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​In the pageant world and possibly beyond, I have never met such a beautiful woman with an equally beautiful heart as the Miss Universe Organization president Paula Shugart. 

Who would’ve thought that two years after our first encounter, she would still remember me?     

Here’s what happened: 

During a segment break from last year’s Binibining Pilipinas Coronation Night, I was standing in the hallway to take a breather from long sitting inside Smart Araneta Coliseum when Paula Shugart walked in front of me. 

I called, “Hi, Paula! How are you?” 

“I’m well. It’s good to see you again. How have you been?” Paula took my breath away, not only by making me feel remembered but also by really remembering me from two years ago. 

For a second, I was at a loss for words. Wouldn’t you be if you were in my shoes, when someone like Paula, who could’ve easily forgotten you amongst the more important people she may have encountered in all her travels and business transactions, treated you like a colleague, or as if you’re one of the past Miss Universe winners?         

I said, “I’ve been great and am feeling more confidently beautiful now that I’m standing before the most beautiful president in the world. Thank you for asking, Paula.” 

“By the way, thank you for the token you gave me then. It’s in my office in New York. That’s very sweet of you,” Paula warmed the cockles of my heart, especially that I didn’t even have to remind her of it. 

Back in 2014, Paula Shugart was invited to grace the Binibining Pilipinas Coronation Night, with Miss Universe 2013 Gabriela Isler from Venezuela as one of the judges. 

I remember how kind and humble the MUO president was: when as she, together with all the judges, was walking back towards her seat from a closed-door deliberation of results, she had to pivot her way to me at the VIP section, despite all the cables on the floor, when I called her: “Hi, Paula! I have something for you and Gabriela. When I learned in Cebu that you’re coming to Manila to attend the coronation night, I had to bring these to show you my love for Miss Universe.” 

“Oh, thank you very much. How sweet of you to think of doing that. I am very touched,” Paula said, something to that effect. 

O.K., then, I guess I’ll have to repost my blog on that first encounter of ours: to reminisce my first beautiful experience with this most beautiful boss in the universe. 

The Miss Universe Organization President Paula Shugart And This Blogger, Ariel Allera