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SPECIAL REPORT | Should Ariella Arida use a translator? Fellow beauty queens say, why not?

Ariella Arida.

Should she make it as far as the interview portion of the Miss Universe pageant, fellow beauty queens see nothing wrong with Miss Philippines Ariella Arida answering in Tagalog and getting help from an interpreter.

In separate interviews, Miss Universe 1999 1st runner-up Miriam Quiambao, Miss Earth 2004 Priscilla Meirelles and Binibining Pilipinas-International 2010 Krista Kleiner (now known as singer Krista K) expressed their concerns on Arida’s perceived weak command of the English language following her controversial TV interview with Karen Davila on the ANC show, “Headstart”.

“Sa tingin ko, kung mas kumportable siya sa Tagalog. Okay lang naman sumagot siya in Pilipino kasi meron namang translator. Pero kung sa tingin niya, kaya din niyang magsalita ng English, ang importante, yung gist ng sagot niya, yung totoo at nasa saloobin niya. Kung mai-deliver niya yun ng maayos, pasok siya dun,” Quiambao told InterAksyon and other media during the culminating press conference of World Vision’s Celebrities for Children project.

Miriam Quiambao. (Analy Labor/InterAksyon)

Meirelles, a Brazilian who has been based here in the Philippines even before she married actor John Estrada, said she had seen Arida’s interview and had taken no offense from her remark citing Latinas as examples of beauty pageant contestants who don’t speak good English. She did, however, say it’s okay for candidates to get translators to interpret more effectively what they mean to say.

“It’s really hard for a candidate that does not speak English very well like myself when I first competed in Miss Earth. You cannot make yourself heard the way you’re supposed to be and you can’t express yourself properly,” Meirelles told InterAksyon during the recent launch of the Miss Teen Earth and Little Miss Earth pageant.

Priscilla Meirelles.

“But in beauty pageants, they also have translators, so just make sure you get a good one, say what you want to say in your own language and make sure the interpreter does his job right. And I don’t think it should be an issue”.

In an earlier interview, actress and Binibining Pilipinas-International 1994 Alma Concepcion likewise said she sees nothing wrong with Arida using an interpreter in the Miss Universe pageant.

(Next page: Gloria Diaz’s solution to Venus Raj’s ‘major major’ problem)