Cynthia Thomalla wins as Miss Eco International 2018!

Congratulations is in order for Cynthia Thomalla for winning the Miss Eco International pageant in Egypt!

The 5’7″ beauty queen bested all other competitors in the recently held finals. She has consistently performed in the competition after placing top 10 in three mini-competitions, namely Talent, Eco-Dress and Resorts wear. The  victory of the Kagandahang Flores Cebu trained beauty marks the 3 international crowns (out of 4)  from the 2017 Miss World Philippines batch of queens. Cynthia won the third title of her batch after Reina Hispano Americana 2017 Teresita Ssen Marquez and Miss Multinational 2018 Sophia Senoron. Miss World Philippines 2017 Laura Lehmann placed in the top 40 of Miss World.

Full list of winner below:
Miss Eco International – Philippines, Cynthia Thomalla
1st runner up – Indonesia
2nd Runner up – Peru
3rd runner up – Vietnam
4th runner up – Costa Rica
Top 10 are as follows:
1. Indonesia
2. Costa Rica
3. Portugal
4. Peru
5. Philippines
6. India
7. Brazil
8. Egypt
9. Poland
10. Miss Eco Dress (Automatic Top 10) – Miss Vietnam

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Cynthia Thomalla for Miss Eco International

A huge pressure is on the shoulders of Miss Eco International – Philippines Cynthia Thomalla. She is following up the two successive wins of her Miss World Philippines batchmates, Teresita Ssen Marquez at Reina Hispano Americana 2017 and Sophia Senoron as Miss Multinational 2018.

The 5’7″ German-Filipinas stunner is now competing at the Egypt-based pageant with 60+ women from all over the globe. She speaks English, Tagalog and Bisaya.
At 22 years old, this Cebuana beauty advocates for responsible and respectful travelling and sustainable tourism activities. It is no surprise that she is in favor for the closure of Boracay this April. In a news article by topnewsphil.com she reveals her sentiments about it.
I stand for the decision that they made. I think it is timely. We all should know that we should take care of Mother Earth and I went to Boracay last January, na-fi-feel ko talaga na we need to do something. And I think closing it for some months will be good for the ocean and for everything to rejuvenate and for the rehabilitation of natural resources. I think if we sacrifice our time now, we could have many, many more years for a beautiful Boracay. So I think it is a really wise decision they are doing right now. But I hope it will also help the employees that are unemployed. I hope they are giving them other alternatives for that.Continue reading “Cynthia Thomalla for Miss Eco International”

Nelda Ibe & Katarina Rodriguez: Miss World Philippines Bound?

Both ladies has just recently passed on their national titles at the recently concluded Binibining Pilipinas pageant held last March 18th. And both ladies have hinted on wanting to compete again for a national title.

Miss Globe 2017 1st runner up, Nelda Ibe hinted on social media that she might be open to try out Miss World Philippines once more. She was MWP 2nd Princess back in 2014 with Valerie Weigmann winning the title and with Miss Universe Philippines 2017 Rachel Peters placing 5th overall. While Miss Intercontinental 2017 1st runner up, Katarina Rodriguez mentioned that she is open to compete for another pageant earlier this year upon her arrival from Egypt. Of course it is speculated that the two ladies might find each other competing again with each other in the Miss World Philippines pageant.
While I am ecstatic about these ladies wanting to continue their pageant journey, I am a bit concerned if they do so this year. I believe that their contracts with BPCI is 18 months long and if memory serves me right, their contracts would expire around end of October of this year. I hope that if they do pursue to compete again this year, they ask permission from BPCI to release them from their contracts earlier as the MWP is expected to be around September this year.

Being 1st runner up in their respective international competitions, they could possibly ascend to the title should the winners step down. So I believe it would be wise to wait another year before going back to the fray. Both ladies are in their mid 20’s (around 24-25 this year) and they have time on their side since the Miss World ceiling age has been moved to 27 last December.

The Philippines’ Longest Streak in Miss World

2011 – 2017, those are the years that the Philippines has placed successively at Miss World.
The winning streak was started by Gwendolyne Ruais, placing as 1st Princess to winner Ivian Sarcos. Since then the country has made semis at the pageant.

