Miss Philippines Shamcey Supsup, who took third runner-up in the 2011 Miss Universe pageant in Sao Paulo, Brazil, said it was part of God’s plan that she placed fourth in the contest that was won by Miss Angola Leila Lopes.
Supsup believed she had destroyed any chances of making into the top 5 after a mistake in the swimsuit competition and began praying to God upon hearing her name called for the top 10.
“I said ‘Lord it’s a miracle.’ When I was finally called, I was shocked…I didn’t expect to be in the top 5 at all,” she told ABS-CBN News.
Supsup added she began to believe she had a chance at the crown.
“I prayed hard. I said to Him [God] I’m gonna do my best for my country for them to be proud of me and please grant me my heart’s desire.”
However, despite not taking the crown home to the Philippines Supsup said she was “very fulfilled.”
And her fourth place finish has garnered praise from many.
Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda said, “On behalf of the Filipino people, we are proud of you; and we see even greater things ahead of you.”
“The humility, intellect, and grace that you exhibited during the competition embodied the spirit of the true Filipina; and, in our eyes, that is the true victory today - that the world stood witness to and found an appreciation for the ideals, values, and beauty that has long characterized our nation,” Lacierda wrote in The Manila Bulletin newspaper.
According to Lacierda, he hoped Supsup’s win would convince other nations to appreciate not only the beauty of “our people, but that of our country.”
The Miss Universe third runner-up told ABS-CBN that she still felt like a winner regardless of having not claimed the crown.
“I feel like winner even if I don’t have a crown. Miriam Quiambao (Miss Philippines first runner-up in 1999) told me this, she doesn’t wear a crown in her head. She wears it in her heart. And I wear my crown in my heart,” said Supsup.
Miss Philippines said she looked forward to returning to Manila and continuing her dream of becoming an architect. According to Supsup, who she is could never be changed – despite her media exposure from the pageant.
“How people treat me will be different, but how I am as a person will never change. Even when I won Miss Philippines…my personality is the only thing I can hold on to,” she said.
“I won’t change for anything, even for the crown.”