Miss Universe 2019: Registration and Fittings Recap

It takes serious work to win Miss Universe. And that has been evident in the past couple of days since the arrival of the candidates in Atlanta, host city of this year’s competition.

Each of the candidates all had their own gimmick for their departure for and arrival in the host city. Some girls had a very warm send-offs at the airport with girls mobbed by media and fans. Some girls had fans lining upon their arrival in Atlanta. Some even had both like in the cases of Miss Philippines, Gazini Ganados and Miss Thailand, Paweensuda Drouin. Most girls came in quiet but are met with a loud bang on social media.
Registration and fittings are always the first in the long list of things to happen in the Miss Universe pre-pageant activities. Signing legal papers as an official candidate is always the first order of business. One former MU delegate told us that once you’re done with the registration process, that is only the time that they will be giving you your country sash. After their registration, the girls are checked in their respective rooms, and for those that come early they get thrown immediately into fittings.

Lucky for those that came in early as they got the lion’s share of photos on the Miss Universe social media accounts. Now it seems that the early bird does catch the worm as the girls must arrive at the pageant early to get fitted for the best outfits and meet their fellow participants. Coming in early allows you to pick the best Sherri Hill opening outfits there are available. It also seems that due to the very late and rushed announcement of the pageant dates, the Sherri Hill dresses available are those that are from the existing stock of the brand. Nevertheless, those sparkly dresses will be gobbled up by the candidates in no time. So lesson to be learned, next time try to arrive early.
For those that are doing fittings, they  will also get into filming video snippets that will be features for the final telecast. We’ve seen several candidates having done those (France, Japan, Thailand, etc… to name a few). This year also marks the return of pageant photographer Fadil Berisha into the pageant after a 3 year hiatus. The last time we have seen Fadil doing the headshots of the ladies was back in 2015, when the Philippines’ own Pia Wurtzbach won the crown. With him back into the pageant, we are expecting that the headshots of the girls would look phenomenal! This would hopefully signal the return of the more glamorous Miss Universe pageant we are accustomed to.

Also showcased in the fittings are colorful swimwear to be worn by candidates this year. It seems that there will be an explosion of highly saturation colored swimsuits. Although only one-piece swimwear was visible in the released ‘behind-the-fitting’ photos, we believe that like in previous years candidates have the option to wear one-piece or two-piece swimwear. Our only concern is that some of the ‘stabilo colors’ of the swimwear shown might not flatter candidates with darker skin-tones. Although we love the single color swimsuits this year. No more fancy prints that distracts form the candidates.
So far, the standouts in the registration were the Latinas and Europeans who came in early. But we doubt if that will make a difference in the next few days of the competition. It is still too early to tell who are the real frontrunners and crown-contenders in the pageant…

Gazini Ganados: What She has Done so Far for her Elderly Care Advocacy

Miss Universe Philippines 2019, Gazini Ganados has an interesting advocacy. And ever since her time at the Binibining Pilipinas pageant this year, she has done quite so much for elderly care awareness…

Earlier this year she has expanded her advocacy network with the Coalition of Services for the Elderly (COSE) on the status of older persons in the Philippines. The 23 year old Cebuana beauty who said that the inspiration for her advocacy was her grandparents, who helped raised her, was briefed further on the issues of Filipino senior citizens.
During Grandparents’ Day last September 6th, she posed for portraits painted by senior citizen artists. These portraits will be sold afterwards and part of the proceeds will be donated to Gazini’s charity of choice.
Gazini also worked with Luwalhati ng Maynila Home for the Aged, a Marikina-based care home for seniors run by the Manila City government,  which she visited last August to provide awareness to the needs of the ageing senior citizens. In a Rappler article by Alexa Villano, the 5’8″ Filipina-Palestinian stunner said:

"The main concern they want is the medicines they’re getting from the pharmacies. Some of the pharmacies are not giving 20% [discount] because some of the pharmacies are private right? So they would only give about 10%, 5% [discounts] and these elderly people only have P500 per month from their budget from the government. So how can they afford to buy medicines for them to be able to continue life in this world?"

