Miss Universe Philippines updates roster after contestant’s withdrawal
MANILA, Philippines — Just a little over a week after introducing the 40 candidates who will vie for this year’s competition, the Miss Universe Philippines pageant announced a new contestant who will join the roster, Kristeen Mae Boccang who will represent the province of Apayao.
But this does not mean that 41 ladies will take part in the 2023 Miss Universe Philippines pageant. What prompted the addition of a new candidate was the withdrawal of Evangeline Fuentes from the competition.
In a social media post by Michelle Joy Padayhag, who presented herself as Fuentes’ official spokesperson, she said the erstwhile candidate “will no longer continue her [Miss] Universe Philippines 2023 journey” after learning about “a health condition that shouldn’t be ignored.”
The statement continued: “The decision might be tough but we have to follow the doctor’s advice for Ms. Fuentes’ well-being and recovery.”
Padayhag proceeded to thank the national pageant organization, the Pangasinan provincial government and local government units in the province, as well as Fuentes’ supporters from the private sector and her team and family “for the overwhelming support.”
For its part, the Miss Universe Philippines organization said, “in light of the withdrawal of Ms. Evangeline Fuentes (Pangasinan) due to health reasons, Kristeen will be representing the beautiful province of Apayao for Miss Universe Philippines 2023!”
This is the fourth installment of the standalone national pageant that selects the Philippines’ representative to the Miss Universe competition. It first crowned Rabiya Mateo in 2020, who eventually finished in the Top 21 of the international competition. Beatrice Luigi Gomez captured the national title in 2021, and finished in the Top 5 of the global tilt.
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