Although she hadn't taken home the Diamond Nexus crown of Miss Universe, Philippine bet Ariella "Ara" Arida remains grateful that she was able to continue the country's Top 5 winning streak on the prestigious pageant.
"'Yung natawag lang ako sa Top 5 parang nakahinga na ako ng malalim," said the Miss Universe 2013 3rd runner-up during her live appearance on "Buzz ng Bayan" on Sunday.
But since many presuppose that among the four other ladies on the Top 5 namely: Miss Venezuela, Ecuador, Brazil and Spain, she was the only one who actually answered the question correctly, did she have a sense that she did deserve that crown?
"Hindi naman sa iniisip ko pero ako, parang sayang. Sayang po 'yung pagkakataon pero nung nasa Top 5 nako sobrang saya ko na eh, na at least napagpatuloy ko 'yung sunod-sunod po nating panalo," she shared.
Prior to being given her own question during the much-awaited final round of the Miss Universe 2013 coronation night held in Moscow, Russia last November 10, Ara laughingly shared that she was actually answering the questions being given to the other candidates.
“Habang tinatanong sila ako sumasagot ako, so sabi ko nga sa sarili ko, 'bakit ko ba ito sinasagot eh hindi naman ito itatanong sakin?'” she mused.
When her question came, Ara was notably the only one who answered in English and sans the use of an interpreter. Her question from Judge Tara Lipinski was: "What can be done about the lack of jobs for young people starting their careers around the world?"
Her response was: "For the people who have lack of jobs, I do believe that we people should invest in education and that is my primary advocacy, because we all know that if everyone of us is educated and well aware of what we are doing, we could land into jobs and we could land a good career in the future. Education is the primary source and ticket to a better future."
Much to Boy Abunda’s delight, the 24-year-old beauty queen confessed that in truth the only thing that she has picked up from the lengthy question of the champion figure skater was the line “lack of jobs.”
But is she happy with her answer?
“Opo. Iniisip ko nga eh, if may time akong mag-isip pa ano ang sagot ko. Ganon parin po, edukasyon parin ang sagot ko,” said she.
Apart from the announcement of the final result, the other moment that got many Pinoys holding their breaths was the announcement of the Top 16, wherein Ara was called last.
“Nung iniisip ko palang, Top 8 palang parang nalulungkot na ako na bakit hindi pa ako tinatawag. Sabi ko, 'ginawa ko naman lahat ng best ko sa preliminaries.' Tapos [after tawagin 'yung Top 15] tapos wala parin po ako tapos nandoon pa si Miss Russia and Poland na for me, contender din po [parang nalungkot na ako],” Ara shared. But according to her, she kept her positivity intact and not later, the camera zoomed to her and she was named as the last contender to complete the Top 16.
During her appearance on Buzz ng Bayan, Ara also took the opportunity to clarify the controversy that she got embroiled into prior to the actual coronation night.
Recall that weeks ago, Ara, whose communication skills then has been repeatedly questioned by Netizens, has drawn flak for her supposed “offensive” remark about Latinas not being able to “speak a complete sentence in English” which she said in an interview with Karen Davila on her show Headstart.
“[Taken] out of context lang po talaga 'yung nasabi ko talaga,” she emphasized.
Ara continued, “Parang sinabi ko po kasi na they can't construct a sentence in English. But what I meant po talaga is that parang sila nga nananalo sila using their own language kasi feeling po ng iba parang basehan 'yung pagkakaroon ng perfect English to win the title. Kung ano ang ma-express mo na maiintindihan ng tao, doon ako.”
After her Miss Universe stint, Ara says she’s open to join show business provided that an opportunity presents itself to her.