"So just I hope and pray that the issue will be [brought] into [the] Senate or somewhere else. So they’ll be able to conveniently buy their medicines on hand."

Gazini also paid a courtesy visit to Manila Mayor Isko Moreno to discuss how to best help Luwalhati ng Maynila and the senior citizens welfare programs in the capital city.
In a previous blogpost article, we asked her about her reasons to pick this advocacy her response was:
My grandparents was very dear to my heart. Growing up with them taught me how precious life is. I have thought about my advocacy thoroughly over the years, continuously asking myself with what I am passionate about.
All questions were answered through my experience with my grandparents. It’s what makes my heart go fondly. That’s why I would like to bring more awareness for elderly care.
Old age is a sensitive phase, elderly people need care and comfort to lead a healthy life without worries and anxiety. The lack of awareness regarding the changing of behavioral patterns among elderly people at home leads to abuse of them. Also, society needs to be reminded that they (senior citizens & the elderly) can still be productive citizens.

It is this genuineness to her chosen main advocacy that she would be bringing into the Miss Universe pageant. And hopefully she would also bring home another Miss Universe crown to the Philippines.

Sashes&Scripts on the Bottomline with Gazini Ganados

It was the first time that we saw how The Bottomline is taped and it was an experience to remember. Today’s post are about the things you will not see come airing on November 30th. These are the side stories of what happened behind the scenes!
When I was invited to join the panel for The Bottomline, I didn’t hesitate for even one second. It was a chance for me to see Gazini one last time up-close before she departs for the Miss Universe pageant on November 26th.

I was glad to know that I will be joining familiar faces for the TV guesting. I was able to chat with some pageant friends prior to the taping. Upon entering the ELJ premises we were already discussing gossips and rumors surrounding the local pageant scene, from franchise switching to pageant girls and training. But when Clint Klarkins (2018 Man of the World 1st runner up), Jehza Huelar (Bb. Pilipinas Supranational 2018), George de Lumen (Mister Universal Ambassador 2018) and Sir Gio Flores of KF arrived, the gossip session got interrupted.
It was perhaps happenstance that Sir Gio and I had a conversation about the weird Miss Universe stage because it lead us to wander around to talk about how will Miss Universe Philippines Gazini Ganados manage the stage horizontal stage. This year, the stage looked more like a side to side/ pendulum stage rather than the usual stage we see in pageants. So while we were discussing that, Sir Gio brought me to Gazini’s dressing room.
There she was with her Binibining Pilipinas chaperone Miss Jen who was more relaxed compared to her strict self during send-offs. Gazini was reviewing and writing on her notes, squeezing in more talking points while waiting for the taping to start. You see, despite all the MUP scheduled activity for her, the lovely Cebuana still manages to try and give time to do her pasarela, q&a training, and physical fitness regime. Even in during the waiting time she was busy reading her notes, asking what certain words mean, writing down some thoughts or sound bites.

Gazini was absolutely gorgeous and could not be anymore radiant than she is currently. She looks much better in person and doesn’t need much make up to look good. Our conversation centered around how long her hair is now (although she has some extensions placed in) than during the time I first sat down with her in a conversation earlier this year. We laughed about how that Pizza Hut meet and greet seemed to be so far behind when it only happened during the first quarter of this year. So much has changed since then and now she is off to compete in Miss Universe.
During the wait time, I was able to learn that on a daily basis Gazini has a morning fitness regime as well as an evening set of physical training. And due to her tight schedules, it helps that her fitness trainor is available thru an online app so that Gazini can train on her own without going to the gym. I was witness as well how accommodating she is to sudden changes in her schedule as an assistant to Tito Boy Abunda popped in asking of Gazini was up for one last training session before the weekend. After some haggling of schedules she’s moved around, a time and place was agreed upon. In between a Wednesday taping for The Bottomline and a flight back to Cebu on a Saturday, Gazini still had some public appearances and a couple of photoshoots to do plus her final one-on-one with Tito Boy. You gotta admire a lady who will go every extra mile to accomplish every work and responsibility even in a tight timetable.

