Earlier this year, I have blogged about Hannah Beach Resort and Convention Center becoming a destination for the biggest pageants in the Philippines. Well, the premier pageant destination in the Philippines truly is living up to that name.
They have recently extended their support for national and international male pageants. Recently Mister Indonesia welcome Hannahs Beach Resort and Convention Center, as one of the official sponsors of the biggest male pageant in Indonesia. Mister Indonesia is the owner of the Mister Universal Ambassador and is also reportedly getting the local franchise for Mister Supranational and Mister World. Also on the pipeline is the Gentlemen of the Philippines 2017 competition! The GotPh2017 is scheduled to be held on September 9th. It is expected that the field of candidates this year will be narrowed down to only 25-30 gents competing for the confirmed titles at stake.
Not to mention that Hannah’s was also the venue for the recent Mutya ng Pilipinas swimwear mini-competition. With a heavy participation of the resort in pageants, we can see what this Pagudpud resort has to offer. So the next time you plan your vacay, put Hannah’s Beach Resort in mind as you may just glance the next national and international titleholders frolicking at their beaches…
Are we moving towards a change in the modern day beauty pageants? Are modern day beauty queens more than just surface?
In the efforts to modernize and re-brand modern day beauty pageants, four of the biggest pageants around have updated their pageant to reflect changes in times. All four Alpha pageants have an advocacy to speak of: Miss Earth has the environment and climate change advocacy, Miss International has the Japanese Tourism Board pushing for cultural understanding among nations, Miss World has the Beauty with a Purpose ethos and Miss Universe has HIV-AIDS, Women Empowerment and various other children’s social welfare programs to support.
In order to ride together with the times, each pageant has upgraded how they select their winners. Miss Earth has always had the ground breaking no-make up rounds and close door interviews, and now they have added the public transparency of judging the girls in several areas of the competition. Miss International has adapted the Women’s Forum as a gauge to see how candidates perform in public speaking. Miss World recently has adapted the head to head challenge which is much more likened to a death match between candidates. Then Miss Universe earlier this year emphasized the closed door interviews having the biggest weight to make it to semis. With these changes, we can also see how the winners selected are evolving. The recent winners of Miss USA is proof the change as women with diverse background and meaty resumes are crowned winners: a US Army officer and a Nuclear Scientist. Miss Philippines Earth also is seen with its revolutionary winner, Karen Ibasco, who is a multi-hyphenate winner being a physicist, a medical practitioner, a Latin Honors graduate, a professor and now a beauty queen. She is aiming to succeed reigning Miss Earth Katherine Espin who is a Lawyer by profession. Binibining Pilipinas has crowned a pre-school teacher in the person of Miss International Kylie Verzosa, a strong willed, independent person who happens to also be an events manager in Rachel Peters, an opera singer in Mariel de Leon…and their list goes on. Miss World, whose winners are mostly in their early twenties and yet to achieve much career-wise, have a medical student Rolene Strauss as one of its winners in recent years.
It is not enough to be just beautiful nowadays. Pageant girls who aspire to become full-fledged beauty queens has to have more weight in their resumes and achievements. Substance and surface must go hand-in-hand nowadays, and that is just fitting as pageants have to change with the times. Beauty pageants are still viewed as archaic institutions by majority of the world. But if it is able to redefine itself through its winners to become more relevant, more modern and of more social value, then we can just see a renewed Renaissance for pageantry around the world.
This blogger is on a roll… After predicting the wins of Miss Universe Philippines, Binibining Pilipinas International, Mister Global, Miss Philippines Earth this year, we have predicted Maria Poonlertlarp Ehren as Miss Universe Thailand 2017!
Early on during the screening, I have placed Maria and Fahsai as top contenders for the title. Maria will be competing in November for the Miss Universe pageant which is yet to officially announce its date and venue. While Maria romped away with the title, our secondary pick Fahsai was named 2nd runner up in the pageant. Darkhorse Supaporn Ritthipreuk was named 1st runner up. Supaporn is also Miss Earth Thailand and will be competing in Manila later this year.
