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“I was heart-broken. I was devastated that night”: Michelle Gumabao shares her story on Miss Universe controversy

6 Mins read

Miss Universe 2nd-runner up Michelle Gumabao finally released her statement on the issues that was hurled to her. In the past weeks during the announcement of winner, she chose not indulge on the issue and left people’s speculations hanging.

On Monday, Gumabao released a lengthy vlog that shares on her statement regarding the issue. The controversy was first triggered by her fellow candidate Sandra Lemonon in her cryptic instagram posts. Lemonon pointed out justice in the said pageant and an alleged cheating during the event.

“I am speaking up for myself. I am empowering myself. I am fighting for my story. I am fighting for my experiences,”Gumabao shared in the opening remark in her video. “Because people have been trying to taint my name, and drag me down [with] so many issues that are not real and didn’t happen. I’m not sharing all this to attack anyone or to hurt anyone,” she added.

“I just want to share the truth. I want to share my story. I want to be true to myself, because I know that this will be the only way to look back at all this and happily move on.”

The beauty queen/athlete recalled her preparations during the pageant. It became hectic when it was fast approaching. She shared that weeks before the pageant started, her whole team were tested for coronavirus so she’s advised to do home quarantine in her home in Manila. She also stated her preparation on becoming an independent candidate to do her own hair, make-up and styling during the said competition. As per protocol in the organization, they only allowed limited number of people to be in Baguio for safety reasons.

Gumabao narrated that on October 11 3 days before heading to Baguio, she had an incident which made her devastated. “That day, I woke up, and as I took my first steps, I passed out. I collapsed.”, she said.

“I cut my head, I sprained my knee, I broke my toe. It was all very challenging, because as a beauty queen, you have to walk in high heels, you have to look your best, your face has to be presentable at all times,” she said.

“It was depressing for me, it was devastating for me. I spent the whole day in bed. I didn’t know what to do. I decided to do my rehab at home, and to whatever I could at home.”

When she reached to Baguio, she managed herself as if nothing happened to her. But when she arrived to Baguio, another challenges were brought unto her.

“More than the pain, more than the struggle these past few weeks, it was more of the schedule that we really had to keep up with that gave me so much pressure, and that gave me… That was difficult for me,” she said.

“I was prepared to do things on my own, but I wasn’t prepared for schedules being so delayed, days wherein we weren’t able to eat because of our hectic schedules that we had to really keep up with. There were days when we were kept in our rooms not knowing why, and we were just there in our rooms.Those little things all built up at the end. The anxiety, all the pressure, the exhaustion… It was a lot to handle.”, she added.

On October 24, a day prior to the pageant to be aired, the candidates already filmed the preliminary and coronation event.

At the end of the day she recalled that it was a night of fun and it was a best memory for her to bond with the other candidates in which she already considered sisters.

But when the party went on, she received unpleasant messages from people about the result of the competition.

“I didn’t mind them. I chose to have fun. I chose to spend time with the girls. I chose to spend time with my sisters,” she said.

At 3am in October 25, Gumabao could not anymore hold her emotions and started to break down.

“I heard things I never should have heard, witnessed things I never should have witnessed as a candidate.”

“I must admit, I went back to my room, and I cried so hard. All these questions just came back to my head – everything that I’ve been hearing for the past two days just came rushing in my head,” she emotionally narrated.

“I was heartbroken. I was devastated that night. I called my family and I wanted to go home. My car was waiting outside, and I could have gone home. But they told me to think about it, that whatever I decide, they would support me a hundred percent. They told me to pray.”

However Gumabao did not narrate what she exactly heard that night that caused her heart-break.

On Sunday morning, she decided to come out into her room through an encouragement from her fellow candidate.

“I put on my makeup, I got dressed, I smiled, I looked pretty and went down, deliberately when it was already long gown. The top 16 was already walking for their long gown,” she said.

According to the host KC Montero, a day prior to the finals taping, 5 different candidates were taped to wear the crown to prevent leaking of the result. Actual announcement of winner happened during the stream on Sunday.

“News of the winner already leaked online, because the streaming, I think, it was more advanced than ours. But when I got down, I saw that our feed was so delayed, and it was only part of the announcement of the top 16.“So many people came to me and was hugging me. A lot of tears happening around. So many questions of why, how, what overwhelming me too much.”, she said.

In Gumabao’s statement, she already that Mateo won even last night.

“After knowing what I knew the past two days, everything just came crashing down on me,” she said in her vlog. “I couldn’t handle it. I admit, I wasn’t strong enough to handle that at that moment.”

“I knew was going to break down, and I didn’t want to do that in front of the cameras.”

Gumabao also explained her side why she’s not on the pictorials for the TOP 5.

“I went to the production that it was too hard for me, that I can’t stay here. And I told them that I really want to leave. Can we please fast-forward the feed? Because they already announced online who the winner was,” she narrated. “They said they can’t, because we have to finish the feed and we’re filming. I said, ‘I can’t do this.’ Can we please just finish? And they told me they had to take the picture, and I said, ‘Can we just do it know?’ And they said they couldn’t. I said, ‘I’m sorry,’ I had to leave. And I left.”

At that moment when she decided to leave and not be part of the pictorials, she recalled that in the past 9 months she has been putting the pageant first before anything else. “It was my time to put myself first. And I did.”, she said.

She explained her reasons for leaving to Gaffud and she says he knows everything. “I told him my reason. I told him that I was leaving. I told them everything. He said okay. He said he was worried about social media and what everybody would think, and I told to not worry, and I would handle everything.”

She also stated that she send her congratulatory message to Mateo and explained her reason why she is leaving. Mateo also responded “thank you” to Gumabao.

When she just wanted to take a rest in her way to Manila, she had already heard rumors on her for her no show in the pictorials.

“What saddens me the most is that when people were making issues about me leaving and not being part of that photo, the organization knew why. They knew my reasons, they knew I left. But they never said anything. They kept quiet,” she said.

In the end note, Gumabao who is already 28 years old, confirmed that it will be already her last pageant.

“I have to speak up, I have to defend myself, I have to fight for myself, because I knew nobody would,I’m sharing this because I hope that in the future, it would be a different experience for future girls who dream of becoming the next representative of our country.”, she said.

At the end of the video, she wished aspiring candidates to have a more pleasant experience than she had in the past year.

What can you say about this? We love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below.

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