A Retrospective Thought on Eva’s Bb. Pilipinas Q&A

I was just going over some of my Binibining Pilipinas 2018 files over the past weekend when I came up with a screencap of the side by side comparison of Bb. Pilipinas Grand International Eva Patalinjug’s final Q&A answer with that of Nadine Lustre’s caption of the Mega.Ph’s #TheNewPH campaign.

I thought it would be a good topic to put show them side by side.
The role of a beauty queen is to be a voice. I am here to make a message to all of you. In these times of uncertainty and fear that have seemingly taken over in our country, we have remained steadfast as we face all of the challenges. As a united nation, what we should do is to set aside out political differences, forget our academic and social preferences, and love and loyalty for our country to rise above all…” – Eva Patalinjug
In these times when fear and uncertainty have seemingly taken over, as a united nation, we remained steadfast and unfazed in the midst of challenges. I believe what we need as one nation now is Unity. As we celebrate our country’s independence, let us march forward towards the future, in the hopes of building a better nation, #TheNewPH” – Nadine Lustre on Mega Magazine Independence Day Campaign

As you can see, Eva borrowed only one line which doesn’t constitute plagiarism and added meatier lines to her answer. The so-called plagiarism being thrown by non-scholars and non-media practitioners are nothing more than just futile attacks because she won. Had she not been crowned, I don’t think she would have received the same attention.
I have written my piece on this quite sometime ago. Yet I still feel the need to educate people who do not know the limits and scope of what is a plagiarized material. All that fuss over a single borrowed line amounts to nothing more but the wind howling for the mountain to bow down… Much ado about nothing.

An Inspiring tale of Jaren N. Guerrero, Mister International Guam 2018

Today’s #MANicMondays blogpost is about Jaren N. Guerrero. He is one of the hunks competing in Mister International 2018 finals today, April 30th in Yangon, Myanmar. Jaren Guerrero is a 25 year old body building enthusiast who dreams of becoming a firefighter one day.

I come from a rough up bringing, growing up we didn’t always have it all. My family struggled to make ends meet and keep me and my siblings fed and happy. I remember our house roof would leak when it rained and the house was made purely of tin.
As I got older things got a better but in high school I was diagnosed with scoliosis. It’s a curvature of the spine. The doctor told my parents that if I didn’t get surgery, my right lung would have been punctured, causing me some major health issues. I got the surgery and now have two titanium plates holding my spine straight.
I was bedridden for 2 weeks and had to learn how to walk again at the age of 17. The doctors told me after surgery I wasn’t allowed to play any physical or extreme sports that would hurt the body. I didn’t listen and ended up seeing bodybuilding as an outlet for me.

Looking at my physique you wouldn’t guess I had surgery. I am now Guam’s Top 6 physique. I come from a lot of trials and tribulations, but nothing ever stopped me from doing what i love. With the love and support i receive from my family, i hope to change not only my life but my family’s as well. I’m doing this for them.

Sashes&Scripts’ Early Faves for Mexicana Universal 2018

Mark your calendars for May 27th as the Mexicana Universal winner will be crowned!

The pageant, which is formerly known as Nuestra Belleza Mexico, is already underway with its national tilt. 32 entrants have been narrowed down to just 14 as the pageant heads to its upcoming finals. With that in mind, after reviewing the remaining finalists,  here are my top favorites for the title:
* Puebla, Montserrat Curis – 22 years old, 5’7″ tall, arguably one of the best faces in the competition this year. I am rooting for her for any of the top 2 titles. Personally, she is my pick for Miss International.
* Veracruz, Martha Leticia Suarez Briano – 25 years old, 5’9″, a former rep of Mexico to Miss Intercontinental. Her pageant resume clearly speaks for herself. If MxU still holds the Reina Hispanoamericana franchise, she could easily win that title.
* Sinaloa, Maryely Leal – 21 years old, 5’10”, one of the ladies that my gut-feel tells that will end up as one of the winners. Her stature just screams winner! This girls is my fave for the Miss Universe title.
* Jalisco, Nebai Torres – 24 years old, 5’10”, a possible spoiler for the MxU 2018 title. She doesn’t come of as strong as the previous girls in my list but she has that x-factor that I just couldn’t point my finger on.
These four women are, IMHO, the most facially beautiful of the bunch that is left in contention. I do have to give a special shout out to Colima’s Andrea Toscano as well. If there is a top 5 I would surely love to have her in the list.
Mexico rarely sends facially weak competitors in both Miss Universe and Miss International and with the four women in my list, I am positive that they will continue to keep on sending strong girls for international competitions.
Good luck to these ladies!

