Reasons Why the Philippines Should Host the Miss International Pageant

The Miss International pageant have rarely left Japan as its host country since it was headed by the ICA. But it has been hosted in China under several occasions so the idea of hosting the pageant outside Tokyo isn’t an alien concept. With the Philippines being a pageant country and one of the most successful countries in the Tokyo-based pageant, we think that it would be a good idea if the Philippines play host to the Miss International pageant in the near future…

Here are Sashes&Scripts’ top reasons why the Philippines should consider hosting the pageant in its shores:
1. Madame Stella Marquez, the first ever Miss International winner heads the Binibining Pilipinas Charities Inc. which selects the annual rep to the Tokyo-based pageant. Now that the MI title is the highest title awarded in the Binibining Pilipinas pageant, it would be a great idea to have it held for the first time in the country. It would also be a great kick to have her as a special guest of the pageant and to commemorate the 6 decades of the pageant with her win back in 1960.
2. The Philippines has close ties with Japan. The two countries share commerce and history together. One of the country’s closest trade partners is Japan, a number of Japanese prefer to have manufacturing factories in the Philippines due to stringent quality standards. During the aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda, Japan was one of the first countries who came to our aid and in return during the Japanese earthquake and tsunami disasters, the Philippines sent medical volunteers to help efforts in affected areas. Not to mention that Japan was also one of the colonizers of the country alongside Spain and the United States.

3. Philippine culture is steeped with rich cultural traditions, which jives in with the Miss International pageant. The Miss International pageant promotes cultural understanding and having the pageant held in the Philippines would not only promote tourism but also its rich cultural heritage. Having the mantra of the pageant as ‘cultural understanding and acceptance’ the pageant can put the limelight to customs and traditions for protection and appreciation.
4. The Philippines is home to 7 MI titleholders: 6 Filipina plus 1 Colombian. That is to say that the Philippines has the most number of wins in the pageant among Asia. The reigning Miss International, can grace the pageant with the rest of the Filipina Miss International titleholders; if they manage that feat it would be the most number of past and present winners gracing the pageant. The organizing committee could even invite other Asian titleholders to grace the event.

5. Japanese owned Okada could hold the pageant in its premises like it has for the 65th Miss Universe in 2017 and Miss Intercontinental 2018 pageants. With the Okada footing a billion dollar development along Pasay City, there won’t be a dull moment in the pageant. Manila Bay is a scenic seascape where Okada Manila is situated. It is close to the MOA Arena and the SMX convention Center where usual events, concerts, travel fairs, etc… are held. This time the Department of Tourism could definitely work with the private sector and brand the Philippines as the pageant destination of the world.
6. The Philippines is home to the biggest pageant fandom in the world. Do we need to say more?

Wouldn’t it be perfect if the Miss International is held in the Philippines for the first time? Let us know in the comment section below…

Catriona: A Most Successful Post-Pageant Career

Among all the IMG queens, only two stands out for the work they have done after their pageant careers have ended. The first one is Iris Mittenaere of France and the other is none other than Catriona Gray of the Philippines.

In today’s blogpost, let’s review what the 5’10” stunner has been up to since she relinquished her title in December of 2019.

– Early in the year, in January, Catriona was named as a Ambassador for the NCCAA. No other national winner has been given the honor to represent the NCCAA with such impact as Catriona have. During her stint as a Miss Universe candidate and winner, she has made public her support for local culture by showcasing Philippine traditional weaves and indigenous cultures in her wardrobe and promotional videos. With her Raise Your Flag campaign she has promoted the arts and crafts of Laguna and La Union. She’s been quite effective in her role that she is tapped later in the year by another government body as a spokesperson.

Continue reading “Catriona: A Most Successful Post-Pageant Career”

Miss World Trivia

Oldest Miss World winner – Aneta Kręglicka of Poland, she was 24 years & 8 months old when she won in 1989.

Youngest Miss World Winner – Wilnelia Merced of Puerto Rico, she was 18 years & 1 month old when she won in 1975.