This was also the time that I was able to learn about a special project with regards to Gazini’s campaign for the Miss Universe title. That would be the special project we are calling as TIMELESS. If that hasn’t been made public as of this blogpost, I can say every pageant fan should be on the look out for that. Even ABSCBN is said to be on-board for it, so it truly is something to look out for. We are also given clues on her wardrobe and styling, as well as we were able to part with her some pageant gossips and some tips to help boost her morale. Of course there was so much more that we are witness to in Dressing Room #6. Some we cannot talk about at all, while others in the coming days to come.
Now here is our answer to what everyone is asking us after the TBL guesting: will we have a Miss Universe back to back? Our response is this: A top 10 finish – it is expected, top 5 – a little less easy, top 3 – a bit difficult, a back to back win – NOT IMPOSSIBLE…

Filipina Beauty Queens as Muses for the ASEAN Games

Filipina beauty queens who have recently won international titles will lead athletes from all over the ASEAN region for the 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games during the traditional Athlete’s Parade.
You know that pageantry is innate to Philippine culture when the ladies selected to be muses of the ASEAN countries are all beauty queens!

Filipina beauties Pia Wurtzbach, Lara Quigaman, Megan Young, Angelia, Ong, Jamie Herrell leads the 11 beauty muses for the ASEAN countries participating in the sports event. Pia Wurtzbach, Miss Universe 2015, will accompany the Philippine delegates in the parade while Miss International 2006 Precious Lara Quigaman will be with the muse of Malaysia.
Megan Young, Miss World 2013, will be the muse of Indonesia befitting because she won the Philippines’ first MW crow in Bali, Indonesia.
Three of the most recent Miss Earth winners from the Philippines are also present. Miss Earth 2017 Karen Ibasco will be the muse for Myanmar, Miss Earth 2014 Jamie Herrel for Singapore and Miss Earth 2015 Angelia Ong for Thailand.

Other beauty queens in the parade are Miss Intercontinental 2018 Karen Gallman for Brunei Darussalam; Miss Tourism 2017 Janine Alipoon for East Timor; and Miss Asia Pacific International 2018 Sharifa Akeel for Vietnam.
Two beauty queen turned actresses will also be present. Cynthia Thomalla, Miss Eco International 2018, will be the muse of Laos and Sophia Seronon, Miss Multinational 2017 will be the muse of Cambodia.

Sashes&Scripts 3rd Leaderboard for Miss Universe 2019

It is time for the Miss Universe candidates to arrive and register for the competition which means it is time for us to list down our 3rd Miss Universe Leaderboard!
For this leaderboard we are listing the women who we think should be in the top 20 semifinalists of this year’s pageant should there be no continental grouping restrictions. Check out it your favorite is in the list!
The ladies in this top 20 list are based on the girls who created the most buzz on social media in the past several weeks. If your lady isn’t in the list, then it means that your bet needs to step up their game!

Continue reading “Sashes&Scripts 3rd Leaderboard for Miss Universe 2019”

Gazini Ganados: The Philippine Eagle is Flying to the Miss Universe Pageant

The Philippine Eagle is on her way to the Miss Universe pageant!
Beautiful Chaos. That is how best describes the flight send-off to Miss Universe Philippines Gazini Ganados at the NAIA on her flight to Atlanta, Georgia.

It was a cool morning for Gazini’s departure to Atlanta. She barely had slept making sure that she and her team had everything packed and readied. Her 9 suitcases plus 3 carry-on luggage are set for her flight with her national costume is sealed tight in a box crate. After a few tearful and cheerful hugs, it now dawns on her that she is no longer going to be called ‘Gazini Ganados’ but ‘Miss Philippines’. The weight of 108 million Filipinos’ hope and expectations is now on the shoulders of this 23-year old Filipina-Palestinian beauty.
But before she even leaves for the airport, she has one more public appearance to tick off in her list. She has to do one final guesting spot at ABSCBN’s Umagang Kay Ganda. And who to be there with her guesting? None other than Miss Universe 2013 3rd runner up Ariella Arida. Both ladies were and still are criticized for their respective provincial accents, one Cebuana, the other Lagunense.