We’d like to know what you think. Comment on who are your MxU favorites on the comment section below…

Cynthia Thomalla wins as Miss Eco International 2018!

Congratulations is in order for Cynthia Thomalla for winning the Miss Eco International pageant in Egypt!

The 5’7″ beauty queen bested all other competitors in the recently held finals. She has consistently performed in the competition after placing top 10 in three mini-competitions, namely Talent, Eco-Dress and Resorts wear. The  victory of the Kagandahang Flores Cebu trained beauty marks the 3 international crowns (out of 4)  from the 2017 Miss World Philippines batch of queens. Cynthia won the third title of her batch after Reina Hispano Americana 2017 Teresita Ssen Marquez and Miss Multinational 2018 Sophia Senoron. Miss World Philippines 2017 Laura Lehmann placed in the top 40 of Miss World.

Full list of winner below:
Miss Eco International – Philippines, Cynthia Thomalla
1st runner up – Indonesia
2nd Runner up – Peru
3rd runner up – Vietnam
4th runner up – Costa Rica
Top 10 are as follows:
1. Indonesia
2. Costa Rica
3. Portugal
4. Peru
5. Philippines
6. India
7. Brazil
8. Egypt
9. Poland
10. Miss Eco Dress (Automatic Top 10) – Miss Vietnam

The PRO’s and CON’s of being an Independent Candidate Pt.2

The second part of a two-part series on the pro’s and con’s of being an independent candidate in a beauty pageant here in the Philippines.
There is only a couple of Pro’s I’m afraid. But boy, these two Pro’s could surely pack a punch!

