Filipinos will be focused on their screens this Sunday night as Michelle Dee aims to win the country's fifth Miss Universe crown.
It's a little tougher this year, as the final five contestants enter the interview round. From there, the top three will answer the final question. The question-and-answer portion has always been the make-or-break round, as contestants have to look well and walk well, they also have to talk well as ambassadors for their chosen advocacies.
It's a contest analyzed and broken down to the most minuscule details by rabid pageant fans.
But hey, why look so far when we've already got queens in our midst in the PVL? They can slay any talent competition, serve the best walks in any swimsuit competition (they're athletes, it's a given), as well as sweet-talk anyone in a Q&A round (they've been doing postgame interviews for years!)
Curiously, the PVL does have beauty pageant veterans in Creamline Cool Smashers' Michele Gumabao and F2 Logistics Cargo Movers' Mary Joy Dacoron.
Please don't @ us when we gave MG the DIC Crown (worn by 2015 winner Pia Wurtzbach), or when we photoshopped Aby Maraño wearing the Chandelier Crown (the altered version of the Sarah Coventry crown worn by Gloria Diaz), or when we had Eya Laure wear the Mikimoto Crown (worn by Catriona Gray).
So what if they did get some tough Miss U-like questions?
For Miss Creamline Michele Gumabao: Who is Creamline's biggest threat in the PVL and why?
The Binibining Pilipinas Globe 2018 and Miss Universe Philippines 2020 second runner-up has this one in the bag. The Cool Smashers remain undefeated in the PVL Second All-Filipino Conference, as they aim to defend their title.
"I think it’s really ourselves talaga (biggest threat to Creamline)," Gumabao said on One PH's Power & Play. "Nag-uumpisa talaga sa practice. Kunwari tinamad ‘yung isa, magkakahawa-hawa ‘yan. If you’re having a bad day, you really have to overcome a lot of things personally so that you can be the best teammate to your team. And pagdating sa game, it just has to come out kung ano ‘yung pina-practice namin."
"What also helps is gusto talaga kami talunin ng lahat ng team," Gumabao admitted. "Kita naman talaga natin ‘yun, when they play against Creamline, they really bring their A-game, and ‘yun ‘yung gusto naman talaga namin."
This is also a friendly reminder that Gumabao has reigned over the spiking department for several weeks with a success rate of 44.10%
And if we're talking about passion, Gumabao is not afraid to try something new. Just check out her biking adventures in Europe.
For Miss F2 Logistics Aby Maraño: How can LGBTQ+ couples become more accepted in the Philippines?
Tyang Aby has never been afraid to speak out in defense of her relationship with Nxled Chameleons setter Kamille Cal, as she has repeatedly addressed bashers on the matter.
"Wala nang magpapaaping mga kababaihan sa pamilyang ito. Wala nang magpapagulpi sa discrimination," she replied to homophobic comments regarding her relationship.
Maraño delivered an even better response to comments claiming her former boyfriend would not have left her had she improved her looks.
"Wala pong timeline ang pagpapaganda at self-love, gaya ng wala ding pinipiling oras kung gusto tayo ipagpalit sa iba ng mga jowa natin," she wrote. "Thankful na po ako at ito ang naging kapalaran ko. I had to learn to love myself the hard way. Salamat po sa papuri na bagay sa'kin, pero sana 'wag niyo gawing basehan ng ganda ang ilong."
"Sana ang basehan ng ganda ay ang babaeng marangal, may mabuting kalooban, marunong rumispeto, at may delikadesa."
At kung rampahan lang ang labanan, wala nang tatalo sa LAVARN walk ni Tyang.
For Miss Chery Tiggo Eya Laure: One more year in the UAAP or a championship in the PVL?
Okay, we all know the answer to this one. But her response in the break-up letter to the UST community is worthy of a crown.
"Kaya siguro up until the last minute, I wanted to find a way to play for one more year. Para akong nakikipag-break sa libu-libong tao and my heart is shattering into pieces. Ang sakit at ang hirap magpaalam," she wrote on Instagram as she chose to forego her final year in college.
"Patawad dahil hindi ko naibigay 'yung championship na deserve niyo. But more than that, salamat. Parang sasabog ang dibdib ko sa sobrang laki ng pasasalamat na meron ako sa inyo."
"Pangako, kahit saan man ako mapadpad, bitbit ko ang pagmamahal niyo. No goodbyes. Just see you again. I will forever be your Kapitana Eya Laure. Kasama niyong sisigaw ng Go USTe hanggang dulo."
Damn these onion ninjas!
The Crossovers star is making a strong case for the MVP award in the PVL Second All-Filipino Conference as she has racked up 117 points. She's also sixth in the spiking department and ranks second among the best servers.
She can also be the best travel ambassador for the Philippines ala former Miss Universe Catriona Gray.
For Miss Cignal Vanie Gandler: How do you find yourself when you are lost?
Vanie is no stranger to runways and walkways, especially after she was chosen by the NLEX Road Warriors to be their PBA Season 48 muse.
And she's no stranger to hardships, admitting the struggles with the Ateneo Blue Eagles and eventually choosing to turn pro.
In an interview, Gandler admitted she was "really lost" after becoming the "most bashed player" of UAAP Season 81.
"My journey may not have been the most decorated one—not the type you’d usually imagine when you set out goals for yourself. Would I rather have it any other way? Maybe at times, I would," Gandler wrote in an Instagram post.
"But I’m reminded again and again of all the things I’ve learned in all the failures I’ve been through. When I think of what could have been, I also think of what I could have lost—that in my case, would be the lessons and connections I made through my journey of self-discovery."
Gandler has grown to be a valuable spiker for the HD Spikers, helping PVL Invitational Conference MVP Ces Molina in the absence of longtime captain Rachel Anne Daquis.
It's noticeable as well that she's pretty vocal in huddles and always gives 100% in games.
We stan an unrelentless queen!
For Miss Choco Mucho Aduke Ogunsanya: How do you overcome the pain from a season-ending injury?
Ogunsanya is back on the court after recovering from a torn ACL on her right knee.
She told One Sports that the toughest thing to overcome was the mental aspect and shared how others can help deal with it.
"I want others to know that our journey is a process. Iba-iba tayo ng journey, but I want other people na kakayanin as long as mag-persevere and optimistic with what you want," she said.
The pain can also be considered mental. But Aduke has found zen in her solution.
"Challenge talaga siya, pero nafi-feel ko naman na nag-i-improve pero kulang pa," she added.
"I always empty my cup para may madagdag pa."
This queen can slay!
Thank you for all those wonderful answers!