Philippine-born Singaporean beauty queen Bernadette Belle Wu Ong has made a powerful protest against anti-Asian hate and racism with her choice of costume crafted by Filipino designers for the 69th Miss Universe competition.
The national costume worn by the Miss Universe delegate in Florida on May 14, 2021, is a hand-painted ensemble inspired by Singapore’s flag and bears the words “Stop Asian Hate.”
According to Ong’s Instagram, Filipino designer Arwin Meriales created her red bodysuit and cape and had only two days to make the memorable costume.
“I reached out to Filipino designer @arwin_meriales04 to create a design of my own and he executed! When he offered to get @kuyapawlo to hand paint something at the back I knew straight away that it had to be about the movement revolving racial spite and prejudice!” Bernadette Belle Ong wrote.
Meriales, a fashion design student, tapped fellow local artist Paulo Pilapil Espinosa to paint the words on the costume to reference the violent incidents targeting Asians around the world.
“Ms. Bernadette is not just a candidate. She’s a woman with a mission. It was her idea to make the NatCos competition a way to raise awareness for a very relevant cause,” Paulo Pilapil Espinosa said in an Instagram post.
The Singapore bet for Miss Universe 2020 Bernadette Ong was born and raised in the Philippines up until she was 11 years old.
The actress-model made headlines in raising awareness for the surge of anti-Asian hate crimes with her national costume carrying her country’s national colors, which “represents equality for all” and “symbolises everlasting virtue.”
Miss Universe Philippines Rabiya Mateo chose a Philippine flag-inspired outfit during the national costume competition of the Miss Universe pageant held at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Florida, U.S.A.
Cameroon’s first-ever representative to the Miss Universe competition Angele Kossinda turned heads donning a Filipino-designed national costume inspired by her country’s national animal, the lion.
SEND CHEERS in the comments below to Philippine-born Singaporean beauty queen Bernadette Belle Wu Ong for choosing Filipino designers to make her national costume for the 69th Miss Universe pageant.
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