The head of the Philippine Language Commission could not help but express his disappointment and irritation over Miss Universe Philippines 2016 for refusing to use the Filipino language.
Commission Head Virgilia Almario, also a National Artist for Literature said Maxine Medina could have helped promote the national language, and it could have been better understood by her countrtymen.
He added that her action made him extremely annoyed because she wasted the opportunity to let Filipino be heard by the entire world.
"Buwisit na buwisit ako doon eh," he continued. "Nasayang 'yung pagkakataon, 'yun na sana, kahit di siya nanalo, at least narinig 'yung Filipino sa buong mundo. Hindi pa naririnig eh."
This was said during an interview with Almario on March 1 as a press event for an international conference on translation and translation studies that the NCCA, the KWF, and the Filipinas Institute of Translation would sponsor took place.
Maxine Medina was able to make it among the top 6 finalist during last year’s Miss Universe Competition. She went through the Question and Answer round of the pageant where she was provided with a translator who interpreted the question for her. However, Maxine still chose to answer in English.
Her pageant question was, “What is the most significant change you've seen in the world in the last 10 years?"
Which the interpreter translated to, “Ano ang pinakamakabuluhang naganap na pangyayaring nakita mo sa mundo sa loob ng 10 taon?"
Maxine answered, “The last 10 years of being here in the world is that I saw all the people being in one event like this in Miss Universe, and it's something big to us that we are one, as one nation, we are all together."
Netizens were not happy with Maxine’s pageant answer which led some to compose their own winning answers. However Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach came to her defense telling everyone she did well and was proud of her.
Almario was discussing how the NCCA project that will put up monuments for each of the Philippines languages would make people using them be proud when the incident about Maxine was brought up. He added that even if she did not get the win, and even her answer was stupid, it would have acquired more value because it was in Filipino.