Actress and beauty queen Herlene Nicole Budol’s Miss Grand Philippines 2023 stint gave birth to new memes.
Herlene won the Miss Tourism Philippines title at the coronation night held Thursday evening. She will represent the Philippines at the global search for Miss Tourism World 2023 to be held in London, England.
Nikki De Moura of Cagayan De Oro snagged the major crown, thus becoming the first-ever winner of MGI Philippines pageant.
Nikki will be representing the Philippines on the international stage later this year.
The other winner alongside Herlene is Michelle Arceo of Quezon City. Michelle is now the country’s bet for the Reina Hispanoamericana 2023.
Despite not winning the main title, Herlene caught the attention of many viewers due to her remarks onstage, which they deemed comedic and hilarious.
They shared video clips of these moments on Twitter and Facebook. Some social media users also transformed these into memes.
Goals as a beauty queen
Candidates were earlier given the opportunity to present their goals as beauty queens to the judges.
During her turn, Herlene opted to have an English translator while she spoke in Filipino.
Midway through her speech, however, nerves got the better of her and she fumbled in her words.
To help her collect herself, Herlene uttered “Wooohhh,” causing the judges and audience to chuckle at her blunder.
Some Twitter users likened this expression to that of Regine Velasquez. Regine normally says this term as a catchphrase in her concerts.
— M@G3 (@MaG3_101003) July 13, 2023
— ALTStarMagic 💫 (@AltStarMagic) July 13, 2023
Herlene’s goal was to end forms of online harassment in the country.
“Bilang isang influencer, isusulong ko ang cyber safety. Proteksyon laban sa kahit anong uring online harassment. Gagamitin ko ang aking plataporma para sa pang-malawakang kapayapaan,” she said onstage.
Herlene also sought for an English interpreter during the final question and answer portion.
The question for her was: “What do you think is the most urgent among the Filipino youth sector and how do you plan to address the issue?”
In her answer, Herlene said that the biggest problem of Filipino youth today is education.
“Dahil ang kelangan ng mga kabataan ngayon ay ang edukasyon para mamulat sa kinabukasan at naniniwala pa rin po ako sa kasabihan na ‘Ang kabataan ay ang pag-asa ng bayan’,” she said to the judges.
After Herlene was done, the background music started to play. This prompted her to speak up on behalf of her interpreter who was waiting for his turn.
“I-English-in niya po,” Herlene said.
The crowd, the interpreter and the host burst into laughter because of it. The internet sensation, however, managed to maintain her game face.
Online viewers were also amused by Herlene’s remark. They shared video clips of this moment to the joy of other Filipinos on the platform.
Me to my groupmate: E-english-in n’ya po.
— Russel Jhon Batoy (@russelbatss) July 13, 2023
— Jb Puyat (@JaybeePuyat) July 13, 2023
Herlene also previously made headlines following the press conference of MGI Philippines 2023 last June.
At that time, however, she was criticized for her perceived lack of poise and professionalism in answering a question from a pageant analyst.
Proud of her crown
Amid the online buzz about her, Herlene proudly flaunted her crown to her followers on her social media accounts on Friday, July 14.
In a separate post, she thanked the Lord, her manager Wilbert Tolentino, her interpreter Ku Aquino and other people who helped her during her pageant journey.
The new Philippine delegate thus expressed confidence to bring home the next Miss Tourism World crown.
“Eto ay panibagong yugto at hamon para sa akin dahil wala pang na koronahan ang PHILIPPINES sa loob ng dalawang dekada. Kaya mag sisikap ako ma e uwi ang pangalawang MISS TOURISM WORLD CROWN para sa PILIPINAS!” Herlene said.