Catriona on Trans-Females in Miss Universe

While an uproar among pageant fans has brewed over the winning and participation of Miss Universe Spain Angela Ponce in Miss Universe, Filipina-Aussie Catriona Gray has more of an open-mind in the issue.

Here is the news report by ABSCBN:
Catriona Gray, who will be representing the Philippines in the Miss Universe pageant later this year, has no problem competing with a transgender woman in the prestigious beauty contest. Continue reading “Catriona on Trans-Females in Miss Universe”


Sashes&Scripts Early Favorites for Miss Universe 2018

We are months and months away from the Miss Universe pageant but I’ve already been on the lookout for these three lovely ladies since their crowning.

While the Miss Universe pageant has been a ping-pong volley of one rumored venue to another, there have only been three (so far) confirmed candidates that I feel have the real chance of winning the Mikimoto crown.
Continue reading “Sashes&Scripts Early Favorites for Miss Universe 2018”

Will there be a Gray Versus Green Scenario in Miss Universe 2018?

I have typically shied away from this topic because of risks in ruffling some feathers. But I guess it can’t be helped to see pageant fans pitting Catriona Gray against Tamaryn Green.

First and foremost let’s acknowledge that the two ladies are strong contenders for the Mikimoto crown of the Miss Universe pageant. That has never been a question. Each girl brings something strong and fierce into the table. With the two having a little more common than we understand where the comparison is coming from. Here’s a side by side ‘tell of the tape’ of the two ladies…
Height – Catriona is 5’10, Tamaryn is 5’11”
Age – both girls would be 24 years old by the pageant proper
Hair & Eye color – both ladies have brown hair and brown eyes
Profession – Catriona has been living independently earning from her modeling stints, while Tamaryn is on her final year as a medical student

We all know that Catriona Gray is a major threat for the title. So it wouldn’t be surprised that those that are intimidated by her would have her pitted against other girls who can give her a challenge for the crown. That is quite obvious specially with a number of ‘Catriona versus….’ comparisons. If pageant fans don’t see Catriona as a threat, then they wouldn’t even bother paying her attention. Fortunately she is a threat and that is why she is in the collective ‘top of mind’ of pageant watchers here and abroad.
Then came the crowning of Tamaryn who we all believe to be a tough competition come Miss Universe season. Just like Catriona, this lady is well spoken and drop dead gorgeous. Tamaryn, a medical student, has a tough back to back challenge to which we believe to the reason why the judges chose her for Miss Universe. She seems to be the perfect secondary salvo to her predecessor Demi Leigh Nel-Peters. It is clear why she is being pitted against the equally strong Catriona.

IMHO, it would be an insult if it is not a strong contender that is being compared to each other. Them being put head to head is more of a compliment to the two ladies in the competition. And while it would be difficult to say who has the upper hand, we can all agree that we can see why they seem to be heavy favorites now.
At least at this moment, I think that these ladies would end up in a draw…that is, for now.

Catriona Gray & How Her Miss Universe Preparations Start This June

She hasn’t stopped since she was crowned Miss Universe Philippines. Catriona Gray is shaping up to be the busiest  winner with public appearances and guesting left and right.
But that doesn’t mean that her preparations for Miss Universe isn’t already underway. In fact, it already started.

Continue reading “Catriona Gray & How Her Miss Universe Preparations Start This June”

National Costume Wish-List for Ahtisa Manalo

We know that the Miss International pageant is still quite far, but we just can’t help but to be excited at the prospect of what would our reps’ national costume be. So we came up with several ideas on possible options.
Today’s post is all about possible national costume ideas for Binibining Pilipinas International Ahtisa Manalo…

1. La Jota Moncadena Costume – the dancers in lavish Maria Clara costume would flick their feet to create a swooshing movement of the saya’s cola. The drama for this costume would be lavish enaguas (petticoats) underneath the costume. In the olden Hispanic times, the more elaborate the embroidery and lace work of the enagua, the more wealthy and affluent the family the lady comes from.
2. Ifugao-themed costume – it is rare to see traditional costumes from the Mountain Provinces being showcased in pageants. With the wealth of ideas and cultures from the collective Ifugao peoples (Bontok, Kankanaey, Ibaloy, Isnag and Kalinga tribes) or even the lowland tribes of the Gaddang and Yogad, surely there is a number of costumes that we can mine from its heritage and traditions.

