Catriona Gray, Why She is the Bb. Pilipinas #GameChanger

A year ago I have written about the shift that I am foreseeing in Philippine pageantry, that is having a pageant camp is no longer enough and that it should be augmented by having your own glamsquad. This year, that has been realized with Catriona Gray who won the top title in Binibining Pilipinas with only her glamsquad as her main source of help.
In a news report from, Catriona said “I just feel… because I have experienced being with a camp before, so I just wanted to try something different. I’m actually so happy working independently ‘coz I’ve been able to kind of cherry-picked the people I wanted to work with—whether they be stylist, make-up artist, designers. I’ve been learning from people from theatre, from dance, from passarela [catwalk], so I was able to mix it up… the people I’ve learned from, and I enjoyed it so much.

It is to no surprise that Catriona would thank her squad angels on one of her first post-crowning Instagram updates:  “To my angels who have dedicated their passion to training me but wish to be anonymous, you have transformed my stage performance. Thank you to the moon and back for all of your time, effort and especially friendship.
To kuya  @ton_lao@harleybarleyy and @bragaisjojo for taking me under your wing. To be surrounded by amazing people like you through the craziness that has been this competition has been both reassuring and uplifting. To mamang @hairbybrentsales@jellyeugenio @memayfrancisco@momoisupe and @mimsqiu for making me glow throughout the competition. ✨✨✨ To @jearsond and @maktumang what an amazing experience it is to collaborate with such talented artists!!! Thank you for your amazing talent and making me feel like a queen.

This is why Catriona’s win is a game-changer. It no longer means that not having a pageant camp meant that winning the top title is impossible. Catriona just proved that it is achievable.  Being an independent candidate means having to hustle on your own. It is hard work and involves months and months of forethought and planning. A two month preparation is not enough anymore. And certainly, when Catriona’s angels agreed to prepare her as if she is already competing in Miss Universe it paid off.
We are not saying that the pageant camp system is obsolete, no far from that. We are saying it is no longer enough as each pageant hopeful nowadays have a camp. With Catriona winning Miss Universe Philippines there is certainly a shift towards having a squad of your own that would help you focus your gameplan to fit your vision. Girls who would want to train independently could directly go to professionals (designers, stylists, makeup and hairstylists, interview coaches, catwalk trainors, etc…) that they are comfortable to work with. It also unbinds them on some camp rules on which designer to wear, what hair or makeup to do, or be treated as secondary girls to their frontrunners. It means having ownership of your pageant journey despite obstacles that would come ahead and selecting people that you can trust to help you up and not hold you down.

Catriona, from MWP to MUP…

Catriona just opened a floodgate of possibilities for girls who would want to join Binibining Pilipinas as independents, and that is why she is a game-changer.

#RumorMill: Miss Universe 2018 in Manila A Go?!?!

A couple of weeks ago, we have already heard about the possibility of having the Miss Universe pageant held earlier than the usual November-December schedule. Well we already have talked about that last December 2nd.

In fact Sashes&Scripts was the first to dish on this before everyone had heard of it. In that blogpost, I have also written that there is a possibility to move it to summer and that means summer in the US (which falls until August moving to September). And yes, the possibility to host it in Manila is about 90% sure that is according to our moles. Unlike the previous hosting, the negotiations for the 4th hosting in Manila has coasted along more smoothly. It is said that only the President’s approval was needed around January of this year and everything will be finalized before the month of May (before the Sangguniang Kabataan elections). The Philippines cannot to host the pageant in 2019 as it will be a conflict with the coming Senatorial elections as mentioned by our sources.