The TOP 5 court of winners are as follows:
Miss Universe Thailand 2017- Maria Poonlertlarp Ehren
1st Runner up is 38 – Supaporn Ritthipreuk
2nd runner-up is 03 – Jennifer ‘Fahsai’ Paweensuda Saetan Drouin
3rd runner-up is 21 – Suraprin Artkongharn
4th runner-up is 34 – Ratchanok Naowaset
With Maria as winner, we can surely say that team Southeast Asia is to watch out for in Miss Universe 2017!
It was a hushed rumor among pageant insiders that aside from the Philippines, Japan, Australia and Hawaii is considered to host the Miss Universe pageant. However, hosting in Hawaii wouldn’t push through due to the concerns of the pageant regarding the Neal S. Blaisdell Arena.
“The Department of Enterprise Services was contacted by representatives of the Miss Universe Pageant in May 2017 regarding their interest in holding their next pageant, scheduled for November 2017, in the Neal S. Blaisdell Center arena. For the past two months we have worked closely with the pageant’s local and national representatives to accommodate their needs for the event and the days leading up to the actual show. As a result, we arranged for their use of the arena for two weeks and the concert hall for one week in November. “In recent days, it was determined by the pageant that the arena’s structural capacity for suspending overhead equipment above the stage area was insufficient for the show’s needs and the Department of Enterprise Services was advised the organizers are no longer considering the arena or Honolulu for the site of the November pageant. “However, arena weight capacity has not been a limiting factor for shows staged in that venue over recent years, for example Bruno Mars, WWE, Diana Ross, Janet Jackson, Garth Brooks, Mariah Carey and more.”
With the news that Miss Venezuela Keysi Sayago is likely not able to participate in Miss Universe this year, we ask if the MU franchise fee is too expensive to pay for this pageant powerhouse?
It is said that the Miss Universe pageant franchise varies from country to country. Smaller countries who have little competition in their hometown for a rival pageant could pay around US$ 10,000 for the annual fee. And if a country wins the MU title, they are exempt from paying the franchise fee the subsequent year.
In the Philippines, BPCI through its Chairperson Stella Marquez Araneta has a stable cash cow with the annual Binibining Pilipinas pageant thus is able to pay off the annual franchise fee. The BPCI stalwart has been able to manage 50 years of holding the franchise with her ability to manage the funds of the pageant. Pageant insiders has it that by the late 2000’s, the Philippines pays around US$ 40,000 annually. Rumored updated figures have it now between US$ 50,000- 60,000.
During Mariangel Ruiz’ time the Venezuelan franchise was only around US$ 70,000.00 to 80,000. And she too had the misfortune of almost not being able to be sent to MU, until other countries stepped in to pay the lacking amount. But that was in 2003, recent reports say that the Venezuelan franchise fee is currently around US$ 100,000. However, some pageant insiders estimates that it could be more and we may be looking at a figure between US$ 120,000- 150,000.
Those amounts seem to be too exorbitant compared to the annual US$ 10,000 franchise fees for Miss World. But that comes with a catch, each national organization has to select a national winner in a separate beauty pageant. And we know how extremely difficult it is to set up two national pageants for MW and MU. Just ask Osmel how the Miss World Venezuela is less spectacular than the Miss Venezuela pageant itself. That is altogether a different expense that could impound to a struggling national pageant.
