Victoria Velasquez Vincent revealed that she turned down an offer to become Miss Universe New Zealand 2021.
Sharing a photo of her wearing a black Filipiniana on Instagram, Miss Cavite said she received an offer right after her coronation night of Miss Universe Philippines.
Accepting the title would allow her to compete in the Miss Universe 2021 pageant in December, but Victoria had other plans for herself.
“After a week of deliberation, countless discussions with my family, friends, and team, I have finally come to the polite decision to decline,” she said.
“So many people will say I’m crazy to turn down this opportunity, but I have to choose what I know in my heart is the right thing to do,” she added.
“My heart is, and will always be, here to serve the Philippines. Some may say I’m not Filipina enough, and that’s okay. I know who I am. I know what I stand for. I am a Filipina.”
Before concluding her post, Victoria thanked Miss Universe New Zealand for their kindness and for considering her a great fit for their crown.
“I’m so grateful that you believed in me and gave me the opportunity of a lifetime,” she said.
Victoria also took the time to thank the Miss Universe Philippines organization for supporting her “no matter what I decide to do.”
“I’m excited to see what the future holds for us, the Philippines,” she said.
Victoria was hailed as Miss Universe Philippines charity last September. Beatrice Luigi Gomez of Cebu City, meanwhile, won the Miss Universe Philippines 2021 crown.