Keysi Sayago, Being Political

By now, everyone knows the political and economic turmoil that is plaguing Venezuela. But unlike other Venezuelan beauty queens who opted to be vocal on social media, reigning Miss Venezuela Keysi Sayago chose to join the rally for peace and political change.

But that is not all of it. Aside from joining rallies, she has posted several messages on her Instagram account as well:
I believe in my Venezuela! From what I have learned throughout my life, so my parents taught me about it, because I feel so much love, affection and commitment as Venezuelan and because God gave me this wonderful opportunity to represent it! ❤️🇻🇪 Always with you and for you! (April 6, 2017)
Today in the march for HEALTH where I had the honor to accompany many people dedicated to this guild, patients and any number of students! Remember: It’s not about being White, Red or Blue It’s about that we ALL are YELLOW, BLUE AND RED (May 23, 2017)
Today in support of Human Rights without distinction of sex, nationality or thought because we ALL have a universal right to respect LIFE and to express ourselves without fear in our beloved Venezuela. (May 30, 2017)

It is said that violence, lack/ scarcity of basic goods and an economy that is about to collapse is threatening the future of the oil-rich country. Hence the demand for change is strong and the demand for the current President Nicolas Maduro to step down. Keysi’s political stand is a strong contrast from previous MV winners who clearly stayed away from having a strong political stance. With pageant winners being given celebrity status in her country, it is high time that one uses her voice for the good of her country. Viva Keysi, may you and your country effect change and prosper. It will be difficult but it will be worth it, the Philippines can sympathize because we have been there. Venezuela you have our well wishes and prayers.

Mariel De Leon on Reproductive Health Issues

Being outspoken has never been an issue with Binibining Pilipinas International Mariel de Leon. And she continues to be as outspoken on her views as she has voiced concerns on the TRO (temporary restraining order) on other contraceptives other than condoms. 

Below are a series of tweets on her Twitter account, @mariaangelicadl, posted last May 17th:
“TRO on contraceptives. Birth control pills are slowly going away. What will you do when they’re all gone? Let’s take our bodies back.” 
“What about women with PCOS, acne, severe dysmenorrhea, irregular period, etc.?”
“What about our freedom of choice when it comes to family planning? What about women’s health?”
“You’re not “pro life” if you deprive women of something that’s good for our health and our future.”

She has further written about this Reproductive Health issue in a article and illustrated further her points on the issue:
The dialogue on reproductive health and contraceptives relates to so many local social issues. It affects poverty, population control, and health as well. And in order to properly address these issues, it all stems down to proper education.
If people were properly educated and given facts about the uses and effects of the different contraceptives made available to us, people would be smarter with the choices they make and responsible for not only their own lives, but the lives of others as well. With that, people shouldn’t see contraceptives as the enemy here, if anything they should see it as more of a solution to these problems.
In fact, I know many women who use birth control pills as more than a contraceptive. They use it to help deal with the effects of PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), hormonal imbalance, dysmenorrhea, and even acne. There’s also the case for teen pregnancies, unwanted pregnancies, childbirth complications, and abortions—all preventable situations thanks to birth control.

Reproductive Health has always been an issue in the Philippines where education on this matter is largely unavailable to most. Unfortunately the Philippines suffers from backward thinking religious dogmas that prevents having choices on sex, reproduction and health. The rise of HIV-AIDS cases, STDs, unwanted pregnancies, population explosion, etc… are all tied up with the lack of education on reproductive health as well as lack of healthy contraceptive choices.
Mariel, shedding light to an important issue that has impact on women’s health and population control is admirable. Having a voice and using it is even more so. What makes it the more potent is now she has a bigger platform so that more people could listen.


PhotoCollage of the Day: Catriona Gray Stuns in Leo Almodal!

Miss World 3rd runner up and current Miss World Philippines Catriona Gray stunning in Leo Almodal!

Looking incredibly divine!

