Miss Universe 2015, Pia Wurtzbach’s Travels (So Far)

So far so good for reigning Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach as she has traveled to 11 countries into her reign. The German-Filipina beauty has clocked in several miles into her air mileage having extensively shuttled between key cities in the US and the Philippines aside from her other international travels.

Below are the countries that she has visited so far…
1. Indonesia
2. Canada
3. Peru
4. Ecuador
5. Cayman Islands
6. Thailand
7. Panama
8. Philippines
9. Multiple cities in the USA: San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York & Las Vegas
10. United Arab Emirates
11. Singapore

Angelica Alita & Jehza Huelar for Bb Pilipinas 2017?

Will we be seeing Binibining Pilipinas 2016 runners up Angelica Alita and Jehza Huelar in Bb. Pilipinas 2017?

Rumors circulating among pageant insiders is that the two runners up this year will be turning over their titles as reigning beauties for another shot at the nationals next year. Looking at these photos, looks like Angelica has ‘prepared’ more in terms of her looks… gone are the gummy smile that she has been identified with and we see a more mestiza beauty here. Jehza on the other hand could go for the Maricar Balagtas looks where a more dusky countenance would be better suited.

Will we be looking at a 2012 scenario where both runners up (Janine Tugonon and MJ Lastimosa) from the previous year relinquishing their titles for another shot of the title? We will find out later as training & preparations for the nationals will be starting this December and January. Question is whose fate among these two will be that of Janine’s or MJ’s? 

PhotoCollage of the Day: Kian Sumague’s Dapper Pics

 Looking all dapper and devilishly handsome...
Looking all dapper and devilishly handsome…

If there was something I like about Kian Sumague’s face is the fact that he has a masculine face with high cheekbones and strong jawline. This is why he would be a great model for face & beauty products.

Photog: Niño Panagsagan
HaMu: Cheska Fandialan
Styling: Ghune Katigbak
Location: Velvet Stills

Special thanks to Sir Ghune for these pics…

Mister Supranational Balarus, Sergey Bindalov

Heat up your Tuesday with a certified hunk! Mister Supranational Belarus Sergey Bindalov is arguably one of the best candidates in this year’s competition!

Age: 29
Height: 1.88 m/ 6’2″
Hometown: Mogilev
Education/Occupation : Sales Manager / Model
Hobbies : reading, motorcycles, martial arts

Did you know that he works as a sales manager in a designer label brand in Greece? Some say it was Armani, hence he looks so dapper in his style. He speaks three languages: Belarussian, English and Russian, though it won’t be surprising to hear him speak Greek.
Where do you put this 6’2″ dusky blonde hunk in your list? A possible winner perhaps? 

A Maria Clara for Catriona Gray’s National Costume

During the press send off of Miss World Philippines Catriona Gray, she sang several lines of the Pinoy OPM classic “Sana’y Wala ng Wakas” as requested by Sir Norman Tinio. That song triggered memories from 2014 when Aces & Queens’ Carlos Buendia and I were mulling over possible Dances of the World options for then Miss World Philippines Valerie Weigmann. One of those options was the Mantones de Seda which was suggested based on Valerie’s mestiza looks (this was later scrapped to give way with a more ethnic-related option to tie-in with her BWAP).

Yes, it takes a lot of research to do three options for Valerie’s possible costume options. One of the multitude of costume ideas/ illustrations I made was inspired from a black and white vintage photograph of an authentic Maria Clara worn by a meztiza in the 1800s. There were two options of this costume, one in black and white, the other in blush pink without the pañuelo (to allow more freedom of movement). It would have been marvelous to have seen this illustration come to life. More so if Catriona would be able to dance to the costume in the Dances of the World segment. Imagine having Catriona dance the Mantones de Seda with the accompaniment of a solo guitar like how the Bayanihan dance company performed it.

As a bonus, I am throwing in a video that became the start-off point of the design, here is the Bayanihan National Folk Dance Company in Pasinaya 2012: CCP Open House Festival…

Nichole Manalo is named Miss Globe 2016 – 3rd Runner up!

