Mabuhay Binibining Pilipinas Batch 2017!

As the days have now trickled down to hours, the time to bid farewell to the Binibining Pilipinas 2017 queens draws near…
Last year 40 women across the country vied for 6 national titles in a grueling 2 month period. In the end, these 6 amazing queens managed to win and represented the country well in the global stage…

2017 Bb. Pilipinas Globe & Miss Globe 1st runner up, Nelda Ibe – she almost bagged the title just 2 years after we first won it. The pilot-beauty queen was confident that a Q&A would have turned the tables to her favor. Nevertheless her runner up finish marked the three year top5 finish for the country.
2017 Bb. Pilipinas Intercontinental & Miss Inttercontinental 1st runner up, Katarina Rodriguez – two years after Kristi McGarry made 2nd place and we managed another 1st runner up finish. We are almost positive that Katarina could have been the first Filipina winner of the pageant and yet the title remains elusive. Despite that she still made the Philippines proud.
2017 Bb. Pilipinas Supranational & Miss Supranational top 10 semifinalist, Chanel Olive Thomas – aside from her top 10 finish, the bubbly lass also won the Miss Personality/ Friendship award. This is only testament to the wonderful personality of this amazing lady.

2017 Bb. Pilipinas Gran & Miss Grand International 2nd runner up, Elizabeth Clenci – the lass who started the string of phenomenal placements of her batch. Liz is the best conversationalist of the group. She blossomed amazingly during the MGI pageant and was a great follow up to her predecessors who were also runners up in the pageant.
2017 Bb. Pilipinas International, Mariel de Leon – this outspoken lass has shocked and shook social media this year. She was my personal bet for the Bb. Pilipinas International title last year and was right with my prediction. Despite failing at Miss International last year, we wish her good luck in her future endeavors.
2017 Miss Universe Philippines & Miss Universe top 10 finalist, Rachel Louise Peters – she gave her best during the finals and gave us our 8th consecutive placement in Miss Universe, the longest so far we’ve had in the pageant. She was up against a tough battle yet still delivered well to give us a top 10 finalist placement that we can all be proud of. She was my bet for the Miss Universe Philippines title last year and has rightfully won the title and made us proud with her reign.

The 2017 batch is perhaps the strongest batch in terms of communication skills. All articulate and smart, these women were no slouch in their respective international competitions. As their reign is about to end, we salute them and their achievements. Once a Binibini, always a Binibini…


The Philippines at Miss Grand International

Since the inception of the pageant in 2013, the Philippines has enjoyed a regular placement at Miss Grand International.

With the exception of 2014, the Philippine reps at the Bangkok-based pageant has always managed a runner up position. Four out of the five past editions, Filipina reps have managed to crack the top 5. Back in its first two years, when Sir John dela Vega held the national franchise, Ali Forbes scored a 3rd runner up finish. The following year, Kimberly failed to make semis. Then in 2015, the franchise was taken over by the BPCI with Binibining Pilipinas Tourism 2014 Parul Shah appointed as Miss Grand Philippines. So far, we haven’t had a slip up in the top 5 since then.

2017 : Elizabeth Clenci, 2nd Runner Up
2016 : Nicole Cordoves, 1st Runner Up
2015 : Parul Shah, 3rd Runner Up (unofficially moved up to 2nd runner up after the winner resigned/dethroned)
2014 : Kimberly Karlsson, Unplaced
2013 : Ali Forbes, 3rd Runner Up

Sashes&Scripts Year-End Special: The Philippines’ 2017 Performance

It is said that if we tally all the titles that the Philippines has won this year (from Alpha to Omega pageant) it tallied to a total wins of 50 crowns. Quite a remarkable feat for this pageant obsessed country.

Notable wins among the minor pageants this year is Teresita “Winwyn” Marquez as the first Asian to conquer the Reina Hispanoamericana title. She bested aroung 20+ ladies for the title. KF-trained Sarah Bona also scored a win via the Miss Nature Intercontinental title. Just recently, Jannie Alipoon won the title of Miss Tourism International. The Mutya ng Pilipinas winner scored the country’s 4th crown in the Malaysia-based pageant.

As for the Beta Pageants, the Philippines fared quite well too. It started with a 2nd runner up finish for Elizabeth Clenci in Miss Grand International and was followed up immediately with a 1st runner up finish of Nelda Ibe in Miss Globe. Aces & Queens trained Chanel Olive Thomas managed a top 10 finish in Miss Supranational as well as bagging the Miss Congeniality special award. Her compatriot Katarina Rodriguez’ pageant has been moved to January of 2018 and we can’t wait to see her perform.
The Alpha pageants is a different ballgame altogether. Our Miss International quest for a back to back win ended when Mariel de Leon failed to make it into the semis. Laura Lehmann managed a top 40 finish, the Philippines’ lowest since 2011 but at least was one of the 5 winners of the Beauty with a Purpose challenge. Despite looking spectacular and giving a strong performance at the Miss Universe finals, Rachel Peters didn’t go further than the top 10. Karen Ibasco’s Miss Earth win on the other hand continued  the winning streak of the Philippines in the Alpha pageants. Her win marks 5 consecutive years of winning one or two of the Alpha pageants since 2013.

