Disclosure: This is purely based on observation and personal interpretation. No need to take offense on whatever’s in here– not here for a debate.

Judge Vivica A. Fox: “Would you change your religious beliefs to marry the person you love? Why or why not?”

Miss Philippines Shamcey Supsup, a millisecond of heartburn, as seen in her eyes and the twitch of her lips: “If I had to change my religious beliefs, I will not marry the person that I love. Because the first person that I love is GOD who created me. And I have my faith and my principles. And these what makes me who I am. And if that person loves me, he should love my God, too. Thank you.”

Answered with so much dignity, based on principles and values, admirable faith. But, as my friend Leo said on my wall post on Facebook the other day, combining “MY” with “GOD” doesn’t sound right for someone in a Ms. Universe Pageant.

While we Filipinos are generally proud of her, a huge percentage also didn’t get the reason she placed 3rd. Comments such as, “She spoke in straight English and didn’t need an interpreter” and “She stood her ground and did not go for the popular answer” graced my wall when I said she didn’t deserve to win.

Straight English, yes, she did have that advantage — which she didn’t use wisely. The others had interpreters who ate up the time alloted for the Q&A, but Supsup could’ve given a more elaborate answer. Her line, “If that person loves me, he should love my God, too.” just made her sound like a narrow-minded Catholic, or Christian or whatever. Sure, admirable principle, but no one wants a Miss Universe who walks around giving to charity with just HER God.

Some people who say, “I disagree! That’s actually why she should’ve won, because she stood her ground, blah blah blah,” CLEARLY DON’T GET IT. This isn’t a contest of whose principles and values are the strongest or how you would defend how you were brought up — it’s a contest of who can show the ENTIRE UNIVERSE beauty, kindness, humility, and hope. YES, it’s a bitter pill to swallow, but it’s a contest to PLEASE EVERYONE. And yes, the goal is to go down in history by WINNING THE CROWN.

“I’m proud she stood up for her beliefs and principles, forget winning.” Dude, then she shouldn’t have joined in the first place. That ain’t the goal.

Miss Angola, on the other hand, aside from her exquisite, fragile beauty — which some people contest, especially Filipinos — she also was very humbling, and her answer had so much attitude, WITHOUT being discriminatory of anyone’s race, religion, color, etc. “Thank God, I am very well satisfied with the way that God created me and I wouldn’t change a thing.” Yes, this may be a cliche answer, but how she delivered it had so much self-confidence and humility at the same time, plus, had she finished her statement [which she didn’t because of the roaring crowd], she even had a “Let me give you a piece of advice” part. I would have loved to hear what she has to say. [And yes, it is the popular answer, the answer everyone wanted to hear.]

Lopes’ beauty is different in a way that, yeah, she’s black, but no black woman ever stood out like that in a crowd of Barbie dolls. She has delicate features, a very dainty smile, and a small heart-shaped face. Usually, women her color have angled faces and strong features. She clearly was a beauty.

So there. Just needed to get that off my chest. And yes, yes, Shamcey is gorgeous, but as one forumer on Yahoo! said, “Leila Lopes was Miss Universe from head to toe, inside out.”

The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.

– Hans Hofmann

  1. Sleeping beside Kaitlin and CB.
  2. Kaitlin and CB horsing around.
  3. Watching my daughter make new friends, and seeing what a nice little girl she turned out to be.
  4. Following some stray cat to find out what she’s up to.
  5. Bathrooms so clean, you can sleep on the floor.
  6. Stopping to save a kitten from the middle of a busy road.
  7. Watching my mom, my brother, and my aunt do their silly dance steps.
  8. Fresh laundry, crisp bed sheets, and fluffy pillows.
  9. Coffee – hot or cold, with milk and sugar.
  10. A new notebook or planner – with blank pages for new adventures.
  11. The smell of a new electronic equipment – whether mine or not – reminds me of my dad.
  12. Sitting in a coffee shop with a laptop or a book, feeling inspired.
  13. Anticipating new music, new music videos, and finally downloading the album for free.
  14. Free food, usually packed lunch brought by co-workers.
  15. Chewy dark chocolate chip cookies.
  16. Talking with friends about the Universe and its magic and magnitude.
  17. Hearing a nice Michelle Branch song on the radio just when you’re feeling somewhat down.
  18. Biking on a Sunday afternoon.
  19. Unexpected money – usually one that you’d find in your pockets or between book pages.
  20. Fish for breakfast / lunch / dinner.
  21. Watching the rain from inside your bedroom.
  22. A heartfelt text message from a loved-one – CB, Kaitlin, my mom, my dad.
  23. Seeing / hearing / smelling / feeling something that reminds me of my grandmother.
  24. Chatting with an old friend, the feeling that time doesn’t exist in friendship.
  25. Green mangoes and fish paste.
  26. That overall feeling of zen after a yoga class.
  27. Free tasting at the grocery store.
  28. Staring at the sky, cloud-watching. Or the big, bright moon at night time.
  29. Completing a Sudoku puzzle or winning a Solitaire game.
  30. Making people happy and helping them in a genuine way.
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