Photographer: Ahleks Fusilero 
Make Up Artist: Sharms De Castro 
Hair: Dave Grona 
And special thanks to Jojo Bragais 
Stylist: Patrick Henry Mergano 
Fashion Coordinator: Richard Sumait

Video courtesy of Leo Almodal

Wynwyn Marquez: Not Joining Miss World Philippines

Contrary to earlier murmurs that Binibining Pilipinas alum Teresita “Wynwyn” Marquez would be joining Miss World Philippines, the 5’5″ beauty would be focusing on her upcoming TV project with GMA7. She will be joining the cast of the tv-fantasy series Mulawin Vs. Ravena.
In a statement on, the aspiring beauty queen says that there is an overlap of schedules should she continue to pursue the pageant on October. She also mentions that she still has a shot next year with Binibining Pilipinas as she turns 26 years old and that she wouldn’t want to join pageants half-baked.

Her statement is as follows…
“May overlap po kasi kung itutuloy ko ang pagsali ko sa Miss World dahil sa July na ang presentation nito at sa October ang grand coronation night.”
“Bago po ang presentation kailangan ko nang maghanda, pero hindi pwede dahil sabay pa nito ang taping namin dito. May chance pa naman akong mag-join ulit sa Binibining Pilipinas next year, last chance ko na iyon dahil I will be turning 26 years old na. Ayaw kong magmadali sa pagsali tapos hindi mo naman maibibigay nang buo ang oras mo, baka hilaw ang kauwian nito. May alam na rin naman ako sa pagsali sa beauty pageant kaya alam ko na kung paano maghanda.”
This is a good decision for Wynwyn to honor her commitments with GMA7 first and push thru her pageant dreams for next year. Joining (or not joining in this case) Miss World Philippines wouldn’t be the end of her pageant aspirations as she probably would have a better shot with the 6 crowns offered in Binibini. 
What say you pageant fans, did she make the best decision based on her circumstances?

Adar Gandelsman, Miss Universe Israel 2017

After Samantha Katy James was crowned Miss Universe Malaysia, another lass with Brazilian roots will join her in Miss Universe later this year. 19-year-old Adar Gandelsman has been crowned as Miss Universe Israel 2017!

Adar  is a Jewish-Brazilian from Ashkelon and succeeds Yam Kaspers Anshell. She is serving in the IDG ground forces and stands tall at 5’8 1/2″ tall. She likes painting and is also Graphic Designer. She speaks a couple of languages including Portuguese. She was among the 15 candidates who vied for the title this year.

The top 2 winners of the Malkat Hayofi Israel pageant are sent to Misses Universe & World and are thus named Miss Universe Israel and Miss World Israel. Rotem Rabi was named Miss World Israel 2017.
Below is the crowning video of the two winners…

#MANicMondays: Mike Gerard Mendoza

The Men Universe Model male pageant is coming soon this coming June 5-10th and we go back to the time when Mike Gerard Mendoza of Bulacan represented the country in 2015. He might not have won the Men Universe Model title in the Dominican Republic in 2015, he nevertheless did well enough to make it to the top 13 semi-finalists that year. But his crowning moment came when he was named as WCOPA Male Model of the World in Long Beach, California.

Kylie, Megan & Pia: Independence Day Colors

There is no more used and abused buzzword today than ‘influence’. A lofty ideal that stems from respect, aspiration and ability to make an effect, it has become muddled in the face of curation, branding and filters. This month, we get to the bottom of things and figure out what it means to be influential in this day and age, and consequently, pin it side by side with the bigger cause for celebration, pride.

A courageous queen, Kylie Verzosa steps up to the plate to make sure her reign matters. Speaking up on issues one normally shies away from, Kylie brings them out in the open and engages in a discourse that isn’t all surface level.

Years after reign as Miss World, Megan Young still reigns on in our hearts. Taking purpose well after the crown, she continues on with her advocacy, making sure every life is well accounted for. This is where true purpose begins.

And naturally, you cannot talk of beauty without Pia Wurtzbach. A celebrated Miss Universe of her time, she talks to us about life after the crown and how she plans to take life from here on out.

*Text from Mega Magazine Instagram account

Achintya Nilsen: the Presumptive Miss World

I have long pondered and postponed this blogpost in fears that some fellow Filipinos wouldn’t be as open-minded with this topic as some are. However, I am very likely to presume that Miss Indonesia Achintya Nilsen is currently the top favorite coming into Miss World 2017.

