Miss Philippines Earth 2017 Karen Ibasco: Peaking at the Right Moment

Miss Philippines Earth 2017 Karen Ibasco is on a roll!

After nailing the gold medal with her swimsuit presentation early in the competition, the medical physicist and self-confessed fashion lover has had a string of medals lately. Karen walked out with a silver medal in the long gown, a gold in the national costume competition, a silver in the resort wear and another gold as the darling of the press.

However, this string of placements hasn’t gone unnoticed by some Filipino pageant fans who have bashed her online. Miss Earth’s biggest supporters can also be its biggest critics and their eyes are on Karen lately. While they may say that she doesn’t deserve some of the medals she earned out of ‘delicadeza’ as host delegate, I think that she shouldn’t be punished for doing well in the competition. Karen prepared just as equally hard as the rest of the pageant, if not more. And we can see her performing in every leg of the competition. Just look at a portion of her intelligence/ interview video below by @pageantbuzz. You can see she does deliver.

And she delivers at the most opportune moments of the competition and is pacing herself in the process. I could say that she is peaking at the right moment. I can also say that during the last time I met her in the Philippines, she was worried back then that she might not have enough time to prepare and train for the ME pageant as the MPEOrg has still several public appearances lined up leading into the start of the pageant. If she has managed to fulfill those commitments and balance her time to still squeeze in training, then you can see the determination in her. 
And that is why she has been winning medals upon medals in the competition. 

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Miss Earth 2017: The Strongest from EUROPE

European girls this year is a mixed bag of beans… there are strong and not-so-strong girls in their group. But the strong girls could easily snatch one of the elemental crowns at hand.

* Netherlands, Faith Gennevieve Landman – 5’9 3/4″, 20 years old, Model & Sales Personnel. Arguably, she is the best in her group but she couldn’t be complacent because girls form other continents are just as much of a threat. I think she has one of the loveliest faces in the competition and should be able to do well behind closed-door interviews and the no-make-up rounds. 
* Northern Ireland,  Marie Lynch – 5’5″, 19 years old, Blogger & a Student of Early Childhood Studies. She is not the tallest among the girls this year but she is one of the prettiest. Northern Ireland has been sending good candidates in ME and has still to win the title. I believe that Marie can make semis this year. 
* Austria, Bianca Kronsteiner – 5’5″, 19 years old, Graduate of Higher Education Studies. She is probably among the best Europeans in this year’s competition. The mere fact that she can speak and express herself well in English is an advantage. After missing Austria in the semis in the recent years Bianca, hopefully this year, will manage to earn a spot among the top 8 semi-finalists…
* Russia, Lada Akimova –  5’7 1/4″, 18 years old, student of International Management. Despite being so young, it cannot be denied that this lady is one of the underrated candidates of Miss Earth. Russia never fails to send gorgeous ladies but always seem falling short of clinching the ME crown. Hopefully Lada can change all that, and that depends on how she progresses in the month-long pageant.

Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters is Ready for Miss Universe

Miss South Africa 2017 Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters have been doing some rounds on media stations talking about her preparations for the Miss Universe pageant.

While she may have spoken on the designers that helped her wardrobes, she also brought the discussion back to her mental preparations. But that is not all, in a very wise strategic move, during her television appearances, she also has been talking more about her advocacy which is breast cancer awareness. She speaks on a personal basis on how the illness has affected her and her family. This move on her part allows her to be more relate-able to fans and the general public who has a brush-in with the disease. 
She also mentioned that the “Miss Universe is a big platform that gives women the ability to raise awareness on specific causes that they might be affiliated with.
Nel-Peters says that she is thrilled to be representing South Africa on the Miss Universe pageant and that she can’t wait to bring back the title to South Africa after 39 years. Her interview below is just nailing how a pageant interview is done. To say that she is a huge threat for the Miss Universe crown is an understatement. Watch out for this girl because she really can bring the house down come MU finals…

Miss Earth 2017: The Strongest from ASIA & OCEANIA

Asia and Oceania is sending a number of strong girls in this year’s Miss Earth pageant. I am absolutely floored with the quality of girls from Asia this year and I wouldn’t mind to see an Asian domination in the pageant. At least 4 of the girls in this list should be able to make semis this year, to the extent that I hope that there would be a top 20 instead of cutting the girls immediately to a top 16.