Average Age – the average age of all Miss World winners is 21.2 years old.
27 out of the 66 Miss World winners were only teenagers (between the ages of 18-19)

Photogenic Miss World Winners – four Miss World titleholders were also given the Miss Photogenic award in the years they competed.
Venezuela – Astrid Herrera in 1984
India – Aishwarya Rai in 1994
Venezuela – Jacqueline Aguilera in 1995
India – Diana Hayden in 1997

The Longest Reign of a Miss World winner –  Sweden’s Kiki Hakansson for 474 days (July 29, 1951 to November 14, 1952), followed by Megan Young of the Philippines as Miss World 2013 for 442 days!

The Shortest Reign of a Miss World winner – Venezuela’s Ivian Sarcos who reigned from November 6, 2011 to August 18, 2012. She held the title for only 286 days.

First Miss World Winners from each continent:
Africa – Antigone Costanda (Egypt) Miss World 1954
Asia – Reita Faria (India) Miss World 1966
Europe – Kici Håkansson (Sweden) Miss World 1951
Oceania – Penelope Plummer (Australia) Miss World 1968
North America – Carole Joan Crawford (Jamaica) Miss World 1963
South America -Susana Duijm (Venezuela) Miss World 1955

Longest Gap between Two  Winners from the same Country – 41 years with Puerto Rico’s Wilnelia Merced (1975) and Stephanie Del Valle who won in 2016.  At second is South Africa in the years 1974-2014, the gap was 40 years.
Shortest Gap between Two  Winners from the same Country  – this is shared by three back to back wins from:
* Sweden – Kerstin ‘Kiki’ Hakansson and May Louise Flodin in 1951 and 1952
* United Kingdom – Ann Sidney and Lesley Langley in 1964 and 1965
* India – Yukta Mukhey and Priyanka Chopra in 1999 and 2000

‘Skin Exposure’, the Female Body, and Pageantry

SLUT SHAMING OR A QUESTION OF DECENCY? Let us address the latest controversy we all witnessed played out on Instagram.
By this time we hope everyone has calmed down to hear each other out on a very polarizing topic. When we posted a #chichiandchaah/ blind item poking sarcasm and humor at some pageant candidates’ risque photos, majority of the comments were not in favor of the risque photos… but we were also met with strong opposition and admonition from several fans and pageant accounts.
While being liberal on one’s body and body positivism is to be celebrated, the overt exposure of ‘too much skin’ or the female body in the realm of pageantry is still generally frowned upon by the pageant community at large. A stark contrast to male pageants where one’s physicality is overly promoted (there will be a separate blogpost on the topic later). Why is that? We can only offer possible explanations not outright answers.
NOTE: We will be talking about pageantry in general unless specified otherwise in the course of the blogpost.
How Far can Women Expose their Bodies in Pageantry?
When we are asked how much skin can women expose in pageantry, we can only say there is no definitive answer to that. No pageant ever has specified in their candidate contracts that says “a candidate cannot expose more that 30% of a butt-cheek, nor a collective exposure of more than 40% of both butt globes be visible in any photo is to be made public“, or “a candidate can expose the side of a boob along the provision that no nipple and/or areola is exposed, implied, or visible“, or “a candidate and/or her team cannot release photos of the candidate that shows her vagina or impressions of her vagina“, etc… Such specific guidelines have not yet been made, or if it does exists they are never made public. Although we are led to believe about the former rather than the latter.
In contrast, Hollywood contracts would detail in how much an actor can show skin. Just watch the scene in the movie Notting Hill how Julia Robert explains nudity clauses in contracts to Hugh Grant’s character. Everything is detailed and made aware of. And that is a major source of confusion among pageant fans, handlers and candidates alike. With no such existing guidelines for pageants, it is too difficult to track how much ‘skin exposure’ is too much.
A Wider Market to Serve
Pageants are generally targeted towards a wide audience and has been traditionally given a “general patronage” to “parental guidance” tag on its finals telecast. However, the pageant winner’s duties extend beyond and serves as a spokesperson for the pageant organization herself. Her duties mainly includes public speaking, charity work, sponsor promotional events, etc… and perhaps a handful runway shows, magazine covers and other social parties here and there. Hence, a pageant girl needs to be able to communicate to a wide array of people from kids to adults in different walks of life.
Imagine explaining to young minors the concept of how body positivism works in the context of pageantry. Because kids follow, copy and do what their role models do, there is placed a bigger responsibility for pageant girls to become aspirational in all aspects.
Her appeal then must be to a broader market, not just male audiences. This is specially true when there are major corporate sponsors of the pageant. Product promotions and endorsements by beauty pageant winners are a major cash cow for pageants. In 2019, it is rumored that the fee MUOrg charges to brands wanting get Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray to promote their product/ brand is on the 7-figure mark. And that’s in US dollars. So image is very important in these endorsements and a tainted/tarnished image not only affects the pageant’s reputation but also its financial bottom-line.

