The Philippines’ Longest Streak in Miss World

2011 – 2017, those are the years that the Philippines has placed successively at Miss World.
The winning streak was started by Gwendolyne Ruais, placing as 1st Princess to winner Ivian Sarcos. Since then the country has made semis at the pageant.

2011 – Gwendoline Ruais, 1st Princess
2012 – Queneerich Rehman, top 15 semifinalist
2013 – Megan Young, Miss World
2014 – Valerie Weigmann, top 25 quarterfinalist
2015 – Hillarie Parungao, top 10 semifinalist
2016 – Catriona Gray, top 5 finalist (said to be announced as 3rd Princess during the coronation ball)
2017 – Laura Lehmann, top 40 octofinalist


#RumorMill: Who Should be Appointed Miss Universe Colombia 2018?

The Señorita Colombia 2018 pageant is said to be slated for the last quarter of this year (rumors have it taking place in November). Which brings a conundrum of how the winner could prepare for Miss Universe in such notice. Hence rumors of an appointment for this year abound.

Two of the names that have been circulating online on the possible ladies to be appointed to compete in MU are Vanessa Pulgarin Monsalve (last year’s Virreina) and Anabella Castro Sierra. Coincidentally these two are the ladies that I predicted to win the title back in 2017! The 5’10” Anabella ended up among the top 10 semifinalists in the nationals while Vanessa (who also stands 5’10”) represented Colombia in Miss International last year.

But I would also want to throw in my personal favorite into the mix: Reina Hispanoamericana 2016 and Señorita Colombia 2015 2nd runner up Maria Camila Soleibe (Miss Universe 2nd Runner up Andrea Tovar won over her). This 21 year old actually beat Miss Universe 1st runner up Raquel Pellisier in RH2016. Camila stand 5’9″ with hazel eyes and light brown-blonde hair which she owes to her Lebanese ancestry in her father’s side. I wished that Camila would be given a chance in Miss Universe.

Who do you think should be appointed as Miss Universe Colombia this year? Join the poll below…

The Miss Universe Telecast Breakdown

During the Miss Universe pageant in Las Vegas last November, a huge amount of the pageant was dedicated to the opening and very little for the actual swimsuit and evening gown competitions. Below is the breakdown of the actual pageant telecast…

act1 – Welcome contestant intro: africa, asia, pacific
act2 – Intro Europe, Year in the life of a Miss Universe video (Iris Mittenaere)
act3 – Intros: Americas
act4 – Judges introduction
act5 – Top 16 selection per group plus wildcards

act6 – Judges’ interview/ chitchat
act7 – Swimsuit Competition
act8 – Top 10 selection

act9 -Evening Gown Competition
act10 – Top 5 selection
act 11 – Top 5 q&a

act12 – Top 3 & Final word
act13 – Final look, Rachel Platten performs
act14 – Crowning of of the new Miss Universe

Hopefully this year, the contestant introductions in groups are shortened to the traditional self-intros in pairs of 4. They can still keep the continental groupings for the intros but the continental semifinalist selection has to go. Or at least select the top 10 first then add the 2 top performers per continental grouping to shake up the mix.

I’d also want to know more of the  semifinalists during the swimsuit and evening gown competitions, hence the longer exposure time. They can do this through voice-overs of what the girls want to achieve, their goals and aspirations, what struggles they have gone through in their own words, so that it becomes more personal and we get to sympathize with them better.

Ariadna Gutierrez to enter the US Big Brother House!

Look who’s coming inside the US Big Brother house!
In a news report by ABS-CBN, Miss Universe 2015 1st runner up Ariadna Gutierrez (who was mistakenly announced as Miss Universe by host Steve Harvey) will be joining several other celebrities that will be going inside the Big Brother house, US edition…

Here are snippets of the report:
Ariadna Gutierrez of Colombia, the runner-up of Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach, is entering the US version of the reality show “Big Brother.”
The 24-year-old beauty queen was among the 11 celebrity housemates announced Sunday (Monday, Manila time) by US broadcast giant CBS during a live pre-show of the 2018 Grammy Awards.
Her housemates in the upcoming “Celebrity” edition include Omarosa Manigault, a former White House director under President Donald Trump; Brandi Glanville of “The Real Housewives” fame; Chuck Liddell, a UFC Hall of Fame inductee; and James Maslow of the boyband Big Time Rush.
Also entering the house are Keshia Knight Pulliam, former star of “The Cosby Show”; Marissa Jaret Winokur, Tony winner best known for “Hairspray”; Mark McGrath of the rock band Sugar Ray; Metta World Peace, former LA Lakers star; Ross Matthews, a judge in “RuPaul’s Drag Race”; and Shannon Elizabeth, star of “American Pie” and “Scary Movie”.

This will be the first celebrity edition of the said US show. What do you think will be crazy antics that would happen in this reality TV show?