* Freedom! And all that comes with it.
– You won’t be tied down. You can easily choose who you want to work with, who you want on your team. I have heard some stories from pageant girls of restrictions imposed by some members of their past camps. Like which hairstyle to wear, what type of makeup to use, which designer for prelims/ finals…to horror stories of not being allowed to do what you want only to see other girls do those that you can’t. Well, kiss that kind of drama adios if you are an indie pageant girl.
– You won’t get to experience envying other girls in your camp for favoritism because you are on your own! That kind of freedom from that kind of pressure is a huge deal because you can concentrate on your own gameplan. You will be so busy working on your own strategies that you won’t have time to think of comparing yourself to other girls when you’re in a camp.
– You are free to change your gameplan as it suits your needs and the needs of the competition. Sometimes some mentors could be too rigid and inflexible in their methods. And its their way or the highway. When you are being thrown a curve ball, you cannot expect not to adapt your response to it. In a pageant journey, routes can change but the destination is still the same.
– You have the freedom to cut yourself off from people who don’t have your best interest in mind. The camp comes in a package and you may not necessarily gel well with all of them. Personalities clash and you might find yourself doubting what your camp may say on what is best for you. If you find yourself resisting more than accepting what is being taught, then you might be better of as an indie girl. When you are independent, you can choose to surround yourself with people you get along with and choose to cut off toxic people.
– When you are an indie pageant girl, you become more appreciative of peoples who extend you help. You become more grateful for small victories. And when you are surrounded by such positivity, you find yourself enjoying the pageant more. When you are enjoying the experience you get to show more of your personality which will surely get you noticed in a positive light.
* You get to be your own boss lady. And that I believe is the best part of being an independent candidate. 
– You define who you are. That is a powerful thought because it puts you at the center of your own story. There is nothing more rewarding than being your own empowered woman, a current buzz word in the pageant community nowadays.
– You claim your own victories and losses as your own. If things don’t go your way, you cannot blame somebody in a camp if you have none. You take your own losses as your own and those build character. And as such, you won’t expect things just to be handed to you.  You work hard for those things you want. Because you know that easy comes, easy goes. And when the moment of victory arrives (in whatever shape or form), the victory is all the sweeter because you know what it took to get there.
– You get to be comfortable making tough and uneasy decisions. As an indie candidate you would rely on your own personal navigation system a lot. You get to do what feels right to you without much noise from everybody else.
It will take lots of hardwork and hustling from the onset but if you are a girl who loves to have her freedom and who loves to take charge, then being an independent candidate might just work out for you. It will not be easy, but the rewards will be amazing. I strongly recommend that you take an introspective review before making the decision to jump on the indie pageant girl bandwagon. It is not easy joining a pageant and being independent is not for everyone.
I still would recommend you to be in a pageant camp (specially those that really provide good training and support system) as they can properly guide you through the ins and outs of a competition… specially if you are a newbie candidate. If you are a ‘yes sir/ ma’am‘ person, this might become a trouble for you later on. You probably be better in a camp if you would need more guidance than the average person. You just need to be open to them and communicate where do you want to take your pageant journey through. Because at the end of the day, it won’t be the camps or handlers who will be competing onstage but YOU. Ultimately, your pageant journey will be about you.

Beauty Queens & the Follow, Follow Back, & Unfollow (f-FU!) Phenomenon on Instagram

At first I thought that it was just a juicy gossip, that is until it happens to you…

This wasn’t the first time that I encountered beauty queens adding me on social media, and in fact I do have a few on Facebook. But I have generally shied away from having a beauty queen add me on social media with reasons I have previously explained in this blog. But it is a different beast when it’s Instagram. I have very few BQs who follow me back on IG, the number is pathetic really, but I’m okay with that.  I don’t need them to follow me as long as they allow me to follow them, that is the relationship that works for me. But when a beauty queen follows you in Instagram and you follow back only to find out that a day after that she unfollowed you, then that is when s#!t hits the fan.
I’d call it the f-FU! phenomenon (follow-Follow back-Unfollow, patent pending). LOLs. Or in short – a really f!ck3d up way of adding followers on Instagram. Now here is the problem, such way of faking it with followers is such a piss-poor way of treating pageant fans. Because if you are doing that (specially those that are verified accounts) you are building more and more haters rather than followers. Soon, the knowledge of that practice will spread to a number of pageant fans until it reaches the pageant media, myself included. And sometimes pageant media people aren’t as nice as to not drop names. Others would blog about it like what I am doing now. Such practice shows just how big of an @ss these girls are. Now if they argue that they are using bots to gain more followers and that this is how these bots work, then congratulations! You’re not an @ass, just pathetic! What an upgrade! YIPEE!!! (dripping with sarcasm) Continue reading “Beauty Queens & the Follow, Follow Back, & Unfollow (f-FU!) Phenomenon on Instagram”

Sashes&Scripts’ 1st Miss Philippines Earth 2018 Leaderboard!

The Miss Philippines Earth activities has officially kicked off with the resorts wear competition held last April 21st at the Laus Event Center in Pampanga. Early on Cebuana Marla Alforque (gold), Silvia Cortesi (silver) and Gabrielle Camille Basiano (bronze) took on the first medals of the competition.
With those in mind we present to you Sashes&Scripts’ first Miss Philippines Earth 2018 leaderboard. Basing on what we have seen on the resorts wear competition plus assessments on their respective profiles on the MPE website, here are the 10 ladies who we should all watch out for in the pageant.

