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1st Runner-up Best in National Costume
Miss Universe 2001

Zorah's Interview with Global Beauties while in Caracas, Venezuela wherein she had a very quick stint with Osmel Sousa before heading to Puerto Rico.

Q: How do you feel in Venezuela?

A: MUY FELIZ!! (her speech teacher has taught some Spanish words and she loves to practice it)

Q: Have you tried some Venezuelan typical dishes?

A: I have been on a diet since I came. Osmel Sousa told I needed to lose 4 kilos, so I have tried vegetables and tuna, doing a lot of training at the gym and now I am ready. The day I arrived I was invited to an Italian restaurant, and I ate pasta, my favorite dish!

Q: You had the chance to meet Miss Venezuela already. What do you think about her?

A: I think she is "muy bonita" (laughs...). As we have been so busy in this last week, we haven't had enough time to talk too much, but I got to see she is very friendly, very well prepared and beautiful. Yesterday, during a make-up classes, she helped me and I am very grateful with her.

Q: What are your hobbies?

A: My hobby is singing. I love to sing and I sang during my talent show in Miss Philippines. My favorite song is: "The dream I dreamt" (she sang and I could hear a very sweet and harmonious voice!!).

Q: You said you are studying law. If I come to you to be your client but you know I am guilty. Would you defend me anyway?

A: I believe that every person has rights, and every person should have a day court. I can't decide if you are guilty or not, that's jury's decision. I would try to defend my client because a man is innocent until his evidences prove the opposite thing. I am a very fair person and I believe in justice.

Q: Do you agree with death penalty?

A: I know there are some countries where death penalty is used against crime. I respect that, but concerning myself, I think no one can take other's life. For that reason I believe that people have the right to be taken to a court and being judged fairly, because sometimes an innocent person can be killed when using death penalty.

Q: What do you think about surgeries in beauty pageants?

A: That's people's choice and I respect that. If a girl feels she needs a plastic surgery, I respect her decision. The Miss Universe pageant is not against plastic surgeries but I wouldn't do a plastic surgery on myself because I like who I am, external and internally.

Q: How do you do to be so confident?

A: I will tell you a little story. When I started my law classes at the university, I found some teachers who always tried to make you feel you are good for nothing. At the beginning it was very hard for me but I realized I had to have enough strength and believe in myself. When you know your assets and your weaknesses, you can work on them, trying to overcome your weaknesses using your assets.

Q: Did you see Miss Congeniality? if so, what do you have in common with Sandra Bullock?

A: Yes, I saw the movie. All the Miss Philippines contestants were invited to the premier of the movie in Manila. I enjoyed a lot it because I found some similarities among Sandra Bullock and myself. Before, I haven't modeled and I didn't know anything about it, I used to walk like my father, so I got the preparation like Sandra did and I reflected myself when watching the movie.

Q: If you discover that your roommate is an HIV positive person, what would you do?

A: I would talk to her and encourage her to talk about it to the organization. I know the Miss Universe Pageant works for some AIDS programs and may be they can help her. But I wouldn't tell anybody else about it, just I would encourage her to do so. Of course, she has my support.

Q: How would you describe physical beauty to a person who has always been blind?

A: Blind people can touch and feel beauty on what they touch. If they like what they are touching, they discover beauty in that, so I would help him or her using the hands to discover physical beauty.

Q: Last question: Do you believe in Nostradamus prophecies?

A: Sometimes prophecies are right, sometimes they aren't. More than believe in prophecies, I think that the way we live today, we will make our future.

Excerpts from the article by Philippine Star entertainment columnist, Ricky Lo:

Q: Would you rather be smart but not too beautiful or beautiful but not too smart?

A: "I'm pretty sure that I'd choose to be smart but not too beautiful because I feel that if you're intelligent, it's the substance that makes a person beautiful. You're most remembered when they get something else from you and not just what they see in you. You make a more lasting impression if you say something intelligent."

Q: Have you always wanted to be a beauty queen since you were small?

A: "To be honest about it.. as a small girl, I never dream of becoming a Bb. Pilipinas. My mind was really set on becoming a lawyer. I was amazed why this year I decided to join a beauty pageant."

Q: You sound like you're a happy and satisfied with everything that you have and that you are. You won't have any part of you changed or replaced, will you?

A: "Oh, mayroon. Didn't you notice that I have big ears?"

Q: They say that big ears are a sign of intelligence.

A: That's also what my mom told me. It's an indication of wit daw, so since then I've stopped fretting over the size of my ears."

Q: What are your expectations in the Miss Universe Pageant?

A: "I'm really , really very excited; I'm really honored and privileged to be representing the country in the pageant's Golden Year celebration. I expect something grand, that's why I'm really preparing for the contest."

Q: Who's your Bb. Pilipinas role model?

A: "The one I can really relate to is Miriam Quiambao."

Q: They say that you look a lot like Miriam and you even sound like her. Like Miriam (a member of a Christian movement) you're Christ centered.

A: "I really admire her poise and grace, especially how she carried herself during the Miss Universe Pageant, how she kept her poise even after she fell onstage."

Q: How do your boyfriend feel about your winning the Bb. Pilipinas crown?

A: "I don't have a boyfriend; I haven't had any boyfriend yet."

Q: Why?

A: "I think there are two issues involved. There's the issue of the character of the guy that there's the issue of time. So far, I'm happy and contented with simply making friends. Am I ready to enter an intimate relationship? Oh yes, I am. After all I'm 24. But before I can be intimate with a guy, marriage has to come first. Intimacy, as far as I'm concerned, should come only after marriage. Meanwhile, I nurture friendship with both men and women. I believe that friendship is the best foundation of marriage."

Q: What do you think is the essence of being a woman?

A: "I think the essence of being a woman is living God's design of womanhood or feminity. It's not only being beautiful externally but, more important is being beautiful from within."

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