5 Things Every Pageant Girl Can Learn from Meghan Markle

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s move towards financial independence from the British royal family, is one ballsy but admirable move. Set aside talks about ‘Megxit’ because here are several lessons that every pageant hopeful can learn from Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex.

The Duchess of Sussex is one formidable modern woman. Compared to the Duchess of Cambridge’s more traditional conformist kind of way, Meghan Markle brings an air of modernity and independent thinking that is remarkable for a member of the Royal Family. And she, perhaps, is the better role model for the modern day pageant girl. Here are five reasons why…

  1. She is Unapologetic of Who She Is – every pageant girl must accept who she is, flaws and all. Be proud of your heritage, of where you came from. Champion your community by looking into representing your ethno-linguistic group with pride and elan. So what if you speak with a regional accent? Use it to strengthen your brand. Be un-apologetically you!
  2. She Uses Fashion as a Communication Tool – what you wear is an extension of you as a person. Use it to communicate your brand. Do not blindly follow trends without evaluating if it adds to your brand equity. Be smart in wearing clothes. Use it to extend what you want people to know about you as a person. Don’t be afraid if you want to stick to what works for you but at the same time be open to evaluate if new fashions can help you in your agenda.
  3. She Doesn’t Lose Her Cool in Public – and that includes social media. There is a time and place for a meltdown but do so in the privacy of your home. If you are angry with bashers and hate comments, use that anger in the gym. If you have critics and naysayers, use their publicity to push for your causes. Redirect negativity to areas where you can do good. Use that composure like its armor.
  4. She Knows How and When to Make an Impact – always leave people something to talk about. You don’t have to be always present in everybody’s top of mind, but when you are make them remember. Be strategic when and how to reveal your cards but all the while you keep them up your sleeves where no one can guess your next move. Always keep people wanting for more but always leave something more than enough to keep fans satiated.
  5. She is a Lady Boss – be your own woman. Always be someone who is in charge of your own life and career. Follow rules but don’t be afraid to make your own rules. If your inner voice is sending you doubtful vibes, listen because that is your inner compass saying that something is not right for you.

If there is one major takeaway from the Duchess of Sussex, it is this: Never Be Afraid. You are a queen, so act like one…

Miss Universe 2019 Playlist

Despite the lack of musical guests in the Miss Universe 2019 pageant, it did not lack good selection of music. Notable in the playlist is the full female artists featured in their (singular) live performer and playlist.

Here are the songs that were prominently used in the pageant.
Opening Number  – Ally Brooke performed two of her songs ‘Higher’ , ‘Low Key’ and ‘No Good’ for the opening sequence. She was accompanied by several back up dancers with the 90 official Miss Universe candidates.

Swimsuit – this medley of songs from Normani (Motivation) and Lizzo (Good as Hell) was used for the swimsuit comeptition. It would have been better if half of the top 10 walked the ramp with the song ‘Motivation’ while the other half with ‘Good as Hell’.

Evening Gown – Ally Brooke sang a medley of Selena’s hits. While her vocal performance may have been inadequate to some Selena fans, nobody can deny that her songs were a great throwback to the Mexican songstress.

Also played during the live telecast is the Glitter Mix of the Miss Universe theme song.

The 2019 edition will probably go down in history as one of the most lackluster editions of the Miss Universe pageant. However there are some musical gems to be found in the pageant’s playlist.

