Pageant Photographs: to Filter or Not to Filter

Photographer Seven Barretto mentioned a interesting perspective on what it feels when pageant pages and accounts (like ours) edit their photographs with filters and makeup edits. He mentioned that such edits are “nakakabastos”, akin to defacing a painter’s masterpiece.

Being one of those who is guilty of making makeup edits ourself we hope to be able to touch on several points regarding this matter.

Continue reading “Pageant Photographs: to Filter or Not to Filter”

The Triumph of Samantha Bernardo

Binibining Pilipinas Grand 2020, Samantha Mae Bernardo may have ended as the Miss Grand International 1st runner-up placing 2nd to USA’s Abena Appiah, but it surely feels like winning first!

Samantha’s performance from Day 1 to the pageant’s finals can only be summed up in one word: Flawless…

Continue reading “The Triumph of Samantha Bernardo”

Catriona, Alaiza and Samantha | Defining a Pageant Campaign

If there are three Filipina pageant girls that have redefined what a pageant campaign should be, those would be Catriona Gray, Alaiza Malinao and Samantha Bernardo.

These are what these three ladies brought into their pageant campaigns that revolutionized how the pageant game is played…

Continue reading “Catriona, Alaiza and Samantha | Defining a Pageant Campaign”

Shawn McClain Interview with ‘La Nacion’

Miss Universe 2021: Vice President of organization reveals how negotiation for contest in Costa Rica is progressing…

In an exclusive interview with ‘La Nación’, Shawn McClain, vice president of Miss Universe, reaffirmed the interest that exists on the part of the organization to carry out the contest in Costa Rican territory at the end of 2021

Interviewed by Kimberly Herrera
The contest would be held in December 2021, however, the place where in Costa Rica it would take place is still unknown. The possibility that the Miss Universe 2021 is held in Costa Rica is increasingly feasible.

Continue reading “Shawn McClain Interview with ‘La Nacion’”

Getting to Know Miss Universe Peru 2020, Janick Maceta

Model, beauty queen, audio engineer and music producer those are just a number of notches on 26 year-old Janick Maceta’s belt. She is one of the Miss Universe frontrunners that pageant fans have been looking out for in the 69th edition of the pageant. These are everything that you should know about this 5’9 1/2″ stunner from Peru.

Born Janick Maceta del Castillo she is crowned Miss Peru 2020 on November 29, 2020. This was the third time Maceta competed in Miss Peru. She finished among the Top 10 when she competed for the first time in Miss Peru 2016. On her return to the pageant in 2019, she was runner-up to Kelin Rivera of Arequipa, who finished in the Top 10 at Miss Universe 2019.

Continue reading “Getting to Know Miss Universe Peru 2020, Janick Maceta”

Year End Special Report – 5 Beauty Queens that Defined 2020

Who among the beauty queens and pageant girls do we see as the ones who made a mark in pageantry this past year? Read on below…

2020 was a year of pageant postponements and cancellations but for the handful few that were able to push through, they were able to offer us a few competitors that made the past year bearable.

DISCLAIMER: this list is a subjective list of the women that your blogger felt to have showed some extraordinary achievements, performance and show of character during the year.

Continue reading “Year End Special Report – 5 Beauty Queens that Defined 2020”

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?”

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”

Iris Mittenaere: A Most Successful Post-Pageant Career

We have previously mentioned that among all the Miss Universe IMG queens, only two ladies stand out for their post-pageant careers: the first we have written about is Catriona Gray of the Philippines and the other one is Iris Mittenaere of France.

For our blogpost today, let’s take a look at what Iris Mittenaere have achieved after her reign as Miss Universe 2016!

Iris passed her crown to her successor Demi Leigh Nel-Paters of South Africa on the 26th of November 2017. The 5’7″ French beauty became first European titleholder to complete her year as Miss Universe since Mona Grudt of Norway who won Miss Universe 1990.

TELEVISION CAREER
Her career in television began around early 2018 when she became a co-host of the French version of the Japanese show, Ninja Warrior on the French channel TF1. The show is titled Ninja Warrior — Le Parcours des Heros. Iris is currently signed with the French TV station in an exclusive contract. Then she joined the ninth season of Danse Avec Les Stars, the French version of Dancing with the Stars, where she and her partner ended as 2nd place in the season’s finale. Her time in the French DWTS catapulted her popularity with the French audience that her exposure would later be instrumental for several other public appearances and endorsements. From February of 2019, she was tapped to be the host of the Lottery Drawings and EuroMillions on TF1.

