The Making of a Bb Pilipinas National Costume Pt.2

With a lavish and ambitious costume such as the La Reina Emperatriz terno, the next phase is to find a designer to collaborate with to make this vision into reality. This is where Sir Pablo Galicia Mendez came in. It was this symbiotic partnership that made a flat 2D illustration come to life.

What made this tandem a perfect collaboration was the fact that there were much discussions involved on the material, color and execution. Unlike other designers who are too strict in their vision, the ‘La Reina Emperatriz‘ costume was borne out of constant fine tuning which kept the creative juices flowing. The design itself was a living evolving creation. It was as much as Sir Pablo’s as it was mine. This is where the creative sensibilities of two merged to come up with a magnificent overall outcome for the original design.

What he did was to bring new ideas of embossed embroideries (like those of Marian and Sto. Nino statues), brass embellishments, stones and crystals mixed with 3D printing to make this a totally fresh take on the traditional terno. Through his connections in the industry, he was able to find artist/ painter Jeffrey Catuira who did all the 3D printing on the costume (mainly located on the sides and back panels). Throughout weeks of back and forth discussions, we were able improve, alter and polish on the design. Eventually the design was simplified so instead of layers, it became just a single layer in ecru. The crown was a bit of an overkill and was dropped and the stiffness was lessened. So when it was time to submit original designs for BPCI to see, the design was met with immediate approval.
In fact, Conchitina Bernardo even exclaimed that this was inspired from Santo Niño. The costume was jokingly nicknamed ‘our lady of Araneta’ (Nuestra Señora de Araneta in Spanish) due to its overall design, despite the fact that it was the Santacruzan that first inspired it.

The final terno was made from a structured material embellished with baroque gold metal brass, heavy embroideries with crystals and stones, plus 3D painting. Topping the costume was a baroque gold brass headdress that is a representation of the halo of Saint Helena.
Such creative endeavor are quite rare to see nowadays. For me this was not just an exercise of creativity but a proof that when two or three or four minds come together to collaborate, the outcome is always a labour of love… While this isn’t my first rodeo (so to speak), I am nonetheless intrigued if such possibility will present itself again in the future. But if it does, I already have a design in mind and it will be an exercise of one’s haute couture sensibilities once again…


Interview with Binibini #20 Christagale Borja Pt.1

We have been able to talk and interview Binibini #20 Christagale Borja and today you will be in for a treat with this interesting lady. This London-educated lady is quite an interesting one. Having immigrated to the United Kingdom at such a young age, she has managed to adapt to the bustling city while keeping true to her Filipina roots.

1. In three statements, how would describe yourself?
* I love putting myself out of the comfort zone!
*I am modest, but hard working that takes control of a situation and sets form goals for myself.
* I love to eat! But I also enjoy staying fit!
2. Why do you think you should be next Binibining Pilipinas winner?
Being in the competition itself is a privilege. Standing right next to many beautiful and inspirational candidates is an honour already and I am forever grateful for this experience.
However, I believe what sets me apart from the rest is my character. I am an empowered individual but I keep myself grounded.
Having lived in UK for more than a decade, I am proud that still have my Filipino values and traditions intact -which for me is important especially when one is vying to represent the country for an international pageant.
Also being an immigrant myself, I’ve experienced a lot of hardships in life (i.e. first hand bullying, discrimination, being exposed to different culture and diverse society). I want to share my experience & use it to raise my personal platforms and advocacies. I want to be a leader of change and inspire others that beauty pageants is more than just physical beauty, it is beauty with a purpose.
3. What are the charitable causes you want to highlight and how do you bring more awareness to them?
I used to be a volunteer for an animal shelter for 3 years during my time in college, so definitely I want to bring more awareness to animal rights! It’s actually great timing since Bb. Pilipinas did a recent visit with PAWS and I wish to continue being an advocate for them.
Another platform I’d like to raise upon is equal rights for differently able’d people –whether it’s physical or mental condition. My sister has a physical disability and I’ve witness her struggle from the time she was studying until she started working full-time for the Office of the President. It’s very disheartening to see how people discriminate my sister because of her physical condition, when in fact she’s one the most successful/smartest people you’ll ever meet! I want raise equal rights and give importance in providing the right education, public facilities, employment opportunities and social awareness for people suffering from the same or different condition.

4. What are most proud about our country and why?
I am proud that Filipinos are known to be driven and tenacious. No matter what country you go and whatever profession it may be, Filipinos are known to be dedicated and hard working. We are known to dream big! We value our future and our families so much that we’re determined in adapting to any situation/environment put into. Our fighting spirit is exactly what I’m proud of!
There is more to this lady in this two-part interview with her. Watch out for second and final part!

Nelda Ibe: Soaring Around the World (the Universe rather)

Binibining Pilipinas surely attracts the best and most accomplished women to its annual pageant. Surely there is no shortage of models, flight stewardesses and students, but there are also doctors, accountants, entrepreneurs… but there isn’t much of licensed pilots.

So it is more than just novelty to feature Nelda Ibe in this blog as her profession is quite under-represented in beauty pageants. Standing statuesque at 5’9″, Nelda is a licensed pilot. Working with Alpha Aviation Group, this beauty from Tarlac can be considered as one of the underdogs for the title.
Not a stranger to pageants, Nelda has competed in Mutya ng Pilipinas in 2013 and was second runner up to Valerie Weigmann in Miss World Philippines in 2014. In Binibining Pilipinas this year, she is one of the tallest candidates with her imposing height. While some fans are saying that she looks a bit heavy on photos, we have to be reminded that the body can be transformed… and Nelda’s body proportions are quite good specially since she has long legs and a short torso.

