Yes! We got it right again! Miss Universe Thailand 2019 is as who we predicted, Paweensuda ‘Fahsai’ Saetan – Drouin won the title and the right to represent her country in the upcoming Miss Universe pageant!
Since 2016, our predictions in Miss Universe Thailand has sort of been accurate having predicted the victories of Chalita Suansane, Maria Poontlertlarp Ehren and now, Paweensuda Drouin. The only time that our top pick didn’t win was in 2018 where Thitaree Kasorn was named 1st runner-up to Ning Sophida Kanchanarin. This is quite a great record in terms of predictions IMHO… Not to mention that we were able to predict the top 5 correctly, as well as name 2 out of the eventual top 3. Back in 2017, Fahsai and Maria were my penultimate bets for the Miss Universe Thailand title. Little did we know that both ladies will eventually become MUT winners 2 years apart. When Fahsai was handpicked to compete in Miss Earth and ended up only in the top8, I was hoping that she would be able to compete once again in MUT and represent Thailand in Miss Universe in a year or two. Now, that has become a reality.
Here’s a secret that I have been holding since December of last year, I already knew that she was going to join MUT again after being able to spend a couple of days going around Bangkok with her and several friends. She was an amazing guide as she toured us inside the Grand Palace (answering my every curious question on Thai history, culture and its people) and hunting for Thai Milk tea along Bangkok’s streets. This lady is very grounded, perceptive and immensely intelligent, easy to talk to and fun to be around. And not to mention you can feel her sincerity, and you can truly feel that her heart was on the right place when she said that she truly wants the Miss Universe Thailand crown this time. One of the nuggets of wisdom I was able to tell her was to be in the mindset that she was already competing in Miss Universe the moment she files her application for MUT. I guess that stuck as you can feel that she was thinking ‘MU winner’ during the recently held finals.
Thailand chose right and will be gloriously rewarded for crowning her for Miss Universe. Paweensuda will definitely make you proud. This blogger would personally be glad to cheer her up as she vies for Thailand’s 3rd Miss Universe crown!
One of the common predictions by pageant fans and bloggers for Binibining Pilipinas 2019 was that a total underdog will be one of the ladies who will win this year. And that proved to be true when a Philippine-born, Canada-raised Resham Ramirez Saeed was named one of the 6 new titleholders of Bb. Pilipinas.
In a field of mostly crossovers and returnees, this pageant neophyte beat the odds to claim one of the coveted titles in the most competitive Philippine national pageant. Resham is the stunning Filipino-Pakistani who will now have the honor of competing in Miss Supranational 2019, a Polish-owned pageant that the Philippines has won back in 2013 with Mutya Johanna Datul. The 25-year-old from Buluan, Maguindanao, one of darkhorses in the pageant, is also a Muslim Filipina raised in 6 different countries. With that, she may be very well be one of the few Muslim Filipinas to grace the international pageant scene. A rarity but not totally unheard of (Emraida Kiram AKA Vivienne Lee Austria had the two-fold of honor of becoming the first Miss Philippines to compete in the Miss World, and the first Muslim woman to win a national beauty title). Resham was born in the Philippines (in Pasay City) but raised mainly in Toronto, Canada, where she obtained an undergraduate degree in Psychology. She speaks English, Spanish, Hindi, Punjabi, and can speak a little bit of Tagalog.
In an Instagram post she said she won’t take the opportunity for granted as she feels honored to be given the responsibility to represent the Philippines internationally.
“Yesterday blew me away. It challenged everything I believed and expected. Sorry about the delayed post but to truly express my gratitude , I had to sit down and and let last night’s victory sink in. The responsibility bestowed upon me to represent my people on an international level is a feeling I can’t describe. All I have to say at this time is that I’m extremely grateful and humbled and that this responsibility isn’t one I’ll take lightly. I am proud to be one of the first Muslim Pinoy’s to Raise our Flag! Maraming salamat and thank you to each and everyone of you who played a part in my success. This is all for you ❤️🙏🏽 Huge thanks to you @bbpilipinasofficial for trusting me with the crown and giving me grater heights to reach. I will not let you down! ❤️”
In all honesty, I wasn’t about to put up a Miss Universe Thailand 2019 list of faves this year as I have been vocal of my support for one candidate over Sashes&Scripts’ social media page. But after witnessing the preliminary competition last night, I changed my mind.
Before we begin listing our faves, I want to list a couple of ladies that I feel has lots of potential should they be trained properly for the competition. Naruemon Sittiwang has a very gorgeous face that the camera loves and is one of the girls that I see that could coast easily into the semis and even possibly the top 5. Another lass I feel that should be given enough attention to is Kamonporn Thongphon who at 18 years old can become a future winner. Now on to my list, there were 5 ladies that stood out in the Miss Universe Thailand preliminary competition that we will be discussing in today’s blogpost.
