Happy Independence Day, Philippines!

In celebration of the 119th Independence Day of the Philippines, we feature our latest Alpha queens in a Pinoy-themed banner art…

Miss Earth 2014, Jamie Herrell
Miss Earth 2015, Angelia Gabrena Ong
Miss International 2013, Bea Rose Santiago
Miss International 2016, Kylie Verzosa
Miss Universe 2015, Pia Wurtzbach
Miss World 2013, Megan Young

Why Beauty Queens are Like Wonder Woman

Now I know some of you may see this blogpost as a hangover post to the Wonder Woman movie that this blogger has watched during the weekend. But let’s for the meantime indulge this blogger a bit for some pop culture post and explain how every beauty pageant should be looking for a “Wonder Woman”.

One of the most obvious qualities of Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman character is how she embodies women empowerment. Here we see a strong beautiful woman who is at par to her male superhero counterparts (yes, we are bold to make that comparison as she is very much equal to both Batman and Superman in physical prowess). She does not allow herself to be the passenger to her own life but rather takes charge of it. Something that women in the past several decades have been striving to accomplish. Something that is reflected to the new breed of beauty queens we see nowadays who are empowered, who have careers, who are serving in the army, their communities, working as teachers, pilots, dentists, researchers, police officers, law students, etc…

Deshauna Barber served in the US Military and Raquel Pelissier is part of a research team that could help cure blindness…

Ever wonder how she is able to maintain such a glowing look despite being in battle? Well that is essentially how beauty queens are! They go in competitions looking battle ready. They show up, they dress up, look the part and compete like athletes without as much are looking like they broke a sweat. Pageant girls face harshness of online bashin, the tough media questions, the scrutiny of the judges eyes while in 6″ heels and full make up on… making it look easy to stand in a bikini and deliver a speech in front of a crowd. Two things that most people could not even dare to do in front of their families.
She also is unapologetic to her femininity, that she can be vulnerable but steadfast, compassionate but with a strong moral compass, headstrong but flexible in her ways. Unafraid of her sexuality but strives to not to be solely defined by her sex appeal. A clear reflection of how well-rounded she is, a common trait we see on how pageant girls are redