Bullynesia and the Law of Karma

There is a group of pageant trolls and haters that have terrorized Filipina beauty queens and Philippine pageant pages on social media. These group of social media accounts, pages and pageant fans have been labelled as Bullynesia for their brash attitudes and devious behaviour.

Social media accounts like Lambe Pageants, Nyairatubumi, Bunda.Latinas, etc… and their rabid followers have long been posting edited and altered images and videos of beauty queens from the Philippines. These posts are meant to demean Philippine candidates in international competitions. Much of these haters were labelled collectively as Bullynesia, have long trolled pageant pages to promote their queens at the expense of Filipina representatives.

Continue reading “Bullynesia and the Law of Karma”

Social Media’s Power in Pageantry

It has been a long drawn out debate how social media is not a barometer of one’s success in pageants. But let us reflect back on this topic now, in the context of the global pandemic, where being connected digitally is the norm rather than the exception.

In the past 3-4 years, we all have relegated Social Media as a non-essential factor in one’s pageant journey. However, here at Sashes&Scripts, we no longer subscribe to that ideology. And we believe this to have changed around 2 years ago.

Before anything else, let us first clear one thing: social media following is NOT the same as a Strong social media. They are not and will never be the same thing. Social Media Following is speaks of quantity, that’s number of followers and number of updates. Having a Strong Social Media is about quality. It’s about a strong visual language, engaging captions and conversations, discussions in the comment section, and most importantly image building. Social media strength is not about frequency of posting, but rather putting out quality content that your audience will respond positively to.

Continue reading “Social Media’s Power in Pageantry”

2020 Year End Special Report – Our Best Blog-posts

2020 gave us an opportunity to pivot and improve on the type of topics that we wanted to talk and discuss about. While we cannot cover and talk about everything related to pageantry, we made a vow that the topics we select to discuss and talk about would be ones that are intelligent and provoking as well as relevant and of value to our readers.

This is why for this list, we listed down our blog articles and new pages that caused a huge number of clicks/ reads and engagement from our followers on social media.

Binibining Pilipinas 2020 Talent Show Standouts – if 50% of the judging criteria is beauty of face, then these ladies would be a shoo-in for the Binibining Pilipinas titles.

A Gorgeous Batch for Binibining Pilipinas 2020 – pageant page admins have whispered this in hushed conversations. In private a number of our pageant colleagues unabashedly admitted that the Binibining Pilipinas pageant got the lion’s share in terms of the most gorgeous faces in this year’s roster of candidates.

Continue reading “2020 Year End Special Report – Our Best Blog-posts”

Once Upon a Blind Item: The Girl Bitten by the Snake

In a beautiful land far far away, there lived a maiden with hair as straight as bamboo, with eyes as shiny as the finest carved ebony, with skin kissed by the golden sun and a heart as pure as the first fall of snow. She was named “Flowing Water”, a name that meant both life giving and selfless.

Flowing Water was named the most beautiful in her beautiful island, and as such she was to become the island’s Tribute in the selection of the Queen of the 90 Kingdoms. As a Tribute she is to be guided by two Elders, the First Elder was once a Queen herself and she blessed Flowing Water with protection. The Second Elder would help Flowing Water be clothed in the finest of garb in the land and prepare her in the rigorous transformation for the selection of the Queen of the 90 Kingdoms.

But there was a third figure that would later inject himself in Flowing Water’s life. A conniving masked snake called Maledictus that was lurking behind every step of Flowing Water’s selection as a Tribute. Once he was able to penetrate the 90 Kingdoms’ courtiers he was able to seep his venom into the palace.

Flowing Water was a trusting child and did not think of malice or ill-intent from Maledictus. In a planned encounter with one of the highest courtiers of the 90 Kingdoms, Maledictus introduced Flowing Water to the High Shepherd of the kingdom. In that encounter, Maledictus shamed Flowing Water by saying to the High Shepherd that she was impure and that she was no vestal virgin. That Flowing Water had a scroll that would prove her impurity. Shocked with Maledictus’ revelation, Flowing Water could only mumble that the case is being investigated in the high courts of her island.

