The stage is set for the 66th Miss Universe pageant. With just a few more days left for the finale, contestants from around the world are gearing up in the race to clinch the much coveted Miss Universe crown. Who doesn't want to be the ruler of the whole universe?
Miss Universe 2017, will be held at The Axis in Planet Hollywood, Las Vegas in Nevada, United States. The competition will be a tough one with 92 contestants pitted against one another in a neck to neck fight. Philippines among them can set the score high, keeping in mind their record in international beauty pageants. With three Miss Universe crowns, will the Philippines take the star-studded tiara home this time?
Miss Universe Philippines 2017, Rachel Peters, opens up to IBTimes Singapore, in an exclusive interview about her dreams, her plans after the contest and what Miss Universe signifies.
IBTimes SG: So Rachel, having fun?
Rachel: Having fun yes! There are so many beautiful women out here and I'm meeting contestants from different countries around the world. Then again there are countries I haven't heard of. This place is a blend of all cultures and feels diverse. Miss Universe is a great platform for cultural exchange.
IBTimes SG: You have been a part of the industry since 2014 right?
Rachel: Yes. I participated in the Miss World Philippines 2014 where I stood fourth. There was the national pageant in April 2017, the Binibining Pilipinas that crowned me Miss Universe Philippines. I have been training ever since then, so you can call me a pageant girl.
IBTimes SG: What do you think can give you the extra boost in the contest?
Rachel: I would say my fans. Filipino people love pageants. They are very patriotic when it comes to boxing, basketball or beauty pageants. They are 100 percent supportive. You must have seen that #Philippines is trending on Twitter. It is incredible to know that I have the support of the whole country behind me and that I think gives me the extra boost.
IBTimes SG: While US is the country with the maximum number of Miss Universe winners, Philippines is in the 4th position, how is the pressure?
Rachel: Of course, there is always a little bit of pressure. I would be lying if I say that I don't feel any pressure. But everyday I keep on reminding myself that this is not the end. I keep on enjoying every minute of it, make some friends, because at the end of the day, what matters is that you tried your best so that you have no regrets at the end. If you can say that, then you are basically already the winner.
IBTimes SG: What are your plans after Miss Universe?
Rachel: I have plans to go back to the Philippines after the contest. I have opened a coffee shop on a small island in the Philippines. It was opened 3 months ago but I couldn't give my 100 percent attention. I will probably go and spend 3 months on the island, taking care of the business.
IBTimes SG: Name five items we can find in your wardrobe.
Rachel: My pageant wardrobe is totally different from my regular wardrobe (laughs). A pair of white converse, jeans, more jeans, plain T-shirts, and sandals.
IBTimes SG: Any 3 things you always carry in your bag?
Rachel: Yes, I have this menthol inhaler which I got from Thailand. I never leave my house without it. My phone, to be in touch with my family and friends, we have a WhatsApp group where we talk every day. Lastly, my lip balm. I simply cannot do without my lip balm.
IBTimes SG: Where do you see yourself after five years?
Rachel: Whether 27 or 32, hopefully by then I will have my own family. I want to set my life out before I am ready to have kids, whenever the time comes. But yes, after five or ten years I do wish to have kids and want to build my own family.