10. Berjayneth Chee
9. Divine Angela Beranga
8. Halimatu Yushawu
7. Jasmine Marie Taylor
6. Gabrielle Basiano
* Since the elemental titles are now treated with equal importance, we randomize them and are no longer highest to lowest.
Miss Philippines Water – Zahra Bianca Saldua
Miss Philippines Fire – Lea Macapagal
Miss Philippines Air – Marla Alforque
Miss Philippines Eco-Tourism – Jean de Jesus
Miss Philippines Earth – Silvia Celeste Cortesi
Did your favorite among the 43 candidates made out list? Drop us a comment below and tell us who should be the next Miss Philippines Earth and why…

#Nostalgia: Miss Universe 1994 Finalist Charlene Gonzales Pt.2

The 43rd Miss Universe Pageant was hosted by the Philippines on a month long schedule of activities.

The pageant was back in Philippine shores after two decades and was held on May 20, 1994 at the Plenary Hall of the Philippine International Convention Center. It was a full flurry of activities as the girls visited Pearl Farm in Davao and Boracay, participated in a Flores de Mayo parade, strutted local designer creations in the Forma Filipina fashion show and toured Nayong FIlipino among others. Charlene being host delegate was present in welcoming the first salvo of candidate arrivals. She was ever the gracious host delegate as Miss Universe winner Sushmita Sen lent her earrings for the finals. It can be noted that the earrings that she wore during the Philippine terno competition were the ones that Sushmita wore during the finals.

Charlene was a favorite for the title alongside media favorites Colombian Carolina Gomez, USA’s Lu Parker and fan favorites Australian Michelle van Eimeren, Christelle Roetlands of Belgium, Venezuelan Minorka Mercado.
When she took home the Best National Costume award, it followed some controversy as other candidates cried foul with majority of the judging panel were Filipinos. To her defense, her Pitoy Moreno national costume incorporated traditional woven t’nalak fabrics with Bagobo & Higaonon influences. It was accentuated with the use of authentic T’boli brass belt and loads of T’boli brass bells on the entire outfit.

During the finals, her answer “High tide or low tide?” during the interview segment drew audience cheers and is still considered as one of the best Miss Universe moments by Filipino pageant fans. Charlene later revealed that she had to pause for a moment to get the answer right hence she asked the question to buy her some time. She managed to make top six before being eliminated from the competition.

Although she was not able to win the title, Charlene made Filipinos proud with her beauty and intelligence. Charlene later on became active in tv and films taking up roles like Dyesebel and doing shows like Eezy Dancing, Keep on Dancing and ASAP. Hers was a high-wattage caliber of beauty and talent that would later take a backseat after her marriage to Aga Mulach and raise a family.

Charlene’s plans of pursuing her medical studies (as she mentioned during her Binibining Pilipinas stint) did materialize as her showbiz career took off. However she did continue studying taking up a one-on-one Mentorship Program at Asian Institute of Management, focusing on Business Management and Entrepreneurship.  In 2009, she took up a course in Business Management Entrepreneurship at Harvard School of Business proving to her kids the importance of education.

Now at 43 years old she still looks as ravishing and gorgeous, if not even more so, as the day she won the 1994 Binibining Pilipinas Universe title in 1993. And I am perhaps one of the few fans who loves to entertain to see her host the next Binibining Pilipinas pageant with Miriam Quiambao and Ruffa Gutierrez. Wouldn’t an all-female host of the pageant be something to look forward to?

Talleen Abu Hanna: Changing Pageantry for Transgendered Females

Talleen Abu Hanna. Remember her name as she is poised to be a popular pageant contender should she win Miss Israel 2018 on May 1st.

Talleen Abu Hanna is an Arab-Christian Israeli from Nazareth who won the first ever transgender beauty contest in Israel. Previously she has won Miss Trans Israel 2016 and now is a strong favorite for the title of Miss Israel. The 23 year-old Talleen is possibly one of the few transgendered people who are giving traditional pageants (who usually have a ‘born-female’ clause in their requirements) a shot. She is currently one of the Top 4 finalists of Miss Israel 2018 and a transgender model.

