#Nostalgia: Miss Universe 1994 Finalist Charlene Gonzales Pt.2

The 43rd Miss Universe Pageant was hosted by the Philippines on a month long schedule of activities.

The pageant was back in Philippine shores after two decades and was held on May 20, 1994 at the Plenary Hall of the Philippine International Convention Center. It was a full flurry of activities as the girls visited Pearl Farm in Davao and Boracay, participated in a Flores de Mayo parade, strutted local designer creations in the Forma Filipina fashion show and toured Nayong FIlipino among others. Charlene being host delegate was present in welcoming the first salvo of candidate arrivals. She was ever the gracious host delegate as Miss Universe winner Sushmita Sen lent her earrings for the finals. It can be noted that the earrings that she wore during the Philippine terno competition were the ones that Sushmita wore during the finals.

Charlene was a favorite for the title alongside media favorites Colombian Carolina Gomez, USA’s Lu Parker and fan favorites Australian Michelle van Eimeren, Christelle Roetlands of Belgium, Venezuelan Minorka Mercado.
When she took home the Best National Costume award, it followed some controversy as other candidates cried foul with majority of the judging panel were Filipinos. To her defense, her Pitoy Moreno national costume incorporated traditional woven t’nalak fabrics with Bagobo & Higaonon influences. It was accentuated with the use of authentic T’boli brass belt and loads of T’boli brass bells on the entire outfit.

During the finals, her answer “High tide or low tide?” during the interview segment drew audience cheers and is still considered as one of the best Miss Universe moments by Filipino pageant fans. Charlene later revealed that she had to pause for a moment to get the answer right hence she asked the question to buy her some time. She managed to make top six before being eliminated from the competition.

Although she was not able to win the title, Charlene made Filipinos proud with her beauty and intelligence. Charlene later on became active in tv and films taking up roles like Dyesebel and doing shows like Eezy Dancing, Keep on Dancing and ASAP. Hers was a high-wattage caliber of beauty and talent that would later take a backseat after her marriage to Aga Mulach and raise a family.

Charlene’s plans of pursuing her medical studies (as she mentioned during her Binibining Pilipinas stint) did materialize as her showbiz career took off. However she did continue studying taking up a one-on-one Mentorship Program at Asian Institute of Management, focusing on Business Management and Entrepreneurship.  In 2009, she took up a course in Business Management Entrepreneurship at Harvard School of Business proving to her kids the importance of education.

Now at 43 years old she still looks as ravishing and gorgeous, if not even more so, as the day she won the 1994 Binibining Pilipinas Universe title in 1993. And I am perhaps one of the few fans who loves to entertain to see her host the next Binibining Pilipinas pageant with Miriam Quiambao and Ruffa Gutierrez. Wouldn’t an all-female host of the pageant be something to look forward to?


Vickie Rushton & Why She Should Give Bb. Pilipinas Another Shot

Among this year’s Binibining Pilipinas candidates, one of the ladies that I have placed in my top 2 prediction was Vickie Marie Rushton. While she eventually was named 1st runner up in the competition, I thought that she among the recent runners up in Bb. Pilipinas should give the pageant another shot.

Aside from being drop-dead-gorgeous, Vickie has that special ability of having people respond to her positively. She looks and feels very genuine and a lot of people who I have met that have dealt with her in person say the same thing. She has that positive effect on people and that is a huge advantage on her part. I have never heard anyone among pageantry friends who has or had a bad thing to say about her. No negative comment, no attitude or shade. In fact, everything I heard about this young lady is quite positive and light.
Add to this point is the fact that Vickie has a story to tell and an advocacy that ring close to her heart. That is what I find admirable about her. Her advocacy of wanting to have better treatment for PWDs (Persons with Disability) comes genuinely from personal experience. And that packs a powerful punch. Just look at reigning Miss Universe Demi Leigh Nel-Peters and her PWD sister. That mirrors Vickie’s relationship with her brother and mom. Even if we ignore all of Vickie’s wonderful physical traits, you would still be left with a person with a beautiful heart.

Continue reading “Vickie Rushton & Why She Should Give Bb. Pilipinas Another Shot”

Katarina Rodriguez at the Panasonic Manila Fashion Festival

If anybody had seen Katarina Rodriguez at the Panasonic Manila Fashion Festival, everybody would agree that she could still represent the Philippines in another international competition.

The Miss Intercontinental 2017 1st runner up sported a lighter brown hair when she walked the ramp of the SoFA Graduation Show under Mark Escauso. For people who saw her, we can all agree that she is indeed looking more splendid even after passing on her title. She looks so much better with her current tan and her lighter hair color. It certainly brings out the best of her facial features. And we haven’t mention how physically fit she looked, she can easily rock the swimsuits with her current bod.

Katarina had mentioned earlier in the year her willingness to enter another pageant in the future, and we all are speculating her joining Miss World Philippines. I hope she does prepare for it even as early as now, specially for the BWAP challenge of the pageant.
With this year looking like a year for crossovers, Katarina can easily claim a victory in any pageant she wants to join in.

Davina Bennett for Shea Moisture!

Good news for Davina Bennett fans! The Afro-haired beauty has inked a deal with American natural hair brand Shea Moisture!
LoopJamaica.com reports:
The 22-year-old will be the face of Shea Moisture’s line of Jamaican Black Castor Oil.

