Sashes&Scripts’ Final Leaderboard for Bb.Pilipinas2018

40 ladies…
6 crowns…
1 nerve-wracking finals night…
With a very competitive batch of ladies I can name at least 20 ladies that should make semis and it still wouldn’t be enough to fairly squeeze in the strong girls in the competition. So this year, my final leaderboard follows a different format. I took away the ranking of the semifinalists as it would not matter who makes #15 vis-a-vis #9.

Alternate Semifinalists – one way or another, these ladies have left an impression on this blogger. Each girl could easily sneak into the top 16 semis this year. But I am sure that these ladies will make top 25 in the finals.
* Loren Mar Artajos
* Sarah Joson
* Shane Tormes
* Aubrey Asuncion
* Wynonah Buot
* Kristie Cequeña
* Janette Sturm
* Patrizia Garcia
* Anjame Magbitang
Semifinalists – no surprises here as these ladies have continually made a mark in the course of the competition. However, these ladies at some point lost consistency along the competition. Some had a strong start, other had their moment on the latter parts of the competition. But they are still a threat for those in the upper half of the list
* Agatha Romero
* Ahtisa Manalo
* Samantha Bernardo
* Ana Patricia Asturias
* Karen Gallman
* Sandra Lemonon
Continue reading “Sashes&Scripts’ Final Leaderboard for Bb.Pilipinas2018”

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Sashes&Scripts’ Personal Faves in Binibining Pilipinas 2018

At this point in time, it would not be surprising to reveal who are my personal favorites in Binibining Pilipinas 2018. What would I gain from revealing my personal faves? Nothing just as I tend to lose nothing by revealing it too.
With the Binibining Pilipinas pageant getting more intense as the days pass by, the fanfare leading to the finals has gone more intense than it was from previous years. Today, just less than 48 hours away from the culmination of the annual pageant I reveal the names of the ladies that are personal favorites to win…

Vickie Marie Milagrosa Rushton – I didn’t have her initially in my list but I grew fond of her as the days passed. Her backstory as a daughter to a blind mother and a sibling to one with Down’s Syndrome, explained where her quiet confidence and poise comes from. Not every outing should be all-the-time-explosive, and she shows that even the serene and peaceful beauty runs deep. Hers is the type of grace and beauty that only those with sophisticated tastes would find alluring. Refinement is such a difficult quality to find in any pageant girl and this girl has it in spades.
Ana Patricia Asturias – this lady has a special place in this list simply because she was introduced to me by a good friend, designer Jian Lasala. She isn’t a popular candidate but I feel that she will be one of the ladies that will survive the first cut and could possibly shake up the final lineup of winners. She has a very commercial face that could sell beauty products which I think is a good indication of her chances in the pageant.
Maria Andrea Verdadero Abesamis – the girl that I saw  potential from the time of the screenings until competition time. Her beauty may not seem universal to all but she is a crown-worthy contender nonetheless. She has good proportions, looks smashing with the right styling and has dealt with bashing silently with a queenly manner. Aya still has to captivate everyone’s hearts and could very well do so. I may have tentative feelings on her chances to win a major title. Hopefully she will be given a chance in an international competition.
Michelle Theresa Gumabao – she reminded me of the “pilot-beauty queen” backstory with her sportswoman-turned-pageant-girl story. That turn-around is rare in pageants and she may well be rewarded for that. She is tall and pretty, she communicates well, she may still be quite raw but nothing that a few months of intensive training couldn’t address. This lady was brash and powerful on court and now looks feminine and pretty onstage.

