Nelda Ibe: Global Pilot in the Making

She is branded at the Pilot-Beauty Queen on social media and we can actually that it is with that branding that will put her in distinction above her competition. 

Binibining Pilipinas Nelda Ibe despite her Japanese sounding surname is purely Filipina by blood. A fact that a lot of pageant fans has kep asking during the national finals. But that is just one of the things that make this lady interesting, her being a cadet pilot makes her even more interesting to blog about.
Being a female in a male dominated industry surely makes a good entry in one’s resume, specially now that she is a beauty queen aiming for an international crown. That in itself is a good conversational topic with the judges in the competition.   

Nelda’s body type is the swimmer’s built, this means that she has wide shoulders with narrow hips. With this type of body, she should balance it out with outfits that have cinched waist, pairings of dark tops with lighter bottoms or dresses with flared skirts. With Nelda’s height, she can easily play up her assets, specially if she keeps up with a rigorous gym training to tone her body.
One of Nelda’s best asset is her lovely face, which baffles me why it doesn’t translate well in photos but is clearly visible in videos. I believe it has something to do with her make-up and packaging. A good analysis of her facial features would do her good so that the proper hairstyle is best selected. I believethat a high ponytail would be one of the better looks for her for daily activities. This is the time where a play on the type of makeup that suits her would also be beneficial. I wish that she would try makeup with emphasis on her eyes with strong brows, we already know that she can carry the fierce red lip look nicely.

Expect bigger things from her come time for her to compete. 

6 Reasons Why the Best Filipino Pageant Fans Can also be The Worst

I first listed and posted Reasons why the Filipinos are the Best Pageant Fans several months ago. However despite being that, we are also vulnerable to the pitfalls of our own shortcomings.
I urge everyone to read this with an open mind, with reflective/ pensive thought. It will not be easy to read (or in my case to write) these as we are all guilty of one or some of it (yes you and I). Here are the six characteristics that Filipino pageant fans’ best traits could be overshadowed by their worst traits.

Quick to Judgement –  at times Pinoy pageant fans tends to make judgement without knowing all facts first or without making thorough investigations. We are far more inclined to believe what others say because it is easier that way. Sometimes we do not take context into consideration and only judge by the content. We don’t bother to ask tough questions like: why does she say that? What is her perspective on it? Where is she coming from?
Mob Mentality – just because one says a person is a hypocrite/ dumb/ narrow-sighted/ unfit everyone is easy to say the same thing and jump into the bandwagon. Worst of this is how we are quick to make viral other people’s mistakes on social media without taking clear facts first. Worst of it is how we insult other nationalities without realizing that we are just as guilty of flaws as they are.
Egoists (When Pinoy Pride Goes Wrong) – ever heard of the old adage “gracious in defeat, humble in victory“? We seem to get the first part right but not the second. This is most evident when arguing with other nationalities with less crowns as the Philippines. We seem to forget that there was a time that we haven’t gotten any major titles in the past. Life is a wheel, we may have passed the bottom and are now back on top…but we have to remember that what goes up has to come down. 

Labeled for Life – case in point the matter of Mariel de Leon on the Reproductive Health issue where the country is running out of contraceptives (except for condoms). People are easy to bash her because of her previous ideology on Mocha Uson being fit (or unfit) for a 6-figure salary by the government. People tend to forget the issue was not about Mocha but RH. Then the case of Pia Wurtzbach being on the curvy side when she won Miss Universe Philippines. Of course we all know how she was called a “pig” only to be on top shape come MU. People change and evolve, that simple fact is easily forgotten by most of us.
“Them Vs Us” Mentality
– this is the proverbial “if you are not with us, then you must be against us”. For a number of Filipinos, there is no gray area, it’s simply black and white. This is very evident during the national pageants where fan groups seem to delineate those that support their girl against those who doesn’t. And if you happen to support more than one, then you must be a “spy”.
Crab Mentality – one of our worst traits as a people. We maybe the ones who would exult our reps to the highest of pedestals but we are also the same ones who would bring her down if she doesn’t suit our taste/ preferences/ ideologies. It should be a simple matter to support anyone that carries the Philippine flag or the Philippine sash because that person/s is a representation of us, collectively as a people.   

While no pageant fan can claim to be perfect, it certainly helps to know our own dark side and decide which side do we choose to be. These are all very hard pills to swallow, but we have to know both our good and bad sides to know how to balance.
This blogpost is not meant to insult or invalidate Filipino pageant fan’s contributions to pageantry, far from that. This post is to serve as a reminder that despite our good sides, we also fall prey to our own bad sides… that sometimes our worst enemies are our own selves.