From the time she was packing until her departure from the airport, one man has stood with her all throughout. The very quiet and private Sir Rodgil Flores has always been behind his ward, specially through this day. He isn’t the limelight hogging, self-promoting pageant trainer but a quiet guiding presence for the queens. Gazini is truly lucky to be guided by him as well as several other mentors too many to name one by one.
Pageant fans and media people were eagerly awaiting for her at the VIP Lounge of the NAIA and Gazini was greeted like upon her arrival. Her airport send-off was like a champion boxer’s welcome. There was frenzy all over her just to get a glimpse before she leaves the country for the competition. It was crazy chaotic but it was a glimpse of what could transpire should Gazini come home with the Miss Universe title. Never mind the wardrobe malfunction, never mind the naysayers, never mind the online trolls. Just look at how she made everyone happy with her infectious smile and jolly-good-nature today. That is the takeaway.
It was a frenzied day. But it was a good day. No, scratch that, it was a GREAT day. And hopefully as she soars above the skies towards the Miss Universe crown, she will always be accompanied by the prayers and well wishes of 108 million Filipinos…

Miss Universe 2019: Too Short a Pageant

10 days! This has to be the shortest Miss Universe pageant in the past 20 years!
There was a collective gasp when it was announced that the Miss Universe pageant was only going to be held in just 10 days. Couple this with the very last minute announcement, you’d likely hear that the simultaneous disappointment by pageant fans all over the world.

Officially announced 3 weeks ago, this pageant blogger was sure that this competition will definitely be a challenge for candidates this year. And we are right.
With the short announcement before the pageant proper, a number of candidates and national directors are worried on the short notice. This only gives them weeks to prepare the wardrobe of the candidates. According to our insiders, some national directors had their timelines plotted for January of 2020. This meant that they are now rushing costumes and gowns for the competition.

So far we are informed that several countries have backed out of the competition. Ghana, Guatemala, Greece, Hungary, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Russia, Sri Lanka and Switzerland will no longer compete. Zambia is also not confirmed if they are to join this year. It is expected that 90+ countries are to compete this year, although realistically we might be seeing the number at around 80+ or at 90 flat. Rumor has it that some ND’s weren’t able to secure visas on time for the pageant registration to happen on the 28th and 29th of November.
10 days also meant that the pageant will probably have a tight schedule of activities which means that the stage may be ‘optimized’ to minimize build out time. So when we saw the leaked schematics of the MU stage we aren’t surprised that it looked more appropriate for a play rather than a pageant. Let’s not get our hopes down as we are yet to see how it actually looks. But let’s not get our hopes up too much as well as the venue doesn’t seem to be big enough to accommodate huge seating capabilities. Just learn to manage our expectations.

Another thing to expect is that this will be a very cranky batch of candidates. With a jam-packed 10 day activity, there would probably not enough sleep for the candidates and there won’t be enough time for the group to truly bond. Expect to hear rumors of catty attitudes and sharp looks thrown on each other because these girls will be pushed into a tense unhealthy atmosphere of competition. Let’s face it, we all get cranky when we don’t get enough sleep and this is a scenario that the girls will be faced with.
The candidates will also have to be in their A-Game 24/7 (or more accurately 24/10). Hopefully this won’t affect how they execute their pageant gameplan. I hope that they will find time to relax and find their center.
It is expected that this year’s competition will not have enough planned activities for the Miss Universe candidates that doesn’t involve the pageant’s sponsors. Candidates will have to learn to manage their expectations because they aren’t there to be on a vacation but to compete and win. This will be true amongst pageant fans as well.
But one of the most worrying aspects for pageant connoisseurs is that will the 10 days be enough for judges and the MUOrg to pick a winner? With the rushed pageant schedule, the org and the judges may not get to know all the candidates intimately to figure out the best girl for the job. And might be rushed to crown a girl who may only be perfect on paper but isn’t the best girl to represent the brand.
To say that this year’s edition will perhaps be more cutthroat than most is an understatement. My fear is that there is little to enjoy in this edition, I just hope that there will be something beautiful to savor this year and not be a total disappointment.

