‘Ibalik ang korona sa Pilipinas’: Angelique Manto tries out for Miss Universe Philippines 2023

February 14, 2023 - 2:03 PM
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Photo shows content creator Angelique Manto (David Guison via Angelique Manto/Instagram)

(Updated Feb. 16, 2022; 10:30 a.m.) “Ibalik ang korona sa Pilipinas.”

This is the rallying call of social media users after content creator and television and event host Angelique Manto announced her bid for Miss Universe Philippines 2023

Angelique said “it means a universe” to her to submit her application for the prestigious pageant on Monday, February 13, coinciding with the death anniversary of her father. 

“Today feels like a full circle moment for me, my last memory with my dad was him carrying me on his wheelchair as I won Miss Pampanga back in 2014,” she recalled. 

“Eight years ago, on February 13th, my dad took his last breath. I was seconds too late from catching the bus that would’ve brought me back home in his arms. I missed the opportunity to bid my last goodbye to him, it has been my biggest regret since,” the Pampanga beauty queen said.

“I know he’s always been proud of me but will even be prouder than ever before as I assume an old promise – this is an ode to my dad,” she added.

Angelique’s bid for the pageant was welcomed by many Filipinos online. 

“This was a long time coming, @AngeliqueManto! Very excited for you. Your dad is very proud of you, I’m sure,” a social media user commented

“GIRL???? She speaks so well pa din talaga. Ibalik mo ang korona sa Pilipinas ante!” a Twitter user said

“We need the ‘ibalik ang korona sa Pilipinas’ MUPH version of Angelique Manto sksksks,” an online user said in jest. 

“Ibalik ang korona” comments are a reference to Angelique’s spiel during the UAAP 2017 Cheerdance Competition when she served as a courtside reporter for the University of Santo Tomas in España, Manila. The Philippines is also vying for the sixth Miss Universe crown following Catriona Gray’s victory in 2018.

Meanwhile, Angelique’s iconic “Ibalik sa España” line of Angelique was stitched with The 1975’s “Robbers” and has been trending on TikTok. 

‘Crown her’

Former Miss Universe Philippines contestant Ayn Bernos also cheered Angelique and Miss Grand International Philippines 2021 Samantha Panlilio in their bid for the crown. 

“So far spotted @AngeliqueManto and @SamanthaPanlil [lurking eyes emoji] both pageant veterans and communication kweenz! WAHHHHHH,” Ayn wrote in a tweet. 

“Also — so far ANG DAMING morena beauties [face holding back tears emoji, brown heart emoji, heart eyes emoji] and I’m so excited!!!” Ayn added

She also tweeted that Angelique is her bet to win the Miss Universe crown.

RELATED: Ayn Bernos’ ‘Morena the Label’ brand to launch as NGO soon

Angelique’s beau, fellow content creator David Guison, was also among her biggest fans.

David said Angelique has been working for her Miss Universe Philippines bid quietly.

“We’ve been keeping this a secret for a while now — she’s been silently working on this new journey and I couldn’t be more proud. Always here to support you, bebu @angeliquemanto,” Guison wrote in an Instagram post.


On her road to winning the Miss Universe Philippines crown, Angelique said she wants to promote her mental health advocacy. 

“Ever since I was a child I’ve been struggling with mental health as I was bullied from grade school to high school and all kinds of bullying—name it, be it verbal be it mental, be it physical and then I realized that I had the power to speak up for myself and stand up for myself and I thought I did not have that so now that I’m at this age and I have a platform,” Angelique said in an interview with a pageant vlogger.

“Especially as a content creator, I realize that mental health is not a one-size-fits-all kind of situation it is an advocacy that we need to continuously push forward and so it is what I am bringing here in Miss Universe Philippines,” she continued.  

Angelique also revealed that she has been working with the social media advocacy group MentalHealthPH since 2020 during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic when many were locked down in their homes and isolated.

“I work with MentalHealthPH, especially for my organization and we are transforming the lives of not just young girls but every single Filipino who think that if ever they do need help in mental health we are here and we are ready to listen to them and I hope that changes their lives,” Angelique said. 

Meanwhile, the Miss Universe Philippines organization extended the application for aspiring successors of Celeste Cortesi. Applicants will be accepted until 5 p.m on February 17. The initial deadline was set last February 5.

RELATED: ‘Be part of Filipino pride’: Miss Universe Philippines invites pageant aspirants

The organization removed its restrictions on civil status and are now allowing widow, divorced and married 18 to 27-year-old women to join the pageant.

READ: Miss Universe Philippines now allows widow, divorced, married to join pageant