Maxine Medina thankful for intense training before Miss Universe pageant

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — A sendoff party was held Tuesday for Maxine Medina, a week before she competes in the Miss Universe pageant.

The shy 26-year-old who came into the public eye after winning the Binibining Pilipinas-Universe crown a year ago is nowhere in sight. It's a much more confident Medina we see now.

She credits the intense training she went through for her transformation.

Medina adds she's been practicing very hard for the question-and-answer portion which she said she chooses to do in English.

Recently, former Miss Universe Gloria Diaz expressed her desire for Filipino beauty queens to feel free to answer in Tagalog if they felt uncomfortable expressing themselves in English.

Read: Former Miss Universe winners offer advice: Have fun, feel free to answer in Filipino

But this does not seem like the case for Medina who says she is ready to answer questions in English.

Medina's mother and sister were at the sendoff party, both of whom said they have been prayed for her Miss Universe journey to proceed according to "God's plan."

Rhett Eala designed Medina's national costume – along with 11 other outfits which she will use for various Miss Universe activities.

Eala, however, is keeping mum about the design of the outfits.