That encounter would only be one of the nails that Maledictus would hammer to Flowing Water’s coffin. He would pile on her chores and errands that were planned to diminish her beauty. No rest and no sleep, Maledictus believed that her beauty would fade.

Despite all these, Flowing Water would still shine through in the selection for the new Queen of the 90 Kingdoms. Despite all that she gone through, she did well as a Tribute making the initial selection for the Queenship. She never left empty handed though as she was blessed as the silver winged goddess of birds.

The End…

Dirty, Messy, Controversial National Pageants of Miss Universe

The last couple of years saw a slew of changes in the national franchises of the Miss Universe pageant but what is interesting is how old and new pageant franchises seem to have messy, dirty controversies haunting the national pageants.

Over the past several months we saw controversy upon controversy that popped out against various national competitions and at times national directors who seems to have behaved unethically or are alleged to have rigged pageant results in favor of favorites.

Continue reading “Dirty, Messy, Controversial National Pageants of Miss Universe”

Are Pageant Bloggers Good as Pageant Mentors?

One of the most common discussions your blogger have with pageant fans and followers in social media is about becoming a pageant trainer. We have long skirted this question because we felt that this is such a mature topic to discuss. That is because we personally believe that PAGEANT WRITERS OR BLOGGERS ARE NOT USUALLY CUT OUT TO BE PAGEANT MENTORS.

Shocker isn’t it? For this blogger, not it isn’t. But some of you may disagree with that thought. Let us explain that in today’s post.

BLOGGER’S NOTE: before we begin let us reiterate that this blogpost is mainly based on your blogger’s personal experience. Hence this piece is seen through a personal perspective rather than an over-arching view of all pageant bloggers experiences of it.
Also, most of the photos included in this blogpost were taken during our shoots with Binibining Pilipinas 2017 1st runner up Charmaine Elima prior to her joining BBP… to which this blogger styled her outfits.

Continue reading “Are Pageant Bloggers Good as Pageant Mentors?”

Pageant Hot-Picks Are No Longer Relevant

Over the past several months, our Sashes & Scripts followers have increasingly noticed that we no longer do pageant hot-picks anymore. That is simply because we believe that they have now become irrelevant and obsolete.

Here are our reasons why…

WHY PAGEANT HOT-PICKS ARE OBSOLETE AND IRRELEVANT

One of our reasons why we no longer believe in pageant hot-picks is because it is a convenient but lazy way of having people talk about a pageant page. We believe it is an uninspired way of garnering social media engagements and usually based on popularity not really a gauge to see how pageant girls stack up in the competition. In fact in most cases, they are jumbled up to give a sense of movement in their ‘arbitrary rankings’. Continue reading “Pageant Hot-Picks Are No Longer Relevant”

Donation Drives for Victims of Flooding in Cagayan and Isabela

Today, we are taking a break from posting pageantry-related post in our blog. Instead we are urging you to help via the following donation drives for victims of the floods and devastation caused by the recent typhoons Rolly, Siony, Tonyo and Ulysses in the Philippines.

Any amount would be of great help to the victims who lost homes, livehoods, and loved ones.

Our Bangon Luzon relief drive, in partnership with the Office of VP Leni Robredo, will embark on relief operations to the communities affected by Typhoons #RollyPH and #UlyssesPH.

For those who want to help our fellow Filipinos, kindly read the details in the pub mat or go to kayanatin.ph/donate

For inquiries, you can contact us at 0948 189 6875 or email us at kayanatinmovement@gmail.com

#ReliefPH

It only takes a few minutes to help those affected by #UlyssesPH though #LazadaForGood. Just click lzd.co/LazadaForGood to donate to our advocacy partners ABS-CBN Foundation, Caritas Manila, Kaya Natin, Project Pearls, UNICEF, and World Vision.

Your contribution for food, shelter, and hygiene kits will go a long way! 💙

Matapos ang matinding hagupit ng bagyong #UlyssesPH, ang Shopee Bayanihan ay bukas para makalikom ng tulong para sa ating mga kababayang higit na naapektuhan at nasalanta ng bagyo.

