University of the Philippines Los Baños

Our very own Ariella Arida finished third runner up in the 2013 Miss Universe beauty pageant held in Crocus City Hall, Moscow, Russia. Arida, a BS Chemistry graduate, Class 2011, dedicated her victory to the Filipinos affected by typhoon Yolanda.

Her top 5 finish continued the winning streak of the Philippines after Janine Tugonon (2012 Miss Universe first runner-up), Shamcey Supsup (2011 Miss Universe 3rd runner-up), and Venus Raj (2010 Miss Universe 4th runner-up).

Arida, dubbed as the fan favorite, earned the last spot in the Top 16 after topping the official online polls. For the swimsuit portion, Arida took the stage in a red bikini along with her 15 fellow semifinalists. She was called second to advance in the Top 10.

For the evening gown segment, Arida was all beauty and elegance in a yellow Alfredo Barazza dress. She was the fourth one to be called to proceed to the final round of the competition.

In the final round of the pageant, Arida picked judge Tara Lipinski, an American figure skater, to give her the final question. Asked on what can be done about the lack of jobs for young people starting their careers around the world, Arida answered that people should invest in education as their ticket to a better future.

Gabriela Isler of Venezuela won the crown, besting 85 other candidates. Miss Spain, Patricia Yurena Rodriguez, was named first runner-up, Miss Ecuador, Constanza Baez, was second runner-up, while Miss Brazil, Jakelyne Oliveira, was fourth runner-up.

During the pageant, UPLB netizens cheered for Ariella on social media, with the hashtag #uplbsupportsara. During the New Freshmen Convocation last June 10, Arida had a “homecoming” to the UPLB campus and served as the program’s guest speaker. A special hibiscus hybrid under the Beauty Queen Series developed by the Crop Science Cluster of the UPLB College of Agriculture has been named in her honor.