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Filipino netizens were divided in their reactions: some were disappointed, while some still support her.
Maxine Medina, the Miss Universe contestant from the Philippines, has made headlines during her first Q & A portion. She was constantly bashed online for her poor English skills.
The Philippines is recognized globally as one of the largest English-speaking nations, with the majority of its population having at least some degree of fluency in the language. English has always been one of the country’s official languages, and is spoken by more than 14 million Filipinos. It is the language of commerce and law, as well as the primary medium of instruction in education. With this at hand, a lot of Filipinos were expecting Maxine to give the best answer she could.
Unfortunately, Maxine was visibly nervous and had answered in English, even with the interpreter beside her. Maxine Medina was bashed online, with netizens criticizing not only her poor English skills, but also the way she answered the question.
Host Steve Harvey asked Medina: “What is the most significant change you’ve seen in the world in the last 10 years?”
Audiences were surprised when an interpreter translated the question to Filipino but Medina still chose to answer in English.
“In the last 10 years of being here in the world, I saw all the people bringing in one event like this in Miss Universe. It’s something big to us that we are one. As one nation, we are all together. Thank you. Maraming salamat po,” she said.
Iris Mittenaere, a dental surgery student from Lille in the north of France, beat 85 of the world’s most beautiful women at the Miss Universe event in the Philippines.
Mittenaere, 24, edged out Miss Haiti, the first runner-up, and Miss Colombia the second runner-up.
In the final question round, Miss France highlighted the benefits of open borders when asked about the global refugee crisis.
“In France we want to have the most globalisation that we can. We want to have the biggest exchange of people that we can. Maybe someday that will change but now we have open borders,” Mittenaere said.
“Having open borders allows us to travel more through the world and to find out more about what’s out there in the world,” she added
Pia Wurtzbach of the Philippines won last year following a major blunder in which the host – Emmy Award winner Steve Harvey – mistakenly awarded the title to Miss Colombia.