Meet the Miss Universe Philippines 2024 Candidates: Miss Cavite to Miss Lucban

Meet the Miss Universe Philippines 2024 Candidates: Miss Cavite to Miss Lucban


As coronation night draws closer, it’s time to spotlight each of the candidates hungry for the crown. Get to know some of them as they engage in an intimate conversation with MEGA

In powerful and sensual Chris Nick masterpieces, the ladies of the Miss Universe Philippines glorify true sophistication and class in the designer’s reinventions of black canvases. Their strong auras and timeless fits are accentuated by the beauty queens in all their aplomb, poise, and the dramatis personae they bring in front of the camera. Off-camera and before they get one closer to the crown, get to know the delegates from Miss Cavite to Miss Lucban.

Miss Universe Philippines 2024 candidates are all wearing designs by CHRIS NICK

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

Dia Maté, Cavite

Music has always been more than just melody and lyrics for Dia Maté, the 22-year-old Caviteña making noise in the Miss Universe Philippines competition. Signed with Island Record Philippines, Maté isn’t just a full-time singer, songwriter, and music producer—she’s a musical healer. “Right now, I am a volunteer at Cribs Foundation, where I teach music to abused children,” she tells MEGA. “It’s a different kind of joy to see their eyes light up when they express themselves through music.”

Miss Cavite

Now, on the grand stage of Miss Universe Philippines, Maté is ready to amplify her message even louder. “As a musician, I found solace in creating music or art when I was down and I want to share that with people,” she says. “Music is not just an entertainment tool, but it’s also something that can bring us out of the darkness.”

If her life were a song, Maté says, it would be titled “Ever-Changing.” Reflecting on her journey through Miss Universe Philippines, she notes, “It’s so new, so different, but it has changed me for the better.”

Kris Tiffany Janson, Cebu

After 10 long years of hiatus, Kris Tiffany Janson of Cebu is back to conquer the universe, or at least the Miss Universe Philippines stage. Crowned Bb. Pilipinas Intercontinental in 2014 and scoring a triumphant second runner-up at Miss Intercontinental the same year, Janson at 34, is defying expectations and age norms. “I’m very happy that the Miss Universe finally lifted the age limit,” she tells MEGA. “Women are never past their prime—there’s more to us than just our age and our looks.”

Miss Cebu

During her decade away from the spotlight, Janson wasn’t just biding her time. “I’ve worn so many hats,” she laughs, recounting roles from commercial modeling to hosting events and even diving into public service as the deputy protocol officer of Cebu City’s mayor. Her current crusade? Mentorship. “I want to be the ate of those girls who need that figure,” Janson declares, fueled by her own journey of finding role models. 

What sets her apart? “It’s the strength I’ve gained during these 10 beautiful years. I’ve learned so much and I’m here to pass it on,” she says. Indeed, Janson is on a mission to mentor, empower, and lead by example.

Maria Isabel Pelayo, Davao City

Rejection is merely a prelude to destiny for 24-year-old Maria Isabel Pelayo, Miss Universe Philippines hopeful from Davao City. Despite initial setbacks in the screening process, Pelayo found her place in the spotlight. “A lot of people were pushing me to compete, and it really felt like the universe conspired with my dreams because even with my initial rejection during the screening, I still ended up here,” the young aerialist tells MEGA.

Miss Davao City

Active beyond the gym, her hiking adventures led her to the Euro Generics International Philippines (EGIP) Foundation, an initiative that champions the preservation of ancestral lands for indigenous communities. “What people don’t know is that our indigenous groups really rely on our natural resources,” she advocates, stressing the critical bond between culture and conservation. For Pelayo, safeguarding the environment should be a duty shared by all. “At the end of the day, this is our home, we are all responsible for it,” she declares, poised to elevate her platform from the heights of her aerial silks to the vast expanse of Miss Universe Philippines.

Johanna Concepcion Puyod Yulo, Davao Region

A mother of two, 39-year-old Johanna Concepcion Puyod Yulo, representing the Davao Region, strides into the Miss Universe Philippines competition not just with grace but with a mission that pierces the heart. A survivor of domestic abuse, Yulo carries a torch not just for herself but for others entrenched in similar battles. “My traumatic past fuels my drive to pursue the crown because I want to inspire those experiencing domestic abuse—that there’s more to life and they can be strong and fight back,” she tells MEGA. 

Miss Davao Region

As a devoted member and servant leader of The Handmaids of the Lord, her strength radiates. Facing skeptics who hint at her age, she retorts, “As long as I can walk, talk, and give my best, I believe I deserve to be here.” Her campaign is not only a pursuit of the crown but a healing journey, fully supported by her children who see her bravery as a lesson in redemption.

Matea Mahal Smith, Florida City

In the past, beauty pageants haven’t exactly been synonymous with diversity, but the gradual opening of the organization beyond temporal restrictions and known beauty standards gave Matea Mahal Smith, representative of the Filipino community in Florida, a space to dream for herself. She tells MEGA that her strength within this competition is broadening the realities of beauty and participating with that beauty on the stage. “I can show little girls, especially the ones that feel like they are unseen and underrepresented, that they are able to dream and no one can be able to take that away,” she says.

Miss Florida City

Aside from aspiring to be a trauma surgeon, Smith aims to open more avenues and doors for resources to eliminate the negative stigma around mental health. Confident, compassionate, and driven, the Miss Universe Philippines hopeful vies to impact the future of beauty pageants in the country by being the illustrative image of the non-normative Filipina.

