Rachel Peters bags Miss Universe Philippines 2017 crown

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 1) — A 25-year-old Filipina-British beauty from Camarines Sur who wowed the crowd with her confidence in the nerve-wracking question-and-answer portion, won the right on Sunday to represent the Philippines in Miss Universe.

Rachel Peters was crowned Miss Universe-Philippines 2017 at the Binibining Pilipinas 2017 Grand Coronation held at the Araneta Coliseum on Sunday, besting 39 other candidates for the honor.

Peters, who has a Bachelor of Business, Tourism, and Events from La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia, is an event organizer who has worked with in events headlining Katy Perry and Christina Aguilera.

The 5-foot-9-inch tall candidate was asked what she would say to Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) leaders if she had been invited to speak at the ASEAN Summit held in Manila the day before the coronation.

In a strong and confident tone, Peters answered: "I believe that one of the biggest problems that our country faces today is divisiveness-- in politics, in religion and also in culture. And I believe that is something that is the same across the world, and so that is something that I would want to address. I believe that when people can learn to tolerate each other's differences and respect each other's opinions, then we will just be a stronger nation and world."

She described how she felt after that segment of the pageant.

"I was very nervous. As soon as I got off stage I was trying to think about what I was saying and I couldn't remember. But all the girls were saying, 'Oh, you did really good. You did really good!' So that kind of calmed my nerves a little bit," she said.

Peters also won the Best in Swimsuit Award, the Face of Binibini Award (Miss Photogenic) and the Jag Denim Queen Special Award.

Prior to winning Miss-Universe Philippines, Peters, who is in a relationship with Camarines Sur Governor Migz Villafuerte, also participated in the 2014 Miss World Philippines pageant, where she was named Fourth Princess.

Five other candidates were also crowned in Sunday's pageant.

The pageant's other winners include Bb. Pilipinas 2017 International Maria Angelica De Leon, Bb. Pilipinas 2017 Supranational Chanel Olive Thomas, Bb. Pilipinas 2017 Grand International Elizabeth Clenci, Bb. Pilipinas 2017 Intercontinental Katarina Rodriguez,  and Bb. Pilipinas 2017 Globe Nelda Ibe.

The runners up were Charmaine Elima, who won first runner up, and Kristel Guelos, who came in second runner up.

CNN Philippines anchor Mitzi Borromeo, who was one of the competition's judges, said selecting the Philippines' newest representatives wasn't an easy job.

"It was tough. A lot of very smart ones so when we had to do the deliberations we had to vote over and over for the top two--International and Universe," said Borromeo.

"But I think you know we had a good set of candidates this year and I think a good chance for the Philippines," she added.

Special Awards were also given during the coronation.

Binibining Pilipinas Supranational Chanel Olive Thomas was awarded both Miss Friendship and Best in National Costume, Binibining Pilipinas International Maria Angelica De Leon was named Miss Creamsilk and won Best in Long Gown, and Binibining Pilipinas Intercontinental Katarina Rodriguez was named Miss Philippine Airlines.

Other winners include Binibining Pilipinas contestants Christagale Borja and Dane Felisse Marasigan, who won Manila Bulletin's Reader's Choice and Miss Talent, respectively.

The Philippines has three Miss Universe Crowns under its belt making italong with Swedenthe country with the fourth highest number of Miss Universe wins after the U.S., Venezuela, and Puerto Rico.

The pressure is now on for the Philippine bets who are set to compete in their respective international competitions this year.

For now, however, former Miss Universe-Philippines' queen Shamcey Supsup-Lee had some advice for the ladies.

"Ngayon siguro enjoy muna. Savor the moment. They all deserve that," the Miss Universe 2011 third runner up said.

Rachel Peters is Bb. Pilipinas-Universe 2017