What Julia Saubier Must do to Win Miss Universe Philippines

One of the biggest shocking non-placements last year in Binibining Pilipinas was the exclusion of Julia Saubier. The tall leggy sportswoman was among the most talked about candidate in last year’s BBP pageant and is touted as one of the best speakers of her batch.
Now that the Miss Universe Philippines title is a separate pageant, here are some of the things we think Julia needs to do to become the next Miss Universe Philippines…

  1. Be Less Aggressive on Social Media – this is one of her bigger mistakes in last year’s BBP participation. Her overly aggressive tone and approach in social media has been a little bit off putting according to some of the pageant admins we were able to talk to last year. Julia needs to chill when it comes to social media, let things fold out organically, be of impact without being pushy. Not every social media post needs tagging of the MU and MUP accounts. It would be best if she engages with her followers instead and converse with them on issues that matter to her. That would be a more productive use of social media.
  2. Find Her Best Facial Angles and What Works – Julia’s brand of beauty isn’t necessarily the most commercial type of beauty. So there is a need to find what truly works for her. She must learn to work her best angles and make use of make up that will soften her features more. This means more smiles and less pouts. In colloquial terms, ‘less angas’. Make her look more warm, accessible and amiable.
  3. Be More Approachable/ Warm and Less Intimidating – her overall aura can be a little intimidating and she needs to be more warm and approachable to a wider range of people. Being highly educated is good thing but it should not be flaunted in every instance you have. So Julia has to learn to modulate her voice and use subtle nuances of tone, pitch and harmony to be more welcoming in her conversations, not just to judges and people of power but also to fans and regular folks.
  4. Stronger Stage Presence and Performance – this is where she failed the most in her bid for a title last year. Her facial projection was in need of polishing so that her facial expression transitions would be smoother. It would also help for her to have a more fluid presentation onstage. That means a more polished walk with better pose transitions.

Julia being a niece of Miss International 1979 Melanie Marquez has high expectations riding on her shoulders. All she needs now is proper guidance to achieve and perfect a winning recipe locally. Theoretically, she is the type that would do great in Miss Universe, but that is only if the errors and mistakes of the past are corrected. She has the raw goods, all it needs is converting them into something spectacular for the audience to buy…

Will Vickie Rushton Join Binibining Pilipinas 2020?

Will 2018 Binibining Pilipinas 1st runner up Vickie Rushton join this year’s pageant? Should she?

One of the best faces to have joined the Binibining Pilipinas pageant is Negrense beauty Vickie Marie Rushton. The 5’6″ former Mutya ng Pilipinas winner has the proverbial ‘face that could launch a thousand ships’. She has a very personal advocacy leaning towards people with disability with her family members serving as inspiration. And she is one of the nicest and pleasant ladies to have graced the Binibining Pilipinas pageant. She is definitely one of those ladies that you would support because of her inherent good attitude and kind persona.

Vickie was supposed to be the girl to beat in last year’s pageant. She was on her way to winning the title until the misfortune of a distraction happened during the question and answer portion. One male fan is said to have heckled her and she lost her train of thought. She ended up her 2019 bid as a semifinalist on her second joining of the pageant. We all then thought that would be her last chance for a crown. Then came the announcement that the Miss International pageant has increased their age requirement to 28 years old. Which is perfect for Vickie as she is turning 28 years old this year and this would be the last chance for her to give pageantry a shot. If we are also to consider that the BPCI’s highest title for grabs is the Miss International title, Vickie would be a great fit for it.

But the question now is will she up for the challenge? Joining a pageant is expensive, and it will take a toll on your mental stamina and time. So making the decision to join again isn’t as easy as it looks like. Vickie has so much to consider because she is to compete against preconceived notions that she is only ‘beauty of face’ and nothing more. Her challenge is to prove to herself that she is more than just a beautiful face. And to show more of her story so that people would get to know her more. She needs to train for a stronger pasarela and presentation skills. Drive her q&a training more to polish her words and thoughts. This time around she needs to take full ownership of her pageant participation and learn to make tough decisions on how to navigate it the way she wants and needs to.
Whether Vickie shall pursue a participation or not, we will be supportive of her decision. But we believe that it would be a waste if she didn’t. She might just be the 7th Miss International winner the Philippines is waiting for… and that would be a sweet, sweet redemption to her 2nd try. This is her one last shot at Binibini, and we hope she takes it to have no regrets in the future if she didn’t…