As for China hosting the pageant, it is still a bid to host but it isn’t necessarily sure for which year. Our moles have said that the presence of MUO officials in China doesn’t necessarily mean that the hosting was already a done deal. It is speculated that the visit there has more to do about a possible Miss Universe sponsorship or endorsement. Hangzhou is a major tea producer of China and it may have to do about that.
According to our insider moles, the Philippine hosting committee is asking that it be set earlier (probably between the months of late September to early November). The pageant will be a 3 1/2 week long celebration as girls will be going around tourist spots in the country that were not yet featured in the 2016 pageant. There already were talks between the Miss Universe org with MU local hosting committee. While businessman Chavit Singson is rumored to be footing a hefty amount of the bill, the Department of Tourism will have to come up with an estimated half of the budget through other sponsors. We don’t have new updates if Mall of Asia Arena will still be the venue for the pageant as the Araneta Coliseum was also speculated to be in the talks.
That is what we know so far, most likely there will be new developments happening in the next few weeks. Nothing is yet written in stone as MU national directors haven’t yet received any type of memo on when or where the pageant will be held as a confirmation.

Top 7 Things You Probably Didn’t Know about Miss Universe

Not everyone has covered the Miss Universe pageant and uncovered a lot of information gems behind the scenes. That is why today’s blog topic is about seven things that the average fan would probably not know about the MIss Universe pageant…

7. Rehearsals –
the Miss Universe is very much focused with the live finals. Hence, they ensure that everything is rehearsed from choreography, music, stage blocking, down to everyone from hosts & teleprompter, semifinalists callouts, performers and judges interviews, even to the final 2 and crowning. Every candidate gets a turn as a semifinalist in the rehearsals so that they would know where to walk and pose and line up onstage. This means that at least 4 hours a day is spent with rehearsals. The pageant also has a final technical rehearsal where everything looks like the final telecast in exception of the semifinalists and eventual winners.
6. Miss Universe Supervisors – every year, the MU pageant hires a number of supervisors to help manage all the candidates in the pageant. Each supervisor would manage 3-5 candidates each, making sure that they are always informed of the schedules and activities each day, call times are met, assist candidates on their needs, and every other stuff that you could imagine. Some of these supervisors are regulars and have been supervisors for almost decades.
5. A Professional Organization – unlike other international pageants (that is still considered as a family business), the MUOrg is comprised of professionals in a very well-structured organization. This is why it is run like a self-sustaining corporation. It has a President, a CFO, a VPs for Production Business Development, Managers for Talent Acquisition, Social Media & PR, as well as a corporate lawyer for any legal dealings.
4. Media Accreditation – the MUOrg have always treated media (both traditional tri-media and online pageant media) as partners. Every year they are giving media passes via an accreditation for coverage. Each media outlet is given a maximum of 2 passes. Every year during the finals, they set up a media center with free food and wi-fi access to watch the pageant and at the same time post real-time news updates. The media center however is not within the theater/ arena where is the pageant is held live.
3. The Prizes and Goodies – did you know that aside from the main winner, every Miss Universe semifinalist/ finalist, special award winner, runner up gets US$ cash prize aside from their trophies? Yes, Miss Universe rewards the girls who have exerted efforts in the competition. Not only that, all the candidates get to go home with sponsor goodies from Chi, Yamamay, Chinese Laundry, Sherri Hill, etc… So, nobody leaves empty-handed. Everybody gets to feel a winner!

2. Star of the Universe Crown – this is one of the least known Miss Universe crowns but the most expensive one created especially for the Miss Universe pageant. (Note: the Romanov crown isn’t considered as it was previously owned by the Russian monarchy). The crown was said to have been insured for $500,000 in the 1950’s, factor in the annual inflation throughout the years that might be nearly worth 1 million in today’s standards. The crown is made up of approximately 1,000 Oriental cultured and black pearls set in solid gold and platinum.
1. MUO President – the entire MU organization is headed by a President that is usually selected stringently. While the current MU President Paula Shugart is arguably the most popular and known to current pageant fans, she has only been president since 2001. The longest serving president of the MUO is the late Harold Glasser who served as head of the organization from 1959 to 1986. He served for 27 years!

Osmel Sousa Speaks Out!