5. Patraporn Wang – to be honest, her beauty wasn’t my cup of tea. But I have to give credit where credit is due and say that she was the most polished girl in terms of presentation among the candidates this year. She glided onstage like a pro and made use of her 5’11” stature to the fullest. Her’s is not a universally beautiful face and that is her biggest weakness. If she is crowned MUT 2019, no doubt she can place Thailand back into the Miss Universe semis… but I am not confident of her chances in bringing home the 3rd MU crown for Thailand. She would be a great MUT winner if she is crowned and a respectable rep to MU.
4. Thanatchaphon Boonsang – love her dusky complexion and her exotic appeal, although I think that her beauty may only be commercial to certain niche’s. She looks effortless in her presentation in both evening gown and swimsuit. If it were up to me I’d put her immediately in my top 5 but I have to factor in winnability at the international level. She might be a great MUT in the making but convincing the international audience that she is a MU material may prove to be difficult.
3. Miriam Sornprommas – love that she had a missionary trip to the Philippines several years back. But that is not the reason why she has become a personal favorite. Her type of beauty is so high-society that is so hard to ignore. She has a quiet confidence that is both classy and enigmatic, a rarity in pageants. However I still am wanting more in her ability to connect to the audiences through the camera and to see more personality coming out from her. Ialso see the need for her to add more definition in her body and sculpt is to add more muscle definition as she looks too model thin for her 6’0″ height. But she is perhaps one of the better overall girls in the contest.
2. Kim Docekalova – she has that Asian vibes that would look so amazing in a really good tan. She is competent in the ramp but still needs more polish and finesse on her presentation and styling. At 19 years old, her youthful vibe and her eyes that speaks of so much naivety and innocence is going to be a disadvantage. Because other than that, she has a commercial face that could serve the MUOrg quite well and a stature that is commanding. I have a strong feeling that she would be placed in a runner up position as a “reserve” so that she could make a stronger comeback in the future.
1. Paweensuda Drouin – she has a universally appealing look to her that is hard to ignore. She channels a sweet personality bu is also a fierce competitor. Yes, she probably still needs a little more refinement in her facial and posing transitions but the foundations are there. All she needs to learn is control her motions and facial expressions which is a function of muscle memory with proper training. She is, IMHO, perhaps the best overall candidate to be sent to MU but what remains to be seen is if Thai judges see her first as a national winner. I believe that Thailand’s 3rd MU crown is waiting to happen with Paweensuda.
Thailand has to get it right if it wants their third MU crown, a crown that was so close with Maria Poonlertlarp in 2017 finishing among the top 5. At this point of this post I want to cheer really hard for Thailand to win it’s 3rd MU crown simply because I feel that Asia has been overlooked during the Trump era in favor of Caucasian/ Latina stunners, not that they don’t deserve it. This time, Asia must strike while the iron is hot by sending formidable delegation. I wouldn’t mind seeing it on the head of a Thai winner if it means keeping the Mikimoto crown in Asia longer. This is what Asian solidarity should mean. It means we need to support each other as regional neighbors.
Who are your Miss Universe Thailand faves? Comment down below…
The 2019 Binibining Pilipinas finals was slated on a Sunday, June 9th, and with its delayed date, it brought several implications that needs to be addressed.
The Binibining Pilipinas coronation night this year was considerably late compared to previous years where it was held between the months of April or May. Applications were delayed to January a month late than the usual December deadlines. A delayed application date meant that the finals would be delayed as well. Pre-pageant events and activities were usually held between the months of February to April and would usually be 1 1/2 to 2 months long. This year, it started around March.
How does this later date affect newly crowned queens? That is what we will be exploring today.
Batch 2019 of Binibining Pilipinas has perhaps the most number of pageant crossovers and returnees combined. Over 22 of this year’s candidates were either a crossover, a returnee or both. But only one can be deemed as the queen of both.
The newly crowned Binibining Pilipinas Intercontinental, Emma Tiglao of Pampanga, broke the so-called curse that no Binibini returnee would ever win in the pageant after dipping her toes in the rival pageant, Miss World Philippines. After her initial foray in 2014, she joined the rival national pageant a year later. And it seems that Emma has moved from strength to strength in each of her participation in the national level having been 1st runner up in Mutya ng Pilipinas 2012 and Miss World Philippines 2015 4th Princess. Continue reading “Emma Mary Tiglao: Queen of the Returnees”
Violence against women should never be tolerated and when it happens to a beauty queen, it is guaranteed that it will go viral.