Nicole Cordoves & Elizabeth Clenci: Would Have been Perfect for MUP 2020

Among all the former Binibining Pilipinas winners floated in “wish miss” lists to join Miss Universe Philippines, there are only two ladies in our opinion that would easily be perfect for Miss Universe: they would be Nicole Cordoves and Elizabeth Clenci. Here’s why…

The two biggest lessons of Miss Universe 2019 are that 1) public speaking / oratorical skills plays a huge part of the judging and 2) the MU pageant is looking for women of color to represent the brand. After a string of mixed-blood mestizas sent to the Miss Universe pageant, we feel that it is about time to field a brown-skinned Filipina beauty (mixed blood or not) to the pageant. And this is where Nicole and Liz comes in. The two former Binibining Pilipinas Grand are two of the most articulate and gorgeous ladies perfect for the new direction that the MU is taking. In terms of speaking skills, these two women are the creme de la creme among the recent winners of the pageant. It would be extremely difficult to find a Pinay beauty of their caliber in terms of intelligence/ quick-wit, facial beauty and oratory skills.

Nicole’s features  is the perfect blend of the Chinese-Pinay beauty, not too chinita but not too Pinay. Hers is the girl-next-door type that could sell the hell out of the MU brand. Then we have the enigmatic and soulful beauty of Elizabeth Clenci. Now that she finished her degree in Music with Specialization in Contemporary Performance at the University of Sydney in Australia, she has added more interest in her resume. Liz is arguably the most articulate among the winners of her BBP batch and that is saying much as the 2017 BBP batch of winners is collectively the most articulate among the recent batch of winners.
While we would want them as Miss Universe Philippines hopefuls we have to resign to the fact that both beauties are unlikely to join the pageant anymore. Nicole has expressed that her career path has taken her into greener pastures and that her interest in pageantry has taken her towards the coaching and mentorship route. She is now one of the most sought after personality development and q&a coaches in the field, aside from that she is also a YouTube Vlogger and Host. As for Liz, she is already 29 years old… a year past the maximum age requirement for the Miss Universe pageant which is 28. IMHO, she would really be a perfect fit for what the Miss Universe pageant is looking for now in a winner.

With the latest MU developments in what they are looking for in a winner, Nicole and Liz would be the perfect follow up to reigning Miss Universe Zozibini Tunzi of South Africa. If only…

Aya Abesamis is now a Binibining Pilipinas Queen

Our speculation that Binibining Pilipinas 2019 1st runner up Aya Abesamis is the new Binibining Pilipinas Grand came true!

When the Binibining Pilipinas 2020 announcement poster was released several weeks back, pageant fans were asking what was Aya doing in the roster of queens. Back then we already posted on our Instagram account that Aya may have taken over the vacated position left by the resigned Samantha Lo. However, since no official announcement was made, we didn’t make a fuss at all on it. Then came a social media post confirming what we have speculated all along, Aya indeed is the new Binibining Pilipinas Grand.

Now the question in everybody’s minds is whether or not she will be competing in the Thai-based competition this year.
We speculate that she might not based on age alone. Aya is already 28 and is turning 29 this year. Her age alone doesn’t qualify for the age 27 cut-off of that pageant. It was a waste to not see her compete for any of the international competitions under BBP. Aya had been one very dedicated Binibini runner up, she was perhaps one of the girls with the best attendances even among the queens last year. She rarely missed any public appearance and was present in the send-offs of her fellow winners.
Perhaps the takeaway in this scenario is the fact that she is now a crowned Binibining Pilipinas queen. And even if she didn’t get to compete, she still is a queen nonetheless…
UPDATE: The BPCI has released official word that Aya is the new Binibining Pilipinas Grand and that she will be crowning her successor in the next Binibining Pilipinas pageant. Below is their official press release:

Manila, Philippines– The Binibining Pilipinas Charities Inc. (BPCI) has officially named last year’s 1 st  runner-up Maria Andrea “Aya” Abesamis as the new Binibining Pilipinas – Grand International 2019.

