The Triumph of Samantha Bernardo

Binibining Pilipinas Grand 2020, Samantha Mae Bernardo may have ended as the Miss Grand International 1st runner-up placing 2nd to USA’s Abena Appiah, but it surely feels like winning first!

Samantha’s performance from Day 1 to the pageant’s finals can only be summed up in one word: Flawless…

Continue reading “The Triumph of Samantha Bernardo”

Samantha Bernardo: A Face to Watch for in BBP2018

Bea Rose Santiago? Angelee delos Reyes? Nope it’s Samantha Bernardo. Yes remember that name because she is gonna be one of the faces you will have to follow this Binibining Pilipinas season.

Samantha is no stranger to pageants as she was Mutya ng Palawa Turismo back in 2013. She also tried her luck in Miss World Philippines that year. Several years later, we see her making a comeback in the nationals courtesy of Bb. Pilipinas 2018. I’m quite thankful that shoe designer Jojo Bragais made me take notice of this lady from the Kagandahang Flores camp.
Standing tall at 5’8″ and hugging the tape at 35-23-35, Samantha is one of the ladies that can be considered as an underdog in the pageant. While she may not have a huge fan following just yet, we should wait until the BBP season is at its peak for her fanbase to gain some traction.

Personally I will keep an eye for rough diamonds out of this year’s batch. Surely Samantha is one of them…

Sashes&Scripts on Meeting Eva Psychee Patalinjug

‘Twas a beautiful day last Saturday when I have personally met (finally!) former Mutya ng Pilipinas winner and now Bb. Pilipinas 2018 hopeful Eva Psychee Patalinjug.

The 5’7″ stunner was glowing and radiant wearing an off shoulder nude/peach dress following her application at the BPCI offices. I’d have to say, this Cebuana stunner is giving me the same vibes from Angelia Gabrena Ong and Jamie Herrell… winning vibes that is. Kudos to Sir Jonas Borces and Sir Rodgil Flores for her continuous training and improvement. But Eva didn’t slack in her homework as well. When asked why the long wait to join BBP, she said she wanted to prepare herself. And she did.

Eva, who is now going on her 2nd year of law school is thirsty for another win. During our conversation, she made it clear that she intends to do so. And that kind of fighting spirit is admirable and absolutely necessary if she wants to clinch a Binibining Pilipinas crown. She knows the burden of continuing the Cebuana wins at BBP, and says that the pursuit to be excellent and the passion is what makes Cebuanas win at the national tilt. It is that same grit  and passion we see in her resume from being a Sanguniang Kabataan Chair, to becoming a nurse, then choosing between pursuing a law or medical degree and now wanting to become a Binibining Pilipinas winner.
I have high hopes for Eva this year. We may be seeing her as one of the flagbearers (if not the main flagbearer) of Kagandahang Flores.

2017, A Banner Year for Kagandahang Flores

If there is one pageant camp that dominated 2017, it would be Kagandahang Flores. Sir Rodgil Flores should be extremely proud of what his wards are able to achieve this year…

If 2016 was for Aces & Queens girls, 2017 is for KF-trained gals. On the international arena, Kagandahang Flores managed to score major wins in 2017. KF was able to get hold of two Alpha titles courtesy of Karen Ibasco in Miss Earth and Indonesia’s Kevin Liliana for Miss International.
In addition, Elizabeth Clenci snagged the 2nd runner up win in Miss Grand International, Nelda Iba was 1st runner up in Miss Globe, Ilene de Vera is 4th runner up in Miss Asia Pacific International, Sherlyn Doloriel was 3rd runner up in Miss Scuba International, Sammie Anne Legaspi was 1st runner up in the Miss Lumiere International pageant, etc… Even foreign girls who trained under KF became runners up with Natsuki Tsutsui of Japan placing as 4th runner up in Miss International and Nina Robertson representing Australia becoming Miss Earth-Air… At the national level, they dominated the Binibining Pilipinas winning the Miss Universe title with Rachel Peters who then placed in the top 10 of Miss Universe held in Las Vegas. They also have won countless other minor national titles that is too many to list down.

Will they be able to maintain their position on top come 2018? We’ll have to wait and see at the quality of girls that they will field at the nationals. If the rumored KF girls that I have been hearing of, then we have something to be excited about for KF in 2018…

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!

Cynthia Thomalla: Getting Stronger in the Competition

It seems like everything is going well for Cynthia Thomalla in Miss World Philippines. Currently the lovely Cebuana lass is one of the girls who is slaying the fast-tracks of the nationals.

The 5’7″ lass has managed to make it into a number of the  MWP fastttracks (which included Sports and Beach Beauty). Adding to that is a  well-spoken mind that would do her well in interviews. Not surprising as she is a Dean’s lister and a Tourism Events Management graduate from Maasin, Southern Leyte. Cynthia also has a whistlebait figure that goes well with her gorgeous face (possibly adding another Miss Photogenic award to her belt). The 22 year old German-Filipina has suicide prevention as part of her Beauty with a Purpose project. Her MWP profile reads: with the heart for service, she’s done public service in Cebu and has taught children about life and how they can give back to the community. With strong feelings against suicide, she pushes for awareness of its prevention.
She is currently being named as the face of the MWP pageant and is continuously gaining more steam as the competition progresses. It is no wonder that she is doing well in the fast-tracks and is expected to do the same come finals. Not a simple feat for this Kagandahang Flores Cebu trained beauty, her mentor Jonas Borces is gonna be proud of how his ward is currently performing.

As the MWP approaches, it is not surprising to see her name becoming stronger in the list of most probable winner. If everything falls into place, she might just find herself in the final two holding hands with another Kagandahang Flores bet, Janela Joy Cuaton, waiting to be named the Philippines’ bet for Miss World. 

Rachel Peters: Gearing up for Miss Universe

Great news Rachel Peters fans as this post is an update on the reigning Miss Universe Philippines’ preparations and training.

After two months filled with public appearances, sponsor visits, media guesting, charity visits and a full PLDT provincial tour, Rachel Peters starts her Miss Universe intensive training this week. According to Sir Rodgil Flores himself, the Kagandahang Flores core team had a meeting together with Rachel and the rest of the Bb. Pilipinas queens a couple of weeks ago to do assessment plus discuss their training needs. They already have formulated the training schedule and plans with full blast training starting this week.

The 5’10” British-Filipina is blessed with what pageant experts say as the ‘Miss Universe body’. Hers is comparable to those of Paulina Vega, Gabriela Isler and Amelia Vega with her proportions. So it wouldn’t take much to hone her body to MU standards considering Rachel still manages to squeeze in some training despite her hectic schedules for the past 2 months. She has also reached out to past MUP winners like Maxine Medina to get tips and is waiting for Pia Wurtzbach to have a break in her schedule to sit down and talk about MU. Rachel definitely isn’t sitting down on her laurels.

She herself has this to say about the pressures of representing the country in Miss Universe: 
“There are many aspects to beauty pageant training. There’s the Pasarela, which is walking training. There’s fitness, Q&A, hair and make-up; so it’s gonna be exactly what I’ve been doing, but more intense…
I’m working with myself before I do my training. With the training naman, it’s kind of like riding a bike. Once you know how to walk, you’re not going to stop knowing how to work. It is what it’s really all about. Working on you in the inside and then it will shine through…
I’m still so overwhelmed and excited about everything that’s been happening to me and I really want to enjoy it and take it all in. I think it’s important to go into the pageant with a very positive mindset so I’ll just keep training, doing my best and try not to stress myself out”

So we should just be patient and wait-and-see as her training unfurls. She has been preparing herself inside and out for the pageant. This is a sure-fire way to prepare now that the Miss Universe pageant is looking for more substance in their winners. And no doubt about it, Rachel is up to the task…


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…

Nelda Ibe: Soaring Around the World (the Universe rather)

Binibining Pilipinas surely attracts the best and most accomplished women to its annual pageant. Surely there is no shortage of models, flight stewardesses and students, but there are also doctors, accountants, entrepreneurs… but there isn’t much of licensed pilots.

So it is more than just novelty to feature Nelda Ibe in this blog as her profession is quite under-represented in beauty pageants. Standing statuesque at 5’9″, Nelda is a licensed pilot. Working with Alpha Aviation Group, this beauty from Tarlac can be considered as one of the underdogs for the title.
Not a stranger to pageants, Nelda has competed in Mutya ng Pilipinas in 2013 and was second runner up to Valerie Weigmann in Miss World Philippines in 2014. In Binibining Pilipinas this year, she is one of the tallest candidates with her imposing height. While some fans are saying that she looks a bit heavy on photos, we have to be reminded that the body can be transformed… and Nelda’s body proportions are quite good specially since she has long legs and a short torso.

People have to start paying attention to this KF-trained beauty. Nelda could just be the next Binibining Pilipinas winner come coronation night.

#ThrowbackThursdays: Angelique de Leon’s 2016 #FunArt

Around this time last year I released a number of #FunArt featuring Angelique de Leon, so I thought it would be a great idea to do a throwback on that.

The fun-art featured Angelique’s photo (as taken by then mentor RL Lacanienta, she has now moved on to Kagandahang Flores) super imposed on several famous western paintings by DaVinci and Botticelli. Angelique is on her third try for the Binibining Pilipinas (she was Binibini 31 in 2014 and Binibini7 last year) and I amquite hopeful that this time she will make it this time around. Insider rumors had said that she was a huge favorite last year by several people inside BBP, so it was quite a surprise that she missed the cut last year.

That is water under the bridge now as I believe that she is going to cement a placement this year among the winner’s circle. The 5’8″ curvaceous beauty is still one of my favorites this year. 

Third Times’ a Charm: Angelique de Leon & Liezel Ramos

Mary Jean Lastimosa and Pia Wurtzbach tried their luck three times in Binibining Pilipinas… so can these two highly anticipated ladies, Angelique de Leon and Liezel Ramos, follow in their footsteps?

In all honesty, I am taken aback that these two ladies haven’t won a title in Binibining Pilipinas yet. In fact I think these two girls are one of the unjustly ignored girls in previous editions.
Angelique is one of my faves last year and that was no secret to all. I have met this girl who is full of spunk and pizzazz, something that I found lacking on several girls who looked flat in terms of personality. Angee, as she is lovingly nicknamed, is full of it. Then we have Liezel Ramos who just oozes with sex appeal and that might have been both a blessing and a curse. She just oozes with sexiness without even trying. I hope that her mentors at Kagandahang Flores have found a way to dial that down and showcase more of her achievements and personality. Didn’t you know that she is a diving instructor? Well, that could be a start off point of  her packaging.

I hope that these two KF girls would have more luck this time as they have the qualities to be winners. Hopefully this time, their transformations will be to their advantage…  

Rachel Peters: KF’s Binibining Pilipinas Flagbearer (?)

Certain personal biases leads me to believe that former Miss World Philippines runner up Rachel Peters is this year’s Kagandahang Flores flagbearer in Binibining Pilipinas 2017…

Glammed up or dressed down, this 5’10” stunner is a girl ought to bring home one of the crowns. Rachel is familiar to fans for being a Miss World Philippines runner up several years back. The tall, leggy beauty who grew up in several parts of the world is one of the darkhorses assumed to get one of the top crowns in this year’s Binibining Pilipinas pageant. Rachel is also very articulate, something that is highly prized if rumors are true that the interview portion of the pageant will carry much weight this year. I have no qualms in saying that she is gonna slay in that part of the competition.

I honestly believe that Rachel is the strongest girl in her camp as of now. I am in fact calling out her as a possible major contender for the crown to be vacated by Maxine Medina…

Did Kagandahang Flores snub Miss World Philippines?

Since this is a sensitive topic, I opted to post verbatim the article published by below…

The 25 official candidates of the Miss World Philippines 2016 beauty pageant were presented to the press and there were no girls from the Kagandahang Flores beauty camp. Did the KF camp snub the beauty contest?
The KF group headed by pageant guru Rodgil Flores has said that his team got busy in their preparations for other pageants.
“Hindi naman snub. Nagkataon lang na naging busy kami sa ibang pageants,” said Flores.
The beauty queen maker said that he has even received a text message from Cory Quirino, chairperson for Miss World Philippines, inviting his camp to join the annual search.
Last year, two KF girls finished in the Top 5 of the Miss World Philippines pageant – Emma Tiglao won 4th runner-up and Mia Allyson Howell, 2nd runner-up.
Candidates fielded by the KF and its rivals Aces and Queens under Jonas Gaffud and John dela Vega camp are the most-awaited girls in Philippine pageants.
Like their counterparts in Venezuela and Colombia, both rival camps train their girls hard for the pageant. They are known for their special skills and techniques in making beauty queens.
Flores has earlier said that girls training for pageants should give their full commitment. The pageant expert has said that training in a beauty camp does not guarantee a crown for the girl in the pageant.
The KF beauty camp has successfully groomed beauty queens 2005 Miss International Precious Lara Quigaman, 2013 Miss International Bea Rose Santiago, 2008 Miss Earth Karla Henry, Miss Tourism International queens Angeli Dione Gomez and the late Rizzini Alexis Gomez, Miss Earth 2014 Jamie Herrell, and Miss Earth 2015 Angelia Ong.
Other stellar queens in the group are Miss Intercontinental second runner-up Kris Tiffany Hanson, and Miss Tourism International second runner-up Glennifer Perido. In 2014, KF girls swept the Top 5 for Miss Philippines Earth contest.

As explained by its head honcho himself, it was not a snub but rather a fully packed commitment with several other pageants. After all, they cannot be everywhere all the time… and we should just leave it at that.