Katarina Rodriguez at the Panasonic Manila Fashion Festival

If anybody had seen Katarina Rodriguez at the Panasonic Manila Fashion Festival, everybody would agree that she could still represent the Philippines in another international competition.

The Miss Intercontinental 2017 1st runner up sported a lighter brown hair when she walked the ramp of the SoFA Graduation Show under Mark Escauso. For people who saw her, we can all agree that she is indeed looking more splendid even after passing on her title. She looks so much better with her current tan and her lighter hair color. It certainly brings out the best of her facial features. And we haven’t mention how physically fit she looked, she can easily rock the swimsuits with her current bod.

Katarina had mentioned earlier in the year her willingness to enter another pageant in the future, and we all are speculating her joining Miss World Philippines. I hope she does prepare for it even as early as now, specially for the BWAP challenge of the pageant.
With this year looking like a year for crossovers, Katarina can easily claim a victory in any pageant she wants to join in.

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Nelda Ibe & Katarina Rodriguez: Miss World Philippines Bound?

Both ladies has just recently passed on their national titles at the recently concluded Binibining Pilipinas pageant held last March 18th. And both ladies have hinted on wanting to compete again for a national title.

Miss Globe 2017 1st runner up, Nelda Ibe hinted on social media that she might be open to try out Miss World Philippines once more. She was MWP 2nd Princess back in 2014 with Valerie Weigmann winning the title and with Miss Universe Philippines 2017 Rachel Peters placing 5th overall. While Miss Intercontinental 2017 1st runner up, Katarina Rodriguez mentioned that she is open to compete for another pageant earlier this year upon her arrival from Egypt. Of course it is speculated that the two ladies might find each other competing again with each other in the Miss World Philippines pageant.
While I am ecstatic about these ladies wanting to continue their pageant journey, I am a bit concerned if they do so this year. I believe that their contracts with BPCI is 18 months long and if memory serves me right, their contracts would expire around end of October of this year. I hope that if they do pursue to compete again this year, they ask permission from BPCI to release them from their contracts earlier as the MWP is expected to be around September this year.

Being 1st runner up in their respective international competitions, they could possibly ascend to the title should the winners step down. So I believe it would be wise to wait another year before going back to the fray. Both ladies are in their mid 20’s (around 24-25 this year) and they have time on their side since the Miss World ceiling age has been moved to 27 last December.

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…

Sash Factor Final SashPicks for 2017 Miss Intercontinental

I was asked to do the 2017 Miss Intercontinental Final SashPicks banner and here is what I did! I utilized the immaculate pyramids of Giza as an homage to the fact that the pageant is being held in  in SUNRISE Resorts and Cruises, Hurghada-Egypt.

Sash Factor Final SashPicks for 2017 Miss Interontinental

Despite being delayed from being held in India last year, the pageant has continued without a glitch in Egypt. Here is what the pageant experts of Sash Factor have listed and predicted to make it in this year’s pageant…
Darkhorses list : France , Costa Rica, Italy, Denmark
16. Slovak republic
15. Czech Republic
14. Germany
13. Mexico
12. Malaysia
11. Vietnam
10. Russia
9. India
8. Venezuela
7. Korea – winner of online voting
6. Australia
5. Canada – North America & Caribbean
4. Kenya – Africa
3. Brazil – South America
2. Netherlands – Europe
1. Philippines -Asia and Oceania

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!

Will Katarina Rodriguez Spend Christmas in the Philippines?

When I personally asked if Binibining Pilipinas Intercontinental would she be spending Christmas in Manila as her competition cuts close to December 25th, she cheekily said it might depend on her winning the crown.

Katarina will be competing in Sri Lanka for the 2017 Miss Intercontinental title in December 21st. And if indeed she wins, she might have to extend her stay a little bit before coming back home. The mestiza beauty is in high spirits during her send-off last November 6th as she gamely answered questions from a number of press and pageant media. I also was able to ask her besides herself, who does she think is her biggest competition in the pageant. She was witty to answer back that it would be difficult to gauge her competition on social media as they might be different in person. That made me smile as if she knew exactly what I wanted to hear from her.

Will she be the first Filipina to win the title? I surely hope so… but we’ll know the definitive answer to that question come December 1st wouldn’t we?

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