Who is Beatrice Luigi Gomez?
Gomez, 26, is a beauty queen, model, community development worker, advocate for LGBTQ+ rights, athlete and Philippine Navy Marine reservist from San Fernando, Cebu in the Philippines. She studied mass communications at the University of San Jose-Recoletos in Cebu and, in October, was promoted to sergeant of the Philippine Navy Reserve Unit.
In her own words, she is a "sports enthusiast and played in the volleyball varsity team for six years from high school to college".
In June, she told the Cebu Daily News, "Just like what everyone hopes for in the LGBTQIA+ [community], I aspire for acceptance and inclusivity – especially equal rights and protection for the younger generation who oftentimes suffer from bullying and different forms of violence."
"I used to be a socially awkward person who suffered social anxiety for many years and my dream is to one day become a life coach and motivational speaker," her Miss Universe biography reads. "A few weeks before the Miss Universe Philippines competition, I joined a virtual race and ran 42 kilometres for the benefit of children who are victims of the armed conflict in Negros."
Her journey in pageantry goes back to 2015, when she came second runner-up at the Miss Mandaue pageant and, in 2020, she won the Binibining Cebu pageant. In 2021, she represented Cebu in the Miss Universe Philippines pageant, and was crowned Miss Universe Philippines 2021 on September 30.
During Monday's Miss Universe final, she was asked her opinion on mandating a universal vaccine passport.
On stage with presenter Steve Harvey, Gomez answered: "I believe that public health is everyone's responsibility and to mandate vaccine inoculation is necessary.
"[If] mandating vaccine passports would help us in regulating the roll-outs of vaccines and mitigate the situation of the pandemic today, then I would agree [with] mandating the necessary passports."
Miss Universe 2021 top five
In the finals, Gomez was the first to be announced for the top five, along with Miss Colombia Valeria Ayos, Miss India Harnaaz Sandhu, Miss Paraguay Nadia Ferreira and Miss South Africa Lalela Mswane.
Miss Philippines and Miss Colombia were then eliminated, leaving Mswane, Sandhu and Ferreira as the top three.
After one final walk around the stage, the final three places were announced as:
- Third place: Miss South Africa, Lalela Mswane
- Second place: Miss Paraguay, Nadia Ferreira
- First place: Miss India, Harnaaz Sandhu
The 10 past winners of Miss Universe
2020 – Andrea Meza, Mexico
2019 – Zozibini Tunzi, South Africa
2018 – Catriona Gray, Philippines
2017 – Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, South Africa
2016 – Iris Mittenaere, France
2015 – Pia Wurtzbach, Philippines
2014 – Paulina Vega, Colombia
2013 – Gabriela Isler, Venezuela
2012 – Olivia Culpo, USA
2011 – Leila Lopes, Angola