The End of Philippine Supremacy in Miss Universe?

After a long 10-year run of continuous placements in the Miss Universe pageant, should Filipino pageant fans be worried that our luck might be thinning out?

In just 10 years the Philippines has scored 2 Miss Universe titles, 4 runner-up wins and 4 semifinalist placements. As the proverbial saying goes “what goes up, must come down”.  Has the Philippines used up its pageant luck in the last decade? What does this mean for our coming pageant queens and MU reps? That is exactly what we are going to be talking about in today’s blogpost.

Change is constant and nothing is permanent. The Philippines has enjoyed a renaissance in pageantry in the last decade winning one title after the other from different international pageants: Miss Universe, Miss Earth, Miss International, Miss Supranational, Miss World, etc… To think that this will not change anytime soon is naivety. As we know, there is a changing landscape in the Miss Universe pageant that we are seeing reshaping what it means to win the title. Let’s enumerate the changes we are seeing so far in the pageant that could affect how the Philippines’ chances are affected.

  1. Focus on Speaking Ability – with the pronouncement that the Miss Universe is looking for a spokesperson, everyone has to calibrate how they are selecting a national winner. This was quite clear in the latest edition of the pageant. No less than 5 instances where a semifinalist has to speak during the finals. This implies that a candidate has to have a strong command of the English language to be noticed in the competition. Fluency in English is now a strong requirement to be able to win the title.
  2. More Business-like/ Financially-driven MUOrg – this is so far one of the stark changes we’ve seen in the pageant over the last three years. Older franchises are dropped in favor of new pageant orgs that can offer higher franchise fees. This means that newer organizations are more aggressive to prove their merit. Anyone who can bring in more money to the organization is potentially given a positive spotlight. Does it have a bearing on the pageant scoring? Definitely not. But any positive spotlight can be worked to an advantage if the org and the pageant girl know how to play the game.
  3. Opening of Other Pageant Markets in Asia – after the MU pageant held in Bangkok in 2018, the MU found another cash cow country in terms of business opportunity and expansion. Vietnam is also opening in terms of opportunities for hosting. Both countries could offer other business opportunities such as endorsements and sponsorships. Even Indonesia’s annual hiring of the MU winner for an energy drink brings in revenue to the pageant. The Philippines has been able to bring in a Filipino swimsuit and skincare sponsor in the 2019 edition of the pageant. And with Nepal aiming to hold the Miss Universe 2022 edition, the field is getting more and more populated…
  4. Philippines’ Winning Record Creating “Crown Envy” – the Philippines has to be the winning-est country in the last 10 years of the Miss Universe pageant. That too glossy a record has definitely attracted a bevy of haters and envy fans questioning is the MUOrg is favoring the Philippines too much? In the interest of fairness, any pageant organization would start to diminish the chances of winning for that particular country just to preserve the delicate status quo.

With all of these factors in mind, a Filipina’s chances of winning the MU title has increased in terms of difficulty. No less than a tall, facially strong, physically proportioned and fit, advocacy-driven, impeccably dressed, determined and articulate Filipina has to be selected to represent the country in Miss Universe. In short, a Filipina rep has to cover all of these bases to be able to say her placement is warranted and earned – and perhaps for her not to be denied a spot in the semis.

The change in the direction of the wind means that a sailor has to adjust his sails. That is exactly what the Philippines have to do. How long do you think can the Philippines sustain winning in Miss Universe if we don’t recalibrate to the whims and wants of the organization? With how the country has performed in the past decade, the changing of the tides to favor new emerging markets could spell that the Philippines being the apple of the MU eye is over. Thailand, Vietnam, Puerto Rico, Colombia and other pageant crazy countries are emerging to take over. If we are to maintain our supremacy in the competition, then the Philippines have to be one step ahead of the competition.

Joining BBP or MUP: Pros and Cons

The Binibining Pilipinas and the Miss Universe Philippines pageants have posted their respective deadlines for submission and they both are this January. First to post their dates is the Miss Universe Philippines pageant whose posted deadline is on January 18th. Application deadline for Binibining Pilipinas is on the end of the month, January 31st.

With those date it means that participating ladies would have to make up their minds and submit their applications before the deadline passes.  But for those still in the fence, today’s blogpost might be of help make that decision.
Continue reading “Joining BBP or MUP: Pros and Cons”

4 National Pageants: Who Wins, Who Losses?

Binibining Pilipinas, Miss Earth Philippines, Miss World Philippines and now Miss Universe Philippines. With four national pageants this 2020, who is bound to lose much?

