Why it is Difficult to Sell the Miss World Pageant to the Philippines

I have been scratching my head why hosting the Miss World pageant in the Philippines have been an insurmountable task. Unlike the Miss Universe pageant that the country has hosted twice in the past and now a 3rd time this January, the Miss World pageant seems to have difficulties in gaining traction in the Philippines. Getting a financial backer and major sponsors willing to shell out gazillions is one of the biggest challenges of the pageant added with the dwindling number of girls wanting to participate at the national level.

With the relinquishing of the Miss World Philippines franchise of Miss Cory Quirino to Arnold Vegafria and Viva Entertainment, I thought it would be in good timing to list some possible reasons why it is so difficult to sell the Miss World pageant to Filipino pageant fans…

The results of the Topmodel fasttrack seems to be a headscratcher for leaving several strong competitors off the top list. Indonesia & Kenya’s placement are in question due to being fashion sponsors.

1. Understanding of Fast Tracks / Challenges/ Judging – there is a need to quantify and qualify how these are properly scored/ evaluated. While the Sports Challenge is pretty much easy to gauge, the Topmodel and Talent can easily be influenced/manipulated. Some past winners of the Topmodel fast tracks are quite ‘unexpected’ knowing some don’t even have good catwalk skills… and the talent fasttrack has become a predictable one with classical singers being favored over others. While the fast tracks are a notable addition to the pageant, they seem to be insignificant later during the coronation night as the basis for the cut prior to the top 3 winners seems to be undefined.
2. Pageant Media Coverage – this is one of the weak points of the Miss World pageant. It is not very ‘friendly’ to media and would only allow a number of press to cover their events. They are not very visible to the media which in turn gives a weak presence to which fans are clamoring for. Being too controlling of what they allow media to cover resulted to only 3 media outlets covering the previous 2016 pageant; a pity since it was held in the US where it could have had enough media mileage.

It was heartbreaking to see Miss World Philippines Catriona Gray clutching the Philippine flag…

3. Lack of Glamour in the pageant – let’s face it, pageants are a showcase of beauty and there has to be some sort of glamour and showmanship involved to make it palatable to a wide array of audience. This is where Filipinos don’t seem to get satisfied from the MW pageant. In past editions, there have only been two outfit changes in the pageant: one for Dances of the World (which they scrapped earlier) and the evening gowns. Compare that to the 3-4 outfit changes of other pageants (Miss Supranational has a whopping 4-5 outfit changes). Then let’s talk about the headshots of the pageant, photos are important to pageant fans to get to see more of the candidates. No pageant fan would support a candidate if they do not know more about them.
4. Fan Treatment & Support – this is one of the biggest area that makes the pageant less palatable to fans. How the MWOrg treats fans is important, you cannot just tell fans to “admire from a distance and keep that distance”. You need to engage fans, you cannot be cold and aloof as if the girls are British royalty. The org has to be able to be more ‘approachable’ and reachable to its fans. Filipinos don’t want untouchable winners, no pageant fan does. Majority of fans want someone that they can affiliate themselves into. Having a fan following will make the pageant less reliant on its sponsors. More fans, mean having a big slice of the market share, and if you have cornered a big chunk of the market, it would be easy to sell them your pageant for hosting and sponsorships.

5. Filipinos Kinship to the Miss Universe pageant – as long as the Miss Universe pageant exists, the Miss World pageant will always be a hard sell. This, unfortunately, is a reality that the MWOrg seemed to have realized now. But that is not a reason to alienate Filipino pageant fans. It is the more reason to compete with their American counterpart because the growing pageant market is not found in Europe (which the pageant seems to prefer in the past several years) or Latin America but rather in Asia, which the Philippines is a holder of one of the biggest market share.
At the end of the day, it all boils down to one question: Is the Miss World organization crowning universally appealing winners? Because at the end of the day, no one will bother if the pageant is boring or not, or if the pageant have terrible pre-pageant activities, as long as the winner they selected is acceptable to majority of the pageant fans. It is just sad that the Miss World org seems to neglect this simple fact.


65th Miss Universe Spotlight and Review: South Africa

Name: Ntandoyenkosi Kunene
Age: 24 years old
Height: 5’9”
Rating: Race Closer
IMHO, Ntando is best suited for MW with her sweet personality. However is she brings out the fierce and competitive side in her, she would fit in just fine in Miss Universe. She interviews eloquently, has a well proportioned body but she needs to style her hair better. She can do greatin the MU pageant if she strategize and plans well for it. She has to forget what she has learned in MW as MU is a totally different pageant. It’s about having a strong presence and more than average presentation skills. If she does that she can just very well make it to top 10 or perhaps top 5.

Miss Universe profile bio:
Ntandoyenkosi Kunene is a 24 year old, Bachelor of Education Honours graduate who is currently the official ambassador for the Cell C Take a Girl Child to Work Day. The organization gives South African girls first-hand experience in an industry, and it allows them future career opportunities. As the late Nelson Mandela said, ‘Education is the one tool that can be used to change the world.’ Ntando believes that having an education is vital, and it empowers others to be the best person they can be. If crowned Miss Universe, Ntando would want to pass his message on to young women, hoping it will it will be one of the key factors for South Africa’s socio-economic development.

