MUPH bet Matea Mahal Smith trains to overcome hip condition

MUPH bet Matea Mahal Smith trains mind to overcome pain from hip condition

/ 05:07 PM April 20, 2024

MUPH bet Matea Mahal Smith trains mind to overcome pain from hip condition

Miss Universe Philippines-Florida Matea Mahal Smith. Image: P. Adina

Matea Mahal Smith, who represents the Florida-based Filipinos in the 2024 Miss Universe Philippines pageant, was captain of her school’s track-and-field and swim teams, so that nobody would have suspected that she was born with hip dysplasia, a condition that causes her pain.

“So it’s a congenital disorder and I was born with it. So it basically means that my hips weren’t properly aligned in the joint,” she told at the sidelines of the Miss Universe Philippines pageant’s signing event with a holistic wellness center held at Hilton Manila in Pasay City last month.


Her condition, the 2023 Miss Filipina International winner said, has caused her so much pain whenever she engaged in sports. Because of this, she underwent three corrective surgeries on her right hip that involved bone shaving, and several screws to be placed inside her body.


“Sometimes I have a little bit of pain into my left side. I’m gonna also need surgery, eventually, but I’ve been monitoring it and I’ve learned a lot about how to [manage] the pain and what to do,” shared the 21-year-old pre-medicine student at the University of Florida.

And just like sports, beauty pageants have proven to be physically taxing for participants. But Smith said she has trained her mind to manage whatever physical obstacle she may encounter while chasing a crown. “It’s all about knowing my body. And whenever I have pain, knowing that ‘okay, I’ve done a lot more so I need to rest, massage and do the stretches that I was taught by my physical therapist,’” she shared.

“But also with physical pain, I think this also goes on to my mind state as well, making sure that my mental is okay. Because, you know, it’s mind over body, and making sure that my body’s in a whole holistic approach, and really just feels like it’s at its best to be able to perform,” Smith continued.

Acknowledging the link between the physical and the mental, the African-Filipino-American lass said, “You can’t really do anything physical without having the mindset that ‘okay, I need to prepare for this. I needed to put in my best effort’ and whether it’s in the gym, or just like ‘pasarela’ (pageant walk) as well.”

Smith is among 53 delegates from all over the country and different overseas Filipino communities competing to succeed Michelle Marquez Dee as Miss Universe Philippines. The crucial swimsuit challenge will take place at Aqua Boracay tonight, April 20.

The 2024 Miss Universe Philippines pageant will hold its coronation show at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City on May 22, with 2022 Miss Universe R’Bonney Gabriel as host and “RuPaul’s Drag Race UK vs. the World” Season 2 finalist Marina Summers as special guest performer.


The winner will represent the Philippines in the 73rd Miss Universe pageant to be held in Mexico later this year, and try to become the fifth Filipino woman to bring home the crown.

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TAGS: Miss Universe Philippines

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