Congratulations Nichole Manalo for winning Miss Globe 2016 3rd Runner-up while Miss South Africa is Miss Globe 2016 4th Runner-up!

No, this is not a Steve Harvey moment, but rather an embarrassing fluke of having the names of the third and fourth runner up placed on a different envelope. So it was announced by the organization earlier today together with the crowning and giving of the certificate for Nichole.
More on this news as it unfolds later…

UPDATE 11/29/2016
It was revealed by the Miss Globe Canada national Director that the error was made when the ‘separate envelopes’ containing the names of the 3rd and 4th runners up were not read by the emcee. Miss South Africa, who already left prior to this announcement, will be send her 4th runner up sash and certificate. 

Mister Model Paraguay Edmaycom Silva’s Risque Costume

This has got to be one of the most risque national costumes I have seen recently… Mister Model Paraguay Edmaycom Silva can sure turn heads with this costume as it seems to defy laws of construction. How can his loincloth stand without any (seemingly) form of support? How did his designer, Alfredo Gaona do it?

Ideas anyone?

Mister Supranational Philippines, AR dela Serna

Leaving several days ago for the competition, the 6’0” AR dela Serna is expected to be a hit in Poland with his matinee good looks. The youthful looking, square-jawed AR was one of the lads I have previously interviewed in 2015 when he was still a hopeful for Misters of Filipinas. He has bulked up since then and is now going to compete at the inaugural pageant which drew 36 other competitors around the globe.

Age: 23
Height: 1.83 m/ 6’0″
Hometown: Tagbilaran City
Education/Occupation : BA in Business Administration
Hobbies : swimming, reading, going to the gym

AR is expected to get tough competition from the candidates from Poland, Brazil, India and Venezuela. Nevertheless we wish AR the best of luck in the competition.

Pilar Pilapil on Journey to the Crown on ETC

The Journey to the Crown continues on ETC channel and today we have some pageant trivia on the guest for you!

Binibining Pilipinas Universe 1967 and critically-acclaimed actress Pilar Pilapil is going to be interviewed for today’s show! But didn’t you know that she was underaged when she competed in Miss Universe? She was born in October of 1950 which made her only 16 years old when she competed! The minimum age requirement was 18 years old but she competed nonetheless. Pageant experts from the 60’s believed that despite her being a strong contender, she was bypassed in the MU semis due to suspicion on her age. Rumor has it that she was a favorite by some of the judges  and the organizing committee members and that she could have made it into the list of semi-finalists. In her autobiography, she revealed that she was asked by the officials if she was indeed 18 years old by the time she competed. Had she competed in 1969 at age 18, she could have been our first Miss Universe!

How’s that for a pageant trivia for you. Journey to the Crown  is telecast on ETC channel every Sunday at 7:30pm. 

Mister Supranational Poland, Rafal Jonkisz

He was supposed to be the Polish rep to Mister Universal Ambassador (according to some insiders) this year but suddenly we didn’t see him compete there.

Age: 19
Height: 1.87 m
Hometown: Rzeszow
Education/Occupation : student of Arts, acrobat
Hobbies : acrobatics, video editing, modeling

Earlier this year Rafal was a semifinalist in Mister World after winning the Talent fasttrack. His blonde bedimpled good looks is a sure hit among pageant fans and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him as this year’s winner in Mister Supranational. 

Sashes&Scripts Interview with Catriona Gray, Miss World Philippines pt2

This is the second part of our exclusive interview with Miss World Philippines Catriona Gray. Here we explore a different facet of our rep. Here she shows herself as a normal person who pageant fans can relate to.