If indeed she wins the title, she might be sent to Miss World and/or Miss Universe or if she ends up as a runner up, perhaps to Miss Universe alone. Traditionally the Miss Israel (or Malkat Hayofi Israel) winner gets to be sent for Miss World. While it is not clear if Miss World still won’t allow transgendered females to compete in their pageant, the Miss Universe has allowed it since 2013. (EDIT: During Miss World Spain 2015, a transgender female was allowed to compete at the nationals representing Cadiz. Her name is Angela Ponce.)

If she shoes get to compete internationally in any of those two pageants, she would be breaking a glass ceiling for transgendered females. She would be opening doors for more transgendered females to join traditional pageants that are used to be catering for biologically born females. Are we close to having a transgendered winner in one of our Alpha pageants soon?

Karla, Jamie, Angelia and Karen as MPE2018 Co-Hosts?

Would it be a great idea to have a full female hosts for Miss Philippines Earth 2018?

But I know a lot of us are probably wanting for James Deakin to host the pageant once again, I thought that it would be a wonderful idea for the pageant to be fully hosted by an all female panel. Of course the four Filipinas who won the Miss Earth immediately come to mind. All four ladies are quite articulate and may carry the show by themselves.

Wouldn’t it be perfect to have Karla Henry, Jamie Herrell, Angelia Ong and reigning Miss Earth Karen Ibasco as hosts for the pageant?

China is Officially Out of Hosting Miss Universe 2018

So our moles were right after all. The Miss Universe 2018 hosting in Manila is much more feasible than the China hosting that circulated on social media several weeks prior.
It was confirmed that the Miss Universe hosting in China fell through after Chinese officials could not agree on the live airing of the pageant. The live telecast could have potentially caused issues with the communist government should political questions be asked during the pageant. Airing a delayed telecast could lower down the ratings of the pageant as the presence of social media could spoiled the results even before the pageant is aired.

Below is a snippet of the article by Manila Bulletin…
After talks for the staging of the Miss Universe 2018 beauty pageant in China failed, the prestigious beauty pageant appears to be headed back to the Philippines, sources revealed Thursday.
“At this point, the Philippines is the favored country to host the Miss Universe pageant. If it pushes through, the beauty contest will help promote the reopening of Boracay Island in Aklan,” the same sources said.
Last month, Miss Universe Organization President Paula Shugart and MUO VP for Business Development and Marketing Shawn McClain traveled to China for an ocular of the possible venue for the pageant. They were accompanied by architect Richele Singson, daughter of former Ilocos Sur Governor Chavit Singson and other officials of Hangzhou.
The talks broke down over China’s refusal to air the pageant live.
“China does not want to air the Miss Universe beauty contest live. All these years, the beauty pageant has been airing live so the organizers could not imagine if the event is taped or delayed,” the sources added.
With China out of the picture, the Philippines has a larger chance of hosting the pageant and could also be used to generate publicity for Boracay after its closure this month.

My Early Miss Philippines Earth Favorites

We all know that the Miss Philippines Earth activities have started with a number of public appearances, a number of online postings of energy conservation from each of the candidates and a grand announcement on the schedule of the pageant’s finals.
While the actual competition hasn’t started just yet, we have certainly noticed several candidates to watch out for in the competition. Among the 30+ candidates this year I am singling out these three ladies from the confirmed roster of candidates on the MPE website.

