Zambales bows out of Miss Universe Philippines 2021 race
MANILA, Philippines — Just when the official candidates were beginning their lock-in, Joanna Marie Rabe of Zambales has taken herself out of the competition, due to health reasons.
In a social media post, the 26-year-old aspirant wrote, "With great sadness, I would like to inform you (all) that my Miss Universe Philippines journey has been cut short. I got dengue fever earlier this week and my doctor adviced me that I would need more time to recover my strength.
"I am forever indebted to the people who helped me in this journey - my Aces & Queens family, Mamas and Titos, Tatays and sisters; to the designers, Mara Chua, Ushi Sato, Robim and Russel Villafuerte; photographers and makeup artists I have worked with. The Governor's office, Zambales Tourism office, LGU Iba and LGU Botolan, Barangays Amungan and San Agustin, to Ms. April, Tito Mikee & Tita Hyunah, Miss KC, Doc Jay, Dad Jerry, Livit family, Xclusive family, my MUPh sisters, my family and friends, and all the Zambaleños, to the pageant pages who have been so nice to me, to my IEM family, Aphrodite family, and Galaxy medical clinic family."
Fans and supporters have high hopes that Jo, as family and friends call her, would continue her pageant journey next year as her age would still allow it.
Binibining Pilipinas International 2021, and Aces & Queens sister, Hannah Arnold told the Zambales maiden, in a social media post, "I love you so much, beautiful! I remember the first time we met in 2019, I already knew you were a queen. We are so proud of you and will wait for your great comeback! Get well soon, Jo!"
Meanwhile, Jo's 29 other MUPH sisters have registered at the Hilton Clark Sun Valley Resort and have been given their respective official sashes. From there, the girls are rumored to hole up in The Monarch Hotel in Calasiao, Pangasinan where they'll be completing their pre-pageant events and rehearsal schedules.
As of now, it's not clear whether the final show will roll out outside of Manila where the health protocols are less strict, or if the coronation night will still happen within Metro Manila. Stay tuned for more updates in the few days leading to the coronation night.