Abesamis’ journey in the Binibining Pilipinas pageant is an inspiration to many aspiring pageant titlist. She first joined the pageant in 2018 and returned a year after. She believes creative arts can be used as a transformative tool for vulnerable members of the society.

BPCI is confident to entrust the title to Abesamis, who now wears the crown until the next set of queens are selected this year.

Congratulations Bb Pilipinas Grand International 2019 Aya Abesamis!

Binibining Pilipinas 2020 Deadline Approaches

The search is on for new Binibini Queens!
Binibining Pilipinas aspirants only have 7 days remaining until the deadline for applications come to a close. Mark your calendars ladies because January 31st is the deadline for submission of applications!

According to the latest press release from BPCI, the search is on for a new batch of queens who will carry the name of the Philippines across the globe and cement its status as a powerhouse in international pageants.
Interested applicants have until January 31, 2020 to submit their application forms. They will then go through a rigorous screening process courtesy of the esteemed BPCI executive committee that will culminate on February 6.
Binibining Pilipinas Charities Inc. holds the most successful and decorated pageant in Philippine history; truly a significant milestone of Araneta City, The City of Firsts. 
Download the application form at http://www.bbpilipinas.com or visit Bb. Pilipinas official Facebook page.

Up for grabs are the titles of:
– Binibining Pilipinas International
– Binibining Pilipinas Supranational
– Binibining Pilipinas Intercontinental
– Binibining Pilipinas Grand International
– Binibining Pilipinas Globe

With over 50+ years organizing the most prestigious pageant in the country, the BPCI continues to look for the best of Filipina beauties to be sent to some of the biggest international pageants over the globe.

UPDATE: The latest released image of the BPCI already featured Emma back in the roster of queens signifying that the Miss Intercontinental is possibly back.

Kelsey Merritt, the Reason in the Change of the MUP Deadline of Application?

Kelsey Merritt is  one of the several names floated to join the Miss Universe Philippines pageant. But is she the reason why the MUP deadline of application last January 18th was moved to January 31st?

Several days ago, the Sports Illustrated and Victoria’s Secret model posted her photos in Japan on her Instagram account. And if her return was the reason for the delay then that is a delay pageant fans would be willing to accept. Kelsey is one of the country’s most sought after models and she can easily bring a huge boost to the Miss Universe Philippines brand in the country. If she joins, it would be almost as if the runner up position is the one being fought for by the rest of the candidates.
With Kelsey, the game is already won even before it started. And Lu Sierra perfectly would capture that in her yearly statement to MU candidates: “I am Miss Universe, people just don’t know it yet. All the other girls, they’re just here to give me time to change.
If she does indeed submits her application, I could say I’m on board with that. IMHO she would be doing the MUP brand/ image a great deal of good than it would do to her career. In fact Kelsey doesn’t need a national title to add to her resume, but if she wants one the pageant she would be joining in would benefit greatly with her participation.
Do you think Kelsey Merritt is going to be the anointed one if she joins MUP?

Is MUP Going Head to Head with BBP?

Are the claws finally coming out? Is the Miss Universe Philippines organization going head to head and rival the Binibining Pilipinas pageant all of a sudden?

First it was the Miss Universe Philippines organization who posted earlier their application schedule. Their announcement said application deadlines are on January 18th. Then Binibining Pilipinas posted their own announcement regarding their deadline on January 31st. Until MUP posted their extension of applications until January 31st. Suddenly pageant fans are asking, is Miss Universe Philippines competing against Binibining Pilipinas? Is this a declaration of a beauty war between the two?
Whenever a pageant application date is moved or delayed, there are three possible scenarios at play:
1. Scenario 1 – there aren’t been enough applicants to fill in the roster for the pageant candidates.
2. Scenario 2 – the org might be waiting for a certain personality to send her application.
3. Scenario 3 – some administrative arrangements are in need of attention and that a postponement or delay is in order to make time for them.