AUTHOR OF HER BIOGRAPHICAL BOOK
Iris has penned and released her first autobiography titled in Toujours y Croire : Miss Univers, Une Jeune Femme (pas) comme les Autres (in English – Always believe in yourself: Miss Universe, a young woman (un)like any other). The book was released in November 2018 with the book reflecting  back on her career, from her childhood in Norde Pas de Calais to her winning the title of Miss Universe in Manila on January 30, 2017. In an intimate storytelling through the book, Iris shares her unique experience as a miss, with personal anecdotes, lifestyle tips, beauty tutorials, a few secrets and many other surprises.

"Becoming Miss France opened the doors to a stunning world for me, where no day is like the next. Becoming Miss Universe took this dream to a whole new level, propelling me into a whirlwind of travel, encounters and exceptional discoveries, a thousand places in my native North. This extraordinary journey allowed me to evolve, to get to know myself and, above all, to assert myself sufficiently to take the final step and become the woman I aspired to be." - Iris Mittenaere

LIFE AS A CELEBRITY
After her life as Miss Universe, Iris went on to establish a celebrity career for herself in France. In 2019, she was named by Forbes magazine as one of  France’s top 5 digital influencers. She was also was on the judging panel of Top Model Belgium in 2019 and the brand ambassador for Morgan de toi,  a French clothing brand, owned by the company Morgan SA.
Iris is also one of the few Miss Universe winner to walk the haute couture runways in a couple of Jean Paul Gaultier’ haute couture shows. The French beauty had two looks during JPG’s last couture show in January 22, 2020 after the French couturier announced closing his atelier.
A radio career is not far from the books as she has been said to have some offers to do a radio show for Chérie FM.

So far, Iris seems to be on the right trajectory. Her career is taking her further despite some bumps with her exclusive contract with TF1. But as far as her post-pageant career has gone so far, she has been doing quite well.

Catriona: A Most Successful Post-Pageant Career

Among all the IMG queens, only two stands out for the work they have done after their pageant careers have ended. The first one is Iris Mittenaere of France and the other is none other than Catriona Gray of the Philippines.

In today’s blogpost, let’s review what the 5’10” stunner has been up to since she relinquished her title in December of 2019.

NATIONAL COMMISSION FOR CULTURE AND THE ARTS AMBASSADOR
– Early in the year, in January, Catriona was named as a Ambassador for the NCCAA. No other national winner has been given the honor to represent the NCCAA with such impact as Catriona have. During her stint as a Miss Universe candidate and winner, she has made public her support for local culture by showcasing Philippine traditional weaves and indigenous cultures in her wardrobe and promotional videos. With her Raise Your Flag campaign she has promoted the arts and crafts of Laguna and La Union. She’s been quite effective in her role that she is tapped later in the year by another government body as a spokesperson.

Continue reading “Catriona: A Most Successful Post-Pageant Career”

The Top 5 Misconceptions about Madame Stella Marquez-Araneta

There have been some hate that Binibining Pilipinas Charities Inc. Chair person Madame Stella Marquez-Araneta had to endure over the last couple of decades from a number of pageant fans.
Today, we will try to shed some light on a woman who have championed the Filipina beauty queens for more than 50 years. A woman who calls herself a Filipina. A woman who despite the tremendous power she yields in the pageant, has never defended herself publicly. A woman who had to make tough choices for her organization, yet is mired with numerous misconceptions on her persona…

1. She is a Cheapskate – just because she knows what areas she has to spend on and where she doesn’t need to pour money on does not make her cheap. She forgoes those expenses that aren’t of major importance or does not forward the interests of the organization or the BBP pageant. We cannot imagine her not having allotted budgets to pay for franchise that would cost about 5-6 figures in US dollars. What is the point of having new crowns if she isn’t able to pay for the yearly annual fees of the international pageants she sends our BBP winners to? Granted that there is a need to change crowns, but those don’t come easy or cheap. This is just a simple case of prioritizing on SMA on what matters the most to the BBP winners and the org.
2. She is too “Alta” or she is ‘Matapobre’ – she is far from that as she would be very accommodating to pageant fans. This is illustrated on how she would accommodate a number of Filipinos during the Miss Universe pageant to be able to get in the rehearsals of the girls. Of course pageant fans have to understand that when you are meeting a person of position you would want to look your best and not appear as someone who would be begging for scraps under her table. No one would take you seriously if you would look scrappy or untidy. Nobody would like to get too close with one with unpleasant smell either.
3. She gets a cut from the girls’ winnings – this would be an flat-out lie as some of winners have mentioned in interviews that their international winnings are their own. The only time that BPCI gets a cut from the girls’ fees are from public engagements they do under BBP (meaning they go as Bb. Pilipinas winners officially with their sash and/or crown). This is also perhaps the reason why the winners’ contracts are actually 18 months long. It allows BPCI to squeeze in possible revenues from the girls’ official public appearances.