#MANicMondays: Chema Garcia Malavia

Meet the hot Spaniard who almost romped away with the Mister Global 2016 title.
Chema Garcia Malavia was Mister Global Spain 2016 and was 2nd runner up at the Mister Global 2016 pageant. The brown-eyed brunette stands 6’1″ tall and has been modeling since he started modeling in 2012.

In an interview with the online fashion portal, Marshion, the now 33 year old Chema mentioned about his start as a Pentathlon athlete which an injury put a stop into. Here is a snippet of that interview:

My name is Chema Malavia, I'm 32 years old and I [was] borne in Hospitalet, a city closed to Barcelona. I grown up in a working class neighborhood and since I was 7 years old I have been practicing sport. Doctor recommended to my parent that I start to do swim for my spine was some crooked, I did some autonomic and nationals championships, getting some medals in them. In 2006 I received a very good news, the Spanish team of modern pentathlon gave me a sports scholarship to be able to train in a high performance sportscenter, with the best national sportsmen of different sports such as gymnastics, athletics, tennis,t etc…

I was training there 3 year representing my country in European and world championships all was really amazing until I got an injury in my knee an I had to give up the high performance sport.
Then I started to work as a teacher swimmer and life guard, and for sure I started with the gym doing very good workouts, and getting good shape, is 4 years after, in 2012 when I start to do modeling shooting for some swimwear brands.
In 2014 I participated in a national  beauty contest Mr. España when I get the 4th runner up and after that I start with professional modeling doing model travels in destinations shuch as Istanbul(Turkey), Mumbai(India) or Vienna (Austria).

In 2016 I had the opportunity to represent Spain in a international contest called Mister Global taking the second runner up position.
since I started modeling live I'm fighting to can achieve my dream as a model, and that is to arrive Miami, Los Angeles, and New York and to get good jobs there in USA.

Here are several more black and white photos of this Spanish hunk…

USA, A Terrible Miss Universe Host?

Every time I watched the Miss Universe pageant in the US, there is always something to be disappointed about it.
This is this blogger’s account on how and why does it seem that the Miss Universe fail at an aspect whenever the pageant is held in the US.

It all started in January of 2015 when the 2014 edition of the pageant was held a month after the supposed year that it should be held in. The owner was still Donald Trump, and the venue was at Doral, Miami. The actual venue wasn’t a fancy coliseum or a hotel ballroom. It was a sports hall inside of a university, a place more apt for graduation rites than a pageant finals. But the way the stage was dressed up, you wouldn’t even see the difference.

After experiencing the posh Bali Nusa Dua International Convention Center for the Miss World 2013 pageant, we expected something just as grandeur for Miss Universe 2014. Sadly that wasn’t the case. We were seated on the bleachers while watching the pageant, a far cry to the expectations of an exhibition hall that we had expected. I was glad that we chose the bleachers as those who paid more to be at the front of the stage but were seated towards the back had a shitty view. The seating wasn’t in an elevated space so when the people at the front stood up, you wouldn’t like the view.
Then came the Miss Universe 2015 held in Las Vegas. It was a level up from the pageant held earlier in January as the pageant was inside the Axis Theater of Planet Hollywood. The only downside to this edition was the fact that the candidates were mainly sequestered inside the hotel for pageant activities as it was too cold for most of them to go around tourist spots in Las Vegas.
But when the pageant went back to Las Vegas a couple of years after, it was a bigger disappointment considering the Miss Universe pageant held in the Philippines did so much better in terms of pre-pageant activities. In the 2017 edition, both the National Costume Show and the Preliminaries happened at a ‘dressed up’ mezzanine of the Planet Hollywood hotel. The space wasn’t built to showcase the candidates in the best lighting possible. The lights used in both were inadequate and the makeshift stage just wasn’t good enough that the audiences were instructed not to livestream it on their phones/ social media. Add to this is the fact that the candidates rarely even left the hotel for any pre-pageant activity or sightseeing. This was perhaps a bigger letdown than that of the 2014 and 2015 editions combined. Thankfully, Bangkok Thailand gave a spectacular show and pre-pageant activity the year after.

