They say you can spot a winner by looking in their eyes… and what I see whenever I see photos of Reina HispanoAmericana-Filipinas Teresita Winwyn Marquez is a fighter.
Despite backlash over the Philippines joining the Hispanic-country centered pageant, Winwyn looks more than ready to compete this year in Bolivia. She will be the first and only Asian candidate to participate in the pageant, owing to the Philippines being a colony of Spain for a little over three centuries. The 5’5″ beauty has recently revealed that the international pageant organizer offered help via a translator to facilitate her communicate with the organization, fellow candidates and pageant fans in the South American host country. She also revealed in an interview with Pep.ph that she only had a month’s worth of preparations for the international competition. However, we shouldn’t worry as she is capable of doing her own hair and make-up.
Winwyn will be boarding a 26 hour flight from Manila to Bolivia and she would be needing your support in the competition. So let’s cheer her up as this Pinay beauty is a fighter and is gonna fight until she win(wyn)s…
The Miss World pageant thrives and succeeds on its Beauty with a Purpose ethos. At times it is that aspect that finally convinces Filipina uber-beauties and big name celebrities like Megan Young, Valerie Weigmann and Catriona Gray to join Miss World Philippines. BWAP is said to be the heart and soul of the Miss World pageant and by extension its national competitions. So we ask what happened with the BWAP fast-track in MWP? Was there even a BWAP judging this year?
It is a known fact that the BWAP project defines the MW competition. Yearly, millions are donated to charity via this aspect of the pageant. It is almost a guarantee that the winner of this fasttrack would place in the semis of the pageant. However, during the recently held MWP competition, the BWAP seems to be forgotten or even worse totally removed. The usual fast-tracks were there: Multimedia, Topmodel, Talent, Sports and even the Beach Body. To which was mind-numbing as this was something that the MW have removed in previous editions. Was the BWAP removed to be replaced by the Beach Body? If the reason for such removal is because of the weak BWAP projects of the vast majority of the candidates, then why should those that prepared for it not be allowed to get marks for it. Winwyn, Cynthia and Janela were the ones who had strong BWAP projects. If that fast-track was included would there been a different set of winners?
Then there was the anticlimactic visit of the MW org to the Paraiso BWAP project of Catriona in Smokey Mountain. With not much financial support from the MWP and MWOrgs, Catriona was able to single-handedly campaign for funds and donations to renovate a 3-story building to be converted into a school. IMHO Catriona’s BWAP should have garnered bigger points in MW as it didn’t look ‘manufactured‘. I was under the notion that the visit was for much less altruistic reasons but rather an opportunity to get media-mileage… or perhaps it would be used to add a ‘special footage’ on the MW pageant in China later this year, just so they can appeal to the good graces of disgruntled Filipino fans. I usually am one who is on the optimistic side, but this scenario brought out more nagging questions in me than I could have imagined.
But this should have not been a surprise as I was just as baffled with Stephanie del Valle’s win last year. After almost being non-existent at the fast-tracks to suddenly winning it all. That was like a mockery of what the MW stood for. And that would have made them look very superficial. It would not make both MWP and MW any different than other beauty pageants. Just the same old fanfare of entertainment like Miss Supranational, Miss Grand International or even Miss Universe.
If Beauty with a Purpose is indeed the heart and soul of the Miss World pageant and consequently its national counterparts, then what happens when it is removed or missing? What happens to a pageant if its soul and heart is gone from the equation? Has BWAP come to mean Beauty Without a Purpose?
Finally, the moment every Catriona Gray fan has been anticipating for, her freedom from her commitments from the Miss World Philippines organization.
Catriona has been the most in-demand MWP winner beating every past queen before her in terms of public appearances. She has done judging and guesting from different pageants all over the country aside from the numerous fundraising activities she has made for her Beauty with a Purpose project. She has single-handedly raised enough funds for the Smokey Mountain pre-school renovation she partnered with Young Focus. And that is without any additional funding from the Miss World organization which yearly promises to visit the top 5 BWAP projects of the MW candidates to support and provide aid. We are all glad to see that despite her 3rd runner up last year, she has fully committed herself to what she begun and saw it through to the end.
