The Binibining Pilipinas 2017 Review Pt1

This year my pageant review has a little bit more “spice” to it than usual as I feel the need to be truthful and honest to my opinions, though I will try to put them as nicely as I could. I hope no feelings are gonna get hurt because this is going to be a whole lotta eyeful to read…

The Top 25 Semi-finalists – 12 from KF, 12 from A&Q and 1 independent candidates comprise the top 25. The shocker of the year is the non-inclusion of Liezel Ramos, Angelique de Leon and Dindi Pajares. While we couldn’t really pinpoint what went wrong, we can all guess that the closed-door interview might be the culprit or perhaps they weren’t what the org is looking for this year. It is said that the questions during the closed-door interview were very difficult with topics ranging from current events, religion to politics. I am really impressed with the inclusions of Dane Felise Marasigan, Ana Patricia Asturias and Nelda Ibe on the semis. I also see that the top 25 comprised of women from different backgrounds.

The Outfits – This year, I am very much impressed in how far along we have gone in terms of the wardrobe for the local pageant. It was only 3 short years ago that fans are complaining about the lack of Filipino talents in the wardrobe of the pageant. Opening dresses were made by Bing Cristobal. This year we have Domz Ramos and Jeffrey Rogador doing the swimsuits for the pageant (Domz created the ones for the parade and Jeffrey for the finals). I only wished that the Jeffrey Rogador swimsuits used during the press presentation was switched for the finals instead. I believe that the dark colored swimsuit wasn’t a good match for the finals and the neon colored ones would have made a better impact onstage.

Shoes were made by Jojo Bragais as it was for the past couple of years. I just hoped that the powers at be decided to make the girls wear same colored shoes as their opening outfits as the gold was too high a contrast on the green and purple outfits. Let’s not mention the evening gowns who are all made by Filipino designers.

The Swimsuit – this portion is definitely nailed by Rachel ‘the Killer Bod’ Peters. Her performance in this round was almost perfect. Though I would give this round to Ruffa Nava with what was an effortless glide onstage.
The Evening Gown – while I have nothing against Mariel winning this award, I thought the evening gown performance of Charmaine Elima then followed by Sirene Sutton were superior to hers. Mariel still has to polish her walk.
Before I go unto the next segment, I really wished to have seen Ruffa Nava making top 15. It would have been interesting to see and hear her speak in the top 15.

The Top 15 Q&A – this is where the best girls emerged. Kristel Guelos did quite well here and I thought I would have switched her with Elizabeth Clenci in terms of placement. Elizabeth was conversational in her Q&A but delivered it with just enough confidence. Charmaine rambled initially but was able to pull off a strong finish to her question about cursing. Had she edited her answer to only say the last portion, she could have nailed a crown. Nelda Ibe flubbed her answer and she could have done better, perhaps flustered nerves were the culprit. I would have replaced her with Christagale Borja instead. Christa’s answer to the ‘best day’ question merited a much higher placement in my opinion. Nevertheless I am happy for Nelda’s title. Gabriela Ortega gave a strong answer as it was quite relatable, although her thick Spanish accent made her sound unsure in her delivery. Katarina Rodriguez was given a ‘standard pageant question’ to which she responded well, had she been given a tougher question like that of Rachel Peters then I think she could have gotten a higher title. Rachel had a difficult question as its nature is about current political events. She nailed her question saying divisiveness in religion, politics and culture is something that she would like to address to the ASEAN leaders. Juliana Kapeundl was a revelation that night and I thought she would possibly end up as a runner up. However her lack of conviction while she was speaking was probably the main culprit of her not making top 8. Mariel was also given a ‘standard pageant question’ though I give props to her for injecting a little bit of humor to her response.

Watch out for the 2nd part of the Binibining Pilipinas pageant review coming soon…


The Binibining Pilipinas 2017 Recap!

The Binibining Pilipinas coronation night has come and gone and now we have a new set of winners that will represent us in several international competitions later this year! So before we do a full review of the pageant here is a quick recap of the coronation night…

Opening Number – the girls went out onstage wearing Bing Cristobal identical dresses in red, greed purple and gold. They came out in 4 batches of 10 each to the tune of Sia’s “Move Your Body” (which coincidentally was one of my music wishlist for the 65th Miss Universe pageant).

Special Awardees – they were split into batches. Early lead went on to Chanel Olive and Rachel before Katarina and Mariel catched up on their respective awards…
Miss Friendship – 22 Chanel Olive Thomas
Miss Photogenic – 19 Rachel Peters
Best in Talent – 1 Dane Felise Marasigan
Best National Costume – 22 Chane Olive Thomas
Manila Bulletin Readers Choice – 20 Christagale Borja
Jag Denim Queen – 19 Rachel Peters
Miss CreamSilk – 15 Mariel de Leon
Best in Swimsuit – 19 Rachel Peters
Best in Evening Gown – 15 Mariel de Leon
Miss PAL – 31 Katarina Rodriguez