The year 2020 will mark the first year that there will be four national competitions that will select the best and brightest ladies for the 4 biggest international pageants. While some may welcome this development with open arms and embrace the changes, there may be a downside to having 4 different national pageants. Today we will be discussing about that. What would be the negative side effects of having too much of a good thing…

Binibining Pilipinas – despite the MUP franchise no longer in their stable of crowns, BBP is still considered the most prestigious pageant in the country. All thanks to years of brand equity. It remains to have a good name in pageant because of the history that no other pageant can level up to. Honestly, I see that they will suffer a little setback on the number of girls competing for the title. But I don’t think that it will matter in the long term. Until it is no longer able to come up with deserving winners, I don’t see the pageant dying or fading away. What it can now do is to level up the Miss Supranational title with the Miss International title. The Philippines has the most number of Miss International title and it is time that we get to celebrate that in ways we haven’t done in previous years. The Miss Supranational title on the otherhand is said to have a very lucrative cash prize that goes along the very ‘glossy’ pageant finals. This is the time to really elevate this title by sending a facially gorgeous girl with impressive pasarela skills to the Polish-based pageant.

Miss Earth Philippines – IMHO, I think the MEP pageant should be a stand-alone pageant. It has its own pageant niche and a dedicated pageant following. The pageant is as much about its message rather than just a pageant. So having a separate pageant will put emphasis on a very urgent global issue. In fact If Carousel production is able to level the entire finals night production to MU/ MW/ MS levels, it can possibly be the top pageant in a worldwide scale. So I don’t see it being merged into another pageant as the pageant’s eco-advocacy will not glue well to other pageants, unless they adapt environmental causes into their own. Leaving it alone to thrive on its own is possibly the best we can do for the MEP for the time being.

Miss Universe Philippines – of course the draw of the MUP title will bring forth a strong initial number of candidates. Of course the chance to be Miss Universe is every pageant girl’s dream, that alone will bring in candidates flocking into the pageant. It has great promise and people have high expectations. But the question is will it be enough to sustain it in the years to come? The worry here is that with the people behind the organization coming from a single predominant camp might make other girls question to join in the future. If this is going to be another MWP in the making, where no independent or girls from other pageant camps winning the main title, then expect that there will be a decline in the number and quality of candidates joining the pageant.

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#Repost @themissuniverseph • • • • • • Announcement: The Miss Universe Organization expresses its heartfelt gratitude to the Araneta Group and Binibining Pilipinas Charities, Inc. for their more than 50 years of stewardship of the Miss Universe brand and franchise in the Philippines. Both organizations have made an indelible mark in the international pageant scene for celebrating the intelligence, beauty and grace of hundreds of Filipina queens, and for garnering several international titles through the years. Undeniably, the most prestigious of these titles continues to be the coveted Miss Universe Philippines. The foundation and fundamentals of Philippine Pageantry are known worldwide to be solid and shall endure all because of the hard work and commitment of the Araneta Group and BPCI. Today is a momentous occasion as the country and the Miss Universe Organization focus their collective gaze towards the future of pageantry. It is but fitting that the path to the future be led with vigor and a vision aligned with the transformative purpose of Miss Universe. The Miss Universe Organization is thrilled to announce its partnership with the Miss Universe Philippines Organization – a fresh team that will lead the country towards its continued quest to share the beauty and grace of the Filipina to the rest of the world. The new organization will be headed by Shamcey Supsup as the National Director. She will be joined by Albert Andrada as the Design Council Head, Jonas Gaffud as the Creative Director, Lia Ramos as Head of Women Empowerment Committee and Charity, Atty. Nad Bronce as Head of Legal Affairs, and Mario Garcia as Business Development/ Marketing Head. Rooted in the same strong foundations that have earned the country title after title in the past half century, the Miss Universe Philippines Organization is poised to bring the Miss Universe franchise to greater heights. More importantly, it is the continued support of the pageant fans and community that inspires the Miss Universe Organization to take this crucial step forward. With the Filipina at the center of it all, a bright and beautiful future lies ahead. Mabuhay!

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Miss World Philippines – REAL TALK, this is the pageant that is most likely to suffer among all 4 national pageants. The number of quality girls joining the pageant has dwindled so much that it had to lower height requirements so that pretty girls on the shorter side will be able to join. With another national pageant in the horizon, it surely will eat into the number of girls joining MWP. Unless the pageant produces another winner in 3-5 years, I honestly don’t see the national pageant surviving. Philippine pageant fans are not so keen in supporting the pageant anymore. And the international pageant’s brand equity in the Philippines has suffered all time lows in the past several years. So the MWP should really hustle harder because the clock is ticking against them.