Philippines' Maxine Medina is one of the top contenders for this year's Miss Universe. The 65th edition of the international beauty pageant is scheduled to be held on 29 January at 7pm ET/PT on FOX.
The 26-year-old has been updating her fans on the beauty pageant journey on Instagram. She wrote: "I have never imagined myself walking on the halls of the Malacañang Palace. That childhood dream happened today. What's more inspiring is that the leader of the Philippines wished me good luck. Thank you, President Duterte. I'm a proud Filipino and it is a great honor to represent our country, the Philippines!"
She also shared images from her evening gown and national costume rounds. She wrote: "I felt like a royalty when I walked in my national costume last night. The inspiration behind this creation include the colorful Muslim vinta, the corals, and the South Sea pearls of Mindanao. The centerpiece of the costume is the P1.0MM headress adorned with pearls from @jewelmer It is also created by @rhetteala Thank you for all your support last night. You all have molded me into becoming the best version of myself. #pilipinas#parasabayan #4M4MU"
Meanwhile, in an interview with ABS-CBN TV show Bottomline, Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach talked about the experience as beauty queen. She said: "I didn't want to copy any former Miss Universe title holder. I just want to be myself."
"I want to be remembered as a different kind of beauty queen, na hindi very rehearsed and robotic. I just want to be myself. And to hear that ... it's really the best thing. I"m going to miss them [Miss Universe organization], too. And I'm so happy and grateful, that they took care of me. I'm going to make them proud. I feel like that's the best gift I can give back to them," she added.