Miss PH’s game plan is to ‘go out there and have fun’
LAS VEGAS—On the eve of the 66th Miss Universe competition, Philippines bet Rachel Peters is going through “a hundred different emotions” but keeps herself grounded in the journey.
“I’m going into this, having done the best of what I can do,” the 26-year-old Miss U frontrunner told INQUIRER.net in an exclusive interview November 25 at Cafe Hollywood. “I’ve worked hard in the lead up to tomorrow night, so I’m not putting too much pressure on myself.”
Ninety-three women are vying for the title of Miss Universe 2017, the highest number of competitors in the pageant’s history. The show will take place at Planet Hollywood Casino on Sunday, to be aired live at 7 p.m. ET on Fox.
Looking radiant in a powder blue cocktail dress, Peters admitted to feeling excited and tired at the same time, and looking forward for “life to go back to normal, depending what happens.”
The Philippines being a powerhouse of past beauty queens, hopes are high for the 5’9 British-Pinay stunner who is determined to “go out there and enjoy the fruits of my labor.”
“I think when you have fun, that is when it really shows—like you glow on stage, so that’s my game plan,” she told INQUIRER.net.
Satisfied with the support and well wishes she has received from the Philippines and Filipino Americans, Peters said it had meant the world to her to be able to represent the country.
“It’s Miss Universe, it’s a big deal not just for me but for the whole Philippines,” she said. “It would be truly incredible if I won but I’ll also come to terms with whatever the outcome will be, win or lose. I feel that I’ve gained so much from this experience. I’ve met so many amazing girls so whatever happens, I’m already a winner.”
When asked about her final preparations for tonight’s pageant, the Bahrain-born Peters said she has zero plans of doing “anything out of the ordinary.”
“I don’t think it’s the right time to be shocking my body or my mind.” After this afternoon’s activities, the delegates have the rest of the day off. “So, the plans are to go to the gym as soon as we’re done; do my tanning with some of the girls and we’re going to have an early night ‘cause we have a very early call time tomorrow.”
Does she consider having a mixed heritage an edge over other contestants?
“I don’t think it’s an advantage at all. All these women are from different countries around the world. We all have our own strengths, but it’s not just about the way you look or how tall you are or how light your hair is, it’s about what’s inside.
Miss Philippines Rachel Peters competes in Miss U national costume and prelim shows November 20 in Las Vegas. MISS UNIVERSE ORG
“We’re here for about two weeks and I think it really gives the chaperones and the organization, a chance to really see who you are not just what you look like and I think that is probably more important in what they’re looking for as a Miss Universe.”
Peters is grateful to former Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach for this advice: You only get this opportunity once.
“[Pia told me to] have fun. Everyone’s journey is different. Pia was amazing and it’s hard for any girl who has to follow her. My advocacy is celebrating your individuality. So, I learned a lot from her but this is my own journey.”
What are you most proud of being part-Filipina?
“Well, at the moment, I can truly say that I am most proud of the Filipino people. They’ve been rallying for not just me but the name of the Philippines which has really been amazing—like to see everyone unite. I’m proud of the people, I’m proud of how gorgeous and beautiful our country is. Miss Universe was [held] there last year and all the security, all the chaperones, they all say the same thing to me: ‘We love the Philippines, we can’t wait to go back.’ And I think that’s really a testament to how amazing the people really are. It’s not the place, it’s the people that make it what it is.”
Peters added that it would be wonderful to win “but I think having joined, you already have this platform to be able to reach people to share your personal advocacies; to help with different charities.”
“We’ve made friends with people all around the world so if there’s ever something we wanted to do for a charity in this country, it’s possible because of Miss Universe.
“I already got what I wanted out of it and I have my own business, I have a family I have a job in the Philippines, so if things don’t go the way that I hoped, I still have my life in Manila.”
What’s life going to be like after the Miss U competition?
“After the pageant, I’m going to eat like a dozen donuts—win or lose. If I don’t make it, I’m going to go back to the Philippines and work on my business, to my coffee shop which I opened three to four months ago. I haven’t had time for that. So, I want to focus on that next.”
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