By Jerome Lagunzad
Add a glittering beauty crown to Michele Gumabao’s growing trophy case.
The former La Salle volleyball star gained a fair share of the spotlight on Sunday night when she was crowned as the Miss Globe during the 2018 Binibining Pilipinas Coronation Night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
A three-time UAAP champion with La Salle and also the Finals MVP back in Season 75, the 5-foot-10 Gumabao, 25, proved she’s more than just a pretty face in her bold transition from the volleyball courts to pageant ramps.
When asked by veteran broadcast journalist Ces Oreña-Drilon, “What can you do to fight fake news?” during the Q and A portion, Gumabao answered with pure confidence.
“I know that fake news is rampant nowadays but, in order to fight this, we must first know what we are reporting, know what we are reading and, at the same time, be accountable for what we say, especially online,” she said.
“And I hope that media always filter and use their resources to always deliver the truth and authentic news. Thank you.”
Now that she’s a full-fledged beauty queen titleholder, it remains to be seen whether Gumabao will suit up for the new-look Creamline Cool Smashers in the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Reinforced Conference that gets going in May.
“I am still a volleyball player but now, with an extra crown on my head. It will always be my first career,” Gumabao was quoted as saying by Sheila Reyes of ABS-CBN News.
“My reign as a beauty queen, as Miss Globe Philippines, will be for a year. Then we will see after that what new career I can pursue or what new idea I can come up with. It’s just a new opportunity for me. I am very, very happy and honored to be here alongside these beautiful women.”
Meanwhile, Davao native Jehza Huelar, the fiance of Magnolia Ang Pambansang Manok superstar PJ Simon, emerged as the Binibining Pilipinas Supranational.
Top favorite Catriona Gray was crowned the Miss Universe Philippines, with Vickie Rushton emerging the first runner-up and Samantha Bernardo the second runner-up.
The other winners were Karen Gallman (Binibining Pilipinas Intercontinental), Eve Patalinjug (Binibining Pilipinas Grand International) and Ma. Ahtisa Manalo (Binibining Pilipinas International).