And this year we have a 10 day Miss Universe pageant. A mere 10 days of what usually is a two or three-week pageant in a studio that has probably a limited seating capability. This is probably the reason why tickets sold out in less than 10 minutes because the venue could only accommodate so much. I wouldn’t be surprised if people will find out later that the seating would be flat unlike elevated seats in coliseums, much like in Doral, Miami. It would even come as a shock if the venue would accommodate 5000 seats as I am estimating a seating capacity of somewhere between 1,700-2,500.
At least for this blogger it seems that if the pageant is being held in the US, it would be better to watch the pageant on your tv screens. You wouldn’t be laden by high expectations and you would enjoy it at your convenience.
Personally, I still think that the best pageant hosting done for the Miss Universe pageant was the one held in Manila for the 2016 edition or even the pageant held in Bangkok in 2018. Everything was perfect in terms of the pre-pageant activities, there were so much of it that the 3 weeks of pageant activity still seemed not enough with the fun to be had. Hopefully, the pageant finds its way back to make it an enjoyable one for its live audience as well as its candidates in the future.

15 Girls Selected for Miss Universe Major Sponsor, Chi

In a since-deleted post on their website, Miss Universe major sponsor Chi Haircare has named 15 candidates who are pre-selected to take part of their #ChiMyWay campaign.

By the looks of it, the  candidates’ named in their website can actually look like an actual top 15 for the Miss Universe 2019 pageant. These ladies are some of the girls who are much talked about on social media. The fifteen girls that were selected by Chi were (in alphabetical order):
1. Albania – Cindy Marina
2. Brazil – Julia Horta
3. Canada – Alyssa Boston
4. Colombia – Gabriela Tafur Nader
5. France – Maëva Coucke
6. Germany – Miriam Rautert
7. India – Vartika Singh
8. Mexico – Sofia Aragon
9. Netherlands – Sharon Pieksma
10. Philippines – Gazini Ganados
11. Puerto Rico – Madison Anderson
12. Thailand – Paweensuda Drouin
13. USA – Cheslie Kryst
14. Venezuela – Thalia Olvino
15. Vietnam – Thuy Hoang

According to the website, the 15 selected delegates will be participating in the #CHIMYWAY social media campaign by documenting their individual journeys throughout the competition.

With just 10 days allotted to the competition, everyday will be packed with so much activity that some people may not even pay attention to sponsor-related activities. Having these 15 girls named in advanced would allow the ladies to be able to plan out how to handle this additional activity on the side. It is also a genius marketing move for CHI since the two most followed candidates in Miss Universe this year are included in the list: Gazini Ganados and Julia Horta, both of whom has over 400k+ followers on Instagram. Those two alone is an audience of almost a million IG users.

It is even possible to say that it is most likely that the next Miss Universe winner is already in this list. What do you think?

Miss Universe 2019 Music Wish List

So it’s Miss Universe season again! And here we are with our picks for the Miss Universe soundtrack songs…

Ram Jam, ‘Black Betty -if we want energy for this segment of the pageant, then this classic rock & roll track from the 70’s would be so perfect. The electric guitar riff would bring a Victoria’s Secret runway vibe.

The Black Eyed Peas & J Balvin, ‘Ritmo – this track mixes Latin pop and afro-fused reggaeton sound. It also doesn’t hurt that it is sampling a 90’s house classic, Corona’s ‘Rythym of the Night’.

DeeBuzz & Hard2Def ft. Treesha & Bay-C, ‘Rude Gyal Swing – this track is a bit old (like 2016 old), but that Afro-beat base is just so ‘eargasm’ tasty. This by the Kenyan artists would definitely give a global vibe into the Miss Universe pageant should it be used for the SS competition.

