Every inch a beauty queen

MJ Lastimosa is every inch a beauty queen.

Claim it, own it, that was what this young lady did. Now the much-coveted crown and title she has always been dreaming of is finally resting on her head, and it fits quite perfectly. The Bb. Pilipinas-Universe crown is very becoming of MJ Lastimosa.

Well-loved. MJ acknowledges a cheering crowd when she was introduced as judge in the 2014 search for Mutya ng City of Mati.

All those who follow the trails of the country’s most prestigious beauty pageants know that it took three times for MJ Lastimosa to finally attain her heart’s desire. She dreamt and dreamt big, allowing no doubts to cross her path, her focus unwavering, MJ eventually landed on top of the heap. The third time’s the charm.

MJ appears on stage at the Mati City's search for its new mutya.

When she was pronounced the winner in the recent Binibining Pilipinas beauty pageant, “Napaiyak ako, di ko talaga napigilan,” confessed MJ over dinner at the recently concluded 2014 Citihood and Pujada Bay Fest where she crowned this year’s Mutya ng Mati City. MJ shared how supportive the past pageant winners were, among them Venus Raj, Bb. Pilipinas-Universe 2010 and Miss Universe 2012 4th runner-up, Shamcy Supsup 2011 and Ms. Universe 2011 3rd runner-up, and how they were cheering for her when she won. If this story of MJ was a song it would be “We are family” for truly she could say, ”I got all my sisters with me.”

Finally, the Bb. Pilipinas-Universe crown. MJ Lastimosa reacts as her dream comes true on the 3rd try. (photo source)

To date, there is still no word when and where the 2014 Miss Universe beauty pageant will be held but MJ is hoping that it’ll be in some Latin American country. In the meantime, she is busy fulfilling her duties as one of the reigning queens for the Binibining Pilipinas Charities, Inc., one of which was taking part in the inauguration of the Bahay Pag-asa, a home created for the male juvenile delinquents in Mati City.

"Maka-Bisaya na dyud ko. It's nice to be in a place where I can speak my Visayan," said MJ on stage at the coronation night of the Mutya ng City of Mati.

There might be a far bigger reason why MJ Lastimosa found herself in the capital of Davao Oriental than crowning another beauty queen and unveiling a place for those in need. Before departing Mati, she may have received the most inspiring send-off any beauty candidate aiming for a most coveted crown (and certainly the most elusive since Margie Moran won the Miss Universe title in 1973) could ever receive from a townsfolk: “It wasn’t too long ago when Megan Young made it to the shores of Dahican to shoot for a popular magazine’s summer issue. A few months later, Megan was crowned Miss World 2013 in Bali, Indonesia (she is the first woman in the Philippines to win the title). You came to Mati and you will win Miss Universe.”

Beauties all in a row. MJ Lastimosa (center) with the new Mutya ng City of Mati, Arriane Shane Buenviaje, & her court.

Coincidence? Is it the Universe conspiring? Whatever it is, 2014 has been offering life-changing moments for this beauty queen and the magnificent changes will follow through on the most prestigious international pageant stage she will be stepping on. True, it has always been ‘almost at my fingertips’ moments for our past candidates but this year, it will be different.

Charming, composed, intelligent, beautiful and regal MJ Lastimosa is every inch a beauty queen, and with her positive outlook plus an entire country behind her, she will be the next Miss Universe.


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Published in the SunStar Davao newspaper on June3, 2014.