With the 2017 pageant season about to close and the 2018 national pageant season about to start, we can’t help but get excited for what is next. Binibining Pilipinas 2018 and Miss Philippines Earth 2018 should be getting a head start soon!

Liz, Nelda & Karen: Kagandahang Flores is in a Roll!

First came the 2nd runner up finish of Elizabeth Clenci in Miss Grand International, then came the 1st runner up finish of Nelda Ibe in Miss Globe, and now Miss Earth 2017 Karen Ibasco…

The Kagandahang Flores camp is on a winning streak this year. The oldest pageant camp in country started off with a huge bang at Binibining Pilipinas & Miss Philippines Earth that continued to go on ’til the recently concluded Miss Earth at the MOA Arena. KF Stalwarts Sir Rodgil Fores and Gio Flores must be very proud of their wards’ accomplishments this year. 
Elizabeth started it off to a good start placing 3rd overall in MGI earlier in Vietnam. In all honesty, I thought that she would be the one to win the title with tough competition coming from Peru. Then came the well deserved 2nd place finish of Nelda in Albania, just an inch short of clinching the title that went on to Vietnam. While Karen solidified things at the homefront winning the 4th ME crown for the country. After a solid performance in every segment of the pageant, she romped away easily with the title after smashing it at the final q&a.

Will KF continue its winning streak until Miss Universe this year? Can’t wait to find out!

Sashes&Scripts’ Favorites for Miss Grand International 2017

Today’s post is going to feature five girls that I have been looking at as possible successor to Ariska Pertiwi of Indonesia. Just like last year, I think that an Asian domination in the top 5 is highly possible. We also have the remaining 7 girls that could comprise of the semi-finalists of the competition.

Edit (10/24/2017, 7:21pm): While I may have written this post during the last weekend, recent events led me to scrap the original artwork banner and just retain the photo-collage. I also have removed the rest of the girls on my list of possible semi-finalists to accommodate a lengthier write up on the ladies in my top 5.   

#5. Malaysia, Sanjeda John – she was always on the periphery of my very short attention span but after the preliminaries, I thought she has just an equal chance of bagging the MGI title. 
#4. Thailand, Premika Pamela Pasinetti​ – I have to say that this lady really delivered during the preliminaries. I wouldn’t be surprised to see her replicating a top 5 finish of her Miss Grand Thailand predecessor. She was perhaps the girl that peaked at the most opportune moment of the competition and I should say that she could definitely steal the spotlight come finals.
#3. Philippines, Elizabeth Clenci – at first I was very confident that Liz has the title in the bag. She has been performing so well in the competition by nailing every segment or event day in and day out. That is until Pinoy fans intensified their bashing of the MGI pageant. How would a pageant org crown a winner from a country that is its main basher, when there are several equally deserving girls in the competition? This I why I have been building Elizabeth on a series of my posts for the title because we finally had a strong chance with her, only to be ruined by overzealous Filipino haters of the pageant. Nevertheless, I pray that this won’t affect her chances of winning the MGI title. Despite all these negativity stacked against her, I pray she wins. It is a ‘Hail Mary Pass‘ as of now but I still believe in Liz, she is equally deserving to be Miss Grand International. 
#2. India, Anukriti Gusain – my darkhorse bet in the competition. India has sent their best girl (in my opinion) to Miss Grand International this year. I might be too ambitious in saying that I see some similarities with Amal Clooney on this girl and I have been watching over her since day 1. If she is able to hold her own until the q&a portion, we might see an Asian back to back win with her. I am almost sure now that she has the highest chance among the Asians to win this year.
#1. Peru, Maria Jose Lora –  I would have to say that she owned the prelims, she totally eclipsed everyone specially after the evening gown presentation. And she moves like a seasoned pro onstage which made her standout even more. 

At this point all I can say is good luck to the ladies and may the best girl win!

The Classy Miss Elizabeth Clenci

Binibining Pilipinas Grand International Elizabeth Clenci is a masterclass of chic and elegance. To call her classy Clenci is an understatement!

Elizabeth’s wardrobe in Miss Grand International is worth blogging about. Working in the fashion industry for a little over a decade now, I can honestly say that this is how a pageant wardrobe should be like. Liz is masterfully nailing every event with her choice of wardrobe. She has been very hands-on in the selection of her dresses and gowns to which she says, “I know what works for my body”. This is translated with very subdued but ultra-chic  styles. She chose silhouettes that complimented her body without overpowering her.

The wardrobe that she brought to Vietnam is truly enviable. Hopefully,  all our Binibini girls has taken a page from her strategy and that is to never an outfit that you cannot master…. and Liz does quite master her outfits with lots of class.