Maroon 5, ‘Memories – if you feel that this song sound familiar, that is because it borrows Pachelbel’s eight-chord progression in his canonical work Canon in D (which is go-to song for weddings).

Lauv, ‘Mean It’ – this is another one of the songs that I would feel has enough of that cool groove for the Miss Universe pageant.

Ben Platt, ‘Rain – this is such an underrated song but its instrumental version would be a great evening gown track. It might be a stretch but I would love to have this song performed and sung live by Ben Platt while the candidates walk the stage.

IMHO, I feel that there is a need to update the MU sound with more updated songs or at least be open to different songs outside of the US mainstream. Recently, I have been feeling that there is something lacking in the showmanship aspect of the pageant and we hope that the song choices can help revert that.
These songs so far are our picks for the upcoming Miss Universe pageant to modernize it a bit. Add your picks on the comments below…

Zozibini Tunzi: UN Advocate for Gender Equality

Miss Universe South Africa Zozibini Tunzi is lending her voice and her status as a beauty queen to further gender equality in her country.

In a post on the official Miss South Africa Instagram page, the reigning winner is asking the men of her country to help “make a difference” by supporting the #HeForShe campaign which aims to raise support for gender equality in her country. According to the heforshe.org website, the “HeForShe is a solidarity campaign for the advancement of women initiated by UN Women. Its goal is to achieve equality by encouraging men and boys as agents of change and take action against negative inequalities faced by women and girls.”

Here below is a snippet from an article from Channel 24 further explaining Zozibini’s role in the initiative:

Zozi is "aligning herself with the United Nations solidarity campaign #HeForShe for the advancement of gender equality."

As part of this campaign, and her ongoing work as an activist against gender-based violence, the beauty queen has asked South African men to pledge their support by writing love letters to the women of South Africa, which she will incorporate into her national costume.

"I am asking men to write love letters to the women of South Africa. Those letters will be inscribed on to ribbons of fabric which will, in turn, form part of my national costume. In what will be a first, I will literally take South Africa with me to Miss Universe; I will wear a wave of love from men in the form of love letters celebrating and honouring the women of this country," Zozibini explained in a press statement.

The PR graduate says she wants to shift perceptions around gender-based violence.

"Women are constantly being taught how to defend themselves against attack from men. I would like to shift the perception. I want to say that responsibility should no longer rest on the shoulders of women alone. I want the men of our nation to stand and take a stand against gender based violence [sic']."

Men who wish to add their voices to Zozibini's costume can start by pledging their support on the #HeForShe website. Following this, participants have been asked to share their "love letters" on social media either as a written message or through a video.

This call for solidarity and community involvement is such a great step for Zozi and the Miss SA org to take in. We are hoping for more similar camapaigns from MU candidates in the future…

* https://www.channel24.co.za/The-Juice/News/Pageant/the-hidden-meaning-behind-zozibinis-miss-universe-national-costume-20191111

MANicMondays: Ivel Yordanov for Adon Mag

We have featured this Bulgarian model several months ago, and today we are posting his photos from Adon magazine…

Ivel Yordanov was Best Global Model Of The Year – Bulgaria 2016 & 2017 Mister Planet -Bulgaria 2017… Today this good looking hunk has in display his chiseled good looks, prominent washboard abs and a ‘come hither’ look that adds to his charisma and sex appeal.

