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”


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”

A Retrospective Thought on Eva’s Bb. Pilipinas Q&A

I was just going over some of my Binibining Pilipinas 2018 files over the past weekend when I came up with a screencap of the side by side comparison of Bb. Pilipinas Grand International Eva Patalinjug’s final Q&A answer with that of Nadine Lustre’s caption of the Mega.Ph’s #TheNewPH campaign.

I thought it would be a good topic to put show them side by side.
The role of a beauty queen is to be a voice. I am here to make a message to all of you. In these times of uncertainty and fear that have seemingly taken over in our country, we have remained steadfast as we face all of the challenges. As a united nation, what we should do is to set aside out political differences, forget our academic and social preferences, and love and loyalty for our country to rise above all…” – Eva Patalinjug
In these times when fear and uncertainty have seemingly taken over, as a united nation, we remained steadfast and unfazed in the midst of challenges. I believe what we need as one nation now is Unity. As we celebrate our country’s independence, let us march forward towards the future, in the hopes of building a better nation, #TheNewPH” – Nadine Lustre on Mega Magazine Independence Day Campaign

As you can see, Eva borrowed only one line which doesn’t constitute plagiarism and added meatier lines to her answer. The so-called plagiarism being thrown by non-scholars and non-media practitioners are nothing more than just futile attacks because she won. Had she not been crowned, I don’t think she would have received the same attention.
I have written my piece on this quite sometime ago. Yet I still feel the need to educate people who do not know the limits and scope of what is a plagiarized material. All that fuss over a single borrowed line amounts to nothing more but the wind howling for the mountain to bow down… Much ado about nothing.

National Costume Wish-List for Eva Patalinjug

If I were given the opportunity to create a concept art for a national costume to be worn by Eva Patalinjug for Miss Grand International, I would gladly accept the chance.

I actually have a couple of ideas for her national costume that I feel would be great for her pageant in Myanmar come October 25th.
1. Sinulog Festival Costume – of course this should be an option as Eva comes from Cebu. The Sinulog festival queen outfit would be so perfect for her mestiza beauty and will tie-up perfectly with her hometown of Cebu. I would love to make the concept art in a grandiose and extravagant manner, something that the MGI pageant seems to favor.

2. Boxer Codex Pintados Costume – one of the oldest documents in existence regarding the pintados of Visayas is the Boxer Codex that illustrated the ornate tattoos and the rich gold heritage of pre-Hispanic Philippines. The difference here is I would make it with a little more color to make it festive.
The national costume for Eva should be something that represents her and her background. I hope that Eva would be given a great wardrobe for her competition. I believe that she can actually be the first Filipina Miss Grand International winner…

Binibining Pilipinas 2018 Review Pt. 2 – The Winners & Placements

This is part two of the four-part Binibining Pilipinas 2018 review . And today we will be talking about the 8 winners and their respective placements. In terms of predictions, I got 2 out of the 6 crowns correctly with Eva and Catriona..and 21 out of the 25 semi-finalists. Not bad considering this batch was a very competitive one!

I would say that I am a bit skeptic at first with some of the placements of this batch. After a very solid 2017 batch of strong communicators, two of the girls that had strong q&a were relegated only to runners up. But looking at how the girls with crowns are placed with their respective international competitions, I see that this was a strategic move.

Bb. Pilipinas Globe,  Michelle Gumabao – I guess my assessment on my crown-contender series was correct, she did end up with the Miss Globe title! She follows the same pattern as Nelda Ibe (pilot beauty queen vis-a-vis sportswoman turned beauty queen). I think she is a strong contender for the Miss Globe title.
Bb. Pilipinas Intercontinental, Karen Gallman – another case where my crown contender assessment was correct! Karen may have not been able to communicate fluidly her point during the finals but she was able to get her message across. I have a feeling that she would continue our placement streak at Miss Intercontinental.

Bb. Pilipinas Supranational, Jehza Huelar – third times a charm! Finally Jehza has been crowned! She may have had a rocky start but she did finish with a bang! Her good bone structure on her small frame would be very appreciated in the Polish pageant.
Bb. Pilipinas Grand International, Eva Patalinjug – she was my MGI bet on the final Sashes&Scripts leaderboard and she ended up landing that title! The Thai-based pageant will surely love this mestiza looking Cebuana specially with Eva being a multi-hyphenate (beauty queen- registered nurse- law student).