2011 – Gwendoline Ruais, 1st Princess
2012 – Queneerich Rehman, top 15 semifinalist
2013 – Megan Young, Miss World
2014 – Valerie Weigmann, top 25 quarterfinalist
2015 – Hillarie Parungao, top 10 semifinalist
2016 – Catriona Gray, top 5 finalist (said to be announced as 3rd Princess during the coronation ball)
2017 – Laura Lehmann, top 40 octofinalist

Who will join Their Ranks This 2018?


Miss World 2013, Megan Young
Miss International 2013, Bea Rose Santiago
Miss Earth 2014,  Jamie Herrell
Miss Earth 2015,  Angelia Gabrena Ong
Miss Universe 2015,  Pia Wurtzbach
Miss International 2016,  Kylie Verzosa
Miss Earth 2017, Karen Ibasco

Sashes&Scripts Year-End Special: The Philippines’ 2017 Performance

It is said that if we tally all the titles that the Philippines has won this year (from Alpha to Omega pageant) it tallied to a total wins of 50 crowns. Quite a remarkable feat for this pageant obsessed country.

Notable wins among the minor pageants this year is Teresita “Winwyn” Marquez as the first Asian to conquer the Reina Hispanoamericana title. She bested aroung 20+ ladies for the title. KF-trained Sarah Bona also scored a win via the Miss Nature Intercontinental title. Just recently, Jannie Alipoon won the title of Miss Tourism International. The Mutya ng Pilipinas winner scored the country’s 4th crown in the Malaysia-based pageant.

As for the Beta Pageants, the Philippines fared quite well too. It started with a 2nd runner up finish for Elizabeth Clenci in Miss Grand International and was followed up immediately with a 1st runner up finish of Nelda Ibe in Miss Globe. Aces & Queens trained Chanel Olive Thomas managed a top 10 finish in Miss Supranational as well as bagging the Miss Congeniality special award. Her compatriot Katarina Rodriguez’ pageant has been moved to January of 2018 and we can’t wait to see her perform.
The Alpha pageants is a different ballgame altogether. Our Miss International quest for a back to back win ended when Mariel de Leon failed to make it into the semis. Laura Lehmann managed a top 40 finish, the Philippines’ lowest since 2011 but at least was one of the 5 winners of the Beauty with a Purpose challenge. Despite looking spectacular and giving a strong performance at the Miss Universe finals, Rachel Peters didn’t go further than the top 10. Karen Ibasco’s Miss Earth win on the other hand continued  the winning streak of the Philippines in the Alpha pageants. Her win marks 5 consecutive years of winning one or two of the Alpha pageants since 2013.

With the 2017 pageant season about to close and the 2018 national pageant season about to start, we can’t help but get excited for what is next. Binibining Pilipinas 2018 and Miss Philippines Earth 2018 should be getting a head start soon!

Mariel and Laura: Our Humbling Losses in MI & MW

The results of the Miss International and Miss World pageants is a humbling one for Filipino pageant fans. Binibining Pilipinas International Mariel de Leon and Miss World Philippines Laura Lehmann went in with high hopes but their efforts yielded unfavorable results.

Mariel who has the face of an angel was perfectly fit for the Miss International pageant, who is known for favouring doll-faced beauties. Perhaps she could have placed better in a more slimmed-down body for the competition. Or had she worn her Binibining Pilipinas national costume instead. But it is difficult to ignore the Mikimoto curse that has been on going since 2012. Laura made it to top 40, which was the lowest placement the Philippines had since 2011. While Laura may have not figured well in majority of the fasttracks, her 5-way tie for the BWAP win was commendable. She just wasn’t what Julia Morley wanted for her pageant. Perhaps it wasn’t their time or they competed with more prepared girls or perhaps others had better luck… Others may argue that it is because of some fans being rude and ill-mannered on social media brought bad vibes on Mariel and Laura.

The two Aces & Queens girls may not have made a huge dent in their respective competition, nevertheless we are proud of how they fought to represent the country. They gave their best and that is all we can ask of them.

Teresita Winwyn Marquez for Reina HispanoAmericana

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…

Miss World/ Miss World Philippines BWAP: Beauty Without a Purpose?

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?

A Break from Pageants for Catriona Gray

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…