And third runner up is…Miss Philippines, Shamcey Supsup! This has been the cause for much celebration and cheering in the Philippines at the conclusion of the 2011 Miss Universe Beauty Pageant, held on September 13 in Sao Paolo, Brazil.
The title went to Miss Angola – a result which surprised many here back home. In the run-up to the coronation night, many Filipinos believed that Shamcey would either place first runner up or take home the crown, as she had a strong following and was amongst the favorites this year.
But the results are now out and being third runner up is a great improvement over last year's achievement of Venus Raj, who took the fourth runner up position.
Filipinos both online and offline are talking about the results, in particular, Shamcey's answer to judge Vivica A. Fox's question:
Would you change your religious beliefs to marry the person that you love? Why or why not?
Here's a sample of what Filipino netizens are saying about the answer and the results.
Imagine Life Without X takes the result as it is, thankful that Shamcey was able to improve on Venus Raj's 2010 efforts:
There nothing much to talk about, she got the looks, the height, the brains, and that distinctive beauty of a Filipina it’s just that she only won as 3rd-runner up. Oh c’mon, call me bias, but yes GIVE ME A BREAK! Kidding guys! But who wants to lose right? Well come to think of it, 3rd-runner up is 3rd-runner up, better than nothing. Maybe it’s not yet the right time for the Philippines to get the crown but soon enough we’ll have the leisure of winning such a prestigious pageant once again.
Colegiala Girl writes about how Shamcey Supsup surpassed all her expectations of how the competition would turn out:
Forget all the other details of the pageant, but Miss Supsup has been one of the most popular candidates among the Miss Universe contestants in Brazil. When she landed among the 15 semi-finalist, I said that is good enough. But I was wrong she was picked up among the top 10 finalists and I told myself, well she must be lucky to be one of them. I did not hope for more. To me being on the top 10 is already a good achievement. but I again I was wrong. She landed on the 5 finalists where she was judged and announced later as 3rd finalist.
Focusing more Shamcey's answer to the question, The Black Fedora blog adores her for it:
For me, she is my Miss Universe and most of you agrees on that. As a Catholic, I love her answer and it’s the winning answer. But digging further, the Miss Universe Pageant was a showcase of different nationalities with different views and perspective especially when it comes to religion. Shamcey’s answer may be right for most of us, again because we’re God-fearing, but then again, perhaps it did not impress some of the judges. This is just my two cents worth
Jenny J. Talam was also able to connect profoundly to Shamcey's answer:
Shamcey’s answer may have not made sense to some of the judges’s ears, but to the true and all-powerful Judge, it made sense. A whole lot of sense. Until you accept your place in the world as a reflector of God, your life and your world won’t make any sense.
On the other hand, Cocoy sees something more behind Shamcey's answer, something that brings to focus the state of our society at present and how it is going about in facing current challenges:
Personally? I thought the answer was a bit naive, and incredelous. It is one of those things you do a mental shrug.
Going back to the Shamcey Supsup question, aside from the God question, her response strikes a cord because it goes after that moveable target called, “Love”. The Miss Universe question after all, is a timeless one. Romantics believe that true love is about moving mountains. It is the test of time. Hell, isn’t there a Biblical quote that says you leave your parents to go live with the one you marry? At the heart of the Shamcey question was a timeless question: “Would you move mountains for love?”
He then concludes on the following:
Put in another way, The Miss Universe pageant asked Shamcey if she would defy destiny, causality, the nexus of time itself for a boy. Her answer was, “No”. There is no right or wrong answer. Is it fair then to be injecting own mores, and is it fair to Shamcey to represent all that clashing idea of who is the Filipina in this modern world?
Paolo Mandingiado tackles the issue of using interpreters and how it reflects our collective effort to establish some sort of ‘national identity':
My post-pageant realization is that it was not really about the use of Tagalog or English. For me, it boils down to how we want to be perceived and represented as a nation. To some degree, the candidates we send year in and year out to these international beauty pageants are no different from the intellectuals we fly in to science and math Olympiads worldwide, the athletes we support in international meets, and to the artists and performers we applaud in the global stage.
Aren’t they all simply ambassadors of the Philippines and its people?
All in all, Shamcey Supsup's achievements have given the country another reason to celebrate being a Filipino and a Filipina. In these challenging times, symbols of achievement, success and something positive would do good in keeping a nation working and striving for a better life.