Bb. Pilipinas International, Ahtisa Manalo – the youngest among the winners this year and she has to cast a bigger shadow than her predecessor. And it would be easy for this doll-like beauty. All she needs to do is to behave well and find a formula that would gel well with what the Japanese pageant is looking for.
Miss Universe Philippines, Catriona Gray – she is the girl that was MUP in both my crown-contender assessment and in my final leaderboard. Was there ever a doubt that she would win this title? Nada, at least for me. She was the girl to beat from day 1 and she never wavered in her lead.

I still would have wanted those who did well at the Q&A grab some crowns had there been more franchises but in totality I think this is a solid batch of queens. I would even say that the Philippines has a handful of international crown-worthy queens in this group, can’t wait to see them in action for their respective competitions abroad…

Thoughts on Eva and Samantha’s Bb. Pilipinas 2018 Answers

There seems to have been a general criticism over the final Q&A responses of Binibining Pilipinas Grand International Eva Patalinjug and Bb. Pilipinas 2nd Runner up Samantha Bernardo. Pageant fans keep on criticizing that they were rehearsed or that they were ‘plagiarized’. Here is my thoughts on this issue.

First let’s tackle Eva’s answer. Accusations of plagiarism is hurled at Eva over her answer as well. Now here is the thing about plagiarism, extemporaneous speaking or spontaneous speech is exempt from plagiarism because she does not gain monetary profits from borrowing a quotation or a section of a previously published content. Nor she is wrong to use a phrase or a section in what deems as appropriate in regular speech. From what we know the sections she borrowed for her q&a weren’t copyrighted material, hence everybody/ anybody is allowed to paraphrase, rephrase or repurpose its content to whatever purpose it suits them. This is where I would ask every one, when is it ever wrong to quote someone else’s words in a beauty pageant q&a? Haven’t girls and gays even at the baranggay level borrowed Pia Wurtzbach’s “confidently beautiful with a heart” phrase? Or haven’t pageant fans forgotten that even Pia borrowed GMA7’s slogan “think before you click” in her BBP2015 q&a? Double standards much? It’s okay for other to use quoted text or section but not for other?

The thing about extemporaneous speech is that it is even more difficult to use the exact same words when you are quoting someone under pressure and a time limit. Granted that Eva may have omitted to mention at that specific instance the source material as she ran out of the allotted time. But you gotta consider that her answer bore much gravitas than other girls in their respective shallow answers. This is what we writers refer to content over construction. This means that the essence of what was written, or in this case what was said,  bears more weight than how it was written. This is why writers and authors have editors.
Next we have Samantha reusing her own statement during the Bb. Pilipinas primer. I have no issue over that as we all have prepared canned responses whenever we go to a job interview. Usually, when we practice our answers for interviews our brain picks up on certain keywords and phrases (burning torch, love is the essence of life vis-a-vis the essence of being a woman, etc…) that we use as our go-to words. Hence when the occasion arise that we are in need of using them we blurt them out as if it were muscle memory. Same can be said of Samantha’s answer. She blurted a similar response to a question that is perhaps similarly asked in a previous situation. Again, what should be judged here is the gravitas of her answer not the answer itself.

The whole point of this issue is the fact that these two girls came in prepared. Judging them because they came in prepared is actually comical. Fortune favors the prepared and you can see that they were rewarded for it. Every pageant girl have notes and quotes that they put in their memory bank to use as conversation starters. To be able to be that well-read, well-informed and having a vast repository of knowledge at hand when an immediate need arises should command respect not criticism. Because when you are in that position, I could only imagine that these arm-chair critics could only do worse, not better than Eva or Samantha.

Binibining Pilipinas 2018 Review Pt. 1 – What You Didn’t See at the Telecast

This is the first time that I have ever watched the Binibining Pilipinas pageant live!

And I came in without any expectation whatsoever. Unlike the rest of the pageant fans in the venue, I was relatively calm throughout the experience. We will be having a four-part review of the pageant finals. Today’s blogpost is going to be more of a recap of the things that you probably didn’t see during the telecast.

Here are a number of things that were unforgettable in the pageant that wasn’t necessarily obvious or seen at the telecast:
* After the Q&A session, Catriona came to Sandra and comforted her after not being able to answer her question. This is no surprising as they are actually best of friends since their Miss World Philippine days.
* During the opening billboard of the 2017 queens, one of the reigning queens was booed by the audiences at the Araneta Coliseum. Since I was seated at the Patron area, it could be easily heard that it came from all over the different corners of the venue.
* At the opening spiel of the hosts,  Richard Gutierrez’ microphone had issues. I am not sure if it was shown on the telecast as perhaps it was able to record his voice and just didn’t gotten heard on the venue’s speakers.

* The atmosphere seems to be less frantic than that in Miss Universe. Since the ABS-CBN had a delayed telecast of the pageant, I wasn’t able to experience too much tension. But I could feel the intensity from the rest of the audience in the Coliseum.
* After a very politically-laden Q&A of 2017, there seemed to be less ‘aggressive’ questions against the government. Is it perhaps because ABS-CBN isn’t at a good standing with the President?

*  Nawat Itsaragrisil was in the finals and I have noticed that he wasn’t in his seat when the judges had their deliberation of winners. Rumor has it that the Thai pageant owner ‘singled out’ Eva Patalinjug for his pageant.
* According to one of the candidates, the reason why only a handful of candidates went out onstage during the announcement of the winners was due to two things: 1) some were so disappointed that they had immediately changed out of their gowns and 2) other were just so exhausted that they no longer had energy after not making the cut.
* In relation to that, the girls were only able to sleep at around 2am in the morning before being woken up at 5am to prepare for the rehearsals during the day of March 18. In fact they were rehearsing and had the final run-through that same day and only finished around 6pm. So it was understandable that the girls were really exhausted with the whole day rehearsals and 3-4 hours of sleep.

* Some fans after the pageant could be heard discussing the 4-3-1 results. 4 of this year’s winners came from Kagandahang Flores (Samantha Bernardo, Vickie Rushton, Karen Gallman and Eva Patalinjug), 3 from Aces (Michelle Gumabao, Jehza Huelar and Ahtisa Manalo) and 1 independent candidate (Catriona Gray). Some noted that it was the girls from KF that collectively  slayed the Q&A portion of the pageant. And I tend to agree, the KF girls seemed to have meatier and more substantial answers to their respective questions.
Stay tuned for part 2!

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”

BBP2018: A Loaded Binibining Pilipinas Batch

Binibining Pilipinas 2018 is almost at a finish and yet we barely scratched the surface on each of the candidates. Initially, this batch was tagged by pageants fans to be a weak batch but were proven in time to be anything but. In fact, this year’s batch have collectively brought meatier resumes and backstories than previous batches.

Nowadays, having a backstory is something that is almost required in pageants more so with an advocacy that showed how one has helped in the community she is in. That is why these couple of aspects are considered one of the requirements that aren’t explicitly indicated but weights heavily in the selection of queens. Now on to the seven ladies that have a fully fleshed-out stories to tell and advocacies they promote.
Vickie Rushton – her mother is blind and her brother has Down’s syndrome and that is why her advocacy on better understanding and treatment for PWDs (Person/s with Disabilities) rings true and authentic. She acts as one of the hands-on caregivers to her sibling and credits her BBP journey to her brother, Kian. Nothing would ring true than that what hits close to the heart.

Janice Roman – has one of the best resumes of the batch. A professor of communications, philosophy, world literature, media and information literacy, etc… this lady brings a heavy dose of what a careerwoman and an empowered professional looks like. Her background as an educator is one of the most impressive in this batch as she is able to help mold the minds of future leaders and movers of the country.

Michelle Gumabao – a sportswoman turned pageant girl, she advocates for sports for kids and has summer sports clinics for children. She hopes to have sustainable sports programs for kids that live away from Metro Manila. Add to her sports advocacy is being an advocate for Habitat for Humanity. Continue reading “BBP2018: A Loaded Binibining Pilipinas Batch”

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…