Filipino teenager receives surprise gift from beauty queen

A teenager in the Philippines came home to a dream come true — a prom dress that graced the Miss Universe stage just days before.

15-year-old Zyra Nicole Cifra received Miss Bulgaria-Universe's blue gown, after the teen's mother wrote to the beauty queen.

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Violina Ancheva, Miss Bulgaria 2016, said in a Facebook post on Monday shortly after the pageant was over that she was looking to donate her dress to someone in need in the Philippines.

Cifra's mother, Issay Gallano, sent Ancheva a private message on Facebook to appeal for the dress. In her message, she noted that she was a single mother and was scraping some savings together to afford a prom dress for Cifra.

Gallano forwarded Mashable her exchange with Ancheva, where she said:

"Hi Ms Violina, me and my daughter would like to ask if you can donate your gown to her.

"She will be having her prom next month but I'm really short on budget since I'm only a single mom."

Gallano, who works as a report analyst, had also told CNN Philippines that she was even considering pawning a necklace so she could afford a prom dress for her daughter.

She told Mashable she didn't expect a reply to come so quickly. "I think that I just got lucky because when I sent that message (Violina was) currently looking at her messages."

And so Cifra came home after school to Ancheva's blue Sherri Hill gown.

Gallano also posted pictures of her meeting earlier with Ancheva, and of her daughter trying on the gown.

"She's so happy, grateful and excited for her upcoming prom," Gallano said, but added that Cifra is "feeling low right now" because of negative comments online after news broke of her receiving the gown.

Many praised Ancheva's gesture, and her popularity in the Philippines appears to have spiked after the incident. A fan account on Twitter which describes itself as "run by a Filipina" was also created just days ago.