Binibining Pilipinas 2017: The Crown Contenders

Here is my complete set of Binibining Pilipinas Crown Contenders…
Binibini 12 – Angelique de Leon
Binibini 13 – Sirene Sutton
Binibini 15 – Mariel de Leon

Binibini 19 – Rachel Peters
Binibini 20 – Christagale Borja
Binibini 24 – Dindi Pajares
Binibini 32 – Charmaine Elima
* As my possible 8th placer, I am adding Nelda Ibe into the list…

I believe that all seven (plus one) of these girls could easily take home any of the titles at stake.
Good luck to all the girls competing in the pageant finals!

PhotoCollage of the Day: Angelique de Leon by Dookie Ducay

Check out these lovely photo-releases of Binibini 12 Angelique Celine de Leon by photographer Dookie Ducay. Angelique is one of my faves to win in tonight’s coronation night and I hope she wins a title as my wish to her on her birthday yesterday…

Styled by Benjo Coronel
Hair & Make up by Jan Edrosolan
Photo by Dookie Ducay

PhotoCollage of the Day: Charmaine Elima by BlackAnt Lensman

Three weeks ago, photographer BlackAnt lensman released several photos of Binibini 32 Charmaine Elima that were taken in a photoshoot I styled last January. A couple of those photos are featured in today’s PhotoCollage post…

Photography: BlackAnt Lensman
Styling: Jesson Capuchino
Hair: Bekbek Vasquez
Makeup: Turmeric Dionisio Balili

Is the Miss Universe Philippines Between Charmaine Elima & Rachel Peters?

As the Binibining Pilipinas 2017 competition has progressed, I am seeing only two girls with massive Miss Universe potential that could possibly clinch the most coveted title of Miss Universe Philippines 2017: Charmaine Elima and Rachel Peters. What is the more interesting is that these two ladies have different strengths that they can use to their advantages.

Charmaine undoubtedly has a universal face that could give the Latinas and Europeans a run for their money. High cheek bones, small button nose, refined jawline on a swan-like neck; qualities that are universal benchmarks of what is considered beautiful. Most people would have difficulty guessing her nationality with just one look. Beauty-wise, the lady from Binangonan has the pure Filipina quality that pageant fans are clamoring for a possible MU contender. Charmaine also has a strong fanbase online with her Elimazonas comprising of several key fans from the Pianatics group.

Rachel on the other hand has the Miss Universe body written all over her as her proportions are similar to those of Paulina Vega and Gabriela Isler. This gal can stand shoulder to shoulder with the rest of the tall girls in the “P group” in MU too. She has legs that goes on for days and days. Her British-Filipina mix brings an aristocratic air to this mestiza beauty that could connect the Eurasian market.
They hardly have similar physical qualities but both of them are transformable and fit the mold that the Miss Universe org might be looking for a winner: strong, natural, feminine and has universal appeal. It is also worth mentioning that both ladies are conversant in English and that I have confidence in their communication skills.

Add to it is the fact that insiders seem to think that both ladies are the flagbearers of their respective camps.
It is going to be interesting as these two ladies are going to pit the two biggest beauty camps once more for the top crown. The competition between these two amazing ladies is gonna bring the Kagandahang Flores and Aces & Queens camp rivalry into surface once again.
While these two might be my picks as the last two slugging it out for the top crown, fair warning comes as a darkhorse named Sirene Sutton can spoil it all and come out just from under their noses.

2017 Bb. Pilipinas Crown Contender: Rachel Peters

Name: Rachel Louise Peters
Strengths: a socialite face on a killer bod with a very articulate mind. You just cannot ignore that Paulina Vega/ Gabriela Isler body proportion of hers. She has the “Sports Illustrated cum Victoria’s Secret” bod… The fact that she communicates well is another reason to keep this girl on top of our minds.
Weaknesses: angular Caucasian facial features that needs to be softened and ‘Filipina-ized‘. Her features reminded me of Gabriela Isler’s strong angular face during her stint at Miss Venezuela but came more ravishing when she competed in Miss Universe. Rachel would need a styling that would bring out her best features as there is more that can be done to make her look more international with her appeal. She is transformable.

Best Suited for: Miss Universe Philippines, she is perhaps one of the total packages in this batch. She has everything going on for her.
Most Likely will be: either Binibining Pilipinas Intercontinental or Miss Universe Philippines. 

