Maureen Wroblewitz added another feather to her cap as she placed 1st runner-up at the Miss Universe Philippines 2021 coronation night on Thursday, September 30.
The 23-year-old model-actress, who represented Pangasinan, was a fan favorite throughout the competition despite it being her first pageant.
During the night’s question and answer segment, Maureen was asked how she would inspire other women to get out of their comfort zones if she won the Miss Universe Philippines crown.
Maureen answered that her being part of the pageant is her own way of challenging herself, and hoped that it will serve as a motivation for other women to do the same as well.
“Just me being here, I am getting out of my comfort zone. I am conquering my fear because I am afraid to talk in front of a lot of people, but I hope that through me, I can inspire so many to do the same, to achieve their dreams but to also reach for the universe,” she said.
Maureen Christa Wroblewitz was born on June 22, 1988 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. She is the third of four daughters of a Filipino mother and German father.
She and her family lived in Saudi Arabia until 2010. When Maureen’s mother died due to breast cancer in 2009, the family moved to Germany the following year. They then relocated to the Philippines in 2017.
During the interview challenge, Maureen described herself as a “third culture kid.” “From a very young age, I’ve been very aware of different cultures and religions which helped my cultural sensitivity but gave me a lot of stories to tell,” she said.
Maureen is currently dating singer Juan Karlos Labajo. In a July 2017 Tonight with Boy Abunda interview, Maureen said that she and Juan Karlos met through their supporters. “I got to know that he was half-German and we kinda bonded over that.”
In 2018, Maureen starred in the music video of Juan Karlos’ “Buwan.” They went public about their relationship in 2019.
During the pageant night, Juan Karlos expressed his support for his girlfriend. “Congratulations kay Ms. Pangasinan. Ikaw pa rin ang Miss Universe ko (Congratulations to Ms. Pangasinan. You’re still my Miss Universe)” he wrote on Facebook.
Model, host, actress
Maureen is no stranger to the public eye. She first rose to fame when she joined Asia’s Next Top Model Cycle 5 in 2017.
“I have wanted to model since I was 13. So when I got scouted on Instagram, I considered it. But I only started modeling after I graduated from high school last year,” she told Spotted Magazine in a 2017 interview.
In the fifth season, Maureen was the shortest (she’s 5’6”) and youngest (she was 19 at that time) contestant. Throughout the show, Maureen received several verbal insults from her fellow contestants because she did not have prior modeling experience before joining the competition.
Despite this, Maureen took everything in stride. “Being a model without much experience gives you more room to learn. I’m a sponge soaking up everything, and I apply what I learn in the photo shoots. I’m new to everything, so I just do what the judges and mentors say,” she said in the Spotted Magazine interview.
Maureen landed among the top three in numerous challenges, had the Best Photo of the Week on Episode 11, and was eventually declared the grand winner of the modeling competition. She was the first Filipino model who earned the title.
She then continued her modeling stint in the Philippines and tried her luck in showbiz.
In September 2018, Maureen joined GMA’s Eat Bulaga as one of their hosts. She left the noontime variety show in July 2019.
In June 2021, Maureen signed with Star Magic, ABS-CBN’s talent-management arm. She was paired with Kit Thompson for her debut movie Runaway that premiered on September 3.
In an online press conference, Maureen said that she’s excited to start her career as an actress. “I showed it in Asia’s Next Top Model, I got to prove that I’m not just a pretty face and I have to do the same here,” she said. (READ: Maureen Wroblewitz wants to try out ‘kontrabida’ roles)
Maureen marked her foray into the pageant world as a “new chapter” of her life. In an Instagram post in July 2021, she said that she pushed through with her application as she does not want to live a life full of regrets.
“I don’t want to grow old thinking that I should’ve joined, alternatively, I would like to say ‘I’m glad I’ve joined,” she said.
Maureen then encouraged her followers to chase their dreams and “reach for the Universe.” “You can achieve anything you put your mind to and sometimes, if you believe hard enough, the Universe will conspire in helping you succeed,” she wrote.
Even when the pageant started with 100 delegates, Maureen was one of the early stand-outs. She won the casting video challenge, placed second in the top 15 of the runway challenge, and third in both headshot and video introduction challenges.
During the interview challenge, Maureen opened up about her mental health struggles during the competition. “I’ve had a lot of struggles with my mental health but I know that this journey will make it all worth it. I know that despite my struggles, I’ll be able to overcome this,” she said.
In a September 2021 Instagram post, Maureen revealed that she’s battling anxiety and depression. “I have realized that in this new journey of mine, I have been my worst competitor, I have always been. I pressure myself to improve but it only hurts me,” she wrote.
Maureen also said that she hadn’t been open about her mental health in the past because she was embarrassed but she has now realized the importance of speaking up.
“To whoever needs to hear this right now, know that you are not battling this alone. I wish I knew that when I was suffering from depression and anxiety (I still do). I wish I knew that all my feelings are valid.”
After the coronation night, Maureen wrote about how thankful she is for the “crazy experience.” “I may have not won the crown but I have won a sisterhood that I will cherish forever,” she said.
Maureen added, “I hope that through me I’ve inspired you to strive to be the best version of yourselves. I have conquered my fear and I’m sure I will conquer even more.” – Rappler.com