‘Deserve niya’: Why Sheynnis Palacios turned emotional at Philippine ‘homecoming’ parade

May 7, 2024 - 1:21 PM
Sheynnis Palacios_PH
Miss Universe 2023 Sheynnis Palacios during the grand motorcade parade for her at the SM Mall of Asia Complex on May 5, 2023 (TheMissUniversePH/Facebook)

Miss Universe 2023 Sheynnis Palacios could not help but shed tears during her grand welcome motorcade in the Philippines where Filipinos warmly greeted her.

READ: Nicaragua tops Philippine trends list on X. Here’s why‘Well deserved’: MJ Lastimosa, Pinoys celebrate Nicaragua’s Miss Universe 2023 win

The parade, dubbed a “homecoming” by the Miss Universe Philippines (MUPH) Organization, was held within the grounds of SM Mall of Asia on Sunday.

Sheynnis’ visit is part of her Asian Tour organized by the Miss Universe Organization.

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Videos of the Nicaraguan beauty showed that she “was in tears” when she exited her vehicle and saw the motorcade dedicated to her.

The Philippine Pageantry said that the grand motorcade did not start immediately as Sheynnis was “trying to compose herself and control her tears” at the sight of the welcoming parade that greeted her.

Pictures and videos showed Filipinos chanting her name and her home country as she and her entourage passed by the MOA grounds.

When a fan from the sidelines gave her a Nicaraguan flag, Sheynnis became emotional and clutched the flag tightly to her chest for a moment.

She then lovingly placed it across her lap and continued to greet Filipinos supporting her.

It was described by pageant website Missosology as a “touching” moment.

The MUPH also captured the moment and uploaded the video showing notable scenes from the motorcade on its Facebook page.

“All love for you, Miss Universe 2023 Sheynnis Palacios,” the organization said.

Some Filipinos commented that Sheynnis “deserved” the warm welcome, given she was not granted the same in the very own country she represented in the prestigious beauty pageant.

“She’s really missing her home (broken heart emoji). Enjoy your stay here, Sheynnis!! The Philippines can also be your home,” a Facebook user wrote.

“Deserve niya mabigyan ng homecoming parade kahit hindi sa sarili niyang bansa,” another Pinoy commented.

“Na-miss [niya] bansa [niya], panay yakap [niya ng] flag nila,” a different user observed.

Another Facebook user claimed that the individual who gave her the flag was Cairo Gonzalez, a Nicaraguan who has been working in the Philippines for many years.

A different user said Cairo has a YouTube under the account @

A video can be seen on his channel with the title: “SHEYNNIS PALACIOS asked me for the flag”

MUPH also thanked Filipinos and other individuals who expressed their support for the reigning Miss Universe that day.

“Thank you to all the supporters and fans who were there to let Sheynnis feel the true essence of Filipino warmth and hospitality. It was a parade fit for a Queen. Mabuhay, Miss Universe!” it said.

The Miss Universe Organization likewise thanked Pinoys for welcoming the Nicaraguan beauty.

“Home is not a place, it’s a feeling. Sometimes, you find that feeling in the most unexpected places. Thank you for making our queen feel like home,” it said with a heart emoji.


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Apart from the grand motorcade, Sheynnis was also welcomed by Filipino food, “tight hugs” and “a lot of sincere smiles.”

During the welcome, the MUPH said the beauty queen “tried our version of chicharon and said that it was remarkably close to her country’s own.”

Chicharon is a very popular snack in the Philippines. It originated in Spain and became traditional in many of its former colonies, including the Philippines.

The snack is generally a pork belly or pork rind that is fried to achieve the crisp it is known for.

Behind Nicaragua’s win 

Meanwhile, Sheynnis’ win in Miss Universe 2023 is historic since it is the first time a Nicaraguan has bagged the elusive crown.

However, her victory was marred with controversies since she graduated from a college that reports said was the center of 2018 protests against the regime of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega.

The beauty queen, then 17 years old, also participated in the protests before.

The Voice of America said that Sheynnis’ victory in the global pageant “overjoyed Nicaragua’s opposition,” who took the opportunity to wave their national flag in the streets despite being “forbidden” to do so in protests and marches.

Their use of the blue-and-white national flag, instead of Daniel’s red-and-black Sandinista banner, “didn’t sit well with the government” as well.

Karen Celebertti, the director of the Miss Universe franchise in Nicaragua at that time, was also banned from re-entering the country following Sheynnis’ win.

Karen, her husband, and their son were also charged with conspiracy against the Nicaraguan government.

This led her to retire from her position.

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights said that the Nicaraguan government has banned protests.

In 2018, a violent crackdown on anti-government demonstrations left more than 320 people dead.

Last month, a panel of United Nations-backed human rights experts accused Nicaragua’s government of systematic human rights abuses “tantamount to crimes against humanity.”