Five Thomasian beauty queens represented their respective cities in the 2020 Miss Universe Philippines national pageant held in Baguio City on Oct. 25.

Riana Agatha Pangindian of Pasig City, who graduated from the University with a degree in biological sciences, made it to the top 16 finalists out of 46 candidates.

“I was really humbled to be part of the Top 16 and it was a proud moment for me,” Pangindian told the Varsitarian. “I feel really grateful for the growth I went through after nine months of being in the pageant, and during a crisis such as the pandemic,” she said.

A licensed professional teacher, Pangindian pushed her advocacy for the well-being of teachers amid the pandemic.

“I believe teachers have a direct influence on students and so if our teachers are healthy in all aspects, especially mentally, it will create a more sustainable impact on the generations to come,” she said.

Travel management cum laude graduate Zandra Nicole Sta. Maria of Pasay City said she was grateful for the messages of support even if she did not make the cut.

“My name is not known to everyone, but I slowly paved my way to becoming a dark horse,” Sta. Maria said.

Both candidates said joining the pageant in a time of pandemic was challenging, as they had to shoot their own videos over the nine-month course of the pageant due to the lockdown.

Pangindian and Sta. Maria were confident Miss Universe Philippines 2020 Rabiya Mateo of Iloilo City would do well in the international pageant.

“She is deserving, kind and very eloquent. I’ve seen most of her interviews and she really performs well,” Sta. Maria said. “I can’t wait to see her slay in the international pageant.

Krizzia Lynn Moreno of Camarines Sur, who is also a travel management cum laude graduate, Mari Danica Reynes of Cagayan Province, who graduated from the University with a degree in communication arts and College of Tourism and Hospitality Management alumna Faye Deveza of Quezon Province also entered the competition. m. j. t. l. n.

Editor’s note: The article was edited on Nov. 15 at 9:57 p.m. to include the alumni who were not mentioned.


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