1 nerve-wracking finals night…
With a very competitive batch of ladies I can name at least 20 ladies that should make semis and it still wouldn’t be enough to fairly squeeze in the strong girls in the competition. So this year, my final leaderboard follows a different format. I took away the ranking of the semifinalists as it would not matter who makes #15 vis-a-vis #9.
Alternate Semifinalists – one way or another, these ladies have left an impression on this blogger. Each girl could easily sneak into the top 16 semis this year. But I am sure that these ladies will make top 25 in the finals.
* Loren Mar Artajos
* Sarah Joson
* Shane Tormes
* Aubrey Asuncion
* Wynonah Buot
* Kristie Cequeña
* Janette Sturm
* Patrizia Garcia
* Anjame Magbitang
Semifinalists – no surprises here as these ladies have continually made a mark in the course of the competition. However, these ladies at some point lost consistency along the competition. Some had a strong start, other had their moment on the latter parts of the competition. But they are still a threat for those in the upper half of the list
* Agatha Romero
* Ahtisa Manalo
* Samantha Bernardo
* Ana Patricia Asturias
* Karen Gallman
* Sandra Lemonon
Alternate Runners up – these ladies are said to be part of the insider favorites and they could potentially spoil the game for the ladies that comprise my top 8. Muriel started strong whose sparkle dimmed a bit, the opposite could be said of Jehza. One this is for sure, you cannot count them out just yet because I know they will fight nail and tooth come finals.
* Muriel Orais
The Runners up – even if I have placed them on this portion of the leaderboard, these ladies are still heavy contenders for any of the crowns at stake. I wouldn’t be surprised if either could steal a crown from the rest of the ladies in crown contenders’ roster. I had Sigrid within my radar since day one, it only happens that other girls were performing strongly in different aspects when she would only do fine. She really has to step it up come finals because she has what it takes to make top 8. If it were up to my choice alone, I’d put Aya as one of the crown-contenders, but my gut tells me that she isn’t truly invested emotionally or well-prepared mentally for this game. I still have a feeling that she may have been pushed to join Binibini not through her own volition. I do hope that she shows more fire in her eyes because that one that I still yet to see.
2nd runner up, Sigrid Grace Flores
1st runner up, Aya Abesamis
The Crown Contenders – this is the part where people would be surprised on who made the list. Each of these titles are of equal importance according to the Bb. Pilipinas organization, hence no longer needs to be ranked. The girls I placed in this list are matched with the international pageants that they have the biggest potential to emerge victorious.
Binibining Pilipinas Globe, Kayesha Chua -the major spoiler and, IMHO, seems to be the real underdog this year who has consistently performed well in the pageant. She isn’t one of the fan faves but I could see the unwavering intensity of wanting to win in her eyes throughout the competition. I have kept my admiration for this lady under wraps wanting to see how she stacks up against the more popular girls and she did not disappoint. I would dare say she is possibly a better choice than other flagbearers of her camp.
Binibining Pilipinas Supranational, Ena Louise Velasco – her background as a medical doctor would add bragging rights for the BPCI org. We have had lawyers, businesswomen, architects and tons of models as queens but we haven’t had a doctor as of the past decade… and it is high time to have one this year. She could dance, she has a strong catwalk, she is blessed with a very modelesque body proportions and she could speak well. Those are qualities that would do well in Supra, where movement seems to have a bigger overall importance. Her addition to the pageant would definitely increase the pageant’s image and profile.
Binibining Pilipinas Grand International, Eva Psychee Patalinjug – no surprise for this Cebuana continuing the list of strong representation for the queen city of the south. This Cebuana have been bringing heat in the competition and knows how to bring drama in her presentation (look at how she worked her terno ala Liz Clenci in her MGI national costume). This multi-hyphenate is a force to reckon with (model-beauty queen-registered nurse-Law student). MGI could bank on her various degrees in terms of promoting its peace advocacy through medical relief missions and speaking engagements. Eva’s more feisty personality is an added bonus that would be appreciated in the international competition.
Binibining Pilipinas Intercontinental, Michelle Theresa Gumabao – Could Michelle finally be the first Filipina Miss Intercontinental? A definite yes! She can tread the same transformation as Katarina has who started with a weak pasarela and ended with a strong performance in the international pageant. Michelle’s height coupled with her communication skills and her mestiza good looks could be the ticket in an international pageant that prefers mixed-blood Pinays or mestiza looking Filipinas.
Binibining Pilipinas International, Vickie Marie Rushton – this lady perfectly fits the mold of what the Japanese could be looking for in a queen: well-mannered, respectful and polite, unquestionably pretty, blessed with a curvy body and of course very lovable. Never mind her 5’6″ frame as Precious Lara Quigaman was also of the same height as her. Others may see that her tentative way of speaking as a weakness, though it may look as pensive to the more decorum-focused Miss International panel. Her ability to be empathetic (not just sympathetic) to others stems from how she is raised in a family with PWDs and that could bring her good fortune in the long term. Her porcelain doll beauty would be a good follow up to Mariel de Leon’s very mestiza looks. What is important is the fact that Vickie easily ticks each box of what works with the Japanese-based pageant.
Miss Universe Philippines, Catriona Elisa Gray – the only girl in the Binibining Pilipinas competition that could win the Miss Universe pageant without any question. This girl is the total package with the requisite physical traits, strong communication skills, a compelling backstory and a very concrete advocacy and community involvement. Let’s also mention that with Catriona the MUOrg can easily conquer bigger areas with this lady’s commercial viability in a number of international markets. I felt with her the same feeling I had with Pia when she competed in BBP2015. Catriona, like Pia, is out to prove herself not just to win…and that is a very powerful arsenal.