Former ‘I am She – Miss Universe India’ Ushoshi Sengupta was harassed by a group of young men after she stands up for a taxi driver on her hometown of Kolkata in India. In a lengthy Facebook post, she detailed how Indian police lazily responded to her pleas of help. This is what the former Miss Universe India shared on her Facebook account: Last night 18th June 2019 at around 11:40 pm I took an Uber from JW Marriott Kolkata to go back home after finishing work, since I work with the Media and Entertainment industry working late hours is necessary in my job profile. I was accompanied by my colleague. We were taking a left turn from the exide crossing towards Elgin while few boys in a bike (without helmet ) came and hit the Uber. To which they stopped the bike and started yelling at the driver. In a fraction of second there were 15 boys and they all started banging the car window and dragging the driver out. They dragged the driver and started beating him up. This is when I stepped out and started shouting taking a video of the incident. I ran across the street to Maidan Police station , I saw an officer standing and I requested him to come with me, he told me that this is not under them but under the jurisdiction of Bhawanipore Police station. This is when I broke down I begged them to come or else the boys would have killed the driver. The officers came and held the boys saying why are they creating nuisance . The boys pushed the police officers and ran away. After everything was over two officers from Bhawanipore police station came, by then it was 12am . I requested the driver to drop me and my colleague home and decided to take it up with the police station tomorrow morning. To my utter surprise the boys followed us till my colleagues house and right when we were dropping him near lake gardens gov’t housing 6 of the boys in 3 bikes came and stopped my car , threw stones , broke the car. Dragged me out and tried to break my phone to delete the video. My colleague jumped out out of fear and I was completely shaken. I came out started shouting by now the locals had come out. I took a breather and called my dad and my sister . Considering it happens in the next lane and in my locality (my Para). The cops came told me to do an FIR at Charu Market police station. I went there. Met the sub inspector who told me my complain will be only taken by the Bhawanipore police station. At this point I gave up and started shouting. 1:30 am . No female police officer at the station. After raising a lot of questions the officer took my complain but refused to take the Uber drivers complain stating that 2 FIR’s can’t be taken for the same complain. And he told me that it’s against the law . My Uber driver insisted that he wants to do the complain but the officers didn’t take it. I am attaching the video of the mob and the picture of the broken car.
Firstly , if you are getting mobbed, violated, molested or even killed please be assured about the jurisdiction of the police station before running to them. Because even if it is 100 meter away from your spot and not under the jurisdiction chances are very rare they will come and help. Secondly , how does 15 boys without helmet have such ease to beat up the Uber driver and break the car . In south Kolkata??? What I realized that this was a way to extract money from the driver by threatening him in a mob. This is absolutely a way of extortion. Thirdly , even if the mob is beating the driver if you step out and raise a voice you will be attacked . To help others and stand up is a scary thing to do because the police who was 100 mtrs away refused to help. The sub inspector refused to take my drivers FIR stating that it’s not under the law. And lastly, This could happen to anybody , your sister coming back from tuition , your mother coming back from work, your father who is driving the car or your brother who is trying to protect you. My Uber driver Tarak who probably has got his Uber on loan and driving and making money for his family , who is trying to defy the odds of unemployment and working hard will be scared to drive, will be scared to reach out to the judiciary. Last night absolutely shook me. This is not the Kolkata I came back to, not the Kolkata I left flourishing career outside to come back and live.I represented Kolkata and won the title of Miss India 🇮🇳 I represent this city, I represent this county I stand up for every girl, every citizen who is scared to live in this situation. Despite making the FIR I never saw any steps being taken against the boys. And not only the locals the police also could identify the boys in the video. Shame.
Shortly after the outcry erupted, seven perpetrators were identified and arrested thanks to the video attached by Sengupta. Police said that they had also launched an inquiry into why the officers did not let the taxi driver file a complaint.
It has been a long while since we posted anything new for our usual MANic Mondays post. Today we are posting something that is quite controversial as we are featuring a ‘not safe for work’ content.
Warning: the following post is for mature audiences and viewer discretion is advised.
What is with male pageant titleholders and their propensity to pose provocatively in gay-magazines? After Rome Phanuphong bared it for Harder magazine, here comes Htoo Ant Lwin of Myanmar out-stripping Rome in his spread for Kora magazine. Continue reading “#MANicMondays: Htoo Ant Lwin for Kora Mag”
Disclaimer: the people and circumstances depicted in this story is purely a work of ‘imagination’. Any similarity/similarities to actual people and/or circumstances is purely coincidental…
Once Upon a Blind Item, in the electoral monarchy of Anque lived a vile sorcerer named Bacao. Bacao was an overly ambitious usurper of power who dreams of ruling the lands of Anque. After vacating his seat from the High Council, his alliance with a wealthy tradesman named QingXon allowed started his climb to usurp power from the Pillars of the Palace of Anque. A conquest that didn’t exactly end with a full victory.
