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WATCH: MJ Lastimosa ready to rep PH in Miss Universe pageant

MANILA, Philippines – It's days before the 63rd Miss Universe pageant in Doral, Miami, and Miss Universe-Philippines 2014 Mary Jean Lastimosa is brimming with excitement as she finally represents the Philippines at coronation night.

She'll be sharing the stage with 87 beautiful women all over the world in the finals night set for January 25 (January 26 in the Philippines). 

The international pageant is a culmination of a dream for 27-year-old MJ, who won the Miss Universe Philippines crown last March after giving it a shot for the third time at Binibining Pilipinas. (See photos of her Bb Pilipinas journey here.) 

She is determined to win the elusive crown for the country. With help from her predecessors, including 2011 Miss Universe 3rd runner-up and good friend Shamcey Supsup, MJ underwent rigorous training for make up, fitness, speech, pasarela (pageant walk), and personality development.

But more than the beauty queen she is, MJ is also an entrepreneur. She opened a spa in Davao and spends time with charities close to her heart, especially the blind people. She even visited them during her last birthday.

"Being an entrepreneur has always been a part of me...I have been earning since I was studying  that when I had the time, I was able to save, I was able to open a real business because I really pursued it," MJ said.

"I think the best gift is me being able to be there ... I was able to spend time with my family. I was still able to visit the school for the blind, which I also visited last year and made them even happier sending the news that I won the [Binibining Pilipinas] pageant," MJ said.

MJ said that she would not be in the position if were not for the fans who continue to support her. One thing is for sure: devoted fans will serve once more as her inspiration as she walks on stage during the prestigious pageant's coronation night. –Rappler.com

More MJ Lastimosa and Miss Universe 2014 on Rappler: