Mela Franco Habijan was crowned Miss Trans Global 2020 in a virtual pageant held Saturday, September 12.
Mela beat 17 other candidates, including 4 other Filipino transgender women who were part of the contest.
In a posted on her Facebook page, Mela could not hide her excitement.
“Pilipinassss, we won! We wonnnnnn!! We are the first-ever Miss Trans Globallll!” (Philippines, we won! We won! We are the first-ever Miss Trans Global winner.)
Lordddd! Maraming marami salamat poooo! (Lord thank you so much!)
"Not your typical crowning moment, but I’m happy to be holding the hands of the best people in my life," she wrote as a caption to a photo of herself with her family at home.
According to the pageant's website, the Miss Trans Global was created to show the talent, wit, and creativity of the transgender women.
"We hope to use this opportunity to raise awareness for transgender women suffering worldwide who are struggling to survive at these difficult times of Covid-19 due to family rejections, homelessness, lack of jobs, and earning opportunities," the organizers said.
The winner of the contest will serve as the spokesperson of the organization and work with groups such as TransValid and TransBeauty Magazine to "raise money, educate, and inspire transgender people globally."
Before joining Miss Trans Global, Mela was a writer for several ABS-CBN shows such as Gandang Gabi Vice and The Buzz.
She is also an actress, having appeared on GMA 7 shows such as Magpakailanman and Asawa Ko, Karibal Ko.
Mela recently opened a homemade peanut butter business, Miss Mela, during the coronavirus quarantine. – Rappler.com