MANILA, Philippines – The Miss Universe title may have been just out of reach for Mary Jean "MJ" Lastimosa this time, but her response to the loss was one of gratitude and happiness. It was a graceful end to a stellar run.
Let's take a look back at MJ's journey to the Miss Universe pageant:
MJ first competed in the 2011 Bb Pilipinas pageant, where she placed first runner-up. Shamcey Supsup was crowned Miss Universe Philippines, and would place third runner-up in Brazil during the Miss Universe competition of the same year.
In 2012, MJ competed once more, but she did not place at all.
Here are some photos from her successful run in Bb Pilipinas 2014:
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In an interview with Rappler, MJ said that she has learned much from the many times she tried to win. It only made her stronger.
On January 3, 2015, fans of the PH representative had a send-off for her at the airport, where she was to depart for Miami for Miss Universe.
This is her official Miss Universe headshot:
During her stay, she participated in a slew of activities and events. She and four other contestants were the only ones invited to a VIP reception hosted by the Russian American Chamber of South Florida.
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She also participated in a painting party with the girls at the Romero Britto Art Center, attended a charity dinner, and was in the Celebration of Nations Parade.
She, Miss Venezuela, and Miss Myanmar also had the opportunity to chat with their fans through the Miss Universe facebook page.
She secured a spot in the Coronation Night on Sunday, January 25 (Monday, January 26 in Manila) and placed top 15 and top 10.
Here are MJ's photos from the evening:
Still, it's been a long and fruitful journey for MJ – her determination, bubbly personality, and sincere demeanor have certainly earned her a place in the hearts of her many fans. – Rappler.com