With the crowning of a new winner, Catriona Gray has finally have enough time to take a break from pageantry. A time of quiet contemplation to plan out her next moves. Will she or won’t she jump into the coming Binibining Pilipinas pageant? That would be a question that she has to answer herself… in due time. For now, we should afford her that break away from the heels and the limelight. Let her take a breather as her Miss World Philippines reign has been one of the busiest of any of the past queens. And welcome her back if and when she decides to give Binibining Pilipinas a try in the future…
Miss World Philippines Catriona Gray can finally take a break. After being the busiest MWP winner ever, she deserves a break from pageantry. But to just let you know this is how Catriona spent her reign, one activity after another…
1. Canada- Paraiso Concert/Beauty with a Purpose Fundraising Event
2. Pasig (SEDE)- Paraiso Concert/Beauty with a Purpose Fundraising Event
3. Tondo (Young Focus/Child Care Plus Visit)- Donation Giving/Beauty with a Purpose
4. Tondo (Young Focus Library Visit)- Book Donation Drive
5. Mandaluyong- Love Yourself Inc. Clinic Visit: HIV 101 & Pageant 101 (Volunteer Organization that aims to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS among the youth and key affected population through awareness, counseling and education.)
GUESTINGS / INTERVIEW:
1. Makati (Pitogo High School)- Leadership Workshop Guest Speaker
2. 11th International ICT Awards Philippines- Special Guest Presenter
3. Manila Bulletin Guesting with Nicole Cordoves
4. MOR 101.9 Guesting
5. PREEN. Inquirer.Net Interview
6. Inquirer.Net Guesting- Showbiz Live
7. Leyte- Pintados Kasadyaan Festival Parade
ENDORSEMENTS / SHOOTS:
1. Mega Magazine Cover
2. Wedding Essentials Magazine Cover
3. HK, Taiwan, Vigan – Star Cruise Virgo
4. Figlia Shoes
5. Francis Libiran Wedding Collection
6. Leo Almodal Gown Collection
7. Jojo Bragais Footwear
8. ASUS Phone
9. Bohol- Amorita Resort
10. Novotel Manila- Going Places with Maxine Medina & Nicole Cordoves
11. Spotted Magazine Feature
12. Creations Photoshoot: Endorsement (Lourd Ramos Salon)
JUDGING / HOSTING:
1. Ilocos Norte- Miss Hannah’s Judging
2. Ilocos Norte- Miss Philippines Earth Swimsuit Competition Judging
3. Sorsogon- Mr & Miss Gubat Judging
4. Agusan del Sur- Miss Naliyagan 2017 Judging
5. Leyte- Miss Bituon Han Leyte 2017 Judging
6. Davao- Bb Davao del Norte 2017 Judging
7. Ilocos Norte- Mutya ng Pilipinas 2017 Swimsuit & Evening Gown Competition Judging
8. Samar- Miss Manaragat 2017 Judging
9. Dumaguete City- Miss Silliman 2017
10. North Cotabato- Mutya ng North Cotabato 2017
Here are my list for the Miss World Philippines crown:
8. Zara Carbonell
7. Glyssa Perez
6. Shawntel Cruz
4th Princess – Jona Sweett
3rd Princess – Laura Lehmann
2nd Princess – Teresita Marquez
1st Princess – Cynthia Magpatoc Thomalla
Miss World Philippines – Janela Joy Cuaton
Aussie-Filipina Jona Sweett was a surprise in my list. She grew on me in the course of the pageant. Unfortunately this year, the buzz around Laura died down during the pageant proper and she herself didn’t live to the hype surrounding her. Laura looked dry and without the fun bubbly aura she had during her BBP stint. Even Winwyn outperformed her in almost every aspect of the competition. Winwyn’s waterloo though is her height and disproportionate legs that makes her look even shorter. Despite that I think Winwyn did much better than Laura by focusing on her strong points to compensate for her height.
Undoubtedly Janela and Cynthia are the strongest competitors in this pageant. Both girls can speak, both have respectable heights with good body proportions, both are blessed with gorgeous faces, both are very winnable and both came in prepared. Despite these similarities, one girl easily is the better overall competitor for the international pageant and that is Janela Joy Cuaton. Her main advantage lies in her strong Beauty with a Purpose project and her online following that could catapult her in the Mobstar voting and Multimedia fast-tracks. Cynthia would be better fit for Binibining Pilipinas while Janela seems to be perfect for what the Miss World Philippines is looking for…
Around this time back in 2016, I was asked to write a feature on Miss World Philippines Catriona Gray for a Canadian paper. While the article was published on newsprint, I have never put it in the blog. So I thought it would be a nice idea to finally publish it in the Sashes&Scipts blog for the first time…
Catriona Gray & Why She is the Best Thing for Miss World
By Jesson Capuchino, Sashes&Scripts.Wordpress.com
The Miss World crown is still considered the most elusive title for the Philippines among the four biggest pageants in the world. It took more than four decades of waiting before a Filipina is finally crowned with Megan Young in 2013 at Bali, Indonesia. Currently, a Filipina-Australian by the name of Catriona Elisa Magnayon Gray is competing in National Harbor, Maryland to capture the second Miss World title for the Philippines.
