Earl D.C. Bracamonte – Philstar.com

September 21, 2021 | 12:39pm

MANILA, Philippines — After Zambales’ representative Joanna Marie Rabe bowed down from the Miss Universe Philippines 2021 competition, another candidate from the Final 30 followed her.

Ybonne Ortega of Davao City formally backed out of the competition due to health restrictions.

In a social media post, the Davaoeña wrote, “Sometimes, the stars don’t align even when you really want them to; but eventually, it will because God’s timing is always perfect. Have faith and trust His delays.

“It breaks my heart that I won’t be able to formally compete in the Miss Universe Philippines 2021. Even before meeting the MUPh team and my co-candidates, I had tested positive to Covid-19. I kept quiet hoping that my situation would change and retesting would result with negative results. Unfortunately, this is not my time yet to compete in the finals of the MUPh pageant.



“The worst part about the experience is not about being positive. It was about those negative individuals who try to drag you down and spread false information while you’re trying to do your best. Despite this short, but very exciting journey, I came across with so many people in different industries. They had supported me in the most special ways from the beginning up until now. Your efforts are immensely treasured.”

During the candidates’ lock-in in Clark Hilton Hotel, Ybonne and the candidate from Davao Occidental failed to register and claim their official sashes – which started the rumors as to their wellbeing.

“I may not be able to mention everyone, but I am beyond grateful to my Ortega family, Baniao family, Pedersen Winther family, friends, Team Gandavaoeña, PT family, modeling family, pageant sisters, Philippine designers, Davao hair & makeup artists, production teams, organizers, and SPED & DDC family for all your love.

“I am completely overwhelmed. I am thankful for being an official delegate and for all the support I have received from the MUPh organization, my city, and my fans. I am not closing my doors to the possibility of joining again in the future. Surely, this is not the end of it.

“Instead, this is when my life will never be the same again. I will definitely come back better, stronger, and more ready to conquer the national stage. This is your Miss Universe Philippines – Davao City 2021 urging everyone to stay safe and healthy. Let us continue to pray for healing and peace during this time of uncertainty.”

It’s been a week since the official candidates went into their bubble hub. A visit of some members of the MUPH team (national director Shamcey Supsup-Lee, Albert Andrada, Voltaire Tayag and Jonas Gaffud) to the Clark International Airport facility has sparked rumors that, maybe, the airport’s sprawling confines may become the final stage for the competition.

Stay tuned for other exciting updates in the remaining days leading to the finals.

RELATED: Miss Universe Philippines 2021 sets new pre-pageant dates 

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