Indonesia has currently been enjoying favorably good finishes in Miss World, thank generally to its national director Liliana Tanoesoedibjo who has been selecting pretty, obedient, talented and brainy girls for the world finals. It has enjoyed a couple of 3rd place finishes and a string of semifinal placements in the past several years. But Achintya herself can be able to manage a win on her own merits.

Young at age 18, the 5’9″ Achintya is nicknamed Tya and owes her Caucasian good looks to her Balinese-Norwegian ancestry. She speaks Norwegian and English fluently which has becoming a major asset in pageants these days as most winners automatically become spokespersons of the pageant organization. She plays the marimba and is an active athlete playing soccer, tennis and volleyball. Both of which she can use for the Talent and the Sports fast-track in Miss World.

With the good image that Indonesia is having at Miss World, we can assume that Tya is in the front of the pack running currently alongside with the lovely Demi leigh Nel-Peters of South Africa. It would be really interesting to see come December who is gonna reign supreme.

Wendoly Esparza during the Miss Universe 2015 Preliminaries

Today’s post is a treat to our Mexican pageant friends. Here is Nuestra Belleza Mexico 2015 winner  Wendoly Esparza during her stint at Miss Universe in Las Vegas.

Wendoly was one of the girls I made a #funart on for the Miss Universe countdown…

One of the things that I remember about her was how down to earth she was during the competition. At the press junket, she was all smiles when we asked for selfies and photographs with her. Unlike some other Latina girls in the competition, Wendoly didn’t have diva attitude which is something that perhaps brought her to the semis that year. 

Enjoy these never before released pics!


Fashion Face-Off: Gwendoline Ruais vs. Mariel de Leon

This is gonna be a #FashionFridays that brings back an old blog series. It has been a long time since I have discontinued the Fashion Face-Off series for the blog. But today I just couldn’t help to do one on 2011 Miss World 1st runner up Gwendoline Ruais and Mariel de Leon. As you can see, both ladies are wearing the similar looking design by Cary Santiago. Gwen was the sleevesless gown version and Mariel as a Philippine terno.
Who do you think wore it best?

Rumor Mill: Are we Going to See the Diamond Nexus Crown Back?

This all started with the shocking news of the lawsuit between IMG Universe versus the Czech-owned Diamonds International Corp. due to breach of contract.

This saw the cancellation of their 10-year sponsorship agreement after DIC missed a couple of sponsorship payments due to financial problems. Now rumor has it that while the case is yet to be cleared on court, another crown would be used by current Miss Universe winner Iris Mittenaere. Yes, according to insider gossips the Diamond Nexus crown will be the de facto crown that will be used in most of Iris’ public appearances. But that doesn’t automatically mean that we won’t be seeing the DIC crown, it will still be used on occasions but not as frequently as we used to. 

Lately, Iris has been posting a number of pics of the Diamond Nexus crown on her IG account as well as on the Miss Universe IG account. She was also seen being photographed with it by Fadil Berisha. It is not yet clear on which occasions does she get to wear the Diamond Nexus crown. But Sashes&Scripts speculates that the DIC will still be used for the official crowning of the Miss Universe ladies while the Nexus crown is reserved for travelling, photoshoots and other occasions. 

No word is yet made available if the Mikimoto crown will make an appearance. It is said that it is kept at the vault at all times due to the delicate nature of the crown. The Mikimoto crown has a structural/ design flaw that puts most of its weight at the front. 
On a personal note, I would hope that a new crown would be used in the next MU edition. One that pays homage to the iconic Sarah Coventry crown of the past. After all, nothing beats a classic.

What You Don’t See during the Miss Universe Telecast Pt.3

This is the third and final installment of this series. In this part, we are gonna show you the things that happen during the announcement of the top 5 (or top 6) onwards.

After the top 5 are announced, they stay on the stage throughout the final moments of the pageant. The only time they go backstage again is when they are to do the final look. At this time, water is served to them while onstage. Lu Sierra would go up the stage several times throughout the broadcast to keep the girls motivated and with high energy.

Just noticing the same acrylic podium used during the top 5 Q&A. It is in this part that the interaction between the host and the girls are no longer scripted. Whatever adlibs the hosts says during the interaction with the girls are not included in the teleprompter.

