(MALAYA) SHAMCEY Gurrea Supsup of the Philippines finished as third runner-up at the 60th Miss Universe Beauty Pageant held at the Credicard Hall in Sao Paolo, Brazil last Tuesday morning (Manila time) while Angola’s Leila Lopes won her country’s first Miss Universe title.

Shamcey, 25, an architect who was born in Iligan City and grew up in General Santos City, did not disappoint pageant fans who voted for her in several unofficial popularity polls worldwide and got the nod of the judges for a crucial semi-final slot. Shamcey performed splendidly during the presentation show and displayed innate beauty and elegance to eventually advance to the top ten and final five, making it two in a row for a Filipina finalist in the pageant; Venus Raj finished as 4th runner-up in Las Vegas last year.

The 16th semi-final spot via online voting went to Portugal’s Laura Goncalves; it was the first time Portugal figured in the semi-finals in the pageant’s 60-year history.

Shamcey won the Bb. Pilipinas-Universe title last April and embarked on a serious pageant training regimen before leaving for Colombia and Brazil last month.

The Bb. Pilipinas Charities Inc. (BPCI) issued this statement on Shamcey’s fine performance: "BPCI would like to extend its heartfelt congratulations to Miss Shamcey Supsup who placed third runner-up in the recently-concluded Miss Universe 2011 Pageant. Her dazzling performance and excellent answer, besting more than 80 of the loveliest women, clearly showed the innate beauty, values and intelligence of the Filipina. Indeed, Shamcey’s remarkable finish is a source of pride for Filipinos worldwide. Kudos Shamcey, we are so proud of you and we are eagerly awaiting your return!"

When asked by judge Vivica Fox if she would give up her religious beliefs to marry the man she loves, Shamcey quickly replied that she would not because she loves God above everyone else and her boyfriend will not make her choose if he really loves her.

The coveted Miss Universe 2011 crown went to Angola’s Leila Lopes who was crowned by her predecessor Ximena Navarrete of Mexico. A 25-year-old, 5-foot-10 ˝ tall Business Management student, Leila was born in the Portuguese "bridgehead" of Benguela (the other being the capital Luanda) to immigrant parents from Cape Verde.

When asked by Tony award-winning Filipino artist Lea Salonga the question, "If you could change a characteristic in your person, what will it be and why?" Leila answered: "Thank God I’m very satisfied with the way God created me and I wouldn’t change a thing. I consider myself a woman endowed with inner beauty. I have acquired many wonderful principles from my family and I intend to follow these for the rest of my life."

Lopes became only the fourth African woman to be crowned as Miss Universe after South Africa’s Margaret Gardiner (1978), Namibia’s Michelle McLean (1992) and Botswana’s Mpule Kwelagobe (1999).

The complete list of the Miss Universe 2011 Honor Roll is as follows:

Miss Universe – Leila Luliana da Costa Vieira Lopes of Angola

1st runner-up – Olesya Stefanko of Ukraine

2nd runner-up – Priscilla Machado of Brazil

3rd runner-up – Shamcey Gurrea Supsup of the Philippines

4th runner-up – Zilin Lou of China

Ronnia Fornstedt of Sweden won Miss Photogenic, Nikolina Lonar of Montenegro got the Miss Congeniality award and Best National Costume went to Sheldry Saez of Panama.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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