* Profile from http://www.missuniverse.com

The Importance of the Vigan Philippine Terno Event

We recently had the Philippine Terno event in Vigan, Ilocos Sur everyone has noticed that a number of the strongest frontrunners are included in the twenty selected girls. Needless to say, I have reason to believe that the bulk of the early favorites were called into this event.
The 20 girls were:
Belgium, Stephanie Geldof
Brazil, Raissa Santana
British Virgin Islands, Erika Creque
Bulgaria, Violina Ancheva
Czech Republic, Andrea Beldekova
Great Britain, Jaime-Lee Faulkner
Guatemala, Virginia Alejandro Argueta
Malaysia, Kiran Jassal
The Netherlands, Zoey Ivory
Nicaragua, Marina Jacoby Santos
The Philippines, Maria Mika Maxine Medina
Sierra Leone, Hawa Kamara
Singapore, Cheryl Chou Zhi Hui
Slovak Republic, Zuzana Kollarova
Thailand, Chalita Suansane
Unites States of America, Deshauna Barber
Uruguay, Magdalena Cohendet
Venezuela, Mariam Habach
Vietnam, Dang Thi Le Hang

The mere presence of Miss Universe President Paula Shugart and MUOrg VP Shawn McClain simply confirms that this is a major event and it is something to take note of. 20 of this year’s candidates were flown in Ilocos Sur for the event and early favorites like Mariam Habach of Venezuela, Deshauna Barbers of USA, Chalita Suansane of Thailand and of course Maxine Medina of the Philippines were included in the list. Also making a mark in the event were Malaysia’s Kiran Jassal, Sierra Leone’s Hawa Kamara, Bulgaria’s Violina Ancheva, Vietnam’s Dang Thi Le Hang and Jamie Lee Faulkner of Great Britain. Being among the 20 ladies invited in the said event has given extra time to make an impression with the MU officials.

Three ladies stood out in their ternos that evening namely: Thailand, Venezuela and the Philippines. Although feedback from those that were in Vigan were that other girls who made a good impression were the ladies from USA, Sierra Leone and Brazil. Visibly missing in the roster was Colombia’s Andrea Tovar who was removed from the invited ladies due to her late arrival. The Colombian beauty had to be removed from the list because she still had to do fittings, registrations and some photoshoots in Manila.
There was also a short press conference that happened prior to the fashion show, the ones that stood out were USA & Venezuela (Mariam spoke in Spanish thru a translator) who answered with great conviction and confidence anything thrown in their way.

Malaysia & The Philippines: MU Pageant Besties

Malaysia and the Philippines are usually roomed together with most ASEAN countries in Miss Universe (Indonesia, Myanmar, Thailand…). But this year the girls from the two countries are roomies in the pageant. These two seems to hit off perfectly just like their predecessors Pia Wurtzbach and Vanessa Tevi. Kiran Jassal and Maxine Medina even posted a video of them prepping together in their room at Conrad Hotel in Pasay.

To be honest, this pairing would benefit them both. Malaysia would get additional exposure being Maxine’s roommate and the Philippines would get pressure off being with Kiran as she would not have to be ‘switched on’ 24/7. Add to it is the fact that both girls have met each other last December during last year’s Miss Universe kick-off event.

More so, it will diffuse tensions between pageant fans should they be roomed with more ‘controversial’ roommates. can you imagine the ruckus it will have if Philippines would be roomed with Colombia? That would surely reignite tensions between the fans of both beauty queens… Or imagine if USA is roomed with Mexico, surely the Trump border issue could be a bit tricky situation to discuss…
Glad to have known that Maxine and Kiran are named roomies, this way, pageant fans from both countries can unite and support both ladies in the craziest beauty pageant fiesta happening in Manila…

65th Miss Universe Spotlight and Assessment: Colombia

Name: Andrea Tovar
Age: 23 years old
Height: 5’11”
Rating: Crown Contender
There is a reason for the other candidates to fear this lady from Colombia. Andrea is a major threat and to deny that fact is just being blind. Do I see her in the top 3? Absolutely! All she needs to do is to work her gameplan properly and not to throw attitude like the one she did in a media interview or the recent video of her throwing shade on the food and snacks. She needs to learn how to keep it cool and composed. Andrea is an improvement over her predecessor and it would be a waste if she does not learn how to control her public image.

Miss Universe profile bio:
Full of creativity, Andrea Tovar, graduated college with an Industrial Design and Photo Production degree. Tovar is described as beautiful, funny and a risk taker by some of her friends. On top of being a great friend, she also enjoys being an active volleyball player. Her confidence allows her to be goofy and she isn’t afraid to randomly get up and start dancing. If crowned Miss Universe, Tovar wants her generation to be properly educated on the environment. One of her dreams is to create an innovative foundation that uses raw materials from the Pacific region to transform Colombian products.

