Philippine pride Mary Jean Lastimosa, 27, was a stunner during the Miss Universe preliminaries on January 21 (January 22, Manila) held at Doral, Miami, USA.

MJ was among the 88 contestants who participated in the swimsuit and evening gown competitions of the pageant.

With her fierce walk and confident look, the Filipina beauty was a head-turner wearing a pink two-piece bikini.

MJ Lastimosa in two-piece bikini during Miss Universe preliminaries. – Screengrabs from the livestream event

For the evening gown competition, MJ was gorgeous with her elegant white gown designed by Colombian fashion designer, Alfredo Barraza.

mj in evening gown
MJ Lastimosa in evening gown designed by Colombian fashion designer, Alfredo Barraza. – Screengrabs from the livestream event

The preliminary round, hosted by Miss Universe 2013 Gabriela Isler and Roxanne Vargas, will determine the 15 candidates who will advance to the finale of the 63rd Miss Universe on Sunday (Monday in Manila) in Florida.

Meanwhile, MJ said that she is ready to win the prized crown that has been elusive for the last five years for beauty queens who represented the Philippines.

She further stated that she is not in competition with former Filipina contenders who made it to the top five of the most prestigious beauty pageant.

“I am not here to compare my performance with other girls. They are history. They really made a great job during their time. Now I believe that this is my time,” MJ said in a media interview.

“It is my time to show what the beauty of a Filipina is… And just hoping that the judges will appreciate that in the pageant night,” she added.