In one of their annual elections, Bacao with his high and mighty air demanded to be included in the selection of the next electoral monarch of the kingdom. But the Pillars of the Palace did not allow him to pass through the doors of deliverance, the sacred hall where secrets of how a queen is elected has been kept for centuries. All he was allowed was to peek from a glance of how things are done, an insider but never truly part of how the Kingdom is run. All he was able to do is to listen behind closed doors by keeping his ears on the ground. In spite, he sent out his little sparrows to spread what he heard from the election of a new queen. This was to discredit the newly elected queen of the kingdom.
The sparrows were quick to dispatch what had allegedly came about during the elections. Three vestal virgins were said to have been considered to have performed well in their task: one of limited beauty named Delilah, one who came from the North named Sarya and one of limited speech named Dergein. They were said to have ranked accordingly to their vestal tasks. The instructions to the sparrows was to make it look like it was Delilah who deserved to have been named the new queen. And that her loosing the election was due to circumstances of her birth. But that shouldn’t have been the case because other ladies who were born outside of Anque were crowned queens in the past.
In a separate record from the Master of Books revealed that Delilah was never the highest choice to be new queen. One of the Pillars has always been outspoken on who should be elected as monarch based on how the ladies delivered their finals tasks as vestal virgins. The said pillar was said to have been the defender of the ladies in waiting who did well in the final task like for Raka-el who was up against Napa-yit years before Dergein; same as the Pillar did for Queen Aika of the 95 Kingdoms. Because of the lies that was woven by Bacao’s minions, they couldn’t keep straight which version is true. Some of the minions was spreading a version that it was one of the Pillars who argued against Delilah, another would argue that the Master of Laws was the one that argued against Delilah, while another version was that it was the Prime Pillar’s The Hand that barred Delilah as the the new queen. With different versions coming out, you would know that only the Master of Books knew what really surmised.
In a pages from the master of Books, it was revealed that on sheer beauty alone Dergein was far beyond any of the two other vestal virgins. And that the Pillar defended Dergein being the one who performed best in 3 out of the 4 finals tasks. Nobody would have guessed that it was not Delilah, nor Sarya, nor Dergein who was the favorite for the crown. A lady with skin as white as snow and lips as red as the rose named Deiwat-a was the Pillars favorite for the crown. But her concentration in one of the final tasks broke when a member of the High Council showed his deadly face to her. That mistake cost her dearly, much to the delight of the High Council.
This was nothing new to the people of Anque, as in the past when Bacao still headed the High Council, they too had devised a plan to dethrone former Queen Merrien Jei from her seat as the ruler of Anque by spreading a falsified claim from the Master of Books that the second to the throne, Guideia, was the rightful vestal virgin. They even devised to a way to suppress one of their own vestal virgins in favor of Napa-yit, which only ended up in failure as Napa-yit never succeeded on her own. And that they even used Napa-yit to call Queen Aika insincere.
Bacao and his evil minions will be setting up one trap after another for Dergein so she needs to be careful of next moves. His next move was to spread falsehood that Dergein was never a vestal virgin and will use a lady resembling her committing salacious acts that would strip Dergein of her crown. Then being connected with the Vanguards of the 95 Kindgoms, he will use the same venom against Dergein that she is either lazy, stubborn and hard-headed, difficult to deal with, unprofessional, doesn’t listen to advise and instructions, and anything to make Dergein look like a diva in the eyes of the Vanguards. This is all in the hopes that Dergein will fail in her quest for the crown of the 95 Kingdoms.
A sorcerer like Bacao is a vile creature who will stop at nothing even if it meant burning everything in the Kingdom of Anque. This vile creature must be stopped from spreading more lies and creating more hate. Only the people of Anque being vigilant will this sorcery be vanquished…
After her Miss Universe Philippines win last June 9, everybody just can’t get enough of Gazini Ganados! She has been in a number of tv show guesting and interviews, as well as newspaper and magazine interviews. People seem to keep falling head over heels with this 5’8″ beauty.
These are just 5 more traits among the million reasons why you’ll love our Miss Universe Philippines 2019. 1. She is Charming & Gorgeous – she can naturally draw crowds towards her with her charming personality. Gazini has the natural way of winning you over in conversations and the way she talks make you want to listen to her more. It is that charm that adds to her beauty, and yes she is undoubtedly one of the best faces that the Philippines as crowned as Miss Universe Philippines. If we are to rank side by side the past MUP winners since 2010 in terms of beauty, we can honestly say that Gazini would perhaps be on the top 3 in terms of beauty of face.