One common noticeable blocking onstage is that in the past three pageants the interpreters are at the left side of the stage. This is where they enter and exit, while the guys with the headsets are always positioned at the right side of the stage (which was the same in the Doral, Las Vegas and Manila editions).

This is the portion before the final look of the top 5 in Miss Universe 2014. This is perhaps the only time that the top 5 will be brought backstage after almost 15-30 minutes onstage from the time they are called among the finalists to the time they answer questions onstage.

What most people don’t see is that when the top three are already called and positioned in front of the stage to do the final question, stagehands in suits are already waiting with headphones at the side of the stage. Also, when there is only the top 2 left onstage they will be asked to move closer to the front & center of the stage for the announcement of the winner…

There is a common myth that whoever has her hands on top when holding hands among the final 2 is going to the winner. This is not always the case as this may be true for Paulina Vega but not for Iris Mittenaere. Iris had her hands at the bottom of Raquel, Miss Haiti, who ended up as 1st runner up…

Gabriela Isler is the last outgoing MU to crown her successor from behind. Starting with Paulina Vega, the outgoing Miss Universe has crowned their successors from the side (just check how Paulina passed her crown to Pia)…

Within an hour of her coronation, the new Miss Universe are whisked to the press room where the media are ready to ask questions to the new winner. During the time of Pia Wurtzbach, she was asked tough questions ranging from the crowning controversy, political questions (on China vs the Philippines’ claim on disputed waters), etc… which she handled like a pro.
If you missed the first 2 parts of this post, you can check them out on these links:
What You Don’t See during the Miss Universe Telecast Pt.1
What You Don’t See during the Miss Universe Telecast Pt.2

Barely-there Makeup for Mariel and Rachel

Check out these lovely Instagram photos of Miss Universe Philippines Rachel Peters and Binibining Pilipinas International Mariel de Leon… These two beauties represent only a couple of distinct Filipina looks among a multitude of Filipina faces. 

Rachel Peters is looking divine specially with her sun-kissed tan…
Mariel’s mestiza good looks are highlighted in this natural looking make up…

Makeup: Sari Campos for Rachel & Lei Ponce for Mariel
Hair: Renz Pangilinan/ Kierlo Velasco

What You Don’t See during the Miss Universe Telecast Pt.2

This is a continuation of the behind the scenes peek at what you don’t see being done during the Miss Universe telecast. Everything is planned and executed like clockwork so that no major glitches would happen during the live broadcast.

In between break and taped videos being shown, the stagehands are doing set changes during the Miss Universe 2014 pageant in Doral, Miami. The equipment are being checked so that the performers would not have any gaffe during the show.

Stagehands are also helping with the blocking of the girls onstage prior to the evening gown competition of the Miss Universe 2016 pageant at the Mall of Asia Arena.

While the people on-stage are busy prepping, photographers and their assistants are busy selecting and editing photos of the 2015 swimsuit competition for posting at the Miss Universe media site. This site is where media and press people from around the world are able to get photos directly to be used on their outlets. This site is not accessible to the public.

The video above shows you how fluid the cameras move and panning in-and-out. During the rehearsals, the choreography is practiced countless of times to have a seamless switch from one camera to another.

One of the reasons why the camera work is almost flawless in the Miss Universe pageant is because of the two-man team per camera. Each pairs are strategically located at certain areas of the stage/ near the stage to man the angles and shots at all times. It is also rehearsed which camera will go live and are on alert.

During the Miss Universe in Doral, before the top 5 are announced, the special awards are given to the lucky recipients. While the girls are lined up onstage, we can’t help but notice some unguarded moments…

Before the top 5 are announced the top 10 girls are being lined up and retouched onstage. After the evening gown segment, the girls will barely leave the stage until the final look.

The third and final part coming tomorrow!

What You Don’t See during the Miss Universe Telecast Pt.1

In today’s #PhotoCollageoftheDay post I will try to accompany you through the Miss Universe pageant through photographs of things that you do not see during the live telecast. This is a peek at the things that you only see watching the pageant live and up close…

While the opening video is being shown, the girls are prepped and lined up on-stage. They are given last minute instructions by stage-hands on which camera/s will go live, which floor manager to look at for cues on blocking, etc… Continue reading “What You Don’t See during the Miss Universe Telecast Pt.1”