Ariella Arida is 3rd runner-up in Miss Universe 2013

With the country reeling from the devastation wrought by Typhoon Yolanda, a good number of Filipinos seeking a little bit of good news stayed up to watch the 2013 Miss Universe Coronation Night. The pageantwhich was broadcast live from Crocus City Hall in Moscow, Russiacommenced at 2 a.m. on November 10 Philippine time (9 p.m., November 9 in Russian time).

Miss Philippines Ariella Arida did the country proud when she was named 3rd runner-up in this year's installment of the prestigious international beauty tilt.

Miss Venezuela Gabriela Isler was crowned Miss Universe 2013. Miss Spain Patricia Yurena Rodiguez was 1st runner-up. Miss Ecuador Constanza Baez was 2nd runner-up. Miss Brazil Jakelyne Oliveira was 4th runner-up.

Special mention: Philippines and Vietnam

At the start of the pageant, host Thomas Roberts mentioned the Philippines and Vietnam, saying that their thoughts were with the people of the two countries who had been affected by Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda in the Philippines).

Q&A highlight

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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