Osmel Sousa breaks his silence! Here is his statement on his official Instagram account, @zardelabelleza…

First part. In times of confusion and irresponsibility, let me be frank, direct and responsible. For more than 40 years directing the reins of Miss Venezuela, I only have today as heritage the results of a long and laborious but finally rewarding work. My riches are in memories, my millions are in applause and my greatest satisfaction is the success and projection that the event (pageant) gave to countless Venezuelan women (unique, special, talented) whom I carry forever in my heart and who are the only jewels that I keep in my treasures. During all that time, I always acted for their benefit. I was a friend, advisor, travel companion, supporter, teacher and confessor of all of them and together we went through a thousand battles, celebrated triumphs and wept defeats together. Always giving all our effort to praise the name of Venezuela in the world. No one imagines the pain that I feel seeing the name of Venezuela sullied these past few days and see how they intend to destroy achievements and reputations that took years of tireless effort to build. For more than 40 years I was president of Miss Venezuela, I am not now simply because of important differences with company executives that in recent years have been dedicated to undermining my authority and moving professionally to the point of contradicting my decisions and unauthorized openly in my work and before my work team. So, it just did not make sense to continue exercising my work. It seems unbelievable that I have to deny something that in itself is absolutely and inherently false, but for purposes of clarity and responsibility I say: At no time have I acted to the detriment of any of the thousands of candidates that passed under my command in the Miss Venezuela. My job and my vocation was always to protect the candidates above all else until reaching the point of overprotection. That can give faith to thousands of candidates who went through La Quinta.

The treatment and interaction with all the candidates of course was not the same as everyone has their own personality and attitudes differ. But respect for them as a person and the demands placed on them as professionals and representatives of the values ​​and beauty of the Venezuelan woman were always the common denominator. I recognize that some of them may have perceived some flaw in my treatment of their person and I also recognize that there is a fault on my part. If that were the case, I am now as I have always been in the greatest disposition to converse, to listen to them and to assume my responsibility in any slip or failure that I may have inadvertently committed. My career and my achievements give absolute faith of my professional and faultless conduct for more than 40 years. Achievements that would be impossible if I had acted in bad faith or using other people especially people under my responsibility and protection as a bargaining chip to profit financially. At this point, my austere and simple life and my few material possessions answer by themselves to any suggestion of undue riches. The place that I occupy in the heart of the Venezuelans and the love and respect that they profess to me in every encounter in any corner of Venezuela and the world I do not change it for all the money, much less I would exchange it for a handful of coins.  – Osmel Sousa. 

International Titleholders of Binibining Pilipinas

In celebration of the 56th year of the Binibining Pilipinas pageant, I thought that it would be interesting to bring together all of the Bb. Pilipinas titleholders who went on to win international titles. Wouldn’t it be a marvelous reunion of sorts for past and present international winners if they were to be gathered into one stage?

So far, under the management of BPCI, a total of 17 international titles have been collected. Here is a list of the crowns that the BPCI has accumulated throughout the years…
Joanne Santos, Miss Tourism International 1997 (Macau version) – after placing 16th in Miss Universe 1995, Joanne was appointed to compete in the Miss Tourism International pageant based in Macau.
Michelle Reyes, Miss Tourism International 2001 (Turkish version) and Miss Tourism World 2002 – she was Bb. Pilipinas 1st runner up in 2001 and is the only BBP winner to win 2 consecutive international titles.
* Maricar Balagtas, Miss Globe International 2001 – ironically, the runners up of Bb. Pilipinas 2001 were the ones that brought home international crowns. Later in 2004 Maricar would then become Bb. Pilipinas Universe.