PhotoCollage of the Day: Bb. Pilipinas 2017 Winners for HIV-AIDS Awareness

The fight against HIV is a multi-disciplinary effort rooted in compassion, love, and a genuine desire to help others. The ever changing face of the epidemic demands a dynamism that can only be achieved with different sectors of society working together and the merging of various disciplines. Together, we can stand and make a difference. – The Red Whistle, @theredwhistle

In the spirit of love and acceptance, let us give our unwavering support to all those who are fighting the battle of HIV and those in the frontline of dealing with the crisis brought about by the epidemic. – Maria Angelica de Leon
In our commitment to forming a society free from barrier and stigma, let us encourage each other to take the bold step to make the right choices towards getting tested and finding out one’s HIV status. – Katarina Rodriguez
We shall empower each other to make the right choices – choices made in the spirit of love and acceptance for oneself, radiating towards love and acceptance for others. Empower others to know their HIV status so that more lives will be saved. – Chanel Olive Thomas

We shall tear down barriers and fight discrimination in all its forms and build a culture of acceptance of the diversity of the community. Acceptance will break the stigma of HIV and bring us closer to resolving the ever worsening crisis brought about by the epidemic. – Nelda Ibe
Let us commit our resolve in winning the battle against the HIV epidemic the Philippines is facing. Let us commit our efforts towards mitigating the spread of the epidemic and towards reconstructing the lives of those affected by it. – Elizabeth Clenci

Let us have open minds. Let us listen to each other’s hearts. Let us grow together, as a community, in love. With love, barriers collapse and authenticity is borne, and from here people can work together in synergy and achieve greatness. With love, we can solve the crisis of the HIV epidemic together. – Rachel Peters

Opinion: Elizabeth as Miss Grand International & Paweensuda as Miss Earth?

The Miss Earth and Miss Grand International pageants are having overlapping schedules this year. Not withstanding the steaming rivalry between the two pageants, their finals night will be highly anticipated as to which lady is gonna run home with the titles. At this point, I can say I already have formed several favorites for the Miss Earth and Miss Grand International titles. But for this post let’s focus on just two: Elizabeth Clenci and Paweensuda Drouin.

If Elizabeth Clenci wins the Miss Grand International title (finals on October 26, 2017), this would be a huge win for the Bangkok-based pageant. Filipinos love to rally behind their queens and it would be a great way to reconcile Pinoy pageant fans with MGI. There would be a huge wave of support for Liz as the winner which would benefit the pageant. Elizabeth is nailing the fashion game spot-on and she knows how to command attention without asking for it. Add to that is her ability to win you over with her winsome personality, something that the Vietnamese fans are seeing as of late.
If Paweensuda Drouin Saetan or Fahsai wins Miss Earth? That would be to the delight of Thai fans as Fahsai is perhaps the strongest girl they have sent to ME in ages. No disrespect to the gorgeous Punika Kulsoontornrut, but Fahsai is far more ME winner material. Of course Fahsai’s win could usher more Thai fans for ME, also a win-win for the Manila-based pageant. Fahsai seems to be genuinely sympathetic to the ME cause. Add to her resume, public speaking skills, impressive face and tall stature, she seems to be quite a perfect candidate for the ME title. Miss Earth finals will be on November  4, 2017.

Don’t you think that this scenario could easily play out? That both Fahsai and Liz can be the bridge to bring the ME and MGI fans together? Or that it would benefit the ME & MGI pageants in the long term? 
Your thoughts, dear readers…

Elizabeth Clenci & Jaz Cerezo: Chic, Clean and Classy Style

Elizabeth Clenci surely knows how to make an entrance… wearing a white Jaz Cerezo gown, the Binibining Pilipinas Grand International turned heads with her show stopping style.

That is all thanks to her go-to-designer Jaz Cerezo. I witnessed how Jaz and Liz interact during a meeting where Kagandahang Flores head Sir Rodgil introduced me to Liz. And I have to say that Liz is in great hands under the masterful hands of the designer. Jaz’ lines and design aesthetics are clean, crisp and classy…something that mirror’s Liz’ personal style. Liz never wears anything that overpower her and Jaz’ designs are always flattering without taking too much attention away from the wearer. That is why they are a match made in fashion heaven. 

It is no wonder that Liz will be wearing a number of gowns created by Jaz. We can’t wait if she will be wearing the designer’s gown for the evening gown finals as well. It seems that Liz manages to shine always in Jaz’ creations. Her fierce smize-then-smirk (smile with no teeth) are a deadly combination in Jaz’ chic and understated gowns. It is no wonder that Liz is given the moniker “Classy Clenci”.
Check out below videos from Instagram just to show you how Elizabeth became a showstopper during the Miss Grand International opening event…


Elizabeth Clenci is Ready for Miss Grand International!

After the release of these latest photos of Binibining Pilipinas Grand International Elizabeth Clenci by Raymond Saldana, has every pageant fan gawking at her full transformation. The Binibini is now [grand] international, pun intended, competition ready.

These are actually some of her best pics we have seen and there are more photos from her shoot that is yet to be released. I am actually impressed and it makes me think that she could be the next Miss Grand International!
Enjoy these photos!

Here is a BTS video of her shoot…