Which of these wish-list for a national costume would you like for Ahtisa? Comment below!

Catriona Gray’s Thoughts on “Home Court Advantage” Should the Philippines Host Miss Universe 2018

In a blogpost I have posted about several days ago, I have written about my thoughts on the chances of Miss Universe Philippines Catriona Gray winning the Miss Universe title should the Philippines host the pageant. Now we have heard her respond to that query in an interview posted on the Philippine Star’s website.

The reigning MUP reiterated my thoughts on the issue specially on how ready she would be to represent the country whichever is the host country. Below is a snippet of the Philstar article… Continue reading “Catriona Gray’s Thoughts on “Home Court Advantage” Should the Philippines Host Miss Universe 2018”

Can Catriona Gray Win in Miss Universe as Host Delegate?

While the talks of Miss Universe happening in the Philippines is rumored to have stalled, we thought of going back to a previously talked about topic: Can Miss Universe Philippines Catriona Gray win the title if she is also the host delegate?

We all have heard pessimism on the chances of Catriona Gray winning the Miss Universe if the pageant is held in the Philippines. Opinions range from 1) she has better chances winning outside of the Philippines, 2) it would be inhospitable for the Philippines if the Filipina rep wins to the downright 3) she will not win because no country aside from the US have won on their own soil. And here is why I think these are just ridiculous and absolutely wrong.
Winning Miss Universe is a mixture of beauty, intelligence, preparation and luck. Others would even factor in destiny (if you’re destined to win, then you’ll win no matter what), but destiny is much harder to quantify or qualify, so let’s stick to the earlier 4. Catriona got it covered on the first three and if the pageant will be hosted in Manila I’d say she’s also lucky. Why?

Simply because she has the whole Philippines to cheer up for her.  Imagine if the pageant is held at another pageant-crazed country like Thailand, for sure their entire populace would rally behind their rep, even more so in social media. Same goes for the Philippines. It is during this kinds of global competitions that even non-pageant Filipino fans would rally behind the Pinay rep. We have seen that recently during Maxine Medina’s turn in Miss Universe, I feel that it would be more so for Catriona. In fact I can be bold to say that she has additional advantage of winning in the Philippines due to the huge crowds that will boost up her morale constantly throughout the competition. There would be an outpouring of support from Day 1 until pageant finals!

And we also feel that the MUOrg wouldn’t get out of the Philippines alive if she doesn’t win MU… LOLs… Joking aside, whether or not the MU pageant is hosted in the Philippines Catriona has a huge chance of winning the title. I just felt that she would have the home-crowd advantage that could really boost up one’s morale in a very tough competition. It doesn’t take away from her if the pageant is held in the Philippines but the victory would be sweeter if it is held neutral territory. The good thing is Catriona will always have a gameplan and she never comes in unprepared.

2018 Binibining Pilipinas Winners’ Interview with Metro.Style

Can’t get enough of the 2018 Binibining Pilipinas winners? You’re in luck as here are some of their behind the scenes interviews for MetroStyle… plus additional ‘get to know them better’ quips from each of the beauty queens from @Metro.Style!

Bb. Pilipinas Globe,  Michele Gumabao
As one of the most popular Filipino volleybelles, Bb. Pilipinas Globe 2018 Michele Gumabao joined the pageant because she wanted to add another title to follow her name. She shares, “Michele Gumabao —host, celebrity volleyball player, businesswoman. I wanted a beauty queen right in there (laughs). It may sound vain, but I’ve always wanted to be so many things… I wanted to influence others, I wanted to create an impact.” .
Continue reading “2018 Binibining Pilipinas Winners’ Interview with Metro.Style”

Creative Vision: The Making of a National Costume

The national costume has got to be my favorite part in any pageant wardrobe. I get more excited with the lavishness and grandiosity of seeing our culture represented in a garb than seeing sneak peeks of one’s evening gown.