Kristine Reyes Alzar, Miss Tourism International 2002 – she was crowned Bb. Pilipinas International that same year but she got to compete in two international contests.
Noela Mae Evangelista, Queen of Tourism International 2003 – Noella was 2nd runner up in 2003 but was selected to compete in Mexico City. She was the last Binibini to wear the famous ‘Miriam Quiambao gown’.
* Mutya Johanna Datul, Miss Supranational 2013 – the first to be officially crown Bb. Pilipinas Supranational.
* Ann Lorraine Colis, Miss Globe 2015 – the first to be crowned Bb. Pilipinas Globe.
* Karen Gallman, Miss Intercontinental 2018 – the first Filipina winner of the Miss Intercontinental title.

* Gloria Diaz, Miss Universe 1969
Aurora Pijuan, Miss International 1970
* Margarita Moran, Miss Universe 1973
* Melanie Marquez, Miss International 1979
* Precious Lara Quigaman, Miss International 2005
* Bea Rose Santiago, Miss International 2013
* Pia Wurtzbach, Miss Universe 2015
* Kylie Verzosa, Miss International 2016
* Catriona Gray, Miss Universe 2018

Without a doubt, this list is expected to grow more in the coming years. While this is nothing compared to the impressive list won by Miss Venezuela’s Osmel Sousa, it does give us a glimpse of how far BPCI has come through the years. With the Philippines currently at a pageant Renaissance, I am expecting at least a couple more titles would be added to the list before the turn of the decade…

Binibining Pilipinas 2018 Review Pt. 4 – The Fashion

This is the final part of the Binibining Pilipinas 2018 pageant review. And since it is Friday, what to expect other than a #FashionFridays post! With a number of changes, let’s go through them one by one.

Opening Number of BBP 2018

The Opening Outfits – this is actually a 50’s inspired swimsuit with floral sarong. A mole told me that this is one of the options for the swimsuit for the finals but was later relegated for the opening as it didn’t say “competition” enough. I loved these floral and black outfit compared to previous years’ jersey dresses. Do I need to mention the colorful Christopher Munar earrings worn by the ladies? They complimented the girls’ outfits and framed their faces perfectly.

The top 25 in their DR Swim 2-piece swimwear…

The Gold 2-piece Swimwear – now this is more “competition” in terms of design. DR Swim’s Domz Ramos showed us fitting pics that were exclusively released earlier in the day of the finals. His cover ups with handpainted flora and crystals was cohesive design-wise. What I am even more impressed is the fact that he has told me that he experimented on a new technique so that all the girls would look more ‘gifted’ on the chest area. Just go back and check the ladies in the swimsuit competition, nobody looked flat chested this year! Great job on that Domz!

The Evening Gowns – what did I tell you about lace being so last pageant season? This year, the gowns are all about the bling. And there are more variety of red-carpet gowns this year. I’d have to mention the following ladies for picking great gowns for this year’s competitions: Jehza Huelar, Muriel Orais (this white number is one of the gowns that Rachel Peters brought to Las Vegas last year but didn’t get to wear), Patrizia Garcia and one fringe gown of one of the candidates that didn’t make top 25 (I hope someone could help and name her). But I’d have to list down 5 of my favorite looks below…

* Sigrid Grace Flores- her gown was reminiscent of the one worn by Brenda Liz Lopez of Puerto Rico in Miss Universe 1999… the gold color and the cover up. I love this design as it was updated for today’s fashions.

* Agatha Lei Romero – this caped gown reminded me of the Chanel haute couture number used as the centerpiece in the Manus X Machina fashion exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The silhouette had similarities and I would expect this kind of gown done by bygone chic era of Filipino couture masters like Christian Espiritu, Ramon Valera and Joe Salazar.

* Edjelyn Joy Gamboa – this simple and chic number is very lovely in motion. It does not need the overtly and ostentatious embellishment but works quite well for pageants.

* Samantha Bernardo – I thought I was over with cape gowns but this one worn by Sam I reconsidered. It reminded me of the Tom Ford gown worn by Gwyneth Paltrow at the 84th Academy Awards. I would have loved it even more in fiery red as it exemplifies Sam’s fiery performance in the finals.