Patrica Bianca Tapia, Hawaii

From the phenomenal island of Hawaii, Patricia Bianca Tapia is breaking barriers as a symbol of female power. Her own experience growing up with a hearing disability served as a catalyst for her fervent and fearless cause and call for inclusive education. “As someone that has a story to tell, I know how important it is to have people relate to that so that they can transform their lives. I can only hope to be that inspiring to the people around me,” Tapia shares with MEGA.

Miss Hawaii

Driving a force to help Filipino immigrants address socioeconomic and educational divides, the queen is proud to showcase both the aloha and the bayanihan spirit of the community which she is the representative of. Now, as Tapia gears up for preliminaries and coronation night, her resolve remains unshaken. She is a maximizer, collaborator, and the embodiment of positivity.

Alexie Brooks, Iloilo City

In undoing the belief that lighter skin was more beautiful, Alexie Brooks, hailing from the splendiferous Iloilo, aspires that her reign will unfold the power, the depth, and the magic of a dark-skinned woman. “Pageantry isn’t all about beauty and glamor—it’s exhausting, but I do what I do for my people and for the women out there looking up to me—that I represent us,” Brooks declares. “It gives me power and joy that I’m creating a massive impact, and this is the reason why I keep on moving forward.”

Miss Iloilo

Brooks propels women to insert themselves in spaces where they have been told they do not belong and that they will never make it. Her mission is for fellow dark-skinned women to see their faces reflected in hers, and alongside this, as an advocate for sports development, Brooks is passionate about daring women to be greater in a male-dominated sphere. As she continues in the competition, Brooks is also competing for the Ilonggos who “have looked at me more than my hair or my skin tone and focused on what they see in my heart—that I’m someone who is loyal to my city, someone who’s willing to do or create changes in my city.”

Phoebe Arrianna Torita, Kananga

For the other beauty queens, the journey to the crown is purposeful. For Phoebe Arrianna Torita from Kananga, it was simply by fortuity and an intent to make a significant change. When the original candidate of Kananga backed out, Torita instantly said yes with no hesitation and with an eager and hopeful mindset. 

Miss Kananga

As she presents her province and people, Torita’s heart goes out to the country’s agricultural sector. As a farmgirl herself, she longs for the position to give support to the unsung heroes who cultivate our land: “I want to advocate for climate-resilient farming and hope to give them machinery and resources that will lead to more efficient and more sustainable farming.”

Alexandra Rosales, Laguna

Poised and ready for greatness, this Miss Universe Philippines candidate hailing from Laguna is fearlessly pursuing her devotion to responsible pet ownership. As pets cannot speak for themselves, Rosales takes on the responsibility and commitment to lend them her voice and to provide them with the support and resources they need to live healthy, happy lives. “I want to focus on eradicating rabies and animal cruelty so we can boost the coexistence of humans and animals,” the beauty queen explains. “It might not be common, but using this platform is already a big step towards the education about responsible pet ownership.”

Miss Laguna

But her voyage to the crown was also just happenstance—in the crux of the pandemic, the queen put her own Miss Universe Philippines dream to rest to focus on work. But when the call came to represent Laguna, Rosales agreed unhesitatingly and is now here to fulfill her long-growing ambition. 

Angel Rose Tambal, Leyte

As a survivor of the devastating Super Typhoon Yolanda in 2013, Angel Rose Tambal is no stranger to the resilience a beauty queen epitomizes. Representing her province with pride, Tambal emphasizes that going on this demanding journey is an opportunity to show the beauty, culture, and traditions of Leyte to the whole country. 

Miss Leyte

Tambal’s engineering career was also spurred on by the disaster, which fueled her desire to improve Leyteños’ access to clean water and sanitation. She reveals she has been working with the Department of Public Works and Highways in making sure that everyone in her province can experience and have clean water. Overall, if there are three key things to take away from her mark on the stage, Tambal says: “I want to be remembered as a queen who embodies perseverance, tenacity, and preparation.”

Rikki Abuel Dela Peña, Lucban

Beyond being a queen with entrepreneurial ventures and a passion for fashion, Rikki Abuel Dela Peña is the first ambassador of the ERDA Foundation, an organization that is dedicated to fostering self-love and education among today’s youth. The Lucban representative tells MEGA that hearing their stories inspire her to continue on this rigorous process and to use this platform to amplify their voices. 

Miss Lucban

“The colorful and majestic beauty of Lucban—and the warmth and hospitality of the people is what I’m most proud of,” Dela Pena says when asked about how it feels to represent her hometown. “But beyond my people, it’s the youth I want to make my mark on: I would also be the picture that you’re never too old or too young to go after your dreams.”

Miss Universe Philippines 2024 Candidates

Miss Camiguin was unavailable during the shoot day.

Photographed by DOOKIE DUCAY (Group). Photographed by JHARWIN CASTANEDA (Solo). Producer by JONES PALTENG and MIA CASTRO. Creative Direction by BRIE VENTURA. Art Direction ANDREW ENCAPAS. Written by GIANNA SIBAL and LAURD SALEN. Fashion Direction by RYUJI SHIOMITSU. Pieces by CHRIS NICK. Styling by RYUJI SHIOMITSU and BITHIA REYES, assisted by FED PANEN, RICH FORTU, and ERICA TEROL. Editorial Assistant JOANA FERNANDO. Sittings Editor MIA CASTRO

Shot on location PIONEERX STUDIOS

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