Catriona Elisa  Gray – arguably the most well-rounded competitor in the bunch. No matter what kind of criticism is thrown at her, she always manage to pull ahead at the lead of the competition. Not to mention how she has captured a gazillion of hearts and ended up with the biggest fan-base since MJ All the Way and the Pianatics. She possess the qualities of good face, height, backstory, communication skills and advocacy.
Ena Louise Velasco – I was perhaps one of the few writers to see a potential beauty queen in this lady, and perhaps the first to put her on top of any leaderboard list. To see others follow suit shows that people can finally see what I saw in this “doctor turned aspiring beauty queen“. It would be a waste if we see Ena without a crown come finals. Having her win could add to any pageant org’s prestige and bragging rights to have a doctor in their midst.
Eva Psychee Patalinjug – nurse, model and a law student all rolled into one. Add to that a porcelain skin, a delicate face plus a fierce opinionated personality…add those up and you get a recipe for an international crown. This lady has been one of the most awaited contenders to join BBP and this year, she is almost guaranteed a title. Expect her to bring her A-game each and every time because she will.
To say that this batch is a competitive batch is an understatement. When pageant fans initially thought that this batch appears to seem weak, I scoffed at that idea because I already saw rare gems that can be polished and cut to perfection. And to see how each girl transformed in just a matter of weeks is exciting… how much more could they improve come international competition time?
My personal picks may not be the same as everybody else’s but I believe that these girls will deliver come finals. And hopefully all of them win crowns that they worked hard for and they deserve to have…

2018 Bb. Pilipinas Crown Contender: Aya Abesamis

Name: Maria Andrea Verdadero Abesamis
Height & Age: 5’7″, 26 years old

Strengths: As a PMAP model, the catwalk is her domain. She could probably outwalk a vast majority of the candidates in her batch. Not to mention that she takes good glamshots when she is all dolled up. All of these are really thanks to her experience as a model.
Weaknesses: Her resume feels weak against other candidates and she has to rely on other things other than just being Desiree Verdadero’s daughter as a backstory. She needs to build a stronger resume or rework her existing CV to center on what makes her story unique and marketable to international competitions.

Eligible for: all six Binibining Pilipinas titles. But if the Miss International and Miss Intercontinental pageants will be held after her November birthday, she will no longer be eligible for those titles.
Best Suited for: Binibining Pilipinas Supranational simply because of her strong walking skills. Although I wouldn’t write her off in Miss Intercontinental as well, she does look like an upgraded version of 2014 winner Patraporn Wang… or even Miss Universe, it only takes the proper angle for it.
Most Likely Will Be: My gut tells me Binibining Pilipinas Intercontinental would still be her best bet.

Sashes&Scripts’ Bb. Pilipinas Parade of Beauties Standouts

The Parade of Beauties is perhaps the last among the Binibining  Pilipinas activities that the candidates could have a chance of creating one final lasting impression… both to fans and to the powers at be of BPCI. So it is essential that girls should still be at their A-game despite the busy schedule and sleepless nights that they have.
So this list is all about 8 girls that looked at their best in the parade, those who were able to take care of their skin from breakouts, those who looked glowing and fresh. Having been so close to the girls at the parade had allowed me to see the girls up-close and I’d have to say that a number of them have already succumbed to acne at this point.

8. Ana Patricia Asturias – this girl is one of the underrated girls in the competition. And it was nice to see her looking blooming at the parade.
7. Kayesha Chua – she is becoming more and more beautiful as the passes by. She is another one of the lesser popular candidates but looks refreshingly pretty.
6. Patrizia Garcia – since the talent night and the national costume show, she has been hitting her stride very well with her styling. I wouldn’t be surprised to see her making the first cut in this year’s pageant.
5. Aya Abesamis – she was sticking to her formula in terms of the makeup for the past few weeks now (focus on the eyes). Why mess with what works? So she has been experimenting on the hair instead.

4. Eva Patalinjug – the Cebuana is truly banking on her milky white skin and has worked every time thus far. Her strong eye makeup was a juxtaposition to her porcelain skin.
3. Catriona Gray – with strong cheers rallying behind her, this lady was all smiles in the parade. She seems to be enjoying herself and was soaking in the experience.
2. Ena Velasco – the doc-lady is looking really fresh with her hair and makeup during the parade. No more taras bulba hairstyle but she did rock those curls. One of the few girls with almost no blemish on her face.
1. Vickie Rushton – the face of perfection during the parade of beauties. This girl didn’t have to do anything to get noticed.

Aya Abesamis and Ena Velasco: Most Improved Binibinis

From the time of the Binibining Pilipinas screenings up to this point of the competition, there are two girls that I saw to have improved the most: Binibini 11 Aya Abesamis and Binibini 23 Ena Velasco.

During the screening leading up to the official numbering the two girls weren’t hitting their best styling looks. I guess those were the times where each of them are still in the experimentation process of what works. But you can already see in them that the potential is there. It just had to be brought out. Both ladies are newbies rather first timers in Binibining Pilipinas and this is perhaps their baptism by fire of sorts.