* Catriona Elisa Gray – hers was an evening gown fit for Miss Universe. And she delivered very well choreographed turns to showcase all the best angles of the gown. This is a gown worthy of a Miss Colombia. I’m quite speechless on how she would be able to top this one off for the MU pageant as this was the bomb.

Prostitution Scandal Rocks the Miss Venezuela Organization!

Prostitution allegations has rocked the Miss Venezuela Organization!

Allegations on the Miss Venezuela organization and Osmel Sousa for pimping out girls to businessmen and government officials

Allegations surfaced that the Miss Venezuela pageant operated as a prostitution and trafficking network for women and at the center of it all is the man that brought countless crowns for the country, Osmel Sousa. According to reports from several Venezuelan media, Sousa would have subjected his candidates and queens to degrading acts, selling them to sponsors who paid for them high sums of money, to be able to pay for their participation in the contest. In the process, MVO would obtain resources that would allow them to support the famous mansion of beauty.

Venezuelan journalist, Patricia Poleo unleashed a controversy after accusing Osmel, of ‘prostituting’ candidates to government officials in exchange for ‘sponsorship’ money, operations, gifts and property. She called Sousa for using his connections and position at the MVO to procure meetings to businessmen and officials who would act as pageant ‘sponsors’. In return these sponsors and officials would support these candidates for pricey surgeries, apartments, gifts and other amenities to support the candidates in the local and/or international pageants. A hefty cut is said to be given to Osmel and the organization to be able to live comfortably in Venezuela and in the US. “Osmel is looking for the American nationality and, therefore, must live in the US“, says Julio Rodríguez Matute, beauty contest historian.
The Miss Venezuela pageant has denied such claims through the official Instagram account of the organization. Cisneros Media and Venevisión refuted the allegations that has named employees, advisers, sponsors and partners, as well as candidates as accomplices of such ‘unlawful acts’. It further stated that, “The companies responsible for managing the Miss Venezuela Organization wish to clarify that they strongly reject any attempt to involve them in acts other than the nature of their activity and are unaware of any type of relationship or act that could violate the spirit, ethics and values ​​of the event.” They also clarified that they are currently working on the restructuring of the team, after the departure of Osmel. Continue reading “Prostitution Scandal Rocks the Miss Venezuela Organization!”

Binibining Pilipinas 2018 Review Pt. 3 – The Production

Watching live is a different experience than watching it on television. And after reviewing several videos of the telecast and comparing them to what we saw live in the venue, we list down some comments on the overall production of the Binibining Pilipinas 2018 pageant.

The Stage Design – I think this was different from previous years’ stage design and I think it is effective. It may not be what most pageant fans are looking for but it was still a good design. In fact, I felt it a bit Black Panther-ish in feel. Modern but with touches of old-world tradition. I particularly liked how the floor was painted as well to add texture to the overall look of the stage. I wasn’t particularly fond of the chandelier on the ceiling as it blocked the view of those on the general admission areas.
The Performers – I don’t know how it translated on television but some of the performers who sang in the finals sounded bad… I don’t know if their headsets were not working properly that they don’t get the pitch correctly or if these were actually due to the sound system having errors. But it didn’t come out good at the venue. If the host Richard was having issues with his mic, I would assume that this was the same issue for the performers.

The Hosts – Richard Gutierrez and Pia Wurtzbach did a good job in hosting in this year’s finals. They did have some issues with the mic and the sound system but they carried it off well. But I would have to say that it was Nicole Cordoves who stole the show in terms of hosting the pageant. Somebody from the ABS-CBN management have perhaps heard and read my post on wanting Nicole to host in the BBP finals… And hopefully they would consider her as a permanent anchor in future Bb. Pilipinas finals.
The Song/ Soundtrack – unlike in previous years where some songs were really memorable, none of the songs this year actually stood out. It was only when they played Karencitta’s Cebuana that the audience could actually groove into the music…and it was on an off-air moment! And need I have to mention those noontime show sound effects during the off-air moments of the show? It didn’t uplift the overall feel or particularly matched the mood of the pageant.

