Official photo of Vincy Vacalares, representing Cagayan de Oro City, for the Miss Universe Philippines competition.

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines – The city’s candidate for the Ms. Universe Philippines 2020 has dropped out of the beauty pageant following her announcement on social media that she contracted Coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

“With a heavy heart, allow me to break the news to all of you that I tested positive for Covid-19 last October 14. This means that I will not be able to continue with my journey to the Miss Universe Philippines crown this year,” said Vincy Vacalares, 23, in a statement posted on her Facebook page Friday, Oct. 16.

She explained that she and her team did all their best to strictly follow all the health and safety protocols, but the virus still hit her.

“To those I had in close contact with, please inform the City Health Officers so they can also check on your state. I pray that you are safe from the virus,” Vacalares urged.

She did not give details on how, when, and where she got infected with the coronavirus. She assured, however, that she’s “in good hands” and she’s currently confined at a hospital in Metro Manila.

“I sincerely apologize for what happened. Please be always on the lookout for your health and safety,” she advised.

Vacalares is a graduate of Technology Communication Management from the University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines in 2017. She’s currently a high school teacher at one of the private schools here.

In 2019, she was crowned third runner-up in the Ms. Cagayan de Oro pageant. She won both titles in the Ms. El Salvador City and Ms. Camiguin in 2015 and 2016, respectively.(

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