* Vietnam,  Le Thi Ha Thu – 5’7 1/2″, 25 years old, Model & Singer. Is it just me who sees a resemblance with Sarah Geronimo in her? With her milky complexion and flawles skin the looks like she has no pores, Ha Thu can put her country again in ME semis. Hopefully this time around, she will be given a professional interpreter that wouldn’t botch her Q&A.
* Thailand, Paweensuda Drouin – 5’11”, 23 years old, Radio DJ. If it were my choice, Fahsai would easily be in the top 2. And that is where she would be slugging it out with either Andreia or Faith for the ME title. I like her personality and it should be an added point for her to be able to win the crown.
* Philippines, Karen Ibasco – 5’7″, 26 years old, University Instructor and Medical Physicist. If it were only based on resume, Karen would win hands down. While it may be too early to see another Filipina win the title, I am completely confident that Karen could at least score a top 4 finish. An elemental crown should be easily within reach.

* Australia, Nina Robertson – 5’7″, 20 years old, Bachelor of Science Student. Sweet, soft-spoken, good speaker and pretty, this half-Filipina beauty from Australia is one of the possible girls to crack the finals. 
* Indonesia, Michelle Alriani – 5’6″, 20 years old, Student of International Law. Indonesia has finally sent a strong candidate who can at least make it into the semi-finalists this year. Smart, articulate and with a meaty resume, Michelle is leagues away from other Miss Indonesia girls who are simply just pretty marshmallows. I am hopeful that Michelle would be the first of many Indonesian girls to make it in ME.

Is Miss Universe IMG|WME Era More Concerned in Stories to Tell?

One of the most common observations pageant connoisseurs and insiders have been asking lately regarding Miss Universe is it more concerned in the importance of a meaty resume and background stories rather than just selecting the most beautiful girl in the universe?

Arna Yr Jonsdottir– this athlete from Iceland is surely gonna be a MU favorite as she is a victim of the current “it word” in Hollywood: body shaming. Being called to trim down in the middle of a beauty pageant by its owner would definitely give her media mileage in Las Vegas. And if Ashley Graham is gonna co-host, then expect Arna to have extra airtime on TV.
Davina Bennett – a true survivor of sorts, after multiple rejections as a model, a mugging days before her birthday and loosing a dear grandparent while being away from her country yet made her way to win Miss Jamaica. Add to that, she also founded the Davina Bennett Foundation for the Deaf. Now that is a resume every pageant girls would be envious of. 
Carmen Munoz – in terms of meaty resume, Dominican Republic’s lawyer-slash-beauty queen Carmen Munoz isn’t about to get left behind. This pageant girl has been part of a team who wrote legislation for her country. Who could beat that achievement? And it her being a lawyer would definitely help in the crucial interview rounds.
Kara McCullough – it was shoved in everybody’s throats that this gorgeous lady from DC is a nuclear physicist. And surely that card will be played over and over again come Miss Universe season. 

Keysi Sayago – nothing beats a Cinderella story of being able to go to the ball, just ask Mariangel Ruiz. Keysi was earlier said that she wouldn’t be able to compete due to financial difficulties of the org to come up with the national franchise fee. Now she is all set to compete in Las Vegas who will be eager to know more of her views on the political and economic unrest in her home country.
Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters – this petite 5’7″ stunner survived a mugging in London earlier this year. Not only that, since winning the Miss South Africa title she has been plagued by numerous issues: from pageant rigging to the glove use in a charity mission. Surely this lady will be getting tons of attention in Miss Universe.

Rachel Peters – grew up in different parts of the world, living independently as a self-made entrepreneur and yes she is also a double degree holder (according to an ABS-CBN report). She spent portions of her life in Thailand, Australia, UK and the Philippines, where she opened up a cafe in Siargao, Camarines Sur. Not surprising as she is a self-confessed beach lover.

