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After Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach won Miss Universe in 2015, she guested in several TV and radio shows in the US. Explaining why winning the beauty pageant is a big deal to her countrymen, Pia said Filipinos are obsessed with the three B's: boxing, basketball and beauty pageants.
Those are indeed some of the most-followed events in the Philippines. International boxing matches, basketball games and beauty pageants have been hosted by the country, and these have been mostly met with enthusiasm, passion and heart by Filipino fans.
In a few days, Pia will pass on her Miss Universe crown, and it's extra special since she'll do it right in her own country. This is the third time that the Philippines is hosting the Miss Universe pageant, but the way Filipino pageant fans are following the pageant activities today has changed tremendously, thanks to technology.
The Internet has become a platform for each of this year's Miss Universe candidates to present themselves to as many people as possible. Because of social media, fans can now follow their bets' activities, even when they are in different parts of the country for different pre-pageant activities.
Social media pages like the Facebook accounts of PLDT Home and Smart Communications provided behind the scenes access to most of the contestants' activities.
Video courtesy of PLDT Home Facebook.
Video courtesy of Smart Communications Facebook.
More importantly, fans can interact directly with their favorite beauty queens. Contestants this year often broadcast messages through channels like Facebook Live or Instagram Stories, and in turn fans can instantly send back messages of support.
The internet has also opened up possibilities for fans to watch the most important Miss Universe events, through their screen of choice. For example, the preliminary rounds that will determine which contestants will make it to the Top 12 can be watched not only through TV5's free TV broadcast, but also through livestreaming channels like Smart Communications' Smartlife.
Best of all, the fans now play a major role in determining who brings home the prestigious Miss Universe crown. Through the internet, fans from all over the world can cast votes through the web, the official mobile apps and voting app, and through Twitter.
Filipinos from all over the world can help Philippine bet Maxine Medina make the country's dream of a back-to-back win come true. They can simply use the voting channels mentioned above or tweet using the official voting hashtags #MissUniverse and #Philippines.
In the age of social media and always-on connectivity, Filipinos can take the spirit of bayanihan online and help Miss Philippines reach the top, para sa bayan.
Images courtesy of PLDT Home and Smart Communications Facebook accounts.
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