Aya being a Binibini Legacy had the advantage over social media publicity. After all, its not an everyday occurrence to see a Miss Universe runner up’s daughter competing for the same title. Ena on the other hand is much more low key. Except for her regional pageant stints, she doesn’t have much fan base in terms of pageantry. Both girls also belong to two big camps. Aya is from Aces & Queens while Ena is from the Cebu chapter of Kagandahang Flores. In terms of training and support, both girls are given equal opportunities.

The two girls started to show much improvement in their next public appearance. The talent show gave a glimpse of what they can pull off onstage. Ena who did a dance to a popular song by Sarah Geronimo started to get more attention from pageant observers. Then came the make or break press presentation. Both girls looked good in motion and registered equally lovely in live video cameras. It is quite expected that all candidates should be doing their best but Ena and Aya did a little bit more to be noticed.
Two more public outings, the Jag Jeans Fashion Show and the Bb. Pilipinas Parade of Beauties, is looming in the horizon. What more improvements could we see from these two most improved Binibinis?

Sashes&Scripts 4th Leaderboard for Bb. Pilipinas 2018

This would be the last leaderboard prior to the final. Based on the Jag Jeans & National Costume fashion show, the ladies in this list comprise of the girls that had made a good impression on this blogger. Seeing thme perform live during the fashion show has re-shuffled my list in a big way.
And instead of a two-part series, this will only be a one-shot post. Plus it will follow a different format to give you some suspense as we lead into next week’s coronation night. The list below isn’t fully ranked and are arranged within groupings in an Alphabetical order to keep you guessing…

The Semi-finalists
* Sigrid Grace Flores
*Anjame Magbitang
* Muriel Orais
Potential Runners up
* Samantha Bernardo
* Edjelyn Joy Gamboa
* Patrizia Garcia
* Ahtisa Manalo
Crown Spoilers
* Michelle Gumabao
* Vickie Marie Rushton
* Ena Louise Velasco
Crown Contenders
* Karen Gallman
* Jehza Huelar
* Sandra Lemonon
* Eva Patalinjug
Possible Miss Universe Philippines 
* Maria Andrea Abesamis
* Catriona Gray

Sashes&Scripts’ Selection of 12 Best Costumes in Bb. Pilipinas 2018!

The Jag Jeans and the National Costume fashion show had finished last March 3rd but it still dominates pageant discussions on social media. While the BPCI has selected its 10 best costumes, I felt that the quality of national costumes this year is so high that I have to shout out my own picks of 12.

12. Agatha Romero in John Cliff – being so close to the stage, I could see all these intricate details of the bodice of this terno. On top of that is how parts of it are added with LED lights!
11. Anjame Magbitang in Sonny Boy Mindo – this was one of those costumes that would make you feel you are a Filipino. This Katipunero costume was a breathe of fresh air as it was apt for the youngest Binibini in the pageant.
10. Shane Tormes in Polly Lagyap – another creative take on the national costume in this year’s competition. It is said to celebrate the Laing and the Magbubuko, which was an awesome idea.
9. Kristie Rose Cequena in Richard Barretto – an out of the box costume that celebrates the Moriones festival. This was one of the more creative ensembles that night.

8. Janette Sturm in Jay-R Gamboa Flores – the novelty of this costume is so much welcome. I can only imagine the long hours of creating an outfit that is almost devoid of fabric. Yes, the gown was almost made entirely out of interlocking beads!
7. Stephanie Abellanida in Archie Castillo – black and gold is my color du jour! And I loved everything about this costume, the headpiece was superb as well as the intricacy of the beading on the outfit.
6. Mary Joy de Castro in Albert Figueras – would have preferred the outfit with a different headpiece. I remembered the headpiece of this costume being worn by Emma Tiglao in MWP.
5. Eva Patalinjug in Philipp Tampus – gave drama in spades! Styled like a golden era screen goddess, the worked the costume to the Nth level.