4. She has all the money to spend – this is actually false. The BPCI gets much of its annual budget from the sponsorships they get during the BBP pageant season. Whatever income they get, they spend back on the pageant, on the franchise fees, training and wardrobe, etc… BPCI is not funded by the government and it is a non-profit organization which means that SMA has to self-sustain her organization thru its own income generators. Pageant franchises amount to several tens of thousand dollars. So imagine the scenario of having to earn your main paycheck only once in a year and you have to make sure that paycheck will allow you to survive the entire 12 months. That is actually how it is for most pageants out there.
5. She hates Filipino Designers – this one is a fallacy for the books. When SMA instituted the restrictions on pageant gowns in the late 90’s this came from terrible experiences with local designers in the past. There were those designers who would feud regarding the girls in the pageant. Then there was the straw that broke the camel’s back (so to speak). When one of our MU reps switched her gown to a local designer when SMA bought a supposed designer gown (it was said to be an expensive Bob Mackie designer label) for the prelims. MUOrg reps talked to her and was rumored to have said that she sent a gorgeous girl but was given a horrendous gown. Said girl had scores that placed her among the top 16-18 that year.

The (unconfirmed) Franchise Fee estimates of the Alpha Four Pageants…

There is a lot of flak that SMA has been receiving in the past years from Pinoy pageant fans. If she is so bad at her job then how did  SMA navigated the pageant through highs and lows in over 50 years of BPCI?
Pageant fans rarely have the chance to meet Madame Stella Marquez-Araneta in person and get to interact with her. And it is that unfamiliarity that causes them to pass quick judgement without getting the overall scene. What they usually see is a microscopic view of how a pageant is managed. Hopefully there would be less hate and a lot more respect to go around after this post…

Catriona Gray: Like She Never Passed Her Miss Universe Title

If there is something to be wowed about 2018 Miss Universe Catriona Gray it is that she’s more active nowadays after her reign.

Three months after passing her crown, Catriona Gray is doing public appearances left and right. This is something that pageant fans would have wanted during her reign as Miss Universe. Free from her contract with Endeavor, Catriona is gobbling up one opportunity after another.

  1. Book Deal – one of the first things that was announced was her book deal with ABSCBN publishing that will detail her Miss Universe experience. What people will surely be looking at is her life in NYC and what was it like to be a Miss Universe titleholder. Catriona’s reign was marked with product endorsements and a litany of public appearances for charity that isn’t talked about by most pageant fans. Surely there will be a huge anticipation over the release of this book.
  2. Product Endorsement – if rumors are true that a endorsement as the reigning Miss Universe would cost somewhere to the tune of PHP 3.5 million, then surely some brands are lining up now that she is free from her Endeavor contracts. Catriona is still a Samsung endorser and just got another commercial with Creamsilk. And we won’t be surprised if later we see her endorsing Belo skincare products…
  3. TV Appearances and digital magazine covers – she’s had guestings in a couple of ABSCBN shows as well as a spread on Metro.style which is packed into her tight schedule. On the widely popular It’s Showtime, she was a guest for a week. Then we saw her duet with veteran songstress Regine Velasquez, dubbed as Asia’s Songbird, in ASAP Official. Surely there will be more magazine covers in the months to come…
  4. Public Appearances – everyone got excited to see her being invited at the Milan Fashion Week. Unlike the NYFW, the Milan Fashion Week and Paris Fashion Week are considered the home of the biggest luxury brands in the world. Catriona was seen in the shows of luxury brands Versace and Prada, brands that are considered at the pinnacle of fashion. She’s also invited to speak at ALP Summit 2020 and as a guest in Binibining Cebu.
  5. Cultural Ambassadress – one of the cultural legacies that Catriona has left in pageantry is promotion of Philippine culture and textiles in her bid for the Miss Universe pageant.  Since her participation, pageant girls and national titleholders have followed suit in incorporating traditional Philippine weaves into their wardrobe. It is no surprise that she was named National Commission for Culture and the Arts ambassador.
  6. Charity Work – when Catriona was named as the newest Global Ambassador of Smile Train, pageant fans knew that she is being true to her reasons in joining pageants: her advocacies. During her birthday celebration she was able to raise PHP 388,200 from her “Catriona Gives A Smile” fundraiser, which will support cleft care treatment for at least 30 Filipino babies born with a cleft.

These are some of the things that Filipino pageant fans were hoping to see during her reign. Thankfully, these are the things that pageant fans are seeing her do now. And that’s just 3 months after relinquishing her title…