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.


8 thoughts on “Thoughts on Eva and Samantha’s Bb. Pilipinas 2018 Answers”

  1. Ruffa Gutierrez in her Miss World answer mentioned a quote from The Little Prince which she duly attributed. I am an academic and I don’t think an idea mentioned in a contest Q and A is subject to the rules on plagiarism. All over the world, beauty pageant entrants memorize and practice their answers and they are bound to quote someone without meaning to plagiarize. We’re no longer in an era where to the question: What will you buy with your prize money? is ” A house and lot” It is necessary that the girl would appear informed and not ignorant, which is why there are so many practiced answers to different questions all sounding very pageantish. That said, the build build build question was unfair. Those who prepare questions shouldn’t be very specific to a highly specialized area which people generally find obscure. A girl prepares for over a year, and all that preparation is thrown away by an unfair question which the contestant is expected to answer before a large public. My suggested answer to the build build build Q is this: “Our country has been a rising economic star in the past 10 years registering a growth rate of between 5 to 7%, sometimes outdoing China. However economic experts have cautioned that the economic bubble would burst because of the country’s inadequate or lack of infrastructure. The governments build, build, build program addresses the observation. Build build build in the areas of energy, public mass transportation and agricultural industrialization would surely pave the way towards sustaining our economic growth and finally fulfilling that elusive dream of affluence for every Filipino. Thank you”


  2. Question was:
    “What is the role of beauty queens in the pursuit of our country’s economic success, if any?”

    Her response:
    “A role of the beauty queen is to be a voice. I am here to make a message to all of you. In these times of uncertainty…taking over our country, we have remained steadfast and have faith in all of its challenges. As a united nation, what we should do is to set aside our political differences, economic and social preferences. Let our love and loyalty to our country rise above all, in the hopes of making a peaceful country. Thank you.”

    hmm…yung sagot niya sa tanong… anyare?


  3. The issue is not even the fact that she copied a phrase. The content is still wrong and she dud not answer the question correctly. The question is about their influence to the economy… I was expecting answers that would help promote the philippines, drive tourism, and thus bringing revnue (i.e. economics) anything concrete… Instead a general flowery statement about unity etc… Although it is good, still doesn’t hit the target. Sorry.


  4. I think people are very disappointed to Eva’s answer for so many reasons. First, she kept on saying that she’s a law student and yet, her answer was not that original. Second, the similarities of her speech to Nadine Lustre’s post are glaring which would have been okay if she mentioned that she lifted those words from somewhere, and third, a lot of people were impressed only to find out that her answer is from somewhere and not hers. This is Bb. Pilipinas and we expect the best and genuine answer from the girls.
    Sabi ko na nga ba, unang linya pa lang ni Eva may kakaiba na.

    Dami ko pong hanash sorry. Haha
    (Bet na bet ko si Eva pero I can’t defend her this time)


    1. With a 30 second limit, I understand if she wasn’t able to mention from where she borrowed her quote from and she actually did go over the time limit. I am of the opposite of your reaction, and I am impressed because she is able to put that in her memory bank and drew from it when she needed to. It is not any different from former Miss India winner who would use quotes in their interviews and expound on the matter.
      I don’t condone plagiarism as I have seen entire sections of my blogposts copy and pasted on other sites but everybody has to take Eva’s answer into the context of the situation: there is pressure, there is a 15 or 30 second time limit, there are audience that are critical if you cannot have an answer within the first 5 seconds, and you are being judged by a panel… The mere fact that she has that much of a memory bank to pull from means that this lady is an intelligent girl, and in a course where you need to memorize laws and huge sections of the constitution Eva was in her element. Eva being a law student is a reflection of her answer – she came prepared…and fortune favors the prepared (lifted from Edna Mode of The Incredibles).

      Liked by 1 person

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