Rodgil Flores, one of the mentors of Miss Universe Philippines 2017 Rachel Peters, arrived in Las Vegas a day before the pageant.
Rodgil is a co-founder of Kagandahang Flores, the camp which Rachel trained under.
In an interview with Rappler, he said he’s looking forward to seeing her compete.
“I’m very excited for Rachel ’cause I know Rachel has really done an excellent job. As everybody saw during the preliminaries, she gave a flawless performance, and I know that she will give another sterling performance [on] pageant night,” Rodgil said.
He also gave a message to his ward, saying: “You’re not just one of those who I trained. You are very special to me… you are my daughter and I love you, Rachel, and I know you’re gonna be Miss Universe 2017. You are my Miss Universe 2017.”
Rodgil, who trained the likes of Miss International 2005 Precious Lara Quigaman, Miss International 2013 Bea Rose Santiago, and Miss Earth 2017 Karen Ibasco, also talked about Rachel’s pasarela (walk) dubbed the “infinity walk,” and the leaking of her supposed evening gown for the finals. The Filipino-British beauty queen and her designer Val Taguba have both expressed disappointment over the leak.
“At first, I really felt so sad about it. But when she had that post [on] her Instagram… then I knew that Rachel [had gotten] over it, the scenario about the leak of her gown. And I know that Rachel will deliver a solid performance during the evening gown competition.”
On Instagram, Rachel thanked all Filipinos for their support, especially via social media.
“Thank you for a truly amazing experience. I’ve learnt so much about myself these last few days and have made many wonderful friends that no matter what happens tomorrow, I already feel like a winner!
“Philippines, it’s been such an honor to wear the sash and to represent you. You’ve all been incredible – it blows my mind – and you’ve all done your part… now it’s time for me to do mine! Mahal ko po kayong lahat (I love you all).”
Rachel hopes to become the 4th Filipina to bring home the Miss Universe crown, which was brought back by Pia Wurtzbach in 2015.
Video interview by Voltaire Tayag / Rappler.com