People have to start paying attention to this KF-trained beauty. Nelda could just be the next Binibining Pilipinas winner come coronation night.

The Comeback of Bb Pilipinas Gold Heavy Hitters

It is being argued that the most competitive Binibining Pilipinas batch in the past two decades belong to the Bb Pilipinas Gold edition. And this year’s edition sees two from that illustrious batch making a comeback for the top crowns in the pageant.

During the early 2010’s it is rumored that the girls who are assigned with white gowns in the pageant are the girls that are heavy favorites by the powers-at-be for the Miss Universe Philippines title. In that year we saw Mariel de Leon, Charmaine Elima and Ariella Arida in white gowns, to which we saw Ariella romping away with the MUP title. So this year with Mariel de Leon and Charmaine Elima making a comeback in the pageant, can we see them again as possible favorites for the Binibini titles? I am inclined to say yes, but for what title/s? That is the question that we should ask. With 5 titles at stake (that is without counting the Miss Grand International title) it might not be that easy to predict which title/s these two might end up with.

Mariel with her mestiza good looks and Charmaine with her morena features could slug it out for the top two titles in the competition. If we are treated to a ‘last two standing’ scenario, these two can really bring the Big Dome to fever pitch. These are just two of the frontrunners in this year’s competition and if this blogger’s gut feel is right they are among the leaders of the pack. If these two Bb. Pilipinas Gold alums can sustain their frontrunner status until the end of the competition, we might see them with crowns in their heads come coronation night.

Denver Hernandez, Mister Universe Philippines 2017

He’s the hunk from the Filipino Community of Italy and he is your Mister Universe Philippines 2017!

Meet the 22-year old Denver Hernandez. This 5’10 who works as a waiter in Italy hoping to study Fitness Coaching in the near future. This foreignoy was the heavy favorite to win during the Mister Philippines competition weeks ago. This baby-faced hunk can still improve his chances with some workouts to bring out more definition on the abs area. Proper styling could also make him look like a six footer specially with his well balanced body proportions. This hunk has lots of potential and hopefully gets prepared fully by the time of his competition.  

Currently, the new winner is back in Italy for a short R&R before he gears up for the Men Universe Model competition in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. His competition is slated to be on June 7 until 17th with at least 22 other confirmed competitors for the title. The last time that the Philippines made it into the semis was in 2015 with Mike Gerard Mendoza.
We can all help Denver by voting for him via the online poll where he is currently at 2nd place. Spread the word to everyone and its time to help our own…

The Modelesque Girls of Binibining Pilipinas 2017

In pageants they say that height is might… and even the Czar de Belleza Osmel Sousa rumored to have said that he prefer tall women as there is no cosmetic surgery to fix short girls. For Filipinos, if a girl stands 5’5″ that is already considered quite tall as the average Filipina height falls at 4’11″*. So it is no wonder that we put a premium on girls who are tall in pageants.

This year, there are a number of girls who fall into that ‘taller than average‘ and they are positioned dead center in the numbering of the Binibining Pilipinas candidates. They are all 5’10” in height Rachel Peters, Christagale Borja and Jamaica Ambal. Coincidentally, they are also camp sisters under Kagandahang Flores. With their towering heights comes with the advantage of modelesque body proportions in swimsuits and would be able to carry any evening gown easily than their shorter counterparts. These girls are at an advantage in terms of swimsuits as their legs will be more emphasized with two piece swimsuits. Those with shorter legs would appear even shorter as two-piece bikinis would only go to a certain curve on the hips, unlike two piece swimsuits which can have cuts higher to create illusion of longer legs. Those aren’t going to be a problem with these three.

Rachel is the quintissential Sports Illustrated model, she has body-type that would not get lost with the likes of Paulina Vega and Gabriela Isler. Christa on the other hand is what gays would call as “thin slender paratrooper”, owing to the line in the cult classic movie “The Devil Wears Prada”… which coincidentally applies very much on Christa being one who works in the fashion industry. Then let’s not forget the mile long legs on the dusky Jamaica, which looks even longer when she strides on the ramp. But height is not the only thing that these three girls going for them, all three are quite conversant and have interesting faces. Not to mention that they all glide onstage. It would be interesting to see later on the finals night who will perform best in the competition…


Is it Only 5 Crowns for Binibining Pilipinas 2017?

First it was rumored to be 7, then it went back to 6, now is the final number going to be 5?
We are talking about the number of the titles up for grabs in this year’s Binibining Pilipinas pageant. It was whispered among pageant insiders that the initial 7th international pageant franchise acquired by BPCI was the Miss United Continents only to be squashed later on when Philippine ND John dela Vega confirmed that the franchise is still his. So it was back to the original 6 titles up for grabs. However we have seen that only 5 titles were named in the website.

Clearly the Miss Grand International title is not visible in the pageant’s official website. This is baffling as Bb. Pilipinas Grand Int’l and Miss Grand International 1st runner-up, Nicole Cordoves was seen recently with Ariska Pertiwi and the rest of the winners in Thailand for a series of public appearances. Not to mention that it was still mentioned in the previous press presentation that 6 titles were up for grabs.
Has BPCI dropped the franchise of MGI? We are not yet sure until we get confirmation from the heads of BPCI on this matter. So keep tuned in…