Maaring mag-donate sa mga organisasyong ito:

Philippine Red Cross - https://shopee.ph/philredcross

Habitat for Humanity - https://shopee.ph/habitatphils

Kaya Natin Movement - https://shopee.ph/kayanatinmovement

#ShopeeBayanihan
#ShopeePH

From Quinta, Rolly, Siony, Tonyo, to Ulysses - the same areas continue to be battered by typhoons, one after another.

Our Kapamilyas are in urgent need of our help.

Dahil sa pananalasa ng Super Typhoon Rolly at Bagyong Ulysses, patuloy na nagsisikap ang GMA Kapuso Foundation na makapaghatid ng tulong sa lahat ng mga nangangailangan nating kababayan. #BuongPusoParaSaPilipino

GMA Kapuso Foundation

We hope that everyone would help spread the word and donate.

Pageants: A Question of Fairness

In one of the recent interviews of 2018 Miss Universe Catriona Gray, she mentioned the concept of what is fair in the realm of pageantry. When ABSCBN’s Karen Davila on the program Headstart asked Catriona if is cheating possible in a pageant, the beauty queen answered, “there is the judging/ score process and there is also the treatment of the candidates… it is important that contestants are treated the same, given the same conditions, the same resources at the pageant. And also that the judging panel is properly briefed. It’s really about equal footing…

It is that statement from Catriona that really started this topic of being fair and not having questionable integrity in a pageant process. Today’s article  hopes that positive outcomes will be brought out with discussions on such delicate issue.

These are ways in which cheating or being unfair can happen in pageants…

The Binibining Pilipinas pageant’s criteria in judging puts heavy focus on facial beauty.

Continue reading “Pageants: A Question of Fairness”

Alaiza Malinao: The Promdi’s Champion

Why can’t pageant fans stop talking about how perfect was Alaiza Malinao’s campaign in the recently finished Miss Universe Philippines? Here’s the main reason why…

If there was one takeaway from the 2020 Miss Universe Philippines campaign of Alaiza Malinao was her championship of the regular people of the provinces. Her representation of the probinyanos and probinsyanas are the stuff that makes her a legend not because she was the first to do so in a national pageant, but because she pushed and fought for the choice to have the ‘promdi‘ representation into the limelight.

Continue reading “Alaiza Malinao: The Promdi’s Champion”

In Defense of Michele Gumabao

One of the ladies in the hot seat in pageants lately is 2020 Miss Universe Philippines 2nd runner-up, Michele Gumabao.

Pageant fans have been throwing negative and accusatory comments left and right over social media, some even speculating unsportsmanship and ill-mannered attitudes over Michele. With all of these numerous floating accusations only a handful few came to her defense, not even the Miss Universe Philippines seems to have spoken and defended Michele against possible bashing from netizens.

While we cannot speak in behalf of the beauty queen-athlete, we can empathize with her to a certain degree. So let us try to walk a mile in her shoes and see things from a different perspective. Continue reading “In Defense of Michele Gumabao”

Rabiya Mateo | Miss Universe Philippines 2020

Meet your new Miss Universe Philippines 2020, Rabiya mateo from Iloilo! The 5’7″dusky skinned beauty was crowned last October 23rd at the Cordillera Convention Hall in Baguio City. The finals aired both on TV and online on Sunday, October 25.

The 23-year-old has beaten over 40 other candidates for the coveted inaugural title. A licensed physical therapist, Rabiya graduated with Latin Honors (cum laude) from the Iloilo Doctor’s College back in 2018. She works as a lecturer at review centers in different provinces for both local and international PT exams. Rabiya is also part of a charity that helps educate children who live near a dumpsite in Iloilo City. Continue reading “Rabiya Mateo | Miss Universe Philippines 2020”

Alaiza Malinao: The Miss Universe Philippines We Didn’t Know We Deserve

Alaiza Malinao’s shocking non-inclusion in the 2020 Miss Universe Philippines top 5 was one of the most unbelievable things that have happened in local pageantry in recent years.