Overlapping Pageant Dates for MU, MW & MS?

Miss Supranational has posted its finals to be held on December 1st, Miss World is said to have its coronation on December 2nd… but with the Miss Universe rumored to have its finals towards the end of November, how will it affect all three pageants?

It will be an interesting thing to see how all three pageants are going to go head to head against each other this comping international pageant season. Here are my thoughts on the matter…

1. Pageant participation for countries with both MU & MW franchises – this is where alliances are tested once again. For sure the main winners of South Africa and Russia owe their allegiance to Miss World and will get to compete there. Their runners up get to compete in Miss Universe. Pageant powerhouse Venezuela would perhaps select or appoint a rep for MW. For the most part of Asia and the Americas, separate pageants are held for the two while castings are common way of selecting reps as well.
2. Explosion over Social Media – this will mean that social media will be dominated by pageant related news and updates. Everyone will be talking about the pageant they follow and the girls that they are supporting. MW will be on a disadvantage though as Facebook and some other social media platforms are barred in China. There might even be a change on the Multimedia challenge because of this. Surely Filipinos are gonna be loyal to the MU pageant and would dominate all social media platforms specially if the pageant is held in the Philippines.

3. Declaration of (Pageant) War – we all know the unspoken rivalry of Miss Supranational and Miss World, and of course the obvious rivalry of Miss Universe vs Miss World. It if happens that their pageant dates overlap, only one pageant will emerge winner in terms of publicity. The MS and MW rivalry is simply due to the proximity of their origins. MS is on the rise in Europe, a territory traditionally held by MW. MU and MW have always had a shaky past as the MUOrg formely held the franchise in the US. In the 90’s the Miss USA 1st runner up is sent to MW. All three pageants are trying to amp up their production and finals with interesting mix up on their formats.
Sure enough, pageant fans will be having to choose between the three pageants. Without difficulty in saying that most will focus on just one pageant and the others will be relegated to secondary priorities. In the end there could only be one.

Hannah’s Beach Resort: the Pageant Resort Destination

The Carousel Production has found this jewel of a destination in Pagudpud and has brought Miss Earth and Miss Philippines Earth to its shoreline. Hannah’s Beach Resort and Conventions Center ha played host to different beauty pageants and beauty queens.

Nestled among endless turquoise waters and powdery white sand in Pagudpud is a seven-hectare exclusive paradise that is emerging to be the crown jewel of Ilocos Norte*. The resort has become a pageant destination of sorts with Miss Earth, Miss World Philippines, Miss Global Philippines, Mutya ng Pilipinas, Miss Philippines Earth, NAITAS Face of Tourism and 2013 Miss Tourism China having visited and experienced what the resort has to offer. It is also said that a huge possibility of having pre-pageant activities of Miss World Philippines 2017 at the resort, who knows even Binibining Pilipinas in the future. 

Earlier this year the inauguration of Hannah’s Beach Resort Premium Suites in Balaoi, Pagudpud invited reigning queens Miss International Kylie Versoza, Miss Earth Katherine Espin and former Miss World Megan Young. Miss Earth Katherine Espin has posted quite a number of photos of her on the beaches of the resort. She was able to experience the fine powdery sand of the beach alongside the chest-deep shallow waters of it’s Blue Lagoon.

According to its website, here below are some activities that you can enjoy in the resort:
There is the 1.2 kilometer zipline, reportedly the longest over water, guaranteed to provide adrenaline rush to thrill seekers who want to soar over azure waters while flanked by sloping mountain sides.

For the sun worshipers, you can surfboard, jet ski, snorkel or kayak, or choose between a leisurely ride on a banana boat or an adventurous one on a speed boat.
Nature lovers will be also be pleased to know that Hannah’s offers mountain trekking and the use of all-terrain-vehicles.
With these amenities we can see why this idyllic resort in Pagudpud is the top destination for beauty pageants. The activities abound with Instagram-worthy scenery.
Who knows we might see it host the Miss Universe candidates in the future!


Why Two Major International Pageants are Eyeing the Philippines as Host

Two major international pageants are currently serenading the Philippines to host their pageant; Miss Universe for the 2017 edition and Miss World for 2018. Why is both pageants serenading the Philippines to host their respective pageants?