With the MUP final deadline of applications falling on the same day as that of Binibing Pilipinas, you will see that it is going to be a battle of those two pageants for the best Filipina candidates. Some may speculate that the same date deadline is a move to generate more buzz. Others are saying that it isn’t necessary if the reason to move is only because of format issues and that can be adjusted after the application deadlines.
What say you? Do you think there is a bigger (and hidden) reason for the move?

Sashes&Scripts’ Miss Universe Philippines Wishlist

Who are the girls we are highly anticipating to join Miss Universe Philippines this year?

  1. Alaiza Malinao – she’s the one who seemed to have planned her joining a year in advance. She probably took a page from Catriona Gray’s strategy to map out her participation with a year long preparation.
  2. Ahtisa Manalo – to be honest, we hoped that she would earn more ‘life experiences’ before dipping her toes again in pageantry. But if she is gunning for MUP this year, we are more than happy to see her compete once again.
  3. Sirene Sutton – while she might be one of the modelesque girls that we all are looking to join, Sirene should have focused on honing her communication skills as it seems that the MU is looking for a spokesperson rather than a model. IMHO she would be perfect for Supranational whose mix of showmanship and pageantry is just the right blend. However, we are speculating that she would perhaps choose to join MUP instead.
  4. Julia Saubier – she is surely the one to jump into the MUP bandwagon after a non-placement in Binibining Pilipinas last year. And maybe this time with an emphasis on speaking skills, she may crack the MUP crown. If Miss Universe is looking for a spokesperson, then Julia might be the type of girl that the pageant might want.
  5. Bella Ysmael – a relatively new name and face to pageants, this 5’7 ballerina comes with a beauty queen pedigree. She is the niece of former Miss Universe Margie Moran. A former runner up in Century Tuna Superbods, she boasts of a Filipina-Spanish-Lebanese heritage.

So far those are the ladies that we expect to join Miss Universe Philippines this year. Who are in your wish list?

Sashes & Scripts is on a Blog Break!

Hello everyone! Starting today, we will be having a quick break from pageant blogging.
My sister from the US is visiting and I am hoping to spend some time with family over the next couple of weeks. It will be a great time to bond with them because each of us seems to be going on different paths again soon (one of my sisters is set to leave the country within the year). It will also be a time for me to think and ponder what I can still offer to you in terms of pageantry.
See you again later!

Sashes&Scripts’ Binibining Pilipinas Wishlist

In previous years, we had several wishlist to join Binibining Pilipinas. This year instead of naming a long list of girls, we are just focusing on just a handful of ladies we want to join the longest running national pageant in the country.

  • Michelle Thorlund – she was one of the girls that were ‘ignored’ in Miss World Philippines last year and Binibining Pilipinas might be her redemption. Standing statuesque at 5’8″, this Filipina-American lass has one of the easily transformable faces that can go sweet and saccharine to 40’s glam in just a snap of a finger. After her Mutya ng Pilipinas – Overseas win in 2016, she would be a great addition in the BBP pageant should she join.

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Continue reading “Sashes&Scripts’ Binibining Pilipinas Wishlist”

Gloria Diaz and her Quotable Quotes

Gloria Diaz is a Diva. With someone of her stature as the first Filipina Miss Universe and an award-winning actress, we are used to her sharp witty punchlines. And we have listed 9 instances where Gloria Diaz was a diva!