Without further a do, here is our second set of questions in this two-part interview…

There are critics, both foreign and local, that commented on why the Philippines always send ‘halfies’ in Miss World, what can you say to convince them that you are a true blue Filipina?
I may not be able to communicate perfectly in our mother tongue – I more easily express myself in English as it is my first language – but this is the only thing I see would differ in me, had I grown up my whole life in the Philippines. And perhaps, I would be more “used” to seeing the poverty stricken population and wouldn’t have the dire need to help them had I grown up here. I constantly travelled to the Philippines when I was a little girl, every school holiday to spend time with my family. And when it came time for me to choose for myself which country I wanted to live I chose the Philippines. Why should I be blamed for my parents’ decision to allow me to grow up in Australia? When it finally became my choice, I chose the Philippines and I think that counts for something. And since when does “bloodline” define someone? We Filipinos are a mixed race. At the end of the day – My heart is Filipino. My blood is Filipino. And I joined Miss World to help my fellow kababayans and to bring honour to our country. If a critic still chooses to put me down regardlessly, they’ll never affect me, because I remind myself of this and in my heart, I know I am Filipina.

There is a stigma with beauty queens that they are sometime ‘unattainable’ or unrelated-able, how do you break down those barriers/ boundaries to regular folks?
I think people just need to realise that we beauty queens along with any other public figures are just like normal people. We may have public jobs and public personas, but in many ways its like “performing”. I know that at home, with my friends and family I’m very laid back, very simple – its just that when I’m on stage or in public I have to maintain a persona.
Presuming that you become Miss World later this December, what unique attribute or contribution do you think you can add to the title?
I think my creativity. I’m a lover of music and a singer/starting out songwriter. I also love to sketch, take photographs and write and I could use these creative facets to bring some joy into peoples lives or in some way give back to the community.

With all that Catriona revealed we see in her a human-side to what people see as perfection. There is a palpable sense of sincerity and humility in her despite the numerous talents and gifts she is blessed with.
Do we see a Miss World in her? Definitely! This time, we can hope that the crown that is elusive and sought after by a huge number of women around the world would find its way back to Philippine shores.
Read the first part here!

If you want to donate or volunteer for Catriona’s Beauty with a Purpose Project: The Paraiso Bright Beginnings Project, below are details:
➳ TO DONATE: http://cat-elle.com/paraiso/
Donate via bank donation.
For donations in the Philippines please use this bank information and make it payable to:
Young Focus for Education & Development Bank: BPI (Bank of the Philippine Islands)
Branch: Navotas Account no.: 4651-0036-58
➳ TO VOLUNTEER: https://www.youngfocus.org

2013-2016: Six Alpha Crowns for the Philippines

When boredom strikes, creativity follows. This is exactly what happened prior to my #Funart banner today. I found myself with nothing to do yesterday with my day off, so I started organizing the hundreds of downloaded photos I have on my computer. Lo and behold! I have kept photos, high resolution at that, of the crowning of our latest Alpha pageant queens from 2013!
Did you know that even if the Philippines only started to compete in the 2010’s, we would have been the fastest country to win all Alpha pageant tiles (Miss Earth, Miss International, Miss Universe, and Miss World) in the shortest span of time. We practically won them all in just a matter of 3 years! Megan Young and Bea Rose Santiago won the Miss World and Miss International titles respectively in 2013 and started the ball rolling. Then our sole Alpha pageant queen in 2014 was courtesy of Miss Earth Jamie Herrell, who then passed on her title to another Filipina in 2015. Angelia Ong proved that a back to back win is indeed difficult but possible winning the title in a European dominated panel of judges in Austria. Then came the icing on the cake, when Pia Wurtzbach won in a very shocking announcement error in Miss Universe 2015. Continuing the winning streak is Kylie Verzosa who wowed the judges in Japan and inching the gap closer between our country and Venezuela with her Miss International win.

Will we continue the winning streak next year? This blogger is sure excited to find that out….especially now that I am privy to several girls who might want to join the nationals next year.

Sashes&Scripts Interview with Catriona Gray, Miss World Philippines Pt1

Sashes&Scripts has been able to have a lovely conversation with the Philippine rep to Miss World, Catriona Gray and our interview with her revealed that she is not just a woman of surface beauty but of substance as well. We threw her way really difficult questions and she was able to answer them sincerely and eloquently.

