, and charm to continue the 10-year placement streak in Miss Universe and possibly win the second back-to-back victory in Miss Universe history.

FOR THE PHILIPPINES. Gazini waves the Philippine flag at the VIP Lounge of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

Since her victory, she has been working tirelessly fulfilling her duties with Bb Pilipinas Charities Incorporated under Madame Stella Araneta and Miss Universe Philippines under Jonas Gaffud. At the same time, she has been working and collaborating with her Kagandahang Flores Camp, led by Rodgil Flores and various styling teams. Juggling the demands and responsibilities required or expected from each group takes a lot of maturity and professionalism.

In the past months, Gazini has proven that she has the intellectual, emotional, and physical capacity to handle this while maintaining a humble, persevering, hardworking, and grateful attitude. It is a testament to her true strength and empowered self.  (READ: Gazini Ganados hopes for more attention to elderly care in the country)

At the airport send-off, all of these groups were present giving their full support and encouragement to Gazini. The scene at the VIP Lounge was not about affiliation or camp, it was about a unified people coming together for one woman representing our country. It is ironic that many always question the relevance of pageants. And yet every year, pageants through our beauty queens exemplify the 2019 Southeast Asian Games slogan “We Win As One.”

SUPPORT.  Liliana Soriano of BPCI, Jonas Gaffud of Miss Universe Philippines, Gazini Ganados, Rodgil Flores of Kagandahang Flores Camp, and Gines Enriquez of BPCI all came to show a unified front for our country.

Of course, this unified people wouldn’t be complete without the support of the dedicated fans of Gazini who showed up at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2 as early as 6:30 am and waited a couple of hours. Upon Gazini’s arrival, they chanted “GAZINI!” and “BACK TO BACK!”



Gazini wore a two-piece royal blue ensemble by Cary Santiago consisting of tailored cigarette pants and a bustier top with pleating details and butterfly sleeves, showing off her svelte figure. The Philippine sash completed her look. 

The most beautiful thing at the send-off wasn’t Gazini’s physical beauty. Amidst all that admiration and attention being showered on her, she worked her way through the crowded room to get her mom, Carmencita Ganados. 

Gazini told her, “Ma, wala pa tayong picture (Ma, we don’t have a picture yet).” She then proceeded to go in front of the Christmas tree. But Gazini wouldn’t let her Mom take photos all bundled up in her denim jacket. She assisted her Mom in taking off the jacket and made sure she was camera ready.

Even in just such instances, Gazini’s sweet and kind nature was very evident. It was beautiful and touching to see this heartwarming interaction between mother and daughter. There is nothing truly more empowering than the love of family. 

MOMMY'S GIRL. Gazini and her mom Carmencita get ready to have their photos taken.  

Gazini’s mom is scheduled to leave next week for the US to watch her daughter compete in Miss Universe. 

“I am very excited for Gazini but also a bit nervous. I had a dream about her that she would win. Let’s see if it comes true.  But I am happy that I get to spend Christmas with her. We’ll be visiting my sister in the US,” Carmencita said.

Also present at the VIP Lounge was Miss Universe Singapore 2019, Mohana Prabha. She has been training in the Philippines the past couple of weeks in preparation for the pageant.

“It’s so exciting that I get to witness Gazini’s send-off here at the airport. It’s amazing to see the support Filipinos give to their queens and I’m happy to be around this energy. Gazini is great and I’m hoping that we are roommates,” she said.

MEETING EACH OTHER. Gazini and  Singapore's Mohana Prabha are heading to Atlanta together.

As Gazini was answering some questions from the media, it was very clear that her confidence and communication skills have significantly improved. She speaks with an authenticity that comes from an honest place and comes across as very relatable. When asked what pasalubong she is bringing to her fellow candidates she said: “I wanted to bring them dried mangoes coated with dark chocolate. It’s really a delicacy from Cebu. But I don’t want them to get fat baka sabihin sabotage ako (they might say I’m sabotaging them).

It’s nice to see Gazini’s fun-loving side and sense of humor coming out more in interviews. 

When asked how she truly feels at this moment as she is about to embark on this back-to-back quest, she said: “I feel excited. My wardrobe is complete, everything has settled down. At first I was ngarag or di mapakali (stressed out) because I haven’t packed yet. But now, since I know I’m fully set, I can relax and enjoy.”

Throughout her reign, Gazini has always talked about her life mission for elderly care and great love for her grandparents. Asked how her grandmother might feel had she been alive to witness this moment in her life, she said: “I’m pretty sure she would be so proud especially now that I’m wearing a Filipiniana. It’s her favorite. So, I’m pretty sure she’s right there smiling from up above.”

The Miss Universe 2019 pageant will be held on December 8 at the Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta, Georgia, where reigining Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray will be relinquishing her title. Tickets for the finals night have already been sold out due to a very limited quantity. –

Voltaire has 10 years experience in the fashion industry. He previously worked with a luxury clothing and accessories brand in Los Angeles, CA. He graduated magna cum laude from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, major in Fashion Design. He also holds a BS in Applied Economics and BS in Marketing from DLSU. He is now doing real estate but finds ample spare time to pursue his passions


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