Rachel Peters begins Miss Universe preparations this month

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Rachel Peters poses during the recent Cosmopolitan Philippines 20th anniversary party. (Photo by Jill Tan Radovan/InterAksyon)

“I’ve been good. I’ve been really, really busy. All of us winners have been really, really busy. But I’m enjoying it. I’ve wanted this for two years and I’ve worked hard and it’s really amazing that I can say that I made it. Finally!”

This was Miss Universe Philippines Rachel Peters’ exuberant response in a recent interview with InterAksyon . The statuesque British-Filipino beauty from Camarines Sur was asked regarding the aftermath of winning the most coveted crown in the prestigious pageant.

“Sometimes I feel tired because I haven’t really had much time off. But this is the path I chose and it’s a blessing, and I’m enjoying it,” she added.

Rachel, 25, also shared her family’s sentiments regarding her victory.

“Well they’re really happy. I’m really close to my family and of course Migz. And they know how hard I worked and they know how much we had to sacrifice for this. Of course they’re happy for me, but it’s amazing that they’ll forever be behind me whatever happens, win or lose in Miss Universe.”

The ‘Migz’ Rachel is referring to is Cam Sur governor and longtime boyfriend Migz Villafuerte, 28, for whom she wrote a loving message in a recent Instagram post.

“Camsur at this time of year will forever hold a special place in my heart. 3 Miss Kaogma’s ago is when I met my love @migzvillafuerte. Now we’re at the tail end of Kaogma 2017- it’s been ahmazing.. thank you to everyone who came out to celebrate,” the post said.

Rachel appeared at ease and confident, which would definitely help her once she dives into preparations for the Miss Universe pageant.

“This June work starts again for me. There are many aspects to beauty pageant training. There’s the Pasarela, which is walking training. There’s fitness, Q&A, hair and make-up; so it’s gonna be exactly what I’ve been doing, but more intense,” Rachel explained.

Is she nervous about competing again? “At the moment, I’m not feeling very nervous at all. We don’t even know when it is or where it’s gonna be so I just wanna take it in all a bit, enjoy it,” was her reply.

The Miss Universe Organization is said to be in talks with Australia for the hosting of the 2017 pageant early next year either in Sydney or Melbourne.

The Philippines hosted the 2016 pageant in January which was won by Iris Mittenaere of France.

Rachel Peters is crowned Binibining Pilipinas Universe 2017 by her predecessor, Maxine Medina, onstage at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on April 30, 2017. (Photo by Jill Tan Radovan/ InterAksyon)

During the interview, Rachel was asked about the controversy Bb. Pilipinas International winner Mariel de Leon figured in last month, after she expressed her dismay over Mocha Uson’s appointment as Presidential Communications Assistant Secretary.

Rachel offered a completely different take on the issue. While she expressed her admiration for her fellow queen Mariel, she remarked, “We shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. Give [Mocha] a chance. ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’—that’s what my parents taught me as a child, so that’s something I’m gonna carry with me throughout my life.”

“And I don’t know, I guess just be respectful? I’m very proud of Mariel for being strong enough to voice her opinions, because that’s hard, and she’s gone through a lot since then. And so—huge respect for her.

“But also, I guess my opinion is, as much as people would say that, it’s safest to give her [Mocha] the benefit of the doubt. She could probably surprise us all,” Rachel said.