Mesmerized by Bb. Pilipinas Grand International Elizabeth Clenci

I had quite a nice vacation and one of the highlights was being able to meet up with reigning Binibining Pilipinas Grand International, Elizabeth Clenci. Kagandahang Flores head Sir Rodgil Flores facilitated this meet up with Elizabeth (or Liz for short) and I can honestly say that I was floored with what I have observed in her.

What is most striking about Liz is how self-assured and confident she is in her own skin. I observed a lovely lady who is not afraid to show me photos her worst when she had severe eczema, and how she has lifted herself up from such predicament. Mesmerized at her story of how she became a vegan from her experience, I asked more and more about her healthy lifestyle choices. I am even more impressed that she can say that she could be a vegan for the rest of her life.
Liz is addictive to listen to, when she talks you just want her to go on and on. Smart, articulate, engaging  and fun, that is how she is when I met her… More importantly she knows who she is. She was talking to her go-to designer at that time on fashion choices (gown and national costume included) for the Miss Grand International competition in Vietnam. Liz was talking about her body type and how she wants emphasis on her best assets…coming from someone working in the fashion industry, she nails her style choices spot on.

While there are no confirmed dates on her departure or the MGI schedule of activities, we can assume that she would probably be the first to compete this year among her Bb. Pilipinas batch (the finals is on October 25th). With a rep as self-assured as she is, I have a feeling that she would perhaps equal or surpass the placement of her predecessors.

Miss International Nepal 2017, Niti Shah

Move over girls, there is another Asian goddess joining Miss International this year. Meet Miss International Nepal 2017, Niti Shah…

Niti was crowned Miss International Nepal who was also the 2nd runner up in the Miss Nepal pageant. The 21 year old actress and model is currently pursuing her bachelor’s degree in journalism from St. Xavier’s College, Kathmandu. Back in Nepal, she is arguably one of the most popular and sought after models. Niti is blessed with brown hair and brown eyes. She stands at height of 5 feet 7 inches tall and hails from Dang District in Western Nepal. During the pageant she was the crowd favorite to win the title (the winner of Miss Nepal will go on to compete in Miss World).

With her in the competition, we expect at least a semifinal placement for her this year. With her good looks and lovely personality, she may just be the first Alpha pageant winner from her country.

Clarissa Bowers: USA’s Miss World Bet

Move over Polina, there’s another blonde bombshell that is gunning for the Miss World title. Meet the newly crowned Miss World America, Clarissa Bowers.

19 year-old Clarrisa Bowers is currently a student of Neuroscience from Vanderbilt University in Tennessee. She stands 5’11” and hails from a military family. The green-eyed beauty hopes to become a reconstructive surgeon for wounded and scarred soldiers. Her Beauty with a Purpose project is enabling baseball for disabled children and adults. She is listed as one of the models in Next Model Management in Miami and measures 34-26-37. She currently lives in Florida.

Clarissa bested 28 other candidates which included former MIss USA contender Maureen Montagne from Arizona.

The Tough BBP Wardrobe Lessons of 2014

2014 will perhaps come down in Philippine pageant history as the turning point of the wardrobes for Binibining Pilipinas winners. After a very dismal wardrobe choices in 2014, the year coming after it saw a veritable change in styles that gave BPCI two crowns including the much coveted Miss Universe.

One of the biggest disappointments in terms of outfits of 2014 was the horrendous Panagbenga costume of Mary Jean Lastimosa in Doral for Miss Universe. The costume was designed by Colombian Alfredo Barazza which drew flak online. It was the topic of a thousand memes online that lambasted how poorly inspired the costume was. And when it came for the gown, it was actually a nice one but was terribly wrong for MJ’s curvy figure. Termed as ‘damit pangkasal’, the gown was a disappointment in comparison to the pink Leo Almodal that MJ wore during the final dress rehearsals.

Another terrible competition wardrobe was that given to Binibining Pilipinas International Bianca Guidotti, who was made to wear a not-so-flattering tulle confection for her evening gown. It didn’t made her look regal nor elegant. The gown looked like a mishmash of two separate gowns with its plunging V-neck bodice and full tulle skirt. Not to mention the very bland national costume she was given which was added with a make-shift malong. The saving grace of the ensemble are the headpiece by designer Edwin Uy and the apir fans.

Let’s not forget Yvethe Santiago’s full-on recycled wardrobe. Her talent costume was a Pitoy Moreno original worn by Kristine Florendo in 1997, her national costume was a gown added with butterfly sleeves worn by Bea Rose Santiago for her welcome parade in 2013, and her evening gown was the farewell gown of Bea in Bb. Pilipinas 2014. She was vying for a tough back-to-back challenge but was given a not so updated wardrobe.

Despite this major set-back, Binibining Pilipinas was able to bounce back a year later when it allowed Filipino designers to make national costumes and evening gowns for Filipina queens. 2015 saw the change that Filipino fans were clamoring for quite sometime. And BPCI was all the better for it…

Nostalgia: The Pineapple Filipiniana Costume

One of the most heavily criticized national costumes that a Filipina beauty queen wore to a national pageant was the Pineapple Filipiniana costume worn by Carla Gay Balingit (to Miss Universe) and Precious Lara Quigaman (in Miss International).

The national costume was a creation by Colombian designer Alfredo Barraza. 

In retrospect, the costume wasn’t bad as we all thought. It poked a little bit of fun with its literal interpretation of the piña fabric from pineapple fibers that the traditional Filipino costumes are made from. It was festive, it was out of the box and perhaps too ahead of its time. After all it was only in 2015 when we were all surprised by a tuktuk national costume from Thailand.

Kim Ross Williams delos Santos – The One that Got Away (?)

It still pains some pageant fans to think of how different the Binibining Pilipinas line-up would have been had Kim Ross Williams delos Santos been allowed to compete until the finals…

No disrespect to Miss Universe Philippines 2016 Maxine Medina, but I thought Kim would have made an equally good job in representing us in Miss Universe had she been crowned MUP that year. She may have done even better if she is able to give a decent run at the Q&A of the pageant.
Or perhaps she could have even done better in Miss Supranational. And could have possibly ran away with that title giving the Philippines its second win at the Polish-pageant. Surely her modelesque proportions and 5’10” stature would not be ignored by the judges.

What say you dear readers, would she have done better in Miss Universe or in Miss Supranational?

Paweensuda Drouin: Is She going to be Miss Earth 2017?

Looks like Thailand is gonna have its first Miss Earth winner courtesy of Jennifer Paweensuda ‘Fahsai’ Saetan-Drouin!

The 23-year old model was appointed as Miss Thailand Earth following her 2nd Runner up finish at the Miss Universe Thailand pageant earlier. The 5’10 1/2″ Fahsai speaks both fluent Thai and English and is a Kinesology graduate from the University of Calgary in Canada. It is also noteworthy to mention that she is also a disc jockey at FM99 in Bangkok. Height, gorgeous face, articulate/ public speaking skills, you name it she has it in spades. All she needs is a little more polishing on her pasarela to achieve a more fluid presentation. Being a heavy favorite in MUT earlier also ensures her enough support online. It is said that the online clamor for her to be sent to Miss Earth was a factor for her selection. It can be noted that usually the 1st runner up to Miss Universe Thailand is sent to Miss Earth.

With Fahsai in the Miss Earth pageant, it will be very interesting to see what she can accomplish and how will she be transformed. For now, we can safely say that she is the one to beat so far…