#MANicMondays: Mr. Universe Tourism Philippines 2017 Jayarr Agustin

Today’s #MANicMondays feature is on Jayarr Tormo Agustin, Mr. Universe Tourism Philippines 2017 & Mr. Universe Tourism 2017 Top 10 finalist. The 5’9″ tall  19 year old Jayarr also bagged the Best in Swimwear in the competition. Do you think he should join another male pageant in the coming years?

Muriel Adrienne Orais: a Binibini Introductory Profile

One of the girls that has one of the best faces in Binibining Pilipinas this year is Muriel Orais. The Kagandahang Flores beauty is one of the 19 girls that was selected as official candidate from her camp.

Name: Muriel Adrienne Isidore Orais
Age: 26 years old
Height: 5’6″
Hometown/ Province: Cebu City
Profession: She is a Registered Nurse, a TV and print ad model, a Philippine Airlines Flight Attendant & is a part of the Presidential Cabin crew
Academics/ Educational Achievements: 
St. Theresa’s College
Velez College until 3rd year but graduated in National University

An interesting tidbit is that Muriel celebrates her birthday at the Orphanage of Franciscan Sisters of Guadalupe. She also has spent her time volunteering as teacher at th‎e AHA Learning Center. Muriel has been active in her community and leads an active lifestyle as well. Keeping fit isn’t a problem. She has enjoyed a number of outdoor sports and loves Muay Thai. Not to mention her stint as a member of the Presidential Cabin crew. The former Miss Philippines Water would certainly be one of the girls to watch out for this year. 

When Interviews and Social/ Community Involvement Counts

If you think that the 90’s era of Miss Universe has returned, you gotta think twice. It’s not just enough to nail the interviews, future Miss Universe hopeful has to stand for something and has to be able to tell a story of empowerment and triumph.

Of course beauty and presence still count in pageants. Beauty and universality still weights heavily when selecting the winner from the top 3. While it was evident in the past 2 editions of Miss Universe that the interview bears a huge weight, we also have to factor in that community involvement/ social awareness and advocacy also plays a part. Pageant girls have to add a social dimension to their pageant stories and resumes. Because this allows them to have a jump off point for conversations in the closed-door interviews. It also allows the judges and the MUOrg to see that their possible winner is not self-involved but rather one who has something to contribute to her community.
In my humble observation, the people at the MUOrg are looking for someone who is not just a manufactured doll with a pre-packaged backstory. They want someone with an authentic story and authentic advocacy. It is easily recognizable if it is inauthentic and faked just for the pageant. Even if it is said to have been established years ago, the question of consistency and sincerity are just things that couldn’t be faked. There has to be visible proof not just press releases to make it look ‘real’.
Because if it was manufactured, how it is presented would be robotic/ rehearsed… and judges would pick up on that during the interviews. That is because 80% of communication relies on non-verbal cues. Lying  would be very obvious during the close door preliminaries. This is perhaps why the interviews contribute to 60% of the preliminary scores in Miss Universe. Candidates are not just judged on confidence and speaking ability but also on sincerity. Of course if one is not sincere, how could that person represent the MU organization?

The Miss Universe is truly trying to reinvent itself to be relevant, hence their way of looking for a winner that speaks of relevant topics and advocacies is the way to go. It enables the potential winner something to talk about during her reign. Because after all the glitz and glamour of the finals night, the work as Miss Universe truly begins.

1st Sashes&Scripts Leaderboard for Bb. Pilipinas 2018 Pt2

With the 2017 batch who are strong speakers collectively, I had to make adjustments on who tops the first Sashes&Scripts leaderboard. We have to really grill on the aspects of being able to communicate, sell a backstory, draw people in and pay attention… one that would make people immediately take notice that a Binibining Pilipinas winner is in the room.

Bb. Pilipinas Globe – Michelle Gumabao
Facially one of the pretty girls in the batch, but it was her interviews that I found her a bit more interesting. Thankfully! Because I didn’t get the hype on her at first, and now I see her in a different light. I do just want to point out how she sometimes get too excited that it takes a long time for her to get to her point in the web interviews. Short and concise should do it, you only have 15-30 seconds to get your point across.
Bb. Pilipinas Grand International – Wynonah Buot
Never send a weak communicator in Miss Grand International. Wynonah is certainly one of the strongest girls in that aspect. In fact I believe she is the strongest girl from Aces this year. With a number of speeches and a Q&A in the MGI finals, we need to send one that is a good speaker who is also gorgeously exotic. Someone who’s just like Nicole Cordoves and Wynonah fits exactly that mold. PS, her beauty reminds me of past winners Jennifer Hammond and Jeanette Fernando.
Bb. Pilipinas Intercontinental – Karen Gallman
She has the type of beauty that I believe would be appreciated by the Germany-based pageant. Strong, fierce and can be appreciated internationally. Karen might be the girl to bring the first Miss Intercontinental crown to the Philippines. Although I want her to look more engaging in interviews, to draw people in when she speaks. It wouldn’t hurt that she expounds a little more on her answers to make her seems more approachable and accessible.
Bb. Pilipinas Supranational – Ena Louise Velasco
Height is might and at 5’9″ Ena has good bone structure and a really banging body for the Polish pageant. Just look at her screening pics in a swimsuit and you will get the idea. It doesn’t hurt that she can carry a conversation really well. All she needs to polish and train for is having a strong but finessed catwalk skills. If she does just that, we may walk away with our 2nd MS crown.

