What Is Miss Universe Philippines 2017 Rachel Peters’ Advice To Successor Catriona Gray?
Rachel Peters at the Avec Moi launch / Photo by Marie Francia
“It’s been a whirlwind of a year for me, non-stop, ever since winning Bb. Pilipinas,” Miss Universe Philippines 2017 Rachel Peters told Metro.Style when she graced KC Concepcion’s Avec Moi jewelry line launch.
It's no secret that unlike her fellow Bb. Pilipinas beauty queens, who really have their eyes set on pageantry early on, Rachel is an “accidental beauty queen.” In an interview with Metro magazine, she says, “I was not like other girls who watched the pageants and hoped that one day I would be the one walking that stage.”
But as fate would have it, Rachel was crowned Miss Universe Philippines 2017, representing the country at the 66th Miss Universe pageant held in Las Vegas last November. The statuesque British-Filipina beauty was among the favorites in the competition. Model Ashley Graham, who was one of the Miss Universe 2017 hosts, was even vocal about rooting for the Pinay beauty queen. Although Rachel didn’t win, she did make it up to the Top 10, and to reach that far in the competition with 91 other candidates vying for a spot is truly a feat in itself.
Tonight was sooo much fun! Shoutout to all the Filipinos who were there for me tonight. I seriously felt the love and have been all week. Thank you to all my kababayans around the world for your relentless support, votes and prayers! I appreciate you all ??Goodnight from LV ???? excited for another beautiful day tomorrow ??#phvegas
One more sleep!! ?? @missuniverse Thank you for a truly amazing experience. I've learnt so much about myself these last few days and have made many wonderful friends that no matter what happens tomorrow, I already feel like a winner! ?? Philippines, it's been such an honor to wear THE sash and to represent you. You've all been incredible (it blows my mind) and you've all done you're part.. now it's time for me to do mine! ???????? MAHAL KO PO KAYONG LAHAT ??
Without a doubt my greatest achievement to date!! ?To be the 66th Filipina to stand on the Miss Universe stage with the most beautiful girls in the world, and to represent the most amazing country- Ang mahal kong Pilipinas! ???? Thank you so much to everyone who was part of this journey, i am SO lucky to have every single one of you in my life. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine I would be brave enough to do something like this, but you all are the reason I got to where I am. I'm still so overwhelmed by all the love ?? I promise I gave my all but I've always been a believer in fate, destiny and God's perfect timing so I'm thankful for the opportunity and the memories, but I am so looking forward to seeing what God has in store for me, and to come home to the Philippines. First thing on the agenda-Sinigang!!! ??
“I think, actually, being in Vegas and representing the Philippines, the whole experience was amazing—just training, getting to know myself better, becoming a better person. But I think the highlight of it all was being in Vegas and feeling the adrenaline everyday and being able to say ‘Philippines,’ wearing the Philippine sash,” Rachel muses. “It’s such an honor that not many people get to go through. I was the 66th Filipina to compete in Miss Universe, so it’s something I will hold with me forever.”
Last March 18, for the last time, Rachel walked the stage at the Smart Araneta Coliseum as Miss Universe Philippines 2017. She passed on her crown to Catriona Gray, who was a clear frontrunner in the pageant.
On Instagram, Rachel posted a photo of the newly-crowned beauty queen, with a congratulatory message for all of them, especially to Catriona: “To My successor @catriona_gray You totally slayed last night ??I know how hard you worked for this, and it showed in your fantastic performance. Looking forward to seeing what the future has in store for you. Enjoy every moment, Queen.”
@bbpilipinasofficial you've done it again!! To every single woman who stepped foot on that stage last night- You are all winners and should be very proud of yourselves! ? To our new queens- Congratulations ?? I am so excited to watch your individual journeys and we will be here cheering till the very end! To My successor @catriona_gray You totally slayed last night ??I know how hard you worked for this, and it showed in your fantastic performance. Looking forward to seeing what the future has in store for you. Enjoy every moment, Queen ??
From one Miss Universe Philippines to another, does Rachel have any piece of advice for Catriona? She says, “Catriona doesn’t need advice from me. She is so hardworking. She is so passionate about being a beauty queen. She's done it before, she did Miss World. She knows exactly what to expect. I guess, if I had to give her a piece of advice, it's to always stay humble and remember the people who helped you along the way because as beauty queens, we won’t get to where we are without the help of so many people around us. It's their victory as much as ours.”
So now that Rachel is done with pageantry, she’s taking some time off away from the limelight and focus on her businesses in Siargao. “That's been on the backburner for some time now. It's a coffee shop. And then we do have two airbnbs also, which are doing really well, and they’re doing so well that we're not actually able to keep up with everything. So I’m gonna be there to make sure we have everything flowing the way we want to,” she shares.
From the glitz and glam of the beauty pageant world to the laidback beach life—Rachel is trading her high heels for flip-flops (or even barefoot on the sand) for now. But she is not turning her back on the possibility of returning to the limelight maybe as a host, something she admits she has come to love.
Photographs by Bong Tan via @real_missosology and from @rachelpetersx