In the pageant's most nerve-wracking portion, Arida picked the question from figure skating Olympic gold medalist Tara Lipinski. The question was "What can be done about the lack of jobs for young people starting their careers around the world?"
Arida calmly answered: "I do believe that we people should invest in education and that is my primary advocacy. We all know that if everyone of us is educated and well aware of what we are doing, we could land into jobs and we could land a good career in the future. Education is the primary source and ticket to a better future." She didn't use an interpreter because she didn't need one.
Arida's less-than-perfect English, which various critics have noted, was good enough for the worldwide audience. According to the hosts of the pageant, that meant around one billion viewers all over the world.
Pinoy pride on display
Arida shone in the other Miss Universe segments. She looked elegantly sexy in the swimsuit portion and was radiant in her strapless canary yellow evening gown. But she also touched the hearts of Pinoys.
In a video clip where she was asked to talk about the Philippines, Arida said, "We have a lot of beaches and tourist spots, but what really makes it special is the warm welcome of the people in my country."
That makes her a real winner in our book.
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