The top 25 Semi-finalists – this year there was two major cuts before going to the winners circle. First was the cut to the top 25 which comprised of the following (in order of call out):
2 Arienne Calingo
27 Beatrice Valiente
1 Dane Felisse Marasigan
37 Sammie Anne Legaspi
6 Ma. Benjieleen Nama
7 Jennyline Carla Malpaya
9 Vanessa Saliba
33 Kristi Rose Cequena
26 Ruffa Nava
38 Ana Patricia Asturias

After the top 15 competed in the swimsuits and evening gowns, they were then narrowed to the top 15 where each of the girls were asked by the panel of judges a question. They were split into two batches of question and answer. 
The Top 15 – 6 from KF, 1 independent and 7 from A&Q.
10 Jehza Huelar
13 Sirene Sutton
20 Christa Gale Borja
17 Camille Manalo
34 Gabriela Ortega
16 Sarah Grace Lacap
28 Juliana Kapuendl – People’s Choice winner (automatic top 15)

The Winners
2nd Runner up – 40 Kristel Guelos
1st Runner up – 32 Charmaine Elima
Bb. Pilipinas Globe – 18 Nelda Ibe 
Bb. Pilipinas Intercontinental – 31 Katarina Rodriguez
Bb. Pilipinas Grand International – 39 Elizabeth Clenci
Bb. Pilipinas Supranational – 22 Chanel Olive Thomas
Bb. Pilipinas International – 15 Maria Angelica De Leon
Miss Universe Philippines – 19 Rachel Peters

Congratulations to the new winners!

Binibining Pilipinas 2017: The Crown Contenders

Here is my complete set of Binibining Pilipinas Crown Contenders…
Binibini 12 – Angelique de Leon
Binibini 13 – Sirene Sutton
Binibini 15 – Mariel de Leon

Binibini 19 – Rachel Peters
Binibini 20 – Christagale Borja
Binibini 24 – Dindi Pajares
Binibini 32 – Charmaine Elima
* As my possible 8th placer, I am adding Nelda Ibe into the list…

I believe that all seven (plus one) of these girls could easily take home any of the titles at stake.
Good luck to all the girls competing in the pageant finals!

2017 Bb. Pilipinas Crown Contender: Christagale Borja

: Christagale Borja

Strengths: strong communication skills with a model-esque body proportions. Among the candidates this year, she is the only one that has body/ bone structure that is similar to Miriam Quiambao’s. Those kinds of bodies don’t come in often in Philippine pageants. She can coast thru easily in the swimsuit competition and if she nails the Q&A portion, she can see herself in the winning circle.
Weaknesses: Christa has to find a way to mask/lessen the appearance of her chubby cheeks as it hides her cheekbones. A strong focus on the eye plus a good contouring technique could easily solve this problem.

Best Suited for:  Binibining Pilipinas Intercontinental. So far the girls with great bodies and proportions like Christi Lynn McGarry and Jennifer Hammond has done well in the German-based competition. 
Most Likely will be: perhaps a toss between Bb Pilipinas Intercontinental or Bb Pilipinas Supranational, although I personally see her more as the possible winner of the former…

Interview with Binibini #20 Christagale Borja Pt.2

Yesterday we posted the first portion of our interview with Binibini 20 Christagale Borja. This is part 2 of our interview with the 5’10” who grew up in London.

5. Who is/are the role model/s you look up to and why?
Definitely my two sisters, they’ve been my role models ever since I was young. Yes, I’ve looked up to supermodels and pop singers in the past, however in terms of life experience and wisdom, my two sisters takes the trophy. They are my greatest teachers. Both of them have been so supportive with my journey for Binibining Pilipinas. They both taught me to always value my integrity, keep myself grounded and always have faith in God and in myself.
6. What do you think is the relevance of the Binibining Pilipinas pageant in this day of age?
Especially with our recent host for Miss Universe and Pia Wurtzbach’s setting the bar high for beauty aspirants, Bb Pilipinas is more than skin-deep. It is about giving an outlet to women to showcase their talent and capabilities. Bb. Pilipinas helps candidates like me to exude confidence on stage, have the opportunity to continue the legacy of the Philippines and become an advocate to many charitable causes. I hope that through joining this pageant, I’m able to inspire the youth and people are able to relate to my story as their hopeful Bb. Pilipinas titleholder.
7. What was the most difficult part for the pageant?
Definitely adapting to the change (moving from London back to Philippines). Putting yourself to the unknown is risky, however I believe change is an opportunity for self-development and being out of your comfort zone can give you the greatest rewards in life. Though I’ve been away from my mom, my other sister and friends back in London –I know this is only a temporary sacrifice for a permanent success. I wouldn’t change this experience for anything! I am happy that I’m taking the leap of faith.

8. What is your message to your fans and ask for support in the coming competition?
I just want to say thank you to everyone who’s been showing love & support! To be honest, I’ve never expected to have supporters aside from my family and relatives. I am very flattered and honoured that people can see my potential for the competition. I will continue to work my hardest to achieve our goal and I hope to all see you soon on April 30th for the coronation night! Keep sharing and liking our photos and don’t forget our amazing hashtags #Binibini20 and #ChristaCorona. Maraming Salamat po!
This proves that this lady is a girl to reckon with when it comes to interviews. And with Binibining Pilipinas givin that segment bigger weight, we can expect that Christa would do a killing on that portion.

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!

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…