Read through the first part of our interview below…

Modeling and pageants are usually polar opposites; they say that once a model crosses over to pageants they can no longer crossover back to the modeling world. So what made you take the risk in joining a pageant?
I don’t see this transition as a risk of all. I’ve seen how the walking and stage persona are different styles but I don’t really worry that I’ll lose the ability to transition. I think its just like a different genre of song, in essence its just a different style and I believe in my ability to do both.

There are people who would say that you are much better suited for the Miss Universe pageant, what was it about the Miss World pageant that made you say “this is the pageant for me”?
I really identify with the Miss World brand and would happily argue that I’m better suited for Miss World over any other pageant. Miss World is the only pageant with so many different aspects: talent, multimedia, bwap, top model etc and I feel that I can really show how multi-faceted I am. Also, volunteering at charity was the catalyst to make me join Miss World. So if not for Miss World and its charitable identity, I don’t think I would have joined a pageant at all.

Are you aware of other girls competing for the Miss World title? Among them who do you think would be a close friend/s in the competition? And who do you think would be a major contender/s like yourself for the title?
Hmm, its hard to say because one doesn’t get a sense of one’s personality or skills over an online presence. Only pictures – and I believe Miss World Organisation is looking for a spokesperson and that doesn’t consist of looks alone. As for friends, I hope I could be friends with all of them!!

Let’s talk about your BWAP project, why and how did you choose it among the multitude of issues/ charities that need attention in the Philippines today?
I had been in contact with Young Focus before I even decided to join Miss World. It was really when I saw the living conditions in the Tondo Slums then met the teachers from Young Focus who are such passionate and driven individuals – some of which are even graduates of Young Focus themselves who have decided to become teachers. Also the owners and founders of Young Focus are such wonderful people. They’re really dedicated to continue what they’re doing and it was this combination of things that influenced me to want to partner up with Young Focus.

Below are some basic information about Young Focus and how you can help thru donations and volunteer work:
We, Young Focus, are a non-government organization that works towards making education accessible to the poorest children in the Philippines. Our main area of operations is in the Smokey Mountain communities of Tondo Manila.
Website:  www.youngfocus.org
Email: info@youngfocus.org

Read the second part of our exclusive interview here!

Miss World Venezuela, Diana Croce’s Mantuana Costume

Miss Mundo Venezuela Diana Croce has recently revealed her national costume for Miss World to be held in National Harbor, Maryland.

Her mantuana costume has religious undertones. The costume which pays tribute is inspired by the Cruz de Mayo de Guatire as revealed by Osmel Sousa on his Instagram account. Will this be a hit later in the pageant? 

#FashionFridays: Accessory & Jewelry Designer Christopher Munar

If you have any jewelry emergency and want to have your own pair of earrings and other baubles, designer Christopher Munar is you main man. This designer has not only bejeweled celebrities and beauty queens in the Philippines, he has also started to design pieces used by other Asian celebs in Malaysia and Singapore.

He first started back in October of 2013 when he provided accessories for designers Roland Lirio and Ulysses King for their Philippine Fashion Week collections. Stylist Nio Manzano refered the budding designer to the two PhFW mainstays and this is where Christopher’s designing career took off. His first venture to the fashion scene was a big hit despite being a newbie designer, soon after the show stylists and for magazines and celebrities contacted him for his pieces. His work has been featured in the pages of fashion glossies like Preview, Mega ,Metro Mag, Wedding Essentials etc…

But his intro to the beauty pageant world came via a mutual friend, Eric Delos Santos, who designed the elegant red terno of Binibining Pilipinas International Bianca Guidotti at the national costume show. Eric asked Christopher to provide earrings for the statuesque 5’10” stunner. Then everything clicked and has been making lovely fine jewelry for a number of beauty queens ever since.

If you want to have your own Christopher Munar piece, you can reach him thru the following:
Instagram : @christophermunar
Email: chrismunar77@gmail.com
Mobile (Txt Call or Viber) : +639202345940
This designer is moving up and we will be seeing him breaking international grounds in the coming year. So grab your chance to have your own custom made jewelry by a master craftsman, Christopher Munar… Remember that name as he is gonna be the next big thing!