Home Culture Hawaii-based Filipina Wins Mrs. Universe Title for the First Time

Hawaii-based Filipina Wins Mrs. Universe Title for the First Time

Hawaii-based Filipina crowned as Mrs Universe 2023
Hawaii-based Filipina crowned as Mrs Universe 2023

Philippines – Meranie Pabular Gadiana Rahman made history last night as the first Filipina woman to be crowned Mrs. Universe.

Representing Hawaii in the 46th edition of the renowned beauty pageant, Rahman bested contestants from over 40 countries at the Newport Performing Arts Theater. Upon accepting the coveted title, tears of joy streamed down her face.

“I am overwhelmed with gratitude and pride. While I now call Hawaii home, the Philippines will always have a special place in my heart as my motherland,” Rahman said in an interview after her victory.

Born and raised in Misamis Oriental, Rahman studied in Cagayan de Oro City before marrying her American husband 12 years ago and relocating to Hawaii. However, her Filipino roots and love for the Philippines have endured decades later.

Coming in as runner-ups were India UK’s Kalpana Shukia in first, Arlene Cris Damot representing the Philippines in second, and Emma Melik-Adamian of Black Sea in third.

Damot’s placement marked the first time a Filipina contestant has reached the Top 3 at Mrs. Universe. Her performance helped energize the spectators at the theater, many of whom cheered wildly when she advanced in the competition.

As the new Mrs. Universe, Rahman embraces a role that sees her promoting advocacy for humanitarian causes globally. She has pledged to use her title to empower women and children, as well as raise awareness on social issues close to her heart like human trafficking.

Her historic win as the very first Filipina to accomplish this prestigious feat has stirred immense pride in the Philippines. Rahman’s triumph underscores the enduring beauty, talent and compassion embodied by the Filipina spirit.