She’s affable, demure, with a gentle vibe tingling from her soft, endearing voice.
But despite the noise emanating from the other table full of former politicians, businessmen and an ex-top government official in an otherwise serene, peaceful restaurant with lesser patrons than the usual, we heard our 2017 Miss Universe bet Rachel Peters quite impressively clear.
“This is my time to show them what I’ve done and show them what I can offer, and hopefully tell them that I’m the right candidate to be Miss Universe,” Rachel said in an exclusive interview with ABS-CBN.com.
With that challenging journey she had to getting to Vegas this end of November, we are totally amazed with her drive.
“Well, to be honest, it was really like a culmination of a number of different things. You probably already know I joined Miss World in 2014 and I wasn’t very successful; I came 4th runner-up. So that gave me a taste of what pageantry is like [and it’s true] it really changed my life like in so many ways.”
Rachel took that setback as a motivation and did not give up.
“I always kinda had it back in the back of my mind – I wanna try again, give it my all, because it was my first time (joining) the pageant. I just realized like how much effort you really have to put into something like that, so I wanted to do it again than my failure.”
What made her decide to try again
What made her finally decide to try again was watching the 2015 Binibining Pilipinas pageant won by Pia Wurtzbach, who was eventually crowned Miss Universe.
“I watched Binibini in 2015, I watched it live, and I watched all the girls on stage and I was there, and I was like, ‘I wish that was me.’ I found myself really wishing that I had joined and then I was obviously inspired by Pia trying three times and look at her now.”
But above all, it was something she wanted to do for herself.
“And I’m just really wanting to challenge myself, the pageant can be really hard but they really make you level up as a person, like physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and so I was ready to take on that new challenge.”
Joining Binibining Pilipinas 2017 became that validation for this 26-year-old stunner, who was born in Bahrain to parents Nigel Peters, a British national, and Annie Obregon, who hails from Bicol.
Before going up the pageant stage, Rachel described her experience as “challenging.”
“The entire duration of Binibini was really challenging because people [want you to win]. You better make sure that your patience level is up here because there’s a lot going around, fitting, some stuff. It was a challenge because on top of that we have to go to training and things like that. Super haggard everyday,” Rachel stressed
Hardship was worth it
But all the hardship was all worth it, as she ended up making that triumphant walk with the Binibining Pilipinas Universe crown glittering on her head.
“You pushed through and you win. You know, they say, ‘Why do girls cry when they win’ and I never understood it until I went through Binibini. They cry because all the hard work that they put in paid off and it was really an amazing feeling,” she said.
“I can’t describe it (winning Binibining Pilipinas Universe), like I’ve never been that happy in my life. You know I had all the people who mean something to me in the (Araneta) Coliseum and to share that to my family, my friends, my boyfriend (Camarines Sur Governor Migs Villafuerte) and his family, and also the girls who I have become close to in the pageant. Stunning, incredible, amazing. I wish I could replay it over and over again.”
Vying for the illustrious crown
On November 26, Rachel will vie for that illustrious crown. What must she always keep in mind while she prepares for the Miss Universe 2017 pageant at The AXIS in Las Vegas, Nevada?
“I think the only way is to go in there with a mindset to have fun and to make friends,” Rachel said. “if you’re just thinking about winning so much and you go in there expecting to win, when you lose, you will feel so bad about yourself like it’s the end of life.”
“But then if you go in there thinking, ‘oh, im not gonna win”, then you’re not gonna win; there’s no way you’re gonna win. Just go in there with the head [saying], that you’re going to have fun, you’re just gonna enjoy all your hard work,” she added.
On Saturday, November 11, Rachel leaves for the US in her bid to reclaim the crown we all savored two years ago with Pia’s win. How will she differentiate herself from the three other Filipinas who wore the Miss Universe crown?
“I can be that girl that people can really relate to because I was really able to transform myself. Like this has been a huge transformation for me, hopefully that can inspire people who maybe don’t have the means nor the funds to know that anything is possible because honestly, (this is not) me four years ago. You would never have the notion that I would represent the Philippines on a Miss Universe. “