Izabella Jasmine Umali first came into the consciousness of many as a model. As the daughter of two titleholders, former Mutya ng Pilipinas 2nd runner-up Mary Jane Umali and Manhunt International 1997 2nd runner-up Vincent Pinto, it was expected that she would try pageantry. But she took her time to do other things and after screening for Miss World Philippines early this year, she switched to Miss Universe Philippines and is now part of the Top 30.
Jasmine knew it was not or never to give pageantry a try. In our interview with her last August 7, Jasmine shared her decision to try pageantry, making the switch, and her mom’s initial reaction.
On screening for Miss Universe Philippines
” I thought hard about it. It was such a big sign for me to join a pageant for MWP… it was very timely, everything was falling into place. I was so serious about it and I was determined to be the best version of myself. Nung nag-ECQ at medyo tumatagal, medyo wala ng nangyayari, the team gave the collective decision that I should join MUP na because I’m already 25 [years old].”
On the reaction of her parents about her decision to join pageantry
“My mom wasn’t really pushing me to join. Parang hindi siya sigurado if gusto niya [ako sumali based from] her experience. I guess she just wants to protect me from you know being heartbroken if I lose. Siguro ayaw lang niya ako ma-hurt. Protective lang siya and worried. But it was my decision based on answered prayers.”
On how beauty queens can help promote Philippine tourism
“The best way we can do is win the Miss Universe crown. Before winning, we can use social media. It’s a big platform and I think some of the girls are doing that…sobrang creative ng mga ladies ngayon.”
On whether having parents as titleholders is an advantage in her campaign in Miss Universe Philippines
” Parang hindi naman. We know that there are more popular candidates… but I am very grateful and thankful for the support of my parents. They have been really sharing pages, my Miss Universe [profile]. Just being a candidate, they are really happy about it and I am happy in anyway they support me.”
On why she deserves to be Miss Universe Philippines
“I deserve to be Miss Universe [Philippines] 2021 because even if I am a new face and even though it’s my first time because I am a fighter. I am a warrior. I fight for what is right, I fight for what I love, I fight for each and every Filipino. And to represent the beauty of the Filipinos is what I aim for and to help the country.
“And I will not only use my voice but I will use my talent, my skills, my creativity to reach the audience on a deeper level and have a connection that will really inspire them, influence them, and motivate them as best versions of themselves.”