PhotoCollage of the Day: Charmaine Elima in Pablo Galicia Mendez

The go-to-designer of Binibini 32 Charmaine Elima is Pablo Galicia Mendez. He was the first designer to ever showed support to the 5’7″ lass from Binangonan, Rizal. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that her national costume and evening gown is by the designer.

One of the earliest instances that Charmaine wore designs from the designer was on a shoot from October of last year. This photoshoot was intended to be used for application photos for Binibining Pilipinas 2017. Early on the designer and his muse have bonded and it was just natural that come Binibini season, Charmaine would naturally gravitate towards Pablo.

Photographer: RL Lacanienta
Designer: Pablo Galicia Mendez III
Makeup: Grethel Elima
Hair: Bekbek Vasquez
Styling: Jesson Capuchino

Where is Ana Patricia Asturias in Your List?

One of the Binibining Pilipinas girls that is majorly overlooked this year is Ana Patricia Asturias. This lovely 5’7” lass with a masculine nickname (she is also called Patrik) has one of the more interesting faces in this year’s competition.

She might have flown mostly under the radar, she has nevertheless could be a shoo-in for the semis this year. I first noticed this entrepreneur during the release of the official swimsuit shots of the girls for her very interesting face as well as one of the girls who actually had one of the best swimsuit photos.  This Interior Designer graduate from the University of Santo Tomas has one of the more arresting faces in the competition. She registers well in photos and in videos. Patrik reminds me of the gorgeous Binibining Pilipinas Tourism 1994 Jeannette Fernando, not because of their facial similarities but rather of their strong quiet presence. Both girls have the stately aura and a regal presence about them that is quite uncommon in this age. Hopefully that would be noticed by the powers at be and the judges come coronation night.

I do wish luck on this lady as the Binibining Pilipinas 2017 coronation night approaches, I hope a semifinal or a runner up placement for her would be in her fate… though I wouldn’t object her taking any of the titles at stake too.

2017 Bb. Pilipinas Crown Contender: Sirene Sutton

Sirene Sutton
Strengths: she has a strong presence on the ramp plus an undeniable face. She is one of the facially strong mestizas in the batch who comes with a bonafide experience on the ramp. She manages to always bring out an impressive shot after shot in pictorials. 
Weaknesses: she has a face that might be too ‘foreign-looking’ for most Filipino pageant fans and that could be something that the judges might take against her.

Best Suited for: Miss Supranational with her ramp experience…
Most Likely will be: perhaps Miss Supranational would be her best strategic placement for the Philippines to have another international crown. Although she could fit any of the top titles from Miss Universe Philippines to  Bb. Pilipinas International and Intercontinental.

PhotoCollage of the Day: Terno-Barong by Rau Uson-Ablaza

It’s too early to do a #FashionFridays post but with the release of the top 10 national costumes of Binibining Pilipinas, I thought it would be a good timing to feature one of my personal national costume faves this year.

This fusion of the Philippine Terno and the Barong Tagalog by designer Rau Uson-Ablaza was worn by Dane Felise Marasigan. Let’s take a closer peek at the costume in the following photocollages…

This is one of my faves this year…


2017 Bb. Pilipinas Crown Contender: Mariel de Leon

: Maria Angelica de Leon

Strengths: she has a face that would launch a thousand ships which is very undeniable. She can do fierce and innocent in photoshoots without batting an eye. Her time off from the pageant scene truly served her well as she looks more ravishing as the competition intensifies.
Weaknesses: her big-boned structure could spell trouble if she doesn’t achieve a healthy balance of curves and musculature. Unlike naturally thin girls (the likes of Miriam Quiambao), Mariel has to know her best poses. And I may suggest a sidewise posing (just like her national costume pose)to make her appear more linear. Mariel also has a more of a timid personality which does not gel well with the ’empowered’ woman that MU is looking for but would fit perfectly well with the mold of a Miss International winner.

Best Suited for: personally I would put her as Binibining Pilipinas International. She is a classically trained opera singer that the Japanese judges might find likeable for Miss International. It also helps that she speaks well in a very polite and refined manner. 
Most Likely will be: the next Binibining Pilipinas International if we are to break the Mikimoto curse. Mariel could easily coast into the semi-finals at Miss International. 