The Camera Panning – another year that we can all agree that it was so noon-time show caliber. But I now finally found what the problem actually is. The reason it looks like that is because they focus on the girls’ breasts and crotch when they start focusing/ zooming on them. The two cameras handled by the cameramen were zooming from the crotch area going up instead of zooming from the face going down. Add to what makes the panning awful is how the cameras are tilted upward from below so when it zooms to the face of the girls, you see chins first. A third cameraman at the bottom of the stage also tilts the cam upward from below. When did we ever take selfies from below our chins and looked good?

This is something I learned from watching Sex and the City when they pan on the outfits of the girls, and when they zoom from the bottom going up, they do it from shoe to face. The type of panning and tilting done by the cameramen objectifies the girls. The only acceptable reason for such camera angles from below is when you want to focus on the architecture of the ceiling. Somebody from ABS-CBN should talk to the director and cameramen that this is what causes the problem. And hopefully this could be addressed for the next pageant that they will air on the channel.

#Nostalgia: Miss Universe 1992 Michelle McLean

19 year old Michelle McLean was an international model when she joined Miss Universe and was already a 6-year-veteran of the modelling world. Standing statuesque at 6’0″, she is considered among  the tallest winners of the pageant (the other two being Wendy Fitzwilliam and Amelia Vega).

Held in Bangkok, Thailand, The 1992 Miss Universe pageant was a lavish production that included elephants, a gorgeous stage and the little sisters of Thailand. That year, it was Venezuela’s Carolina Iszak, Colombia’s Paola Turbay and USA’s Shannon Marketic were the favorites for the title. Michelle, who was fresh from her top 5 placement in Miss World the year prior was considered a darkhorse due to her country’s weak sash factor. That didn’t stop her from doing her best in the competition though as she was #2 overall in the preliminaries.

Did you know that Michelle  placed second in the preliminaries of both Miss World and Miss Universe behind a Venezuelan? In 1991, Michelle tied at second place with the South African delegate to 1st placer Ninibeth Leal of Venezuela. Ninibeth later went on to win the Miss World title that year. Then in 1992, at the preliminaries of Miss Universe, Michelle also placed 2nd to Venezuela’s Carolina Iszak.

At the finals, she consistently performed in all three rounds and was #4 overall which boosted her into the top six. She then delivered well during the question and answer segments which earned her the MU crown. In one of the q&a in the finals she said, “my priority would be with the children, because they are the foundation of every nation.” It is that same promise that she kept after her reign when she founded the Michelle McLean Children’s Trust in 1992 and built the Michelle McLean Primary School in Windhoek, Namibia in the year 2000.

In 1998 Michelle was recognized by Donald Trump, then owner of the Miss Universe Organization, and presented with The Life Time Achievement Award for her philanthropy work.

Binibining Pilipinas 2018 Review Pt. 2 – The Winners & Placements

This is part two of the four-part Binibining Pilipinas 2018 review . And today we will be talking about the 8 winners and their respective placements. In terms of predictions, I got 2 out of the 6 crowns correctly with Eva and Catriona..and 21 out of the 25 semi-finalists. Not bad considering this batch was a very competitive one!

I would say that I am a bit skeptic at first with some of the placements of this batch. After a very solid 2017 batch of strong communicators, two of the girls that had strong q&a were relegated only to runners up. But looking at how the girls with crowns are placed with their respective international competitions, I see that this was a strategic move.

Bb. Pilipinas Globe,  Michelle Gumabao – I guess my assessment on my crown-contender series was correct, she did end up with the Miss Globe title! She follows the same pattern as Nelda Ibe (pilot beauty queen vis-a-vis sportswoman turned beauty queen). I think she is a strong contender for the Miss Globe title.
Bb. Pilipinas Intercontinental, Karen Gallman – another case where my crown contender assessment was correct! Karen may have not been able to communicate fluidly her point during the finals but she was able to get her message across. I have a feeling that she would continue our placement streak at Miss Intercontinental.