Pageant Requirement: OF GOOD MORAL CHARACTER
It is for the above reasons that is why one of the most common phrases seen in job postings is the requirement to be of “good moral character”. It is actually a catch-all phrase that may include behavior and activities that may pertain to morality, decency, appropriate behavior, appropriate dress, decorum, etc…  This vague and generic phrase could actually mean anything that the job poster would mean it is. That is why pageant old-timers & observers call it as the ‘decency clause’ or ‘morality clause’ of the pageant organization.
In the Miss Universe Philippines Application Form, this fine print can be read as:
The Contestant shall at all times comply strictly with THE MISS UNIVERSE PHILIPPINES, INC. specifications and/or requirements (whether oral or written) as to her appearance, physical characteristics, skills, attire and/or accessories. A failure to meet such specifications and/or requirements shall result in disqualification from her participation in the National Pageant. For the avoidance of doubt, THE MISS UNIVERSE PHILIPPINES, INC. the right to disqualify the Contestant from the National Pageant on the grounds of undesirable conduct and/or appearance.
The older 2012 Binibining Pilipinas application form has taken this one step further as a candidate has to declare that:
I have never participated in any bold/burlesqueshows, plays, movies, publications or activities, or such show, play, movie, publication or activity, which in the sole opinion and discretion of BPCI, is inconsistent with my application with the 2012 Pageant, run counter against the social and moral principles upon which the Pageant is founded upon, and/or bring disrepute or embarrassment to BPCI or any of its sponsors.
Reading the above fine print, you can see how BPCI takes steps further to dialo in safe-guarding the reputation of the pageant as well as its sponsors. We have written about this topic previously on this article.
The ‘decency clause’ is a protection for both parties so that neither the pageant nor the prospective candidate be gossiped on, specially on social media, and cause mental distress on both parties. But in essence the decency clause is a protection designed specifically in favor of the pageant organization. Their pageant, their rules. This is why pageant girls must abide by their rules and regulations.
The Controversy on Instagram
Pageant bloggers such as myself still find it uncomfortable to tell pageant girls what they are doing wrong on social media. Unless a prior relationship has been established, we cannot point blankly message and tell them that they are exposing too much skin or that they should not be engaging directly with trolls and haters. That is an awkward conversation for anyone. And we also doubt that they will sift through hundreds of DMs in their Instagram and respond to all of those messages in their Primary, General and DM Request folders. In most cases, our DMs may just fall deaftly under the request folders.
Our #chichiandchaah posts are always meant to poke humor and sarcasm on pageant’s latest issues/  trending topics, stir a reaction, cause a commotion to dialogue and discourse, expose a scandal or a scandalous behavior… but it never explicitly exposes pageant candidates by naming them. In this case the Chichi&Chaah post has not named any of the ‘allegedly 4-6 girls that have posted risque photos‘. It was some of the younger newbie pages and newbie pageant fans that made assumptions who were those candidates. And to some extent, ‘outed’ them even when some of the girls they posted on their IG stories weren’t even the ones being talked about. Making assumptions is a dangerous game.
The worse part here was that the risque photos were published by the candidates and their handlers without going through the pageant organization’s review. And with the fine print on their candidacy applications, some may have violated the decency clause and may possibly  end up in a disqualification from the contest.
Do You Want to be a Queen? Act Like One.
Taking in all of those considerations, when pageant girls pose provocatively in their published swimsuits, there will always be a strong discourse on the limits of exposing skin within the context of pageantry. In reality, the entire pageant community expect pageant girls and winners to behave a certain manner akin to the royal families of old. Pageant queens are considered and treated as royalty, and the trade-off for that is conforming to the current socially accepted norms of decorum and proper behavior. If you want to be a queen, then you are expected to behave and act like a queen.
In reality, despite pageants being more modern nowadays, an overtly sexualized image/ reputation for a pageant girl is not yet socially accepted. Is that fair? Not a bit, but pageant girls become instant celebrities and are treated as queens by pageant fans. Hence the community expects from them what they would expect from a crowned queen.
And we cannot blame society or age old traditions for that. Sometimes traditional institutions take time to get in sync with the current social movements. It is a long and difficult process to veer away from decades long traditions, specially for pageants that have been in existence since the early 1900’s; with the likes of Senorita Colombia that has been in existence since 1934, Miss America founded in 1921 and Miss France formed in 1920. To this day, the Miss France still bars women with nude/ topless photos to enter the pageant. Even the relatively younger Miss World established in 1951 have removed the swimsuit competition in their pageant, even explaining that it’s no longer what the pageant stands for.
As mentioned earlier, no provisions on the extent of ‘skin exposure’ is made accessible to the general public, so it is best to take precaution in terms of how much skin a candidate is to show off. We advise that it is best to be in the safe side rather than to push the envelop as pageants & pageant organizations have a blanket authority on what they would deem as acceptable or within bounds of common decency.