How Sirene Sutton Would Change the Binibining Pilipinas Game

Sirene Sutton is not going to be your typical Binibining Pilipinas contender. With her being an independent candidate, she is set to begin a motion something we haven’t seen for a long time: a campless girl possibly winning the Miss Universe Philippines title.

While we have the conventional camp flagbearers warring over the main title in the pageant, we cannot deny the simple fact that Sirene might just be the darkhorse that could possibly snatch the title up under the noses of Rachel Peters and Charmaine Elima. Sirene with her 5’7” frame also has the goods: nice body proportions, a lovely face and international appeal to win the most coveted title in the competition.
Some pageant insiders have whispered in muted conversations that it is no longer a major advantage to belong to a camp (to which we all have strong opinions for or against that) and that the powers-at-be are considering girls with ‘no strings attached’ for the MUP crown. Add to that are rumors that this year is a gonna be a year where camp affiliations won’t matter on the assignment of the main title. Such conspiracy theory could really bring in a major upset in the current status quo.

This would make Sirene a prime candidate that could shake up the competition. Should she win the MUP title, we can see a rise in independent candidates in years to come. She would usher in a wave of how we play the pageant game. She could possibly cement the dependence on the individual glamsquad. She could change the game by opening up doors for those pageant hopefuls who are not accepted by pageant camps. She just could possibly be the next Miss Universe we are look for.

2017 Bb. Pilipinas Crown Contender: Charmaine Elima

 Charmaine Elima

Strengths: a face that could look Filipina, Latina or any other nationality which makes her truly universal. Which means she as a face that can be appreciated by Filipinos and foreigners alike. I believe this is what would be her best asset and a major selling point for her. Remember that the face bears more weight in pageants than height…
Weaknesses: height, her BBP official height is measured at 5’6″ although I believe that she is 5’7″ (that one inch makes a difference in pageants) as we both have the same height barefoot. This can be addressed by wearing the correct lengths of dresses and the right styling to highlight her best attributes… after all Olivia Culpo isn’t that tall too.

Best Suited for: personally I would put her in Miss Universe. It has been a while since we sent a dusky pure Filipina at MU. 
Most Likely will be: either Miss Universe Philippines or Binibining Pilipinas Grand International if my hunch is correct. 

2017 Bb. Pilipinas Crown Contender: Angelique de Leon

: Angelique Celine de Leon

Strengths: quick witted and articulate, you cannot go wrong with someone who has a sense of humor. 
Weaknesses: she can still benefit from additional refinement in her movements and mannerisms, specially onstage.

Best Suited for: I think she would be best as Binibining Pilipinas Supranational. She has a strong walk that can be further polished for the Polish pageant that seems to favor women who have strong catwalks. This pageant seems to like having girls who can dance and has a bag full of tricks on the ramp. 
Most Likely will be: it might be a toss between Binibining Pilipinas Supranational or Binibining Pilipinas Grand International. She has the personality that might be perfect for the Supra title and at the same time the wit that might impress the Thai-based pageant. Nevertheless, I am rooting for her to win either. 

2017 Bb. Pilipinas Crown Contender: Dindi Pajares

: Dindi Joy Pajares

Strengths: this girl has undeniable stage presence and that gives her and almost guaranteed spot on the semis. From then on she has to rely on her wits and communication skills to impress over the judges and the rest of the heads of BPCI. Not to mention that she can easily be named as one of the best bodies of the competition, plus a respectable height at 5’9″…
Weaknesses: weak styling, she always had some hit or miss styling moments in the competition. Earlier in the competition she sported a hairstyle that aged her, the middle parting doesn’t do much for her face. Perhaps she needs to try on a side parting of the hair. Hopefully she finds the proper formula come finals.

Best Suited for: she would do good as Binibining Pilipinas Supranational with her strong stage presence and register on-stage. 
Most Likely will be: it might be a toss between the Binibining Pilipinas Intercontinental or Binibining Pilipinas Grand International for her. 

#MANicMondays: Mister National Universe Malaysia, Nigelvan Andrew

For today’s #MANicMondays feature we have the K-Pop idol-faced Mister National Universe Malaysia, Nigelvan Andrew. His clean cut good looks is gonna be a hit in the inaugural Bangkok-based international competition this June. The 6-footer 20 year old will be competing in Mister National Universe 2017.

Mister National Universe Malaysia 2017