Bb. Pilipinas International – Eva Patalinjug
Her facial beauty and graceful ways of moving will surely be something that the Japanese would find appealing. She also talks with sense but still needs to fluidly bring across her points so as not to appear nervous or sound rehearsed. I am sure that her advocacy on sexual harassment and abuse on women and children would be a good fit for the Women’s Forum in Miss International.
Miss Universe Philippines – Catriona Gray
I only had one problem with Catriona in her web interviews: what else would she talk about in Miss Universe? Because I found her web interview to be exactly what would work in MU. Even as now, she seems to be competing like she is already in MU. She has all the physical goods (face and body), the talent and even a good backstory. This is the type of woman that we should be sending to MU.
Did your girls make the list? It is likely that the leaderboard will experience a few more changes as the pageant unfolds. More to come in the following weeks…

S/S 2018 Fashion Trend Series: Silhouette and Details

For the final post of this #FashionFridays series, we look into the silhouettes and details that would be fashion appropriate for pageants this 2018.
Note that this summary includes some crossover trends from the Fall/Winter 2017- 18 season.
* The Ball Gown – the swish of tulle and yards and yards of organza is making a comeback! Think Swan Lake and you’ll get the picture…

* The Bustier dress – a definite throwback to the Tom Ford Gucci of the 90’s, a flattering silhouette any (whether bussom-y or not).

* Statement Sleeves – if you thought Pablo Galicia Mendez’ statement sleeve design for Charmaine Elima in BBP2017 was fab, be happy as that trend continues this year.

* The Slip Dress – think Princess Diana circa 1997 when she wore the John Galliano negligee dress…

* Asymmetric, Single-shoulder dress – Miriam Quiambao, Minorka Mercado, Joyce Giraud and Lara Dutta knew what this is all about…



1st Sashes&Scripts Leaderboard for Bb. Pilipinas 2018 Pt1

The first leaderboard I am making for this year’s Binibining Pilipinas pageant relies heavily on two aspects: 1) the web interviews and 2) facial beauty while seeing the candidates upclose. It is quite difficult to narrow down the 40 girls into just a field of 12. And while it was a hard process, I had so much to say about the girls who made my initial list that I have to break it into two parts (lest I bore you to death with a kilo-metric article to read).

12.  Aya Abesamis – I had difficulty finding what title would suit her IMHO. While I may find her interview lacking substance or weight for bigger titles, her ramp skills may just be her main advantage for the Miss Supranational title. All she needs is a strong catwalk skills for the international pageant, as she could easily coast through the panel interviews by being charming.
11. Ana Patricia Asturias – one of the more interesting girls in terms of facial beauty and background. She interviews well although I would want her to look more relaxed and with lesser hand movements. She has good delivery when she speaks but has to make her sentences more seamless and fluid.
10. Vickie Rushton – pretty, smart and I would say should be poised to win one of the titles this year. And very amiable in person too! I believe she is one of the girls that wouldn’t be difficult to work with in BPCI. Perhaps it is her Ilongga upbringing that makes her seem too sweet in the web interviews. I still can see her romp away with one of the crowns this year.
9.  Sigrid Grace Flores – she looks great in minimal make up and with straight hair and she should utilize this look more often. Don’t make her look too strong as it won’t math well with her missionary-philanthropist background. Sigrid has one of the stronger interviews though I would suggest for her to control being emotional.
8. Sandra Lemonon – she is one of the girls with an interesting facial character and that makes her stick to memory. She is a real darkhorse and a winner material and I hope that she gets to select her own designer as I see her to be headstrong. Plus her web interview was light, easy and not heavy-hearted, and she came off as very natural without put ons.
7. Samantha Bernardo – watch out for this girl, beyotch came prepared! (And I mean that in a really good f*ckin’ way!) I am floored. I wouldn’t be surprised to see her steal away the limelight from any of the 6 girls on top of my list. You can see it in her eyes  that she wants to win and she gets that message across at the web interviews. All I can comment is to moderate the tone of her voice to make her delivery sound less rehearsed. She has a high pitched voice that needs to be modulated.

The Bb. Pilipinas pageant is quite short compared to last year, so I am only gonna do 2-3 of these leaderboard charts. I will have to do them differently this year. Part 2 coming up tomorrow.