Rabiya Mateo of Iloilo City may have taken home the Miss Universe Philippines 2020 crown, but Miss Cavite Kimberly "Billie" Hakenson, who won fourth runner-up, was definitely able to leave a strong impression as well.
As Miss Universe dominated the trending topics on social media right after the coronation this morning, "Miss Cavite" was noticeably the talk of the town for displaying both beauty and brains onstage. Case in point: She soared to the Top 10 trending topics on Twitter shortly after the Q&A round.
Out of over 40 candidates who represented their hometown at the local Miss Universe pageant, only 16 were able to advance to the next stage to participate in the much-awaited Q&A portion. All of the finalists had to answer the same question: "Throughout this journey you have discovered you are a phenomenal woman who is conditioned for greater. How can you create a positive and lasting impact to the world around you?"
In response, Miss Cavite inarguably had one of the best answers: "I was a survivor of gender-based abuse and without knowing it, maybe so are you. I am not here to just be a voice, I am here to amplify voices because we will not be silenced by fear anymore. We are here to be empowered by truth."
Billie, a flight attendant, is a proudly queer candidate who opened up about being bisexual during the preliminary interviews recently held in Baguio City.
Needless to say, her impressive answer and strong presence onstage did not go unnoticed by the Filipino netizens. The internet, specifically Twitter, was flooded with words of admiration for the Caviteña beauty queen, quoting her brave response and noting the intelligence she displayed using her platform. "Miss Cavite is the real Game Changer! Imagine her representing [the] Philippines in MISS UNIVERSE," one user tweeted.
Here are some of the best online reactions we spotted:
This story originally appeared on Preview.ph.
* Minor edits have been made by the Candymag.com editors.