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

Sashes&Scripts Special Feature: A Spotlight on HIV-AIDS Advocacy

Pia Wurtzbach, Bianca Guidotti, Katarina Rodriguez, Sam Ajdani, Reniel Villareal, Rick Kristopher Palencia, Willan Pagayon, Kevin Balot and even now Catriona Gray have spoken in awareness of the growing HIV-AIDS epidemic that is now gripping the country.

Here is what we should know about this epidemic:
1. The Philippines has become the country with the fastest growing human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) epidemic in the Asia Pacific region.
2. The Philippines recorded a 140% increase in the number of new infections… At the end of 2016, there were 10,500 Filipinos infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) up from 4,300 in 2010.
3. The Philippines has become one of the eight countries accounting for more than 90 percent of new HIV infections in Asia and the Pacific. The number of new infections in the country, however, is not as high as several countries in the region which have tens of thousands of new infections every year.
4. In 2016, 83 percent of new HIV cases occurred among males who have sex with males (MSM) and transgender women who have sex with males (TGW). Majority of these infections were reported among 15- to 24-year-old MSM and TGW.

5. Only 35% of MSM and TGW aged 15 to 24 had correct knowledge on HIV transmission and prevention. Two out of three new HIV infections were among 15 to 24 year-old men, who she said have insufficient awareness of HIV, its symptoms and treatment.
6. In May 2017 alone saw 1,098 new cases of HIV infections in the Philippines, the highest recorded number of cases since 1984 when infections were first reported.
7. Most of the men had their first sexual encounter at 16 years old and only get tested for HIV eight years later.
8. The Department of Health is now providing free antiretroviral medicine to anyone who tests positive for HIV and other out-patient services to a maximum of P30,000 per person annually. The DOH has three HIV treatment hubs in Metro Manila—Research Institute for Tropical Medicine, San Lazaro Hospital and Makati Medical Center.

Photo from Philippine Star…

Those who are 90’s babies are quite familiar with the HIV-AIDS epidemic that gripped the world in the 1970’s to the mid-90’s. This was quite a huge deal for the LGBT community back then as it further ostracized the gay community. It is just sad that despite advancement in communications and technology, the fight still lingers on with HIV-AIDS gaining an upper-hand.

This is why there is a need for this post, a need for beauty queens  and pageant fans to spread awareness of how this disease is a huge risk to Filipinos, specially to the LGBT community. It is timely, it is relevant (as Pia Wurtzbach said back in Miss Universe 2015), even more so now that the Philippines seems to be at the eye of the storm. The Filipino pageant community should help to their part, not just our beauty queens to spread awareness.
Below are some of the available links for HIV-AIDS awareness and support in the Philippines:
www.aidsphil.org/
* http://www.loveyourself.ph
* http://www.theredwhistle.com/
* http://pafpi.org/
* http://theredwhistle.com/
* https://www.facebook.com/pg/bchangenow/about/
Don’t be another statistic in the HIV epidemic. Protect yourselves and your partner, be in the know, get tested, spread the word…

SOURCES:
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-aids-philippines/philippines-has-highest-hiv-infection-growth-rate-in-asia-pacific-u-n-idUSKBN1AH3CW
* http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2017/08/01/1723570/report-philippines-has-fastest-growing-hiv-epidemic-asia-pacific

Katarina Rodriguez: Also Competing in November for Miss Intercontinental?


Binibining Pilipinas Intercontinental Katarina Rodriguez has always had a great relationship with the camera. She always register well in photos and today’s post is a proof of that. She is snapped by photographer Edward Keeler for a series of photographs as seen below. 

But enough of that, today’s post is actually focused on the rumors going around that the 5’7″ beauty is gonna compete in the month of November. And the pageant is likely to be held in India this year.  While we are waiting for an actual confirmation on the dates and full schedules from the organization itself, let’s just say that the pageant will have its finals in a packed beauty pageant calendar of November. How will that impact Katarina’s support system in the pageant?

With fans’ attention being split between Miss Earth, Miss Universe, Miss International and Miss World how much support is left for her? Well, there is nothing to worry about as she has her dedicated core of pageant fans, the KATroopers. I am 100% sure that she would be getting full support for Mobstar voting or any other online voting platforms the pageant will take into this year.

The pageant calendar for November is quite full this year. I personally hope that Katarina’s competition be moved to December or October to give fans a breather from the 1-2-3-4 punch combo of the Alpha pageants in November…

Bb Pilipinas 2017: A Fashion Review Pt.1

Buckle up ladies and gents as for today’s #Fashion Friday we are gonna review several key people’s wardrobe during the Binibining Pilipinas coronation night. This is gonna be a sweet and spicy review that would make Joan Rivers roll in her grave.

Pia Wurtzbach – her three outfit changes was a hit or miss. Her first outfit was perfect from the waist up, her purple gown was ruined with the wrong hairstyle and the ice blue outfit was perfect from head to hem. Overall Pia coasted safely fashion-wise.
Ruffa Nava – she wore a unique gown and carried it well. This is one of the few cape gowns that didn’t look too dated. I was quite flabbergasted that she didn’t advance forward, nevertheless she scored a fashion win in her EG presentation.

Dane Felise Marasigan – that yellow gown by Rau Uson-Ablaza was reminiscent of the Dior haute couture collection by John Galliano where he sent models wearing origami-like gowns. It was one of the few high fashion risks that paid off. Dane should have had her hair up for a bigger dramatic impact.

Rachel Peters – the tangerine gown looked like a copycat of an Ellie Saab gown used in his perfume commercial which was done around 2012/2013. I have seen similar looking gowns in several other pageant girls both in local and international competitions (notable of them was Catharina Choi in Miss Earth 2013). Thankfully Rachel was able to carry the gown and punctuated her presentation with a twirl.
Chanel Olive Thomas – her pink confection of a gown was typical, in fact it reminded me of the red gown that Edgelyn Gamboa wore last year that was also worn by Shamcey in the finals. The pink gown looked a bit too long for Chanel and would have been better if it was shortened or added with horsehair at the hem to allow some stiffness to create a more flared out effect.

Shamcey Supsup – she hosted the red carpet PLDT even and she looked smashing. The red gown fit her really good and she wore her hair down in curls with her trademark million-watt smile.
Katarina Rodriguez – she wore a lovely Libiran couture looking gown that looked 2 sizes smaller than her. Was it just me who noticed that her stomach area looked bloated in the gown? That was because it was too tight on her. The design itself was masterfully done. Overall the gown was okay except for the fact that it was too tight.

Part two coming up shortly…