Continue reading “MANicMondays: Ivel Yordanov for Adon Mag”

Gazini, Resham and Emma: Full House This December

During the send-off last November 4th organized by the Binibining Pilipinas Charities Inc., three of the reigning winners had a chance to talk with the media on their various preparations for their upcoming pageants this December.
With over an hour of conversations and media interviews, here are the main points that every pageant fan should know about the ladies in their respective competitions and what happened during their send-off…

One of the first things asked by the media present are the travel papers alluding to the ‘altered and tampered‘ Filipino passport of Samantha Lo, that created issue upon issue of her participation in a minor pageant in Venezuela. First to answer was Binibining Pilipinas Intercontinental Emma Tiglao who explained that due to the change of venue (from India to now Egypt), she is prioritizing her visa applications. Miss Universe Philippines Gazini Ganados replied that she already has her US visa as she was able to travel to the US last year for Rene Salud’s Philippine Tapestry show. That show allowed Gazini and Leren Mae Bautista (Miss Globe 2019 2nd runner up) to travel to key cities in the US like New York and Las Vegas as well as in Canada. Binibining Pilipinas Resham Ramirez Saeed didn’t answer the question but if she will be using her Canadian passport, then she won’t have a problem going to Poland. If she will use her Filipino passport instead, then she has to secure a Shengen visa or a Polish tourist visa.

When we asked them what fun things would they want their co-candidates to learn about the Philippines, they all unanimously said the food and our pristine white beaches. Resham actually gushed about our street-food (like kwek-kwek and mangga with bagoong). Emma mentioned about the delicacies of Pampanga and the gastric delights from her province. Gazini even recounted her welcome parade in a lechon float! They truly are showing how Philippine hospitality is shown by sharing food.

The ladies were also very open to name the designers that they will be wearing for their respective international stints. Emma will be wearing a haute couture creation from Michael Cinco. Surely that would be a sight to behold in the Miss Intercontinental pageant on December 21st. Gazini remained loyal to her go-to-designer Cary Santiago. This master couturier would definitely bring his fabric manipulation and draping skills for the Miss Universe pageant on December 9th (Manila time, AM). While the very young, fresh and the fashionista-go-to-designer Mark Bumgarner will be dressing up Resham for her evening gown in Poland.

We wish all three the best of luck in their respective competitions. With Leren and Patch Magtanong’s pageants already finished, the Philippines now pins their hopes on Resham, Emma and Gazini to bring home at least one crown among their batch.

Donald Trump: Miss World Almost Owner?

Did you know that in 2000’s Donald Trump wanted to purchase the Miss World pageant?

In a couple of Vanity Fair articles, the now POTUS Trump admitted that he wanted to purchase the British-owned pageant saying, “Yeah, I’d buy it for almost nothing. . . . If I had it, it would be valuable—or maybe I’d close it.” It was during those times that the Miss World pageant was still learning how to run itself after the loss of its founder Eric Morley. Had Trump then purchased the pageant it would have probably been closed/ dismantled so that it would not rival his own Miss Universe pageant. Or perhaps merged it into the MU Organization.
Since then, the animosity between the two did not let up. It is rumored that Trump even tried to block the usage of the “USA” in the Miss World USA pageant citing copyrights issues. And in every turn, the businessman is said to have to cut any possibilities of the Miss World pageant to expand in the MU territory. This is why Miss World never really had a strong footing in the US. “Every time I try to put my head up there in the U.S., Trump used to try and blow it off. He actually took action against me for having a Miss World U.S.A.” says Julia Morley.

It can however be remembered that for a time being in the 80’s, the Miss USA first runner up is sent to Miss World. All this stopped in 1991. This was prior to Trump buying the Miss Universe organization. Quite a sharp turn of events considering Gina Tolleson (Miss USA 1990 1st runner up) was Miss World the year before.
Then came the scandalous hosting of Miss World in 2002. In that same year, violent protests saw 250 people killed  in Nigeria that stemmed out of hosting the Miss World pageant there. Of course DOnald Trump has something to say: “They [the Miss World] have been so tarnished by the stupidity of the location! You can’t go to Nigeria—everyone knows that. Because of the religious situation.
Whether or not the Miss World would have been a success under Trump’s leadership is something we could only guess at. Imagine if the Miss World was dissolved under Trump’s purchase of the pageant. It surely be a different scenario for the international pageant scene…

* www.vanityfair.com/news/2016/01/donald-trump-miss-universe-beauty-pageants
* www.vanityfair.com/news/2003/03/missworld200303