One of the United States’ largest black-owned businesses, Shea Moisture was among those who immediately showered Bennett with praise after her performance in the Miss Universe pageant in Las Vegas, Nevada, stating that the Jamaican “rocked her natural crown and won our hearts”.
The afro-wearing Bennett was a crowd and television favourite during the contest. In her announcement of the deal with Shea Moisture on social media, Bennett used the opportunity to highlight her disappointment of not being crowned Miss Universe.
She said, “November 26th when I was announced as Miss Universe second runner-up, I stood in that corner and cried! I cried because I was finding every reason for what I did wrong that made me feel like I lost once more.

“I wasn’t thinking about history, nor what happened on that stage until my coach came to me and said, ‘Miss Jamaica, wipe your tears, because what you have done here tonight, no one has done it before and you are extraordinary’.
“I then realized what my participation represented for women and girls across the world that look just like me,” Bennett said.
According to Bennett, that presented the opportunity to open doors, which is now materialising with this signing.
Congratulations Davina! You may not have won Miss Universe but you surely are a queen!
* http://www.loopjamaica.com/content/davina-signs-shea-moisture-deal-sends-notice-miss-universe-jamaica

Miss Universe 2012, Olivia Culpo and Danny Amendola Split!

Another heartbreak for former Miss Universe Olivia Culpo as she confirms break up with boyfriend for 2 years, Danny Amendola.

Breakup rumors circulated when the two unfollowed each other on Instagram. The now 25 year old actress and entrepreneur spoke up about the breakup in an interview with Access Hollywood Live. “Everyone goes through breakups in life. Everybody has their own way of handling it and it’s something that I am definitely not going to get into at this moment. But I am sure everyone can relate to heartbreak,” she said during the interview.

Here is a snippet from the Fox News report: In response to rumors for the cause of the breakup, a source told E! News that the relationship reportedly ended because Amendola “couldn’t handle Olivia’s demanding lifestyle and wasn’t pleased with certain choices she was making,” adding, “the constant travel was also causing a rift.” Others speculated that Amendola’s move to the Miami Dolphins might also caused the rift.

Olivia grabbed headlines earlier this year after posing nude for the 2018 Swimsuit Illustrated Edition.
* http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2018/03/29/olivia-culpo-confirms-breakup-from-patriots-danny-amendola.html
* http://www.bostonherald.com/entertainment/inside_track/2018/03/living_it_up_separately_danny_amendola_and_olivia_culpo

Catriona Gray on Profile

Not everyone knows Catriona Gray as those people close to her. Behind the name, there is much more to her than just being a celebrity, model and beauty queen. Just like you and I, she has a story to tell.

Born Catriona Elisa Magnayon Gray to loving parents Ian and Mita Gray, Cat had your typical childhood growing up. Being an only child, she was actively enrolled in extra curriculars such as drama, music and theatre. She relishes her time in the Philippines where she would celebrate the holidays with her large family. Growing up as a ‘Daddy’s Girl’, Catriona looked up to her dad as her personal Superman. So when her dad was diagnosed with cancer, it was a major turning point of her life. At age 15, she saw the struggles of cancer patients physically and emotionally firsthand.
It was in her teenage years when she started her modelling career and banked on her 5’10” frame and commercial face. Her perseverance and determination landed her big endorsement deals like Pantene, Ponds, Nescafe, Bench, and Smart Communications among others. This lead her to be street smart and be very detailed on her contracts and endorsements. Need we mention that she also is a black belt in Choi Kwang Do.

Cat, or as her fans would nickname her ‘Pusa‘, also has a great voice. She has a Masters Certificate in Music Theory from the Berklee College of Music in Boston. Hence during the talent competition of the Binibining Pilipinas, she chose to showcase her vocal range with a rendition of Adele’s ‘Set Fire to the Rain’. According to people close to her, she would like to pursue a singing career after her stint as a beauty queen. Something that shows how she is 5-10 steps ahead when it comes to planning for her future. Speaking of futures, did you know that she is also currently taking up an online bachelors degree in Communications? She never ceases to stop learning. Now that is one wholistic woman.

I have the had the chance to have met her personally on several occassions and one of the things she requested to me as a pageant blogger was not to over-hype her. That earned her my respect not just admiration. That is why since January at the start of her Binibining Pilipinas journey, I only have around 2-3 solo features on her. Surely there is more to uncover to her persona. Because even with all these articles and media focus on her, I am sure that there is much more than what meets the eye.

PhotoCollage of the Day: Olivia Culpo gets Naked (Again)

Miss Universe 2012 Olivia Culpo gets naked… again.

This isn’t the first time we have seen former Miss Universe winner strip down to nothing. She first bared all in a fashion spread with Treats! Magazine. The now 25 year-old beauty queen-model bared it all for Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue. She is one of several women who bared it all for the “In Her Own Words” shoot, where words are painted on to her bare skin.

A snippet from Harper’s Bazaar explained the concept of the pictorial…
In Her Own Words is a continuation and evolution of the essence of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit. It is a platform that allows the voice, the strength and the passion of these women to be expressed in the rawest form…on the naked body…with all the artistic and creative control left to them. With a stripped down studio and team of all females, we handed over the control to the women who are our brand. We believed in, supported and encouraged them to become a canvas and share their truth.
Will we see her baring it all again in the future? Would we even care?