When the leaked photos of the Miss Universe Philippines top 5 started to circulate on social media, we have been inundated with questions regarding where was Alaiza in the top 5? Fans got worried about her not placing top 5 to which a number of fans got disheartened

Let’s review what she has done in her MUPh journey…

Continue reading “Alaiza Malinao: The Miss Universe Philippines We Didn’t Know We Deserve”

Miss Universe Thailand 2020 Winners!

A new Miss Universe Thailand winner has been crowned and it’s none other than Amanda Chalisa Obdam from Phuket!

It was a glitzy event that gave pageant fans a break from the current realities of the pandemic, a taste of what used to be our normal. The Miss Universe Thailand pageant was everything pageant fans love about pageantry. It was a night of surprises and expected outcomes.

The Top 20
Bangkok – Arisara Purechatang
Bangkok – Nuttha Thongkaew
Bangkok – Pornpreeya Jumnongbut
Bangkok – Radamanee Kanjanarat
Chiang Mai – Wanvisa Maya Goldman
Chumphon – Jareerat Petchsom
Khon Kaen – Wichuda Kamyos
Nakhon Pathom – Natthapat Pongpraphan
Saraburi – Sirilux Songsri
Sukhothai – Thidapon Ketthong
The 12 ladies I’ve mentioned in my MUT favorites all made top 20. We honestly thought that it will be a top 15 this year but nevertheless we are quite ecstatic about that. We think that the opening statement/ speech was a great way to start the competition as it harks back to the Miss Universe opening statements that started in 2018.

Top 10
Bangkok – Chanakarn Suksatit
Bangkok – Patitta Suntivijj
Chiang Mai – Emmy Kym Sawyer
Phetchaburi – Thaweeporn Phinchamrat
Phuket – Benjarat Akkarawanichsil Aebi
It was clear that the top 10 would be a fight among the best overall performers. This is quite evident with the strong and polished performances of the top 10 girls. That was no surprise. Strong performances on the swimsuits came from Punika, Alexandra, Emmy, Praewwanich, Thidaporn and Amanda. The evening gown segment was owned by Punika alone, IMHO, and deserved to make top 5 after those two superb performance on SS and EG.
The shock came was when we saw Emmy Kim Sawyer failing to make top 5, despite a clean performance on the swimsuit and evening gown segments. Our thought about this was that she was perhaps outperformed by the five pageant veterans who made it into the winning circle. We undoubtedly believe that had she made top 5, she would have easily killed it on the two q&a segments.

The Winners
4th Runner up – Alexandra Haenggi
3rd Runner up – Praewwanich Ruangthong
2nd Runner up – Punika Kulsoontornrut
1st Runner up – Praveenar Singh
Miss Universe Thailand – Amanda Obdam

Three of our four bets made top 3 this year. In an earlier IG Story in the day, we mentioned that we wanted Emmy or Amanda to win while we thought Punika and Veena could win it all. Eventually, the heart won as it was Amanda who came in with the surprise win. During the last two question and answer segments, we thought that it was Punika and Veena who showed command of the language and confidence. For a moment there we thought that it will be between them for the title. But in the final q&a, Amanda sort of rallied a repetitive but strong response.

As to why Punika and Veena only ended up as runners up? We can only speculate. We believe that it was the ‘commercial factor’ that placed Amanda above the rest. All three ladies performed well in the evening gown and swimsuit segments, but we think that Amanda’s more international appeal and commercial beauty is what truly puts her above the two. It also helps that Amanda speaks perfect English, never mind the fact that she still needs more training on how to drive her point better, but that she can use that to draw a more international audience could have been a factor. If the MU parent company, Endeavor (formerly IMG|WME), is in deed financial trouble, then it makes sense to select a girl who has the commercial appeal and thus bring in the revenue.

In conclusion, we think Amanda’s win is a strategic play on the part of the Miss Universe Thailand organization. Amanda, in my opinion, is the better over-all choice in terms of strength in all areas: communication skills, facial beauty, body, charming personality, presentation/ pasarela and stage presence.
In the end of the day, we are quite happy with the results. The ones we had our eyes on to win eventually romped off with the title and the top runner up positions.

‘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.