* Profile from http://www.missuniverse.com

65th Miss Universe 4th SashPicks (The Post-Arrival SashPicks)

After the fittings and registrations, Terno event in Vigan and the fun trip to Boracay, these are the girls in Sash Factor’s 4th SashPicks (The Post-Arrival SashPicks)…

1. Thailand, Chalita Suansane
2. Indonesia, Kezia Warouw
3. Venezuela, Mariam Habach
4. Colombia, Andrea Tovar
5. US Virgin Islands, Carolyn Carter
6. Sierra Leone, Hawa Kamara
7. Philippines, Maxine Medina
8. Jamaica, Isabel Dalley
9. Germany, Johanna Acs
10. Italy, Sophia Sergio
11. Brazil, Raissa Santana
12. Canada, Siera Bearchell
13. USA, Deshauna Barber
14. Turkey, Tansu Sila Cakir
15. Kenya, Mary Esther Were

#RUMORMILL!!! Miss Universe Little Sisters’ Comeback!

Yes, you heard it right! The Miss Universe ‘Little Sisters are making a comeback!

Yes, the rumors that have been floating around about the return of the Little Sisters turns out to be true.But before you get your panties in a bunch so hold your horses, they are not going to be back in the MU pageant finals. According to our sources, the Little Sisters will be making a comeback on the Miss Universe Empowered Women grand fashion show scheduled on the 22nd of January. The little girls will be wearing gold alongside the reigning Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach of the Philippines.
The fashion show will be headed by designer Albert Andrada and directed by Robby Carmona.

Manila Screening of Mossimo Summit: Model Supremacy 2017

It’s not all about the Miss Universe pageant here in the Sashes&Scripts blog because we also have the Mossimo Summit: Model Supremacy 2017 coverage to attend to. 

With the name ‘model supremacy’ attached in the name, you will definitely experience a different competition ahead. Earlier in the screenings, we saw several hopefuls that would really cause stir in the competition. One of those that were present in the screening is a male pageant winner who represented the Philippines in an international competition abroad. I also heard from the grapevine that a Binibining Pilipinas alum is considering going to the screenings in the later dates. Not to mention some fresh faces from the provinces who can make your underwear drop (lols). I even spotted a tall lass with good body proportions that may be a future beauty queen.

So keep posted here in Sashes&Scripts and Sash Factor for more Model Supremacy updates…

65th Miss Universe Spotlight and Assessment: Jamaica

Name: Isabel Dalley
Age: 19 years old
Height: 6’2”
Rating: Wildcard
Probably the tallest in the competition this year, she has the same height as the tallest MU1994 candidate, Minorka Mercado of Venezuela. And height is an advantage should she utilize it properly. Poise and posture is important for someone of that height, adding to her appeal is her lovely mulatta complexion. I am almost sure that she will make waves in the competition this year, though I’m just waiting to hear how she speaks ‘cause that is the final clincher for me. Being 19 years old, I hope that she has enough maturity that is required of a MU winner. Who knows she might be the next Jamaican girl to make top 5 like Kaci and Yendi.

Miss Universe profile bio:
Inspired by her 3 younger siblings, 19 year old Isabel Dalley hopes to demonstrate great leadership and nurturing qualities throughout her reign. Growing up with her grandparents who had many cats, dogs and koi fish, Isabel developed a deep and everlasting love for animals. While in college, after a student based assessment, her geography class led her to the Montego Marine Park. After falling in love with Montego Marine Park, she later became the Chief Ambassador. Dalley then realized her calling in life was to become a Marine Biologist. Her love for pageants happened after college when Dalley began her career in modeling, leading to photoshoots and small scale modeling jobs. If crowned, she hopes to use her platform to raise awareness for marine biology and teach her following about ways they unite to support marine life.
* Profile from http://www.missuniverse.com

Carolyn Carter: Her Charity Work with Smile Train Philippines

Miss US Virgin Islands, Carolyn Whitney Carter is not just beautiful on the outside but also on the inside. The leggy beauty with a majestic face did some charity work in Payatas, Quezon City for children with cleft lip & palate via the Smile Train Philippines. 

Carolyn posted this on her social media:
My journey with @SmileTrain began with a dream of being involved with Native American communities in the USA, and since has opened my eyes and expanded my views. Cleft lips and cleft palates occur worldwide, and by raising awareness EVERYWHERE I travel, if I can help at least ONE person know there is FREE surgery available, I am happy!!
We’re ALL ready for Miss Universe 2016! 👯 THANK YOU to all the doctors, nurses, and staff who are the KEY to the success of programs like @SmileTrain 🔑 Smile Train provides more than free cleft surgeries, they create a community and strong support team who care deeply. It’s not as simple as one surgery and all is well. Dedicated staff go out into communities and seek out families who are in need, provide transportation to and from the hospital, ensure patients are strong and healthy pre and post surgery, and for years after surgery provide speech therapy, dental work, and emotional support. I want to recognize and say a BIG THANK YOU for everyone who dedicates their lives to the well being of others in our world!!

The beautiful Caribbean lass has raised enough funds to do surgeries for 47 children born with clef lip and palate. Now that is something to truly admire…