* Lea Macapagal – 20 years old, 5’5″, from Dinalupihan, Bataan. This Customs Administration student has a fresh face that the MPE pageant would surely love. She is one of the more photogenic faces in the competition this year and my gut says that she is going to be a fan favorite as the competition progresses.
* Silvia Celeste Cortesi – 20 years old, 5’8″, from Rome, Italy. I am glad that the Miss Philippines Earth has finally branched out and included the Filipino communities outside of the country. Silvia is the first MPE-Italy winner and I am quite sure that she is going to be one to watch out for.
* Zahra Bianca Saldua – 26 years old, 5’8″, from Las Pinas. This crossover from Miss World Philippines is a definite contender. And what I am seeing as her advantage is her age and experience. With a lot of life experiences to gather strength from, I am confident that Zahra is going to be a force to be reckoned with in the pageant.

Hopefully more ladies will be stepping up their game as the weeks go by. We would welcome two or more ladies in the list of faves. I am looking forward to those girls who will be surprises and underdogs in the competition

The Miss Universe Crowns: The 10th Anniversary Crown

The Miss Universe 10th Anniversary Crown

About the Crown: this is the first rhinestone crown of the Miss Universe pageant.It is said that the pageant wanted to create something new for its 10th year anniversary, hence the new design. This is the first crown that is bejeweled purely with rhinestones. But this crown will later serve as a jump-off point for the following ‘The Lady’ crown as it retained the flourish design details from the 10th anniversary crown.
Timeline: 1961- 1962 (only Marlene Schmidt and Norma Nolan has worn this crown)
Cost/ Price:  no available sources

The PRO’s and CON’s of being an Independent Candidate Pt.1

I have spoken of how having a pageant camp nowadays is no longer the biggest advantage a pageant girl could have in joining a pageant. And I have certainly spoken about having a personal glam squad to help you out is an added advantage. This post is about demystifying the romanticized ideals of going to pageants as an independent candidate.

First off we list down the Con’s.
* You gotta be a tough nut to crack. Mental preparedness is key because things will not be easy. That kind of journey inwards should be the first step that should be your foundation for everything you have to roadmap later on.  As an independent you have to withstand being on your own first before you can have people flocking to your support. You gotta know who you are and be solid and comfortable in the person you are. Know that you are enough, and if you have doubts about that then you have to work on your confidence level.
* You gotta do your own homework on Personal Brand building. Know your own strengths and weaknesses and build plans for those. You taking ownership of your pageant journey will have to rely on how you want to be packaged and seen by the world. You would need to do your own research as you have to plan out your pageant strategies all on your own before you can add people to help you out. Having a clear sense of direction would make things easier for you an an indie candidate.
* Network like a telemarketer on crack. Because you are on your own, you would have to build your core team from ground zero. There will be a lot of NO’s before you could get a single YES. But keep knocking on doors, make sure they are the right kinds of doors for you. So you would have to rely on your connections and their connections to build a network of people that would help you for your pageant preparations.  Because this is where others can help you on your weaknesses. DO NOT be afraid to reach out to designers, media, makeup and hairstylists, pageant personalities and past queens for advise. Most of them genuinely would want to help out or would easily connect you to the right people.
* Prepare serious amount of moolah. Pageants are costly. In other countries, prospective candidates would have to pay the entrance fees and their own wardrobe and makeup for the pageant. SO if you are gonna do it on your own, be prepared that you are financially ready to shell out serious amount of money. If you aren’t that liquid, this is where your connections comes in. Prepare to make x-deals with a number of designers, photographers and fashion professionals. Build relationships with them so that they will be willing to help you out for free. But do not forget them once you won.
* Prepare earlier than anybody else. The girls with pageant camps would usually start preparing/ training on an average of 2-3 months before the application starts, as an independent you have to move that at least 2 months earlier. Because you will have to prepare for a lot of things like pasarela, hair and makeup tutorials, wardrobe planning, photoshoots, etc… Part of that time is taken up by building your own core team. So you have to decide early if you wanna join a pageant as an independent.
Those are just some of the Con’s and I am sure that there are many more that the list might not have covered. But these are the biggest ones and the most pressing of all.
Watch out for part two as we will be listing down the Pro’s of being an independent candidate.