Last year, I had the privilege to be asked to create a concept art for Charmaine Elima’s national costume. The idea then was to capitalize on her dusky morena skin with a Nuestra Senora La Naval inspired national costume.  One that pays homage to the Filipinos love and devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. It may not have won best national costume but it did create buzz around the candidate who wore it. That costume created waves among pageant fans and that was always the goal.  Which is the point of today’s blogpost: a focus on the national costume and how it should be designed and executed.
Whenever I am doing a national costume re-imagining or asked to create a concept design, I only have two considerations: 1) it should feel and look AUTHENTIC to the Filipino culture and 2) it should create DRAMA and IMPACT.

Vision to reality: the exquisite details that jumped from paper to fabric and jewelry…

Authenticity is a hard thing to do nowadays with a number of national costumes in pageants. When I did the concept art for Valerie’s costume for Dances of the World, it did receive some flak on the usage of the color blue instead of the traditional black and red of the T’boli tribe. Nobody knew that the costume was actually a Blit Blaan costume, a dance from the B’laan tribe which uses navy, blue and white with other colors in their wardrobe. There is a lot of misinformation that could happen based on Filipinos limited knowledge of our own culture which is the point of research to make it feel authentic.

Take into account the recent Maranao costume of Catriona Gray. A number of pageant fans assumed that it was a Singkil costume (perhaps owing to the fact that it’s the most popular Marano dance). Others had actually went to post online the inaccuracy of the parasol saying that the princess in the singkil dance only holds the apir fans and the parasol was to be held by her handmaiden (it is noteworthy to mention that the position of a handmaiden in court is reserved for the noble families not for slaves). The costume however pays homage to a lesser known Maranao dance called the Kinakulangan where maidens would hold parasols and handkerchiefs as they dance. Actual research has to back up every design to reinforce being authentic. It is the only way to be respectful to the culture that the costume is representing.

The parasol looked exactly as the concept art. The Sarimanok on top was my idea to dramatically create a lasting impact and to lift this iconic creature higher…

There is also the aspect of impact and high-drama. Every costume needs to have visual impact for it to stand out among a sea of costumes. Whether it was the bells of the B’laan costume of Valerie, the body-tattoos of the Pintados costume of Mary Ann Ross Misa, the religious connotations of Charmaine’s terno or the Sarimanok atop Catriona’s parasol…there has to be a focal point that gives the wow factor. There has to be that element that ties everything together without sacrificing the overall impact of the entire look.

When you put these two elements together, you get a memorable costume. Authenticity and Impact.

Bb. Pilipinas 2018 Queens Answer What it Means to be a Beauty Queen

The Binibining Pilipinas 2018 is one articulate and smart batch. In their recent Metro.Style feature, the six reigning beauty queens answer one tough question: What does being a beauty queen mean to you?

Miss Universe Philippines 2018 Catriona Gray: “I think a beauty queen is not a queen for herself; being a queen is a role of service… So many people look up to you. You have so much influence that you can really do good, and I feel like I have already proven to myself that with being a beauty queen, you can make a difference, like with the opening of the school I helped fund with Young Focus in Tondo, Manila.”
Bb. Pilipinas International 2018 Ahtisa Manalo: “Ang genuine beauty queen, makikita mo ‘yun sa heart, in the mind, when they want to have change. We, beauty queens, we’re given a platform where we can enact change and call support to our causes. Since we’re always in the limelight, this is a better way to express our thoughts to the public. People these days, they’re so quick to believe everything they see on social media. What they need is a good influence, and us, as beauty queens, we’d like to be influencers in a good way.”

Bb. Pilipinas Supranational 2018 Jehza Huelar: “It’s not always what you see physically. You should always know the person, where she’s coming from. Queen is not only ‘she,’ but everyone who wants to be a beauty queen, even from the opposite sex. Let’s not put a barrier that a beauty queen is only a girl. Let’s not look at the physical attribute but also what’s inside one’s heart and one’s head.”
Bb. Pilipinas Grand International 2018 Eva Patalinjug: “A beauty queen does not only wear her crown with her head but with her heart as well. She is not only beautiful, smart and diverse, she also has to be with substance and she has to have a heart and soul for the people, in order to really make a difference and a mark in this world. I wanna break the stereotype of the beauty queen that’s only glitz and glamour. We know how to give back as well, because God already blessed us with so much.”

Continue reading “Bb. Pilipinas 2018 Queens Answer What it Means to be a Beauty Queen”