DAVAO CITY – They were glued on their tv sets since the start of the live telecast of Miss Universe beauty pageant from Miami, Florida. They cheered when Philippine candidate Mary Jean ‘MJ’ Lastimosa made it to the Top 10.

But Davaoeños were heartbroken after the former Davao computer engineering graduate failed to reach the pageant’s Top 5.

In an interview with Davao Today, Lady Bam, a host of a local TV program said she was “really sad” that Lastimosa did not win the prestigious title.

“I’m really sad. That is the truth. I would want her to be on the top 5. I need to mourn up to 12 midnight,” Lady Bam said.

Lady Bam who knows Lastimosa personally said some of her friends who were former stylists and make-up artists of Lastimosa have been crying.

However, Lady Bam said she is “thankful that the Philippines made it to top 10.”

“Maybe we were used to be included in the Top 5 for the four consecutive years and we have set a high expectation on MJ because potential-wise she was better than the previous candidates but she didn’t make it,” she said.

Sharon Rose Catalan, a Davao-based Tagalog novel writer, said she was “heartbroken” but believes Lastimosa “still made us proud.”

“A Top 10 finish is a feat not easy to achieve,” she said.

A former beauty queen in Davao who requested anonymity said she was also “rooting for [MJ] since she is representing the Philippines.”

“And I felt really bad because on social media she is trending,” she added saying the expectation was really high but Lastimosa failed to make it.

Lastimosa’s mentor in Davao, Oscar Casaysay, said he was “beaten” with what happened.

“But we see competitions are like this – there will be winners and losers. And from what I saw, MJ did her best to represent the country well and with that, I felt happy because she was able to fulfill her dream of representing the Philippines in Miss Universe,” Casaysay said.

Casaysay said he knows MJ as very sensitive that she “has already cried backstage.”

“She is a fighter too and I think she will stand up. Although there will be bashers, MJ still deserves everything like support and a lot of people love her,” he said.

The Davaoeños interviewed by Davao Today were all rooting for Miss Jamaica Kaci Fennell who landed as fourth runner up in the pageant. The third runner up was Yasmin Verheijen from Netherlands. Miss Ukraine Diana Harkusha and the US’ Nia Sanchez were second and first runners up respectively. While Paulina Vega from Colombia was crowned as Miss Universe.

Casaysay said Lastimosa will be finishing her reign in the Binibining Pilipinas until March. (davaotoday.com)

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