It is still a dream come true for Miss Universe Singapore 2017 winner Manuela Bruntraeger.
With just a few days left for the major event to be held on November 26, at the Axis, Las Vegas, the 24-year-old graduate from Lasalle College of Arts, reveals how the journey has been a learning experience for her.
From bearing a Eurasian Portuguese and German background to the most challenging phase of her life and on how her grandmother continues to be a source of strength and inspiration to her, Manuela Bruntraeger opens up to IBTimes Singapore in an exclusive interview.
Ever since Manuela was a young girl, Miss Universe was something she dreamed about. Having graduated one month prior to the event, she was able to work with dedication to achieve the title. Running alongside 19 other contestants was an honour for her. Manuela strongly believes that she has made new friendships during the pageant period that will last for lifetime.
However, it was not an easy one for the 24-year-old. She had her ups and downs. During tough times, Manuela reveals how her family helped her and made her the person that she is today. Her family is her support system, her mother, father, grandmother and boyfriend keep her humble and grounded.
"I am lucky to have a very strong support system, by means of my family. They keep me motivated, focused and on track. I am incredibly grateful to have the winning support system that I do."
The most influential person for Manuela throughout has been her grandmother who is 90 years old. Despite facing many difficulties, Manuela's grandmother has responsibly raised all her children and grandchildren. Speaking about her father and mother, Manuela said: "They have taught us (my sister and me ) values of respect, humility and compassion, kindness towards others and nurtured unapologetic ambition and the belief that we can do and achieve anything we set our minds on."
Her parents have been a big support system, "encouraging and empowering a family made up of three girls".
Her family background makes her the complete diverse woman that she is. Coming from a Eurasian Portuguese and German bloodline and being raised in a Eurasian family, Manuela has been exposed to a wide range of traditions, languages and cultural differences across a multiracial society. This is the reason why she believes she can connect with masses belonging to different age groups, background and culture.
"A gesture as small as a smile or the gentle touch of a hand transcends all cultural barriers and speaks a thousand words," reminds Manuela.
Failures never let her down. Following the teachings of her father, she believes in "not the size of the 'failure', but the quality of the recovery that is important."
Miss Universe Singapore 2017, however, claims to be ambitious and confident in whatever she does. Her fans in Singapore are definitely looking forward to the "quirky, curious, and creative" lady who is all set to take the stage in Las Vegas by storm.