These are just some of the “girls with a story to tell”. Surely there are more to be unveiled later…
Nowadays winning Miss Universe is more than just good looks. It takes guts and grit, not to mention personal advocacies and community work. Nowadays, you cannot be Miss Universe if you stand on beauty alone…

Miss Universe Iris Mittenaere in Egypt

It is almost Miss Universe 2017 season but reigning Miss Universe Iris Mittenaere is still busy as ever.

After her trip to India for the Femina Miss India pageant and her visit to Mexico, Iris is now in Cairo, Egypt for a week long promotional tour. She is expected to go on trips to Alexandria and Luxor as part of a tourism promotion and charity work. 
According to NileInternational.net, “the embassy has already confirmed that she will take part in a charity event in Luxor, organized by Egypte Terre d’Espoir.
The charity offers educational services to underprivileged children in Luxor, including apprenticeships in pottery. They also provide food and medical services to poor families.
A gala dinner will be held at the French embassy on Friday in honour of the charity, with the beauty queen attending.”

Iris has been to Haiti, Ecuador, Mexico, India, Indonesia, Cayman Islands, Peru as well as several trips around France and the US. Her 6-day visit to Egypt would be her last international trip before the Miss Universe 2017 competition starts…

Miss Universe VERSUS Miss World: The Rivalry

The rivalry between Miss Universe versus the Miss World is a debate that most pageant fans are passionate about. So in this post, we list the differences that the two pageants have against each other…to show you that they may have been the two oldest international beauty pageants but their differences is as night and day.

Date of Establishment – both pageants were established a year apart. MW was first held on the 29th of July 1951, a year later Miss Universe was established. Since then these two pageants has become the biggest pageants attracting the most competitive pageant girls the world over.
Number of Participants – while the MW may have more participants compared to MU in recent years, overall there isn’t much difference in the average number of countries that participated in these two pageants since the 1950’s. Both pageants are at the 80-something mark in terms of pageant candidate participation since their inception.
Franchise Fees – this part of the comparison of the two oldest pageants in the world relies mainly on insider information, there isn’t a lot of published information of the franchise fees paid by national directors and may vary from country to country. It is said the the MW franchise is as low as US$ 2,000-3,000 to around US$5,00 while MU is said to be worth around US$ 10,000 for small countries and would go as high as US$100,000-120,000 for pageant-crazy countries. So on this side, MW wins hands down. But this has a catch, MW prefers to have NDs create a separate pageant to select its national winner.
Telecast & Finals Format – there are those that prefer the fast-paced competition of MU while other loved the leisurely presentation and coronation of MW. But in terms of showmanship, production values (which includes music, choreography, camera-work & panning, etc…) and entertainment factor, they are neck in neck. Significant advantage though with the finals format of MU as it really gives off a ‘competition’ feel to it.

Strong Areas & Territories – MU has the North and Latin-America markets’ loyalty just as Europe and Africa seems to be loyal to MW. In Asia, both pageants are competing to get a bigger slice of the pie. Though MW has been getting more leeway via hosting the pageant in Asian countries more often than the MU has.
Media Coverage – both pageants are widely talked about and widely published in news bits and blogposts. Winners of each pageants are just as talked about on social media. The difference though is that there are more visible activities of MU that is covered by the media than in MW. 
Charity – arguably, this has been the strongest suit of MW. With billions (yes that’s with a ‘B’) of British pounds donated to charities all over the world, the MW Beauty with a Purpose has reinvented itself from what was once called a cattlecall to a relevant competition. However, MU isn’t lagging behind in terms of charity work as it has supported HIV-AIDS awareness and research since the 80’s and has accepted more philanthropic endeavors with Smile Train and other Women’s causes such as breast cancer awareness.

To call these two as the biggest and most sought-after titles among international competitions is perhaps an understatement. And only time will tell which brand of pageant is superior. However for Filipino pageant fans, one is regarded with high esteem. The rest of the world is still divided though between the two… Your thoughts? Which one is the better pageant?