4. Sandra Lemonon in Edwin Uy – the girl performed her best ‘Urduja’ moves in this costume. Although I don’t get which was the Ibong Adarna part, Sandra carried it with aplomb.
3. Aya Abesamis in Chico Estiva – thank God for the cape or else it would have looked like a generic gown with the apir fans and a sunray headdress. Aya carried it effortlessly.
2. Sarah Joson in Jay-R Gamboa Flores – it was a gorgeous ensemble. And it looked better in person. This amalgam of several indigenous tribes’ outfits was perfection. I loved the tiny brass bells in it as well.
1. Vickie Rushton in Francis Libiran – that punch of red at the start of the natcos segment placed the bar high. I thought this is one of the best that night. It was haute couture levels in its construction technique!
I felt that the BPCI selection has shut out a number of gorgeous ternos so I am giving it equal footing here on the list. There is also a diversity in terms of creative and out of the box choices for the costumes. I commend the designers for a leveled up national costumes this year!

Another thing I also observed that the BPCI selection of the 10 best NCs seems to be a test of which fandom will likely be the noisiest online. So I am very much excited to see which of the girls’ fan groups is the strongest on voting for the national costume award.
Note that since I had helped conceptualize the national costume for Binibini 20, it goes to say that it has automatically been excluded in this list, you know, for obvious reasons.

Aya Abesamis and the Polar Opposites of Her Fans and Bashers

When I read social media posts on Binibini 11, Aya Abesamis I just couldn’t help but notice the extreme polarized opinions of those that support her and those that do not like her.

Aya is in a tough position being a Binibini Legacy. She has Miss Universe 3rd runner up Desiree Verdadero as her mother, then she has Miss World top 5 finalist Mafae Yunon as her cousin. That alone is quite a burden that she has to shoulder because she would never escape being compared to either two. Being a Binibini Legacy is actually a disadvantage for Aya simply because of that reason. It opens her to attacks by those that dislike her on social media. This is exactly what we see now happening.
The harshest criticism was that she wouldn’t get any attention without her mom or cousin. This is where I would strongly disagree. Because we are witness to how she is improving as the competition progresses. Her styling is getting much better, and despite being called out for similarities with Maxine Medina’s styling, I have no problem with that. Do what works when in a competition.
On the other side of the spectrum there are supporters that say she will only be eligible for the Miss Universe Philippines title because of her age. Hence she should be getting MUP because of that technicality. Being 26 years old does not narrow her chances of winning other Binibini titles. Back in 2015, the Miss International competition has already moved the ceiling age to 26 years old (there were three 26 year-olds that competed in MI2015, two in MI2016 and one last year). Other Binibini titles like Supranational (28 y/o ceiling age), Grand International (27 y/o ceiling age) and Globe (30 y/o ceiling age) are within reach aside from the MUP.

According to pageant friends who have observed Aya closely in the competition, she is one of the nice pleasant girls that doesn’t throw attitude. In fact she seems to be on the quiet side. From what little I have observed of her, I feel that Aya could easily snatch one of the titles up for grabs in Binibining Pilipinas. My gut says that she will be taking home one of the titles this year, we only have to wait to know which title would that be.

Jag Jeans X Binibining Pilipinas: The 12 Standouts


The Jag Jeans videos are all out and we list down the ladies that stood out among the rest of the 40 girls in the competition!

Binibini 1, Vickie Marie Rushton – its the face again that carried the entire video. You could see a little bit of the fierce sexiness coming out but just barely. Photogenic and Telegenic, this Binibini is rising up on everyone’s lists.
Binibini 3,  Muriel Orais – this girl knows how to project on camera and actually looks better in motion. She knows how to use her face to really sell the video. And she moves seamlessly from fierce to sweet to seductive and does that within a hearbeat.

Binibini 7, Sigrid Flores – not quite a surprise because she did give good face in the video.
Binibini 10, Kayesha Chua – channeling her inner Kylie Verzosa in the video (perhaps it was the hair and makeup) and it works for her.
Binibini 11, Aya Abesamis – finally! Been waiting for her to deliver a solid performance and did it here. She is in her element in this video, total standout! Her movements were something I’d expect from a seasoned model. Though she needs to tone down those colored contacts.

Binibini 17, Ahtisa Manalo – another girl that zoomed into the top of the list. This makeup suits her, though not a fan of the overly curly hair that almost covered her lovely face.
Binibini 20, Catriona Gray – of course she also had to nail this one. She is not letting up to her competition. I didn’t think she could pull off the fierce face back in 2016 but boy did she deliver now. I only hoped that she could have created more shapes as she looked a little too linear in the vid.