Catriona Gray by no means is just another fly-by-night model-turned-beauty-queen. She never thought she would be joining a pageant for that matter. Up until last year, she has no plans in joining at all with her modeling career still at full steam. However, learning of the ‘Beauty With A Purpose’ ethos of the pageant became the catalyst of her participation in Miss World Philippines and now Miss World.
For her BWAP project Cat, as she is lovingly nicknamed, travelled to Smokey Mountain the biggest landfill in Metro Manila with the hopes of raising funds to procure and renovate a 3-story building that could be converted into a pre-school for children in the slums. Having been involved with the foundation Young Focus even before becoming a beauty queen, Cat has high hopes that thru providing education to the youngsters the cycle of poverty would be stopped.
But there is more to her than just that. Catriona is actually a talented artist having creatively dabbled in illustration and photography. But what people are amazed at is her talent for singing who could also strum the guitar whenever she wants to. Her voice is what I would describe as a mix of Pixie Lot and Adele, and is trained at the Berklee College of Music, Boston.
She also is a travel blogger with trips that brought her in different spots in the Philippines (Bohol, Coron, Dumaguete, Banaue, Sagada, Albay…) to Hawaii, Vietnam, France, China, Thailand, England among others. They say travel enriches the soul and this is perhaps why when she speaks; she talks with confidence, conviction and a matured intelligence not always seen among ladies her age. Despite being only 23 years old, she interviews extremely well and this author is a witness to that. Having interviewed her recently we threw in the most difficult questions we could… not to test her rather as a testament to her abilities. Giving her ‘less difficult’ questions would be an insult to her intelligence and maturity.
Within that intelligence is also a facet most pageant fans do not get to see: her discipline. Her coaches testified that among the girls they are training this year, Catriona is never late for any training or any assignment. She never missed any training session. That kind of discipline is an admirable quality as it translates on the quality of her Multimedia posts on Facebook, Twitter and Mobstar. The way she interacts with her fans in social media and even in person is a showcase of how she was brought up well by her parents in Cairns, Australia before settling in her late teens in the Philippines.
Catriona is always full of energy and vitality even with zero hours of sleep. A certifiable ‘Miss Nice’ and this author have seen that even during her days at Miss World Philippines. A trait she shares with former Miss World, Priyanka Chopra, who in an interview said that she couldn’t afford to have bad days and that the moment she steps out of the car, its game face on.
And it is game face on for Catriona, as she is giving her best in the competition. She is currently the favored candidate to win the title, not a surprise as she came in prepared and with the correct mindset. Talent, attitude, discipline, determination and heart. Those are the things that makes Catriona uniquely fit for the sapphire and turquoise crown and embody the traits of what a Miss World should be. If we are to believe the statement that Miss World Chairperson Julia Morley told the MW national directors to “send her another Megan Young”, the Philippines did better… we sent a Catriona Gray.
The Binibining Pilipinas pageant is considered to be the premier pageant in the Philippines. So it is not a surprise that stringent measures are set up to protect its interests and image. That includes a 6-month non-competition clause that prevents its candidates from joining any other national pageants. That is one of the possible problems that Miss World Philippines candidate Gabriela Ortega would be facing.
Gabriela, if she manages to win a title in the MWP pageant, faces a fine that could amount to Php 500,000 or would face BPCI in court for breach of contract. The Spanish-speaking beauty, who was also a candidate earlier in Binibining Pilipinas, wouldn’t be able to finish the requisite 6 month ‘freezing period’ before joining another pageant.
It states in the Binibini contract that all candidates cannot join any national pageant within a six month time-frame starting from the date of the BBP finals. That means that all BBP candidates would have to wait until after October 30th to be able to join any national pageants.
This poses a jeopardy in the participation of Gabriela, unless she is able to find a loophole in the BPCI contract. Despite being a heavy favorite for the Reina Hispanoamericana title, she might be finding herself in a conundrum later on. Her ill-advised move to join Miss World Philippines might just cost her more…