Sashes&Scripts tries to uncover why the Philippines is enjoying such attention from both the Miss Universe and Miss World pageants. It all may just boil down to two factors. Here are two of the biggest reasons why…
The Filipino Fanbase – the Philippines is perhaps the biggest market for pageants outside Latin America. You cannot go anywhere to have your pageant if there is no such clamor for it. It would be foolish to establish a base where you are not welcome. And the Philippines is very welcoming to pageantry. 
With Filipino communities spread throughout the world, tapping to the Philippine market would be tapping to a global audience. It is estimated that at least 2.4 million Filipinos* are working outside of the Philippines, this statistic does not take into account their families who are living with them abroad or the Filipinos who are carrying non-Filipino citizenships. That number could possibly double up or more. That is a huge number to cater to and once you get the loyalty of Filipinos, it’s as good as its weight in gold.
In addition to that is the power we have over social media. We can make any topic or pageant for that matter the trending topic on any social media platform on a massive worldwide scale. A clear strong point (or weak point, depending on your perspective) among Filipinos is the mob mentality that we could swarm any socmed platform to promote what we love (or the negative side of it, what we dislike or even hate). Such illustrates the power of the Filipino fanbase.
Let’s also mention how the Filipinos can support girls from other countries besides the Filipina rep. In fact, any of the Miss Universe candidates are given warm welcome by the Filipino people. Such display of hospitality is second nature to Filipinos, ever wonder why the “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” slogan has gotten a supplement line: “When you’re with Filipinos, You’re with Family.” Because of the world renowned Filipino hospitality, there are 100 million reasons why tourists would want to come back to the country. Why do you think the Miss Universe pageant wants to have it again in Manila within the span of less than 12 months? Any pageant candidate is treated like a celebrity. Even the heads of the pageant, pageant officials, judges, are treated as such.

Asia is the new Economic Power – yes you heard it right. Asia is where the money is and you have to follow where the money is. Asia as of the moment is a neutral market (Africa and Europe are MW territories while North & Latin America are dominated by the MU) which makes it a prime demographic to conquer.
The Philippines is posed strategically at the entryway of Asia (figuratively and literally) which is ideal to get a foothold of the Asian market. Gaining a strong base in the Philippines would give any pageant an advantage over the Asian Market. Expansion wouldn’t be difficult if you gain a foothold on the Philippines… Thailand, Indonesia, China, India, Vietnam, etc… are easily within reach once you get a foothold in the Philippines.
This is possibly why China is such a MW favorite, the only problem is that China is seen more as a political threat to any country rather than an ally. You can possibly survive with China as a major sponsor but it wouldn’t get you so far (long term planning wise) as it can make you hostage to its whims. Which is a far contrast with the friendlier/ pacifist nature of the Philippines in general. Pageants couldn’t acquire more stable grounds if it tries to go the route of Indonesia (which is a hardsell for MU considering the swimsuit competition) despite a bigger population as the pageant system is relatively young. Thailand is a close second possibility next to the Philippines, but the frivolity of hosting a major pageant might still be too close for the mourning period from its late venerable king; though I have reason to believe that soon as a foothold in the Philippines is established, the next possible goldmine would be the Land of Smiles. Far more developed countries such as Singapore, South Korea and Japan are difficult markets to conquer as general interest is relatively low compared to the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia or Vietnam.
The Philippines is not a poor country as some may think, never underestimate the 7,107 islands of the country or its 100 million population. And while we are talking about numbers it is said that Php180.3 billion* is remitted back to the Philippines by Overseas Filipino Workers in 2015. There is also a marked growth on the GDP from US$199.6 billion in 2010 to US$292 billion in 2015**. Which says a little bit about Filipinos’ purchasing power. There are also reports of how Filipinos are the “most optimistic spenders” in Southeast Asia***. This means that aside from the basic necessities, Filipinos “would spend on holidays, home improvements, and out-of-home entertainment” as Rappler reports. Domestic tourism increased steadily at 14% over the past 5 years compared to foreign tourism at only an average of 8%****. Which goes to show that Filipinos are a huge potential market to mine. The potential is endless.

Pageants like any other industry follow economic and political trends. You might decry it as unfair but such is the reality in business, after all pageants are part of the entertainment industry. No matter how hard pageantry tries to put ‘charity’ on its face, it still involves a huge amount of money. Hence, it only makes sense to go where the rising economies are and that is in Asia. Couple that with a strong fanbase with a huge market potential and voila! You get the Philippines… a place where potential gains is found with a very open and receptive market. Now you know why the two biggest international pageant rivals, Miss Universe and Miss World, are competing for the affection of the Philippines. Question is who gets to have a stronger foothold?


Sashes&Scripts Early Faves for Men Universe Model 2017

The Men Universe Model/ Mister Universe Model is now on its 10th edition this year. With candidates heavily coming from Latin America with notable participation from Europe and the Caribbean (plus a couple from Asia), their number of candidates are around the 40+ mark. 

