5 Things You Didn’t Know About Miss Universe Philippines 2024 Chelsea Manalo

5 Things You Didn’t Know About Miss Universe Philippines 2024 Chelsea Manalo


Meet the newly-crowned Miss Universe Philippines Chelsea Manalo. Here are five things you might not know about her

Last night, Chelsea Manalo bested 52 other hopefuls at the finale of the Miss Universe Philippines ceremonies at MOA Arena. Michelle Marquez Dee, the outgoing titleholder, passed the exquisitely crafted La Mer de Majeste crown to the Bulakenya. Dubbed “Bulacan Barbie” by pageant fans and critics alike, the 24-year-old made history as the first Filipino African-American to win the title. At her first try! With her victory, she will represent the nation at the 73rd Miss Universe pageant to be held later this year in Mexico City. But before she does, let’s get to know the new Miss Universe Philippines.

RELATED: The New Miss Universe Philippines 2024 is Chelsea Manalo

Chelsea Manalo in Joey Samson Miss Universe Philippines 2024 Bulacan Barbie
Miss Bulacan is Miss Universe Philippines 2024

Just like Catriona Gray, Chelsea Manalo also joined Miss World

Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray first conquered the World before the Universe. Preceding her glorious moment in her Mayon-inspired dress and much lauded “lava walk,” she was a fierce competitor in Miss World 2016, finishing in the top five. Chelsea Manalo was also an aspirant of the coveted Miss World Philippines status a year later, earning a place in the top 15. Though she didn’t win seven years ago, she is now ready for the Universe. The crown is indeed a relic of beauty, but it is what Chelsea will make of it that holds more significance and essence.

Chelsea Manalo Miss World Philippines top 15 2017 Miss Universe Philippines
Chelsea Manalo was a top 15 finalist in Miss World Philippines 2017

She is a fashion model

Chelsea is not unfamiliar with the spotlight—in fact, she embraces it and commands it with her presence. Since the age of fourteen, the Bulakenya’s distinct and unique features have graced magazines, commercials, and print ads. In February 2022, she starred as a model for MEGA’s special anniversary issue. Photographer Seven Barretto captured these stunning shots of the queen, which illuminated the magazine’s fashion spreads.

Chelsea Manalo model MEGA Magazine 2022
Chelsea modeled for MEGA Magazine for Seven Barretto’s editorial “Padayon” last February 2022
Chelsea Manalo model MEGA Magazine 2022
The beauty queen was the star of MEGA Magazine’s pages

She also graced MEGA’s Christmas fashion editorial in 2022, wearing all Mark Bumgarner. From shoots to runways to the stage, Chelsea has turned posing, confidence, and beauty into her area of expertise. And it’s fair to say she shines in this respect.

Chelsea is a devotee of the Dumagat people

While it is the head that wears the crown and the body the sash, it is essentially Chelsea’s heart that won the Miss Universe Philippines title. In pageantry, a competition that projects physical and intellectual beauty, cultural awareness, and national pride, the queens are also Filipina leaders in-the-making who fearlessly pursue what sets their hearts ablaze with passion. As Miss Universe is the bolster to support the candidates’ initiatives, it is significant to see how Bulacan’s pride will mold her title into something of purpose with regards to indigenous youth education. Her collaboration with Kids for Kids is a testament to her devotion to youth empowerment, inspiring them to be the catalysts of change in their communities. 

Miss Universe 2024 Chelsea Manalo Bulacan Dumagat tribe advocacy
Miss Universe 2024 proudly advocates for education and empowerment of the indigenous people of the Dumagat tribe

Chelsea is also an advocate for body positivity

In the queen’s HER STORY video, Chelsea shared that she had previously struggled with self-confidence and bullying due to her hair type and skin color. She now utilizes her experience to encourage and inspire people to value their own individuality and challenge conventional notions of beauty. 

Miss Universe Philippines 2024 Bulacan Swimsuit Top 20
Chelsea Manalo was a stunner during the top 10 swimsuit walks during coronation night

Miss Universe Philippines 2024 was considered a ‘dark horse’

Chelsea, who is the daughter of an African-American father and a Filipino mother, was viewed as a dark horse in the months-long runup to the pageant’s finals. Her ascent to the title is proof that this did not bring her spirit down; instead, it fueled her determination to aspire and fight to be the Miss Universe Philippines crown-holder. Although not a frontrunner, Chelsea was consistent in her strong pageant performances: her preliminary interview showcased her eloquence and speaking ability, revealing that her modeling career was a stepping stone to pay for her college tuition. Her runway challenge was steady and powerful; it was clear that the queen practiced, eliciting an assured and collected composure as strutted the runway with grace. Her overall preliminary performance the day before coronation night was also commanding and arresting. Her performance at the finals was ultimately the icing on the cake.

Chelsea Manalo’s crowning moment at the Miss Universe Philippines 2024

Photography by GRANT BABIA


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