Bb. Pilipinas Inc. stands by Miss U
Donald Trump, who claims to be worth $9 billion, has staked out populist-sounding ground in the campaign so far, railing against the impact of illegal immigrants, particularly from Mexico, on the US economy and vowing to "build a great wall on our southern border" to keep them out... Trump also has stood by his remarks tying immigrants to crime. "I like Mexico. I love the Mexican people. I do business with the Mexican people, but you have people coming through the border that are all over. And they're bad. They're really bad," Trump said last weekend on CNN's "State of the Union." "You have people coming in, and I'm not just saying Mexicans, I'm talking about people like that are from all over that are killers and rapists, and they're coming into this country" - News item following Trump's announcement that he's running for the US Presidency in 2016
The reactions came fast from far and wide, particularly from Latin countries. According to follow-up reports, Bolivia is withdrawing its bid to host the Miss Universe pageant, said to be the most prestigious beauty contest not just in the "world," on "earth" or "internationally" but in the whole "universe." Mexico would not send a delegate in this year's Miss U pageant; while Univision said it would not air Trump's Miss Universe and Miss USA beauty pageants, prompting Trump to sue the Spanish-language television network for $500 million. NBCUniversal severed all ties to Trump who called the network "so weak and so foolish."
However, the Bb. Pilipinas Charities, Inc. (BPCI), headed by Madame Stella Marquez-Araneta, stands behind Miss Universe. Here's the BPCI official statement: The Miss Universe Organization and its head, Paula Shuggart, have been totally supportive of Binibining Pilipinas Charities, Inc. and its Filipina beauties for many years. As Ms. Shuggart emphasizes, "We (Miss Universe) have been around 64 years in different ways and many different forms so I think we're just entering our next chapter." BPCI remains one with the Miss Universe Organization in its continuing legacy of Diversity, and uniting and inspiring peoples from all nations.
And how do Filipina Miss U beauties feel about the issue?
- Gloria Diaz (Miss Universe, 1969): Very Donald Trump. I doubt if he will win. Arrogant, self-absorbed old bloke!
- Margie Moran (Miss Universe, 1973): I worry about its effect on the pageant. He should sell it before it goes down with him.
- Miriam Quiambao (Miss Universe first runner-up, 1999): He must have had a recent bad experience with Mexicans for him to react like that! Still, it doesn't mean to say that he is right in doing so. I think he should have been more diplomatic. As always, taking the high road and, in this case, taming the tongue always works in the end.
- Venus Raj (Miss Universe fourth runner-up, 2010): I'm currently deployed here in Bulacan for one month. Community organizing po ginagawa namin. Wala kaming TV. I have no concrete understanding of the matter as of the moment. Heard rumors about it but haven't read the direct statement from Mr. Trump. I can't give a comment about it as of now po.
- Ariella Arida (Miss Universe third runner-up, 2013): It's so unfortunate that the offensive remarks of Mr. Donald Trump have made the Miss Universe Organization suffer. We all know how hurtful it is for the Latin community which is known to be one of the biggest supporters of the pageant. For the past 64 years, we have known Miss Universe as a great tool of celebrating different cultures from different countries which also acknowledges the differences across humanity. I hope that we have this kind of understanding that the organization has not changed at all and that the organization need not suffer from this because MUO has its own set of values and mission that empower women from different countries.
- Desiree Verdadero (Miss Universe third runner-up, 1984): I think we should remember that the objective of Miss Universe is to unify the whole world regardless of race and beliefs. What Mr. Trump did is uncalled for.
- MJ Lastimosa (Miss Universe Top 10 semi-finalists, 2014): It's so sad that Miss Universe Organization is the one suffering in the middle of all this, because the organization doesn't deserve it. It's a beautiful organization that inspires and shapes women across the globe, it's multi-racial and it supports so many good causes. The organization is composed of so many wonderful people who are in the industry for decades. Hoping this will end soon.