2. She is a Fast Learner – while being on the ramp is second nature to her, public speaking is admittedly her Achilles’ heel as her shy personality doesn’t make it easy to overcome her stage fright. Ever since she was named an official candidate in March, she has undergone an intensive public speaking skills training that helped her to speak more naturally and spontaneously. Despite her hectic schedule she was able to fit in physical fitness and interview training. With 9 intensive one-on-one sessions, Gazini has greatly improved from the time we were able to talk to her at Pizza Hut following the candidate announcements until her meet and greet prior to the finals.
We are testament to her mentors saying that Gazini was one of the most hardworking gals who did their best to hone their interview skills. If she was able to improve well with just 9 sessions in a span of 2 months, imagine what 4-5 months of training can do… 3. She is a Positive Person – to be able to go through the rigorous demands of the pageant and not get affected by the hate and bashing she was getting is a testament to her positive nature. Never once did you see her retaliate on social media with hate comments and she never lost composure whenever me or the rest of the media people were able to talk to her about the amount of criticisms she is receiving.
When she talks about her Palestinian father who she never met, there never was an ounce of bitterness in her tone. In fact she is hopeful that her win might lead to her meeting him for the first time. 4. She is a Family Person– her mom bargained with her that if she wants to return to joining national pageants, she has to finish her studies first. And that she did. She joined BBP after getting her degree in Tourism. Growing up with a single mother and in the care of her grandparents, Gazini was very much a family person who placed family above else. This is why when she talks about her chosen advocacy being elderly care, you know that this stems from her life experience growing up with her grandparents. In interviews, she says that despite growing up without her biological dad, she never felt any kind of lack because whatever might be missing was filled by the love from her mom and grandparents.
5. She is “One of Us” – she is grounded and is just like anyone of us. You do not sense with her a feeling that she might be entitled or that she is unapproachable now that she is a winner. Contrary to that, she is looking more and more grounded in every public appearance that she comes out of. She genuinely looks very happy every time you see her.
With the Miss Universe back to back challenge looming, we can see that she will be working hard not to disappoint us.
With the finals slated this 22nd of July, the inaugural Ambassador and Ambassadress of the World – Philippines is a new competition with promises of potential.
Ambassador & Ambassadress of the World – Philippines breaks barriers of what a model can be. They have the ability to be a person of confidence, strength, power and zealous that starts within, shown to their community and competent enough to reach people all around the world. We encourage everyone to seek an opportunity that will allow themselves to reach their fullest potentials and be of service to the world and continue to model what a man and woman are truly capable of.
With the latest sordid gossip going around social media, we can’t but help but be fearful of how this type of talk can be detrimental to Philippine pageantry.
WARNING: this is not going to be a ‘light read’ so we urge everyone to have an open mind on what we have to say. Second, this is our interpretation of how this issue could be taken negatively not just only by Filipino pageant fans but by the international pageant fans on a larger scale.
There is a rumor circulating that it was Bea Patricia Magtanong that came up as the top choice for the recently held pageant and it was what started this hullabaloo. Those in the Patch camp would want an explanation why she was relegated the Miss International title and of course wanted her to be instated as MUP. Said rumor also throws shade on the judging panel’s process of deliberation.
Our knowledge of this issue came about the same time as everyone else. It was a story that was shared by people on social media that grew legs until it was picked up by some online news portals. Reading through how fans have reacted to this news these are the things we can surmise.
1. Philippine Pageantry Fandom Divide – this issue continues to split fans into two distinct groups: one that is pro-Gazini and the other pro-Patch. Those that are pro-patch would want her to end up with the Miss Universe Philippines title. On the other spectrum, pro-Gazini fans are arguing that it was Gazini who obviously performed well that night and that in itself was incontestable. Put those two in the social media forum and fights/ arguments are bound to happen. IMHO, that divide is ultimately going to be the rift that will break the pageantry fandom no matter how strong it is. It may be a simple crack now but it is a weakness that could haunt us later. This is the weak link in the Philippine pageantry fandom that other countries can exploit to their advantage. Any name-calling used by Filipino pageant fans can easily be used against both beauty queens come international pageant season.