Binibini 26, Wynonah Buot – the Jennifer Hammond doppelganger worked her angles in the video and did a good job.
Binibini 27, Henna Kaizzelle Nicole “KC” Cajandig – I was surprised with her in my list. Loved the fact that she looks good smiling in the video.
Binibini 32, Eva Patalinjug – registered well in videos although I would have wanted more movement knowing she could dance. Again, it was the face that nailed it for me.

Binibini 35, Sandra Lemonon – that is what I’d call movement! She gave enough of it that she stood out but not to the point that it looks too sexy.
Binibini 38, Karen Gallman – so this is how Kendall Jenner would look like endorsing a jeans brand. I totally forgot that it was Karen because she moves like a seasoned model.

But if I were to rank in my top 5, I would place them as below:
5. Catriona Gray
4. Vickie Rushton
3. Muriel Orais
2. Sandra Lemonon
1. Aya Abesamis

2nd Sashes&Scripts Leaderboard for Bb. Pilipinas 2018 Pt.1

This second leaderboard for the Binibining Pilipinas 2018 pageant took a bit of time to finish simply because I had to check and re-check the list. Why? because the list looks heavily sided towards one camp which rarely happens when I do my leaderboard. So before I get crucified, I had conversations with some of my Sash Factor colleagues who covered the girls’ activities (when I couldn’t), talked to some BBP insiders and some other pageant aficionados to get sound feedback.

But before I get to the girls who made the 2nd leaderboard I just have to throw in some feedback on a number of girls. These girls are still within my radar to which I hope would step up their games.
* Jehza Huelar – she started of with a bang, but she seems to be losing ground again. I can’t understand that for someone who looks good as she does.
* Edjelyn Gamboa – another girl that started with lots of promise but lately she looks dead in the eyes. She looks dark and gloomy lately. Wake up girl! It’s too early in the game to loose steam.
* Anjame Magbitang – this girl has potential although I am not a fan of her styling. There is still some work to be done on that area. Hope she experiment on her hair and makeup. Also don’t let that height go to waste.
* Angelica Mae Corbes – noticed her during the talent night and my gut told me to keep an eye on this lady. Insiders tell me that she has one of the stronger walks among the girls from her camp so I wanna see that come press presentation.
* Ahtisa Manalo – she is blooming slowly and is getting there. Loved the straight hair on her but needs to standout more. She is very pretty but lacks the standout quality when in a line up.
* Kayesha Chua – another underrated girl that deserves attention. Styling is on point but needs to create media buzz. She should have admins to help her navigate the social media game.
* Janette Sturm – being an independent candidate has its ups and downs but despite that this girl is pushing at it on her own. I’m keeping an eye on her and what she could possibly bring into the competition.
On to the leaderboard…

14. Ana Patricia Asturias – can someone from Aces start to give more attention to this girl because she has one of the most commercially sell-able faces in the competition! I’d hate for this girl to be wasted. Her styling isn’t up to competition standards.
13. Agatha Romero – one of the most improved styling. She now channels a Parul/ Pocahontas vibes with her darker lip and straight hair.
12.  Aya Abesamis – finally her styling looks much better now but I still don’t see the fire in her eyes. And let’s not forget the terrible interview with a FB group that looked like both parties didn’t prep up for it.
11. Wynonah Buot – clearly the strongest communicator from her camp. I still feel that her momentum is still too slow in gaining ground but I want to see more from her.

10. Sigrid Grace Flores – should rock the straight hair more often and relax because she looks too stiff sometimes. In some instances, she seems to be channeling a Bianca Guidotti aura about her.
9.  Sandra Lemonon – rocks the straight hair and needs to stop being conscious with her smile. Sandra is one of her camp’s strongest girls but gets the least hype.
8. Karen Gallman – still one of the frontrunners and I think the focus should be on her eye makeup. Her current tan is looking great and should not get anymore darker than that.
7. Samantha Bernardo – girl got hunger in her eyes and she will use that to do what it takes to win a title. I hope that she doesn’t overdo it. Controlled ‘gigil’ for a title, that is what she needs to master.
Part 2 coming tomorrow…