  1. Bob Barker: Is it true that you Filipinos use your hands to eat?
    Gloria Diaz: Why, do you use your feet?
    – that is how you make a comeback. This happened allegedly in a preliminary interview of the Miss Universe 1969 pageant. The instance should have been a sign that we have a diva in the making.
  2. “Alphabetically or according to rank?”
    – during the Miss Universe telecast, host Bob Barker challenged Gloria to name all her 11 other siblings. The quick-witted Gloria asked back if Bob wants them named alphabetically or according to their rank (we presume she was thinking of age).
  3. Leila Benitez (a well-known stage director): Miss Diaz, please come back on stage, who do you think you are?
    Gloria Diaz in a nonchalant manner: “Miss Universe.”
    – this supposedly happened during a rehearsal for a fashion show. Gloria took a break when she got tired. Back then Leila was one of the undisputed ‘Taray Queens’ which was a match to Gloria’s ‘diva-ness’.
  4. “Sige na nga, I was just joking. Actually, Maxine is the one talaga who is going to win. Oh, OK na ba sila? Bakit? Si Duterte nga nagbabago ang isip, eh ‘di ako rin.”
    – this was one of Gloria Diaz’ best moments when it comes to pageant trolls and haters. The 5’5″ beauty responded with a statement that was dripping with so much sarcasm.
  5. Gloria: You should join a beauty contest.
    Lady: I already did.
    Gloria: Did you win?
    Lady: Yes, I did.
    Gloria: Did you compete internationally?
    Lady: Yes.
    Gloria: What contest?
    Lady: Miss International.
    The lady was Kylie Verzosa, 2016 Miss International. Gloria later clarified that since after her stint in the BBP pageant she has graced a number of them already that she hardly remembers the faces of the winners.

  6. “Happiness is for princesses. Queens take control.”
    – in 2019, the veteran actress was cast in the role of Gloria Reyes, a’former Miss Universe from the Philippines’ for the the Netflix original series Insatiable. In her episode 6 guesting, she uttered this line which was one of the more memorable lines in the dark humor series.
  7. “Nobody remembers the runners up…”
    – during her media tour with Insatiable main cast Dallas Roberts and Debby Ryan, Gloria brought her Diva game with her and uttered this sharp but very divalicious line.
  8. “My Miss Universe trophy? I left that at the airport — excess baggage.”
    – this one truly illustrates her #divaliciousness. Her trophy is supposed to be sitting somewhere in the Philippine Airlines office in San Francisco.
  9. “You can harp all you want to be a runner up, but in the end they only remember the one who won.”
    – the statement was rumored to be a snide comment on Ruffa Gutierrez’ win as Miss World 2nd Princess in 1993, when Gloria was allegedly irked at Ruffa wearing her tiara in every public appearance.

Did we miss any of her divalicious quotes? Write them down below on the comment section…

Beauty or Intelligence: Which Should Weight More?

The landscape of pageantry has constantly been shifting, more so in the last decade. In the constant attempt to be relevant and modern, pageants have regularly pushed to varying degrees what it means for pageant to be “in the now“, to be a reflection of what society is looking for in a pageant winner. In the changing taste of pageants, there no other question more pertinent than this question: What should weight more in pageants, beauty or intelligence?

During the last Miss Universe pageant Filipino pageant fans argued Miss Philippines Gazini Ganados’ opening statement. Some say that she buckled but others say that her statement was of content but didn’t resonate to what the judges are looking for in a winner. And that had it been a miz of male and female judges, she would easily coasted to the top 10. So today we are taking a look into the question whether pageants should put weight more on beauty or on public speaking abilities… Continue reading “Beauty or Intelligence: Which Should Weight More?”

Miss Universe Theme Songs: The Orente Suite

Back in May of last year, we’ve written an article on the Orente music suite of the Miss Universe pageant. While there was a scarcity of sources then, we decided to revisit the topic with newer and clearer videos available. Thanks to the efforts of YouTuber Spymoxx and his channel, Sountrax, we’ve compiled all of the available Orente Music in one nifty blogpost!

Here are Spymoxx’s recreation of the Miss Universe theme songs from 2008 to 2014, the Orente music suite… Continue reading “Miss Universe Theme Songs: The Orente Suite”