Meet the Miss Universe Philippines 2024 Candidates: Miss Albay to Miss Cainta

Meet the Miss Universe Philippines 2024 Candidates: Miss Albay to Miss Cainta


An intimate look at this year’s Miss Universe candidates, an ensemble of exceptionally talented Filipinas ranging from artists and musicians to doctors and entrepreneurs, each bringing forth advocacies that echo the pressing issues of our time

It’s pageant season anew, and the excitement is palpable as the 2024 Miss Universe Philippines (MUPH) crowning night approaches. This year, 53 contenders are vying to succeed Michelle Dee, Miss Universe Philippines 2023.

This edition of MUPH is already historic: for the first time, delegates were selected through the Accredited Partners Program, the roster includes candidates from overseas Filipino communities, and there are no age restrictions for participants.

Miss Universe Philippines 2024 candidates are all wearing designs by JOEY SAMSON

RELATED: What Makes Miss Universe Philippines 2024 Different, As Told by the MUPH Officers

With the coronation night scheduled for May 22 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay, the candidates are feeling the pressure mount, and so too are the fans. As the contestants refine their walks, perfect their speeches, and polish their performances, one question looms large: Who will wear the crown? Get to know the delegates. 

Elain Bernales, Albay

Elain Bernales towers at 5’11″—a height that once shaded her in self-doubt and made her a target of bullying. Yet, it’s this very stature that led her, somewhat ironically, to the ramps of Miss Universe Philippines. “I never imagined joining beauty pageants because I was bullied for my height. But then, I was asked to join Miss Universe Philippines Albay, and surprisingly, I wasn’t afraid to try it. Luckily, I won,” she shares with MEGA.

Miss Albay

Now 24 and representing Albay, this biology graduate from Bicol University has turned to the pageant stage for her dearest cause—animal welfare. Amid the pandemic, her “fur babies” became more than just her companions, they became her source of comfort. “I pursued Miss Universe because it’s a powerful platform to advocate for animal welfare, an issue that I think is very important,” she says. A fresh face in the pageant world, Bernales believes her rookie charm is her ace. “Being a new face to the competition is a huge thing,” she says, ready to stand tall and stand out.

Kymberlee Street, Australia 

When the stars aligned for Kymberlee Street, destiny didn’t just call—it practically shouted across continents. “Growing up in Australia, I dreamt of joining pageants in the Philippines, so when Miss Universe Philippines opened to overseas communities, I felt like the universe was ready for me,” the 25-year-old Filipina-Australian tells MEGA. Having graced five Australian pageants prior, Street is no stranger to the spotlight. Yet, it’s her work beyond the stage that sets her apart. With two thriving businesses—a skincare brand and a modeling coach venture—she embodies the very essence of a leader. “Miss Universe is a business,” she declares, “and they’re looking for someone to represent our brands and empower Filipinos worldwide.”

Miss Australia

When it comes to her mission, Street is a staunch advocate against human trafficking and child exploitation. “In the Philippines, it’s such a global issue and about 60 to 100,000 children are being exploited each year,” Street explains. “I really just want to be able to understand their lived experiences, amplify their voices, and make them understand that they still have a bright future ahead of them.”

Victoria Velasquez Vincent, Bacoor

“When I was 3 years old, I got kidnapped,” reveals Victoria Velasquez Vincent, Miss Universe Philippines candidate from Bacoor City. This early trauma not only molded her into a strong, fearless woman but also sparked her life’s mission. Now 28, the half-Filipina-half-Irish beauty leverages her challenging past to advocate for low-cost sustainable homes and safe communities. “My survival story and my mother’s struggle with poverty, contrasted with my own privileges, are what truly drive me,” she tells MEGA.

Miss Bacoor

Returning to the Miss Universe Philippines stage for the second time, Vincent brings a seasoned perspective and renewed vigor to her advocacy. With campaigns that are both deeply personal and widely relevant, the young architect believes she’s a strong contender for the crown. “I’m not just a designer of space, but also a designer of self,” she asserts. “It’s important for everyone, not just in Miss Universe, to constantly learn, grow, and change as the world needs.”

Juvel Mangubat Ducay, Bantayan Island, Cebu

What do you do once you’ve fulfilled your dream?? If you’re Juvel Mangubat Ducay, a freshly minted doctor and now Miss Universe Philippines Bantayan Island, Cebu, you redefine what dreaming big looks like. “I passed the physician licensure exam last year,” she reveals to MEGA, “and everyone kept telling me to try for Miss Universe Philippines. I thought, why not? I’ve conquered one dream, it’s time to chase another.”

Miss Cebu

Ducay’s childhood teemed with pageant dreams, though it was her sister who was the family’s designated beauty queen. “I wanted to prove everyone wrong,” she quips, recalling how she pivoted from backstage to the spotlight. “Everyone thought she was the pageant material, not me.” But now, she’s not only proving them wrong—she’s also using the platform to highlight a cause close to her heart.

“In Bantayan Island, our healthcare facilities aren’t as equipped as those in the mainland,” she explains. “We lack transportation, and medical supplies are scarce. I’ve seen firsthand the gaps in our system.” With her sister’s untimely death from cancer and her partner’s recent diagnosis, Ducay’s personal and professional life are deeply intertwined with her advocacy. “This is my chance to do something meaningful—to draw attention to the healthcare situations in rural areas.” This doctor is out to prove that sometimes, the best medicine for a community is a queen who cares.

Tarah Valencia, Baguio

Honoring her late father’s dream is what drove 23-year-old Tarah Valencia of Baguio to compete for the Miss Universe Philippines crown. “He saw a queen in me before I even saw it in myself,” Valencia tells MEGA. A recent Tourism graduate from the University of Baguio, Valencia once saw pageants as mere spectacles of gowns and glitter.