2. Patch Magtanong & the International Disconnect – timing was totally not on her side on this pageant rumor/issue. First, this issue puts her in a negative light as it makes her look like SHE DOES NOT WANT THE TITLE GIVEN TO HER. This is aggravated by the fact that some of her rabid fans keep on pushing this issue on social media. Add on top of that is when her fans started bullying others even before the finals night whenever they see pageant forums, bloggers, FB groups, etc… not putting her on the top of their MUP picks. If former winner Mariel de Leon is to be believed in that a beauty queen is a reflection of her fans, then this is a bad image to be painted in. Second, based on observations on social media and insider rumors that it was another candidate that was the international pageant favorite, this issue is even more a reflection of the uphill battle ahead. If Patch wasn’t even the type of the international org, then imagine how difficult it would be to sell her if the misconception surrounding her is that she doesn’t like the title given to her. Then thirdly, add to it is the timing of her green card appointment during the time the issue went viral with her being a green card holder an issue for not getting the top title. It made it look like she wasn’t in the country to fulfill her duties as part of the new set of queens because she didn’t want her title. The timing was very terrible and the issue is to her detriment.
3. Deliberation Process in Question – the deliberation process is in place to make sure age requirements and international pageant winnability are met. This practice is in place for years now and only those who are new to the national pageant are unaware of this process. The rumor that one of the judges disagreed to the decision is not something new and it is something that shouldhappen during the deliberation. This is the process when discussions and arguments on who and where to place the ladies SHOULD TAKE PLACE to make sure that we are sending the best girl with the best chances of winning an international crown. Let’s face it, there are people who are more knowledgeable on the international pageants and their tastes for winners – those are from the committee and the tv executives. Majority of the judges probably do not even have a clue on the age requirements of each international pageant so for them to know what type of lady does a specific international pageant is looking for might be a stretch. Let’s face it, the judges who this blind item were demeaning at are perhaps the reason that we have been winning and placing in international pageants.
4. The Rumor Itself is Suspect – if indeed the deliberation process is an issue, then why did it not become an issue when insider rumors confirmed that last year Catriona Gray and Vickie Rushton were the top 2 scorers? How come nobody contested that Ahtisa Manalo was crowned for Miss International if it was Vickie who placed in the top two? In 2013, it was alleged that Bea Rose Santiago was the top scorer that night and was also placed in the Tokyo-based pageant. Why was there no clamor as huge as this for Kylie Verzosa to be instated as MUP when she clearly was the best overall performer in 2016? Hence the rumor is suspect. It does nothing except harm and spread malice rather than to right a perceived wrong.
There was nothing positive to come out of this issue. The intent of the rumor is to make the new MUP look like she didn’t deserve her title. The problem with that is it was clear to majority of fans who performed spectacularly during the finals and they could decide for themselves who truly was deserving. If the intent was to create a trial by publicity then this was just a futile attempt and a huge failure.
In our opinion, the national organization owes no explanation to anyone. Not even just to invalidate this rumor. They shouldn’t even be paying any iota of time on it. It does not put anybody in a positive light and it does only harm to the org, the ladies and the image of the country’s pageant fandom…
Yes! You heard it right! The Czar de Belleza will be bringing his beauty pageant expertise in Miss Universe Argentina and Miss Universe Uruguay pageants.
The 72 year old Cuban-born Venezuelan pageant master is the national director/ franchise owner of the Miss Universe Argentina & Uruguay pageants. Since his departure from the Miss Venezuela Organization last year after a scandal rocked the pageant crazy nation, Osmel Sousa’s next move was highly anticipated by pageant fans. At some point gossips swirled around that Osmel will be joining the Miss Brazil organization last year. After 50 years at the helm of the Miss Venezuela pageant, Osmel will now head the selection of candidates from Uruguay and Argentina for Miss Universe.
Osmel also established his own beauty pageant in Venezuela to choose the representatives for the Miss Grand International and Reina Hispanoamericana franchises that he currently holds. He is also being touted as the prime force in moving the MGI pageant to be hosted in Venezuela later this year.
The national costume has got to be my favorite part in any pageant wardrobe. I get more excited with the lavishness and grandiosity of seeing our culture represented in a garb than seeing sneak peeks of one’s evening gown.
In 2017, I had the privilege to be asked to create a concept art for Charmaine Elima’s national costume. The idea then was to capitalize on her dusky morena skin with a Nuestra Senora La Naval inspired national costume as brainstormed with her uncle Larry Elima. One that pays homage to the Filipinos love and devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, the costume has since then set a barrage of Santacruzan/ Virgin Mary inspired costumes in various national pageants. Even Emma Tiglao’s winning national costume was inspired by 3 queens of the Santacruza: Fe, Caridad & Esperanza…owing to three Catholic concepts of Faith, Hope and Charity. Charmaine’s costume may not have won best national costume but it did create buzz around the candidate who wore it. That costume created waves among pageant fans and that was always the goal. Which is the point of today’s blogpost: a focus on the national costume and how it should be designed and executed.
Whenever I am doing a national costume re-imagining or asked to create a concept design, I only have two considerations: 1) it should feel and look AUTHENTIC to the Filipino culture and 2) it should create DRAMA and IMPACT.