Bb. Pilipinas Supranational, Jehza Huelar – third times a charm! Finally Jehza has been crowned! She may have had a rocky start but she did finish with a bang! Her good bone structure on her small frame would be very appreciated in the Polish pageant.
Bb. Pilipinas Grand International, Eva Patalinjug – she was my MGI bet on the final Sashes&Scripts leaderboard and she ended up landing that title! The Thai-based pageant will surely love this mestiza looking Cebuana specially with Eva being a multi-hyphenate (beauty queen- registered nurse- law student).

Bb. Pilipinas International, Ahtisa Manalo – the youngest among the winners this year and she has to cast a bigger shadow than her predecessor. And it would be easy for this doll-like beauty. All she needs to do is to behave well and find a formula that would gel well with what the Japanese pageant is looking for.
Miss Universe Philippines, Catriona Gray – she is the girl that was MUP in both my crown-contender assessment and in my final leaderboard. Was there ever a doubt that she would win this title? Nada, at least for me. She was the girl to beat from day 1 and she never wavered in her lead.

I still would have wanted those who did well at the Q&A grab some crowns had there been more franchises but in totality I think this is a solid batch of queens. I would even say that the Philippines has a handful of international crown-worthy queens in this group, can’t wait to see them in action for their respective competitions abroad…

Thoughts on Eva and Samantha’s Bb. Pilipinas 2018 Answers

There seems to have been a general criticism over the final Q&A responses of Binibining Pilipinas Grand International Eva Patalinjug and Bb. Pilipinas 2nd Runner up Samantha Bernardo. Pageant fans keep on criticizing that they were rehearsed or that they were ‘plagiarized’. Here is my thoughts on this issue.

First let’s tackle Eva’s answer. Accusations of plagiarism is hurled at Eva over her answer as well. Now here is the thing about plagiarism, extemporaneous speaking or spontaneous speech is exempt from plagiarism because she does not gain monetary profits from borrowing a quotation or a section of a previously published content. Nor she is wrong to use a phrase or a section in what deems as appropriate in regular speech. From what we know the sections she borrowed for her q&a weren’t copyrighted material, hence everybody/ anybody is allowed to paraphrase, rephrase or repurpose its content to whatever purpose it suits them. This is where I would ask every one, when is it ever wrong to quote someone else’s words in a beauty pageant q&a? Haven’t girls and gays even at the baranggay level borrowed Pia Wurtzbach’s “confidently beautiful with a heart” phrase? Or haven’t pageant fans forgotten that even Pia borrowed GMA7’s slogan “think before you click” in her BBP2015 q&a? Double standards much? It’s okay for other to use quoted text or section but not for other?

The thing about extemporaneous speech is that it is even more difficult to use the exact same words when you are quoting someone under pressure and a time limit. Granted that Eva may have omitted to mention at that specific instance the source material as she ran out of the allotted time. But you gotta consider that her answer bore much gravitas than other girls in their respective shallow answers. This is what we writers refer to content over construction. This means that the essence of what was written, or in this case what was said,  bears more weight than how it was written. This is why writers and authors have editors.
Next we have Samantha reusing her own statement during the Bb. Pilipinas primer. I have no issue over that as we all have prepared canned responses whenever we go to a job interview. Usually, when we practice our answers for interviews our brain picks up on certain keywords and phrases (burning torch, love is the essence of life vis-a-vis the essence of being a woman, etc…) that we use as our go-to words. Hence when the occasion arise that we are in need of using them we blurt them out as if it were muscle memory. Same can be said of Samantha’s answer. She blurted a similar response to a question that is perhaps similarly asked in a previous situation. Again, what should be judged here is the gravitas of her answer not the answer itself.