Here are my early faves for the Men Universe Model competition:
Brazil, Vitor Seorra Andolfatto – he has an interesting look on him, he does looks more European than Latino. 
Puerto Rico, Kevin Montes – this guy knows how to work the camera and it would be interesting to see how he fares in the competition.
Czech Republic, Miroslav Dubovický – there is something about Czech men that makes them do really good in pageants.
Ecuador, Jorge Mejía Erazo – he has a boyish face on a hunk of a body, I expect that he might be the runaway winner of the photogenic award.
Peru, Alan Massa – currently he tops my list, I felt that he was robbed of a high placement in Mister World and this could be his redemption.
Margarita Island, Douglas Castro – with that face, I could easily see him among the top 2 of this year’s competition.
Philippines, Denver Hernandez – while his body is far from the body building levels that the competition favors, he has the sex appeal that goes on for days.

It is quite early to see who could be the possible winner in this edition as the batch seems to be equally strong. We just have to wait and see as the competition progresses to see who among the candidates would show consistency from start to finish.
The 10th edition of Men Universe Model is being held from 5th-16th June 2017 at IFA Bavaro Resort & Spa, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.

Why Beauty Queens are Like Wonder Woman

Now I know some of you may see this blogpost as a hangover post to the Wonder Woman movie that this blogger has watched during the weekend. But let’s for the meantime indulge this blogger a bit for some pop culture post and explain how every beauty pageant should be looking for a “Wonder Woman”.

One of the most obvious qualities of Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman character is how she embodies women empowerment. Here we see a strong beautiful woman who is at par to her male superhero counterparts (yes, we are bold to make that comparison as she is very much equal to both Batman and Superman in physical prowess). She does not allow herself to be the passenger to her own life but rather takes charge of it. Something that women in the past several decades have been striving to accomplish. Something that is reflected to the new breed of beauty queens we see nowadays who are empowered, who have careers, who are serving in the army, their communities, working as teachers, pilots, dentists, researchers, police officers, law students, etc…

Deshauna Barber served in the US Military and Raquel Pelissier is part of a research team that could help cure blindness…

Ever wonder how she is able to maintain such a glowing look despite being in battle? Well that is essentially how beauty queens are! They go in competitions looking battle ready. They show up, they dress up, look the part and compete like athletes without as much are looking like they broke a sweat. Pageant girls face harshness of online bashin, the tough media questions, the scrutiny of the judges eyes while in 6″ heels and full make up on… making it look easy to stand in a bikini and deliver a speech in front of a crowd. Two things that most people could not even dare to do in front of their families.
She also is unapologetic to her femininity, that she can be vulnerable but steadfast, compassionate but with a strong moral compass, headstrong but flexible in her ways. Unafraid of her sexuality but strives to not to be solely defined by her sex appeal. A clear reflection of how well-rounded she is, a common trait we see on how pageant girls are redefining what it is to be a beauty queen in this age. Nowadays being a beauty queen means being encompassing in terms of physical, mental and emotional characteristics. Meaning having the maturity to understand that being feminine is not just about physical attributes but a complete synchronicity of heart, mind and body.

Mariel de Leon recently spoke up on political issues on RH contaceptives and government appointees. Keysi Sayago joined the march for political change in her native Venezuela

Wonder Woman is not afraid to speak her mind and stand up for what is right. Which is very timely in current situations where beauty queens are expected to be articulate but mum on important social and political issues. Where being apolitical is passed off as being neutral, when being opinionated is being labeled as hypocrisy. This is where lines are set, where the rights and responsibilities are being set to the table. Moreover, the portrayal of Gal Gadot lends to the viewers a sense of moral compass to act when things are wrong, hence the line “if there is something wrong in the world you either do nothing or do something”. Choose the latter. Wonder Woman chose the latter.

Miss International 2016 Kylie Verzosa: mental health advocate, Miss Earth 2015 Angelia Ong: environmental awareness, Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach: HIV-AIDS awareness…

But most of all Wonder Woman represents the woman who could make a difference. One person deciding to act like when Wonder Woman did when she defied her mother’s command to “do nothing” in a world that is turning into chaos does a whole lot of difference than one who would have kept silent. Albeit to a smaller scale beauty queens parallel such as they lend their voices on issues that affect us such as education, climate change, social justice, mental health awareness, HIV-AIDS, child welfare, and more. 
This is why beauty queens are in some ways Wonder Women… Why don’t you think that the ladies who wore the Wonder Woman tiara are beauty queens themselves?