Authenticity is a hard thing to do nowadays with a number of national costumes in pageants. When I did the concept art for Valerie’s costume for Dances of the World for Miss World 2014, it did receive some flak on the usage of the color blue instead of the traditional black and red of the T’boli tribe. Nobody knew that the costume was actually a Blit Blaan costume, a dance from the B’laan tribe which uses navy, blue and white with other colors in their wardrobe. There is a lot of misinformation that could happen based on Filipinos limited knowledge of our own culture which is the point of research to make it feel authentic. Digging deep into the culture and iconography of clothing and how it is affected by culture is a must. Research is key.
Take into account the recent Maranao costume of Catriona Gray. A number of pageant fans assumed that it was a Singkil costume (perhaps owing to the fact that it’s the most popular Marano dance). Others had actually went to post online the inaccuracy of the parasol saying that the princess in the singkil dance only holds the apir fans and the parasol was to be held by her handmaiden (it is noteworthy to mention that the position of a handmaiden in court is reserved for the noble families not for slaves). The costume however pays homage to a less popular Maranao dance called the Kinakulangan where maidens would hold parasols and handkerchiefs as they dance. I had a long discussion with Catriona’s mentor, Carlos Buendia, about the malong whether or not we should still incorporate it. In most Singkil dances the princess actually isn’t required to wear it, although we kept it in the concept art for illustration purposes. Actual research has to back up every design to reinforce being authentic. It is the only way to be respectful to the culture that the costume is representing.
There is also the aspect of impact and high-drama. Every costume needs to have visual impact for it to stand out among a sea of costumes. Whether it was the bells of the B’laan costume of Valerie, the body-tattoos of the Pintados costume of Mary Ann Ross Misa (this was later worn by Danielle Dolk in the national costume show for Binibining Pilipinas 2019), the religious connotations of Charmaine’s terno or the Sarimanok atop Catriona’s parasol…there has to be a focal point that gives the wow factor. There has to be that element that ties everything together without sacrificing the overall impact of the entire look.
When you put these two elements together, you get a memorable costume. Authenticity and Impact.
One of the things that Sashes&Scripts doesn’t tolerate is being called out a liar. And when we posted a ‘blind item’ on our Facebook page about a group of pageant people behaving rudely and jeering on candidates during a recent national pageant, we got some equal amount of flak from some rude pageant fans.
Just to be clear, we weren’t personally in the pageant venue when it happened but when more that a couple of reliable sources have mentioned it on social media, then there must be truth to the said rumor. More so when someone like Voltaire Tayag writes about it on Rappler. And we know he was present during the finals of the said pageant. Here is a snippet of what he wrote: “There was disturbing and very noticeable behavior exhibited by some pageant fans during this season and it’s a little more pronounced than before. During the Q&A portion, it was disgraceful for rival fans of a candidate to heckle another candidate who hesitated or stopped even for just a split second. This unconscionable (rude, for those who don’t know the word) behavior is very un-Filipino and un-Christian. People who behave this way should not claim to be pageant fans or supporters because they go against the very essence of women empowerment, of peace, and of inclusivity…”
We are all aware now on how a group of pageant fans act as a social media demolition team is. They are the foul, ill-mannered mouth-piece of a certain group/s who would spread half-truths and invented lies to discredit, demean and destroy reputations of pageant girls, crowned winners, other pageant camps and groups just to lift up the girls/ camps they support. Instead of respecting others’ opinions they would blatantly shove their chosen candidate on everybody’s throats, instead of improving their arguments and winning more fans to their side. This is why support for a certain group is dwindling, true pageant fans know how dirty is the game they play. Everyone is now being aware on the nasty backstabbing, fake-news peddling and pageant propaganda being tolerated and encouraged by a certain group of people.
So there is truth to those that heckled jeered and taunted candidates from a rival camp during the said pageant finals. This behavior shows which group is actually ‘kanal‘ in their behavior by acting sourpuss when their girl/s failed to get the crown they are so desperate to get. More so when a walkout was staged when their favorites got the lower tiered crowns acting as if those are beneath them. Looking down on the titles that the girl/s won is akin to looking down on the ladies themselves and the painful sacrifices and monumental efforts they exerted just to win on that stage.
There should be an environment where fans can have differences in opinions. Because that is what makes pageantry an interesting industry to be part of. Diversity in opinion, well thought-out reasons, and respectful arguments would help make the pageant industry thrive. But personally, this is more of a pipe dream nowadays. IMHO, if pageantry is a small reflection of how the Filipino people are in terms of online bullying and trolling, then hate and divisiveness has become an endemic problem that could not easily be resolved. And unlike our more politically-correct past we no longer feel the need to be nice to those who display terrible behavior towards us. This blogger has weathered more pageant intrigues and turmoils than most pageant fans would see in their lifetimes, that we no longer feel obligated to be pleasant to those that are not pleasant to us.