Miss Baguio

Today, she declares, “I come to learn that it’s also about service—it’s about responsibility, about how you can leave a legacy to the people around you.” And for Valencia, the legacy she wants to establish centers on advocating for sustainable tourism. “Irresponsible mass tourism is doing irreparable damage to our environment,” she says. “This is why I want to push for responsible tourism. We only have one earth.” 

Bianca Gaviola, Bohol

There’s beauty in discarded things, and no one spins this narrative better than Bianca Gaviola, Miss Universe Philippines hopeful from Bohol. This 24-year-old visual artist sees the potential in what others overlook. This became her primary advocacy, the very reason she joined Miss Universe Philippines: to amplify the transformative power of recycling. “The stage isn’t just for the competition—it’s my way to reach a bigger audience for my advocacy,” she tells MEGA. 

Miss Bohol

Her groundbreaking initiative, “Trash to Life,” transforms 100% recycled plastics into everyday items, championing a livelihood center that empowers lolas, mothers, single moms, and female out-of-school youth. What sets her apart in a sea of 53? “I am the only visual artist. I bring something special to the table—that creativity and artistry that cannot be replicated,” Gaviola ends.

Natasha Jane Bajuyo, Bukidnon

If you were to tell 17-year-old Natasha Jane Bajuyo that she’d one day thrive in high heels, she’d likely laugh off the notion. Fast forward five years, and the 22-year-old Bukidnon belle, known for her tomboyish swagger and champion strokes in the swimming pool, has swapped her swim caps for crowns. The reason behind this change? An epiphany while watching a pageant in 10th grade. “I told myself that I’m going to join this pageant next year and I’m going to get crowned,” Bajuyo recalls. 

Miss Bukidnon

The determination paid off spectacularly, leading her from the athletic tracks to the pageant walkways. Now, a senior at Central Mindanao University studying Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, Bajuyo uses the pageant stage as a platform to champion Project Babae, an initiative sparked by her mother’s strength against domestic abuse. “She showed me what true courage is,” she shares, “so now, I want to show that to other women.”

Chelsea Manalo, Bulacan 

Chelsea Manalo, the Miss Universe Philippines hopeful from Bulacan, isn’t just another pretty face in the pageant parade. In her words, she’s not just competing for the crown, rather, she’s crusading for the Dumagat people from Norzaragay, Bulacan. “I want to amplify the voices of indigenous groups and make education accessible to them,” the 24-year-old Filipino American tells MEGA. 

Miss Bulacan

Apart from lending her voice to indigenous groups, she aspires to be a living representation of the country’s rich culture and potential on the global stage. “Through me, I want to reflect empowerment, and inclusivity, and showcase what we can offer here,” she asserts, eyes on the crown but feet firmly rooted in her advocacy. 

Lynn Eirene Lomongo, Cagayan De Oro 

The scars on Lynn Eirene Lomongo are not just marks—they are graceful reminders of her individuality. Representing Cagayan De Oro at only 19, Lomongo’s life tells a tale of embracing imperfections boldly and bringing pride to one’s family. “I want to make my family proud, especially my mom in Qatar,” she tells MEGA.  

Miss Cagayan De Oro

Her battle cry for body positivity challenges the constrictive chains of beauty norms. “The advocacy closest to my heart is body positivity—as someone with a lot of scars and imperfections in my body, I want to inspire people to embrace their flaws because it is what makes them uniquely them,” she says. “In a world governed by unrealistic beauty standards, let’s put a period to body shaming.” Critics may doubt her due to her youth, but Lynn stands firm: “I am young, but layered with so much more than age.”

Stacey Daniella Gabriel, Cainta

To be just like her grandmother was always the dream for Stacey Daniella Gabriel, the Miss Universe Philippines candidate from Cainta. At 26, Gabriel threads her grandmother’s legacy of quiet service with her own flair for the spotlight. “My grandmother, who founded the Daisy Legacy Ministry, a women’s prison ministry, is the epitome of compassion, acceptance, and love for all but she always stayed away from the spotlight,” she tells MEGA. “I’ve always admired her, but my creative spirit was drawn to storytelling and performance. Marrying her advocacy with my artistic passion led me to pageantry.”

Miss Cainta

Now, as co-director of Daisy Legacy Ministry, Gabriel broadens this mission with passion. Alongside her mother, they support nearly 700 female senior citizen inmates with spiritual care, medications, food, and essentials. “Our mission is to shine God’s love and light into the darkness of prison life,” she explains. 

Gabriel brings the same transformative spirit and hope to the Miss Universe stage. “I work not only for the women of the past but also for the women of the future,” she says. “I want to be able to tell the stories of the women who came before me, but also break through the glass ceilings so that the women who come after me can go even further.” 

Miss Universe Philippines 2024 Candidates

Miss Bacolod, Miss Batangas, Miss Cabanatuan was unavailable during the shoot day.

Group Photography by DOOKIE DUCAY. Solo Photography by JHARWIN CASTANEDA. Producer by JONES PALTENG and MIA CASTRO. Creative Direction by BRIE VENTURA. Art Direction by ANDREW ENCAPAS. Fashion Direction by RYUJI SHIOMITSU. Fashion by JOEY SAMSON. Styling by RYUJI SHIOMITSU and BITHIA REYES, assisted by FED PANEN, RICH FORTU, and ERICA TEROL. Editorial Assistant JOANA FERNANDO. Sittings Editor MIA CASTRO and PEEWEE REYES-ISIDRO

Shot on location PIONEERX STUDIOS


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