Although the exact figures are unconfirmed, we are looking at huge amounts of money being spent annually. So can we truly grasp the enormity of Venezuela’s situation. They are currently under huge socio-political-economic crisis. Pageants might not be their priority for now…
Miss International 2016 Kylie Verzosa’s second foray at Binibining Pilipinas was marked with a blooming of sorts in terms of her personal style. In one of her recent Instagram posts, she explains the journey of her style and personal aesthetics. “I have always been against big hair and heavy looking makeup 😅 When I joined Binibini the 2nd time around I told myself, I’d go as natural as I can. No frills, no big curls, no sequined dresses, no glitter, everything that was stereotyped a beauty queen. And during Miss International I upped it up a notch, no platform shoes, no short dresses, no dangling earrings, (I only brought pair of @jewelmer studs). I wanted to breakout of the stereotypical beauty queen mold. Neither did I wave like one either lol. I went as simple and as elegant as possible, with fighting spirit of course -or made it LOOK easy and effortless haha. Find out what works for you. Sometimes, though I give it a chance, given the right occasion.” – Kylie Verzosa, Miss International 2016 From the time that she stepped into the opening/ welcome event of MI2016 in a simple but dramatic Mark Bumgarner blush cocktail dress to her Francis Libiran national costume presentation, Kylie looked in control of her personal style. This is something that everyone could emulate. If there is something to learn from her is that every pageant girl should “do you”. After all you can’t go wrong if you are authentic to yourself…
Check out the newly inducted rep of Italy for the inaugural Mister Grand International, Valerio Patane. Valerio is a 20 year old half Filipino (Mother) and half Italian (Father) born in Giarre (CT) in the island of Sicily, Italy. This 6’2″ lad speaks Italian, Tagalog and English and is working as Commis-de-rang at Mandarin Oriental in Milan, Italy after taking his diploma from his course Hotel and Restaurant Management in his hometown. * According to its official Facebook page, the “Mister Grand International has its identity as a pageant for men who are athletic, requiring skills to be competitive in nature, at any given sports. The main objective of this contest is to produce a winner with high morale, in the affairs of sports. As citizens of the world, it is high time that we take the lead in becoming a great example in celebrating the beauty of men through sports.“**
I was tasked to do the Miss Universe Thailand final SashPick artwork and here below is what I came up with. It features the candidates’ portraits in traditional glamoured up costumes set up on a background of gold filigree with Thai borders. I believe its good to set off the entire graphic layout to highlight the girls with a super-imposed border using the same glamshot… And the result is an homage to the rich cultural heritage of the Land of Smiles. Sash Factor’s Final SashPick selection are: 1. Maria Poonlertlarp Ehren
2. Paweensuda Saetan Drouin
3. Baitong Jareerat Petsom
4. Thanaporn Soranun
5. Anna Nilson
6. Dala Naksook
7. Ratchanok Naowaset
8. Uchuta Praditponsaen
9. Sirirat Kalaboot
10. Pisoottha Nuntaworavech
Miss Universe Thailand 2017? Maria Poonlertlarp Ehren and Paweensuda ‘Fahsai’ Saetan Drouin… only those two girls for me. These two girls wouldn’t be any different from each other. Despite being both Thai-halfies, Maria has a more pronounced Caucasian features while Fahsai is looking more Oriental. Both are tall and leggy, Maria is 5’11” and Fahsai is 5’10 1/2″. But the difference in their pasarela is quite remarkable. Maria glides effortlessly onstage, while Fahsai is rough around the edges. Both are articulate and well educated with good degrees. In overall, Maria should be the better candidate for the Miss Universe Thailand title. However, her being Caucasian looking could work against her and this may cost her the judges’ nods for the crown. MUT seems to favor the more traditional Thai-looking delegates to pageants and might not be too accepting of too foreign looking halfies. This would be an advantage for Fahsai as her more native looking features would be appreciated much more. Her only fault is her pasarela which still could be addressed through rigorous training.
I have no qualms whoever among the two girls would win the Miss Universe Thailand crown. My heart favours Maria while my gut instincts tells me it probably would be Fahsai. Good luck to both girls in the competition!
Back in 2005, when the internet didn’t move in the speed of light to do fact-checking, Miss International 2005 Precious Lara Quigaman’s speech became an internet sensation for it being a fabricated hoax. Today we take a look back on those two speeches.
The hoax speech: “I take no offense on being typecasted as a nanny. But I do take offense that the educated people of the world have somehow denegrated the true sense and meaning of what a nanny is. Let me tell you what she is. She is someone who gives more than she takes. She is someone you trust to look after the very people most precious to you – your child, the elderly, yourself. She is the one who has made a living out of caring and loving other people. So to those who have typecasted us as nannies, Thank you. It is a testament to the loving and caring culture of the Filipino people. And for that, I am forever proud and grateful of my roots and culture.”
The actual speech: “Here in Miss International our main mission is to promote peace and goodwill, right? And if given the wonderful opportunity to be Miss International I would organize fundraising events that would benefit less fortunate children from all over the world, focusing on free education and improving their quality of life. In this way we are teaching our youngsters that there is hope for them. And we not only develop friendship among countries but we are also making way to a brighter future, because I have always believed that our hope and our future lies in the children. Thank you very much.”
While both speeches are actually quite good, it was the latter that helped Lara win the Mikimoto crown that year. The 5’6″ stunner became the fourth Filipina to win the MI title.