We have seen how pageant trolling has become more vicious since we started blogging and covering pageants in 2013. This was pretty evident when several pageant groups on Facebook and Instagram did not place the girl/s of their choice on the top spot of their pageant predictions. A number of pageant fans fell victim of harassment and bullying in Facebook groups when they decided to share their final picks that did not include a certain candidate on top, the same group of FB trolls demean these fans for their appearance, their economic status, their educational background, etc… as if these would uplift the girl/s they support. It only put off pageant fans and with that even lesser support for some girls when they compete internationally. A great disservice to the girls because of faults made by their rabid fans.
Unless certain groups of people learn how to control their vitriol online, it is hardly possible that we will all get along fine. It seems that the name of the game is now to eat or be eaten alive, and it is that survival of the fittest mode that is ultimately going to be the souring of the industry.
It’s gown review time! Let’s share with you 10 of the best gowns during the Binibining Pilipinas 2019 coronation night!
After Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray’s leg baring gown in both Binibining Pilipinas and Miss Universe pageants, it seems that everyone was so keen to show some leg! It is no surprise however that it is those who stood out with their own personal style that we included in this list.
Without further a do, here are our 10 best dressed ladies during the Binibining Pilipinas coronation night!
10. Jessarie Dumaguing in Jose Buzeta – no earrings for the evening gown? No problem if you had a face like that of Jessarie’s. She shone just fine in this sparkly white gown with strategically placed ostrich feathers on the hem. She looked like she was floating in the clouds.
9. Joanna Tolledo in Sony-Boy Mendo– This is the goddess gown that any pageant girl would kill for! It had the Minorka mercado-Joyce Giraud pageant feels to it without looking dated. Joanna’s dusky complexion complimented this draped gown with very interesting beadwork patterns.
8. Samantha Lo in Rau Uson – this illussion creating gown suited the boxy body shape of Samantha Lo and this should be her trademark style. Adding more to the overall impact was the soft waves framing SamLo’s face. This gown reminds me of the 1996 Inno Sotto gown worn by Yedda Marie Mendoza in pink with black bows. Stunning!
7. Leren Bautista in Chico Estiva – after 2017 I thought I have had enough of fringes but this white and ice blue gown Leren wore made me think twice. She styled it with a classy pulled back hair and she looked amazing in it.
6. Anne Curtis in Michael Cinco – if there was one M5 gown that shook fashionista fans of the pageant, this was it. Anne overdid the big, blue, bold and brazen gown and we certainly love her for doing so. It was the perfect gown to open a show!
5. Nicole Cordoves in Louis Pangilinan – it had the frills, it had the volume but more importantly it had Nicole wearing it with a cute ponytail. Nicole carried this cotton candy confection that reminded us of the voluminous tulle haute couture dresses by Giambattista Valli. Nicole pumped enough youthful vibes into the dress.
4. Isabela Galeria in Mark Bumgarner – class and sophistication by the handful! Actress Heart Evangelista commissioned this Mark Bumgarner gown for Isabela and she looked ravishing in it. That gold belt was a trademark styling trick by the designer and it is perhaps one of the classiest gown in the evening.
3. Catriona Gray in Mak Tumang – the Waling-waling orchid inspired gown was a magnificent closing to Catriona’s Binibining Pilipinas journey. Though we would have wanted to see her Sinag gown by Mak once again during the finals night, Catriona nevertheless continued to pay homage to the country’s icons and symbols in her wardrobe.
2. Jehza Huelar in Cary Santiago – this outfit was meant for Paris haute couture week during the months of January and June! And Jehza nailed this look with very little effort. She was so at ease in this gown! The newly-wed queen didn’t get lost in this very striking gown and carried it at the same level of intensity as the gown elevated her. The steel gray gown with 3D parrot embellishments on the shoulders could easily overwhelm any wearer but Jehza’s stature commanded attention to her, not just to her gown.
1. Gazini Ganados in Cary Santiago – she was the scene-stealer in the evening gown competition with the way she carried her fuchsia pink gown. By then, she cemented herself as the frontrunner and would end up with one of the crowns. It was devoid of any sparkles but it had impact with its almost violent pink hue, Gazini brought out the drama in her presentation and together it was a lethal combination that she deserved winning the Best in Evening Gown award.
To say that Cary Santiago was the winner of the night was an understatement. His creations were the ones that truly popped out in a sea of sparkling and shimmering gowns.
How about you? Which gowns were your best gown picks?