Francesca Mifsud, last year’s Miss Universe Malta, has stepped in to defend this year’s winner Teresa Ruglio, after a barrage of negative comments online following her crowning.
Ruglio, a Venezuelan model who was representing Sliema in this year’s competition, was crowned Miss Universe Malta 2019 on Friday night. “It’s my honour to be your new queen,” a visibly emotional Ruglio wrote on the night. “I promise you that I will give my all. I feel so grateful, thank you to all.”
However, the news of her amazing achievement was very quickly met with negative comments, owing to the fact that Teresa only moved to Malta three years ago. “She’s not Maltese and it’s an offence for the Maltese girls,” one comment read, with another user suggesting the whole competition be renamed to “Miss Multiculturalism Malta”.
Last night, Francesca Mifsud stepped in to offer her own two cents on the ever-building controversy
“Our newly crowned Miss Universe Malta personifies perseverance,” Mifsud started yesterday evening. “She comes from a once proud and enriched country which has since plummeted into economic war and violence. Throughout history, we Maltese have always taken pride in welcoming those in need into our community and giving them the opportunity to build a new life and achieve their dreams.”
“I had the pleasure of meeting this strong and beautiful woman who sought refuge from Venezuela, a girl who feels forever indebted to Malta,” Mifsud continued. “We gave her an opportunity to live a life free from violence, and for that she is grateful.”
“Teresa Ruglio’s work ethic, performance and success is the perfect embodiment of a land of equal opportunity Malta provides for anyone willing to work hard and persevere.”
“This moment brings out the best of the Maltese identity built on love, solidarity and unity,” Mifsud ended, finishing up her Facebook comment with “Congratulations Queen.”
Teresa moved to Malta three years ago with her family when the crisis in Venezuela got out of hand
When she came to Malta, she had to learn English from the beginning. She is the youngest girl from 11 siblings, and she said she had dedicated her run in Miss Universe Malta to her late brother Bruno.
Her goal is to eventually become a motivational speaker.
She was crowned the winner after a close run-off between herself and Miss Gzira, following Miss Naxxar being given third place
“I feel that when you believe in yourself when you just focus on yourself, you can achieve anything, and this crown is not only my crown,” she said on Friday night as her voice broke,” but I’m wearing this crown for all my sisters, we had an amazing experience, thank you for the opportunity, grazzi ħafna!”