Praewwanit Ruangthong for MUT2020

The very first time that we have written about Praewwanit Ruangthong was back in 2017, when we featured her ongoing journey at Miss Universe Thailand 2017.

But alas that journey was cut short and due to a technicality she was no longer able to continue with the pageant. Then we saw her comeback in 2018 where she almost snatched the Miss World Thailand title. Praew had to settle for 1st runner up that year to Nicolene Pichapa Limsnukan. In the pageant, she won the Topmodel fasttrack and was named one of the 5 girls with the best evening gowns. 

At age 27 (pushing 28) her journey with pageantry was almost over until the last minute change of the age requirements of the Miss Universe Thailand pageant. TPN, the current MU franchise holder in Thailand, has increased the age limit to 28 this year. This makes Praew eligible to join the pageant and would be quite perfect for the title with her very Asian features and her tanned skin. 

Praewwanit is currently working as an Account Executive with RPM Media. She is also a graduate from the School of Arts and Management from Prince of Songkla University. Praewwanit is from Chumphon, Thailand but is currently living in Bangkok, Thailand. She models on the side as well.

What do you think are her chances in winning the Miss Universe Thailand title this year? Let us know on the comments below…


4th Year Anniversary of the Sashes and Scripts Blog!

September is our Blog Anniversary and we are celebrating 4 years on our blogging site on WordPress!
We cannot believe it’s been 4 amazing years since we started with this journey with everyone. And through the many ups and downs of pageantry, our blog have grown despite our humble beginnings.  

Gazini Ganados and your blogger: in 2014 and 2019

 We have been writing about pageantry since 2013 and blogging since 2014 (on the old Sash Factor site) and we couldn’t be any happier and more fulfilled than to be interacting with you daily through our blog and our social media platforms on Facebook and Instagram. Our 2-year old Facebook page have now over 9 thousand likes and over 12 thousand followers. Instagram followers also have organically grown to 7 thousand this year. Slow but steady growth but with great engagement, that has always been our mark on social media. A considerable win with the current change in FB and IG algorithms.

One of our biggest wins this year is how we rank in Google search results. If you google the term “pageant blog”, Sashes&Scripts come in at the first page with rank #2 and #3. We also rank #3 when you google the term “pageant blogger”. In a FeedSpot article ranking pageant blogs, Sashes&Scripts rank number 5 in a list that was whittled down to 10 from various pageant-related blogs in the internet. Their ranking is based on relevancy, post frequency, social media followers and engagements,  domain authority, age and website popularity. 

So far here are our number:

Total Views – 2,886,298 clicks Total Articles posted – 1,876
Total Visitors – 1,798,783 Total words written – 651,014
Total Blog Followers – 9,786 Minimum daily clicks – 545 

We’d like to thank you all for the the wonderful times together and for 4 wonderful years together on our blogging platform. Our heart’s overflowing for all you’ve done for us and all the support you have given. Cheers to you for making us a success!