The whole point of this issue is the fact that these two girls came in prepared. Judging them because they came in prepared is actually comical. Fortune favors the prepared and you can see that they were rewarded for it. Every pageant girl have notes and quotes that they put in their memory bank to use as conversation starters. To be able to be that well-read, well-informed and having a vast repository of knowledge at hand when an immediate need arises should command respect not criticism. Because when you are in that position, I could only imagine that these arm-chair critics could only do worse, not better than Eva or Samantha.

Binibining Pilipinas 2018 Review Pt. 1 – What You Didn’t See at the Telecast

This is the first time that I have ever watched the Binibining Pilipinas pageant live!

And I came in without any expectation whatsoever. Unlike the rest of the pageant fans in the venue, I was relatively calm throughout the experience. We will be having a four-part review of the pageant finals. Today’s blogpost is going to be more of a recap of the things that you probably didn’t see during the telecast.

Here are a number of things that were unforgettable in the pageant that wasn’t necessarily obvious or seen at the telecast:
* After the Q&A session, Catriona came to Sandra and comforted her after not being able to answer her question. This is no surprising as they are actually best of friends since their Miss World Philippine days.
* During the opening billboard of the 2017 queens, one of the reigning queens was booed by the audiences at the Araneta Coliseum. Since I was seated at the Patron area, it could be easily heard that it came from all over the different corners of the venue.
* At the opening spiel of the hosts,  Richard Gutierrez’ microphone had issues. I am not sure if it was shown on the telecast as perhaps it was able to record his voice and just didn’t gotten heard on the venue’s speakers.

* The atmosphere seems to be less frantic than that in Miss Universe. Since the ABS-CBN had a delayed telecast of the pageant, I wasn’t able to experience too much tension. But I could feel the intensity from the rest of the audience in the Coliseum.
* After a very politically-laden Q&A of 2017, there seemed to be less ‘aggressive’ questions against the government. Is it perhaps because ABS-CBN isn’t at a good standing with the President?

*  Nawat Itsaragrisil was in the finals and I have noticed that he wasn’t in his seat when the judges had their deliberation of winners. Rumor has it that the Thai pageant owner ‘singled out’ Eva Patalinjug for his pageant.
* According to one of the candidates, the reason why only a handful of candidates went out onstage during the announcement of the winners was due to two things: 1) some were so disappointed that they had immediately changed out of their gowns and 2) other were just so exhausted that they no longer had energy after not making the cut.
* In relation to that, the girls were only able to sleep at around 2am in the morning before being woken up at 5am to prepare for the rehearsals during the day of March 18. In fact they were rehearsing and had the final run-through that same day and only finished around 6pm. So it was understandable that the girls were really exhausted with the whole day rehearsals and 3-4 hours of sleep.

* Some fans after the pageant could be heard discussing the 4-3-1 results. 4 of this year’s winners came from Kagandahang Flores (Samantha Bernardo, Vickie Rushton, Karen Gallman and Eva Patalinjug), 3 from Aces (Michelle Gumabao, Jehza Huelar and Ahtisa Manalo) and 1 independent candidate (Catriona Gray). Some noted that it was the girls from KF that collectively  slayed the Q&A portion of the pageant. And I tend to agree, the KF girls seemed to have meatier and more substantial answers to their respective questions.
Stay tuned for part 2!

Poll: Miss Universe 2018 in Shanghai or Manila?

Our pageant moles just couldn’t stay put. And here is one of the latest gossips that our insider has just whispered to our ears.

There is currently rumors that the Miss Universe organization is having talks to have the pageant held in Shanghai aside from the talks that Manila (through the DOT) also wants to host the pageant. Miss Universe VP Shawn McClain was recently spotted at the Binibining Pilipinas pageant and was seen chatting up with BPCI head honcho Stella Marquez Araneta. Could they have been possibly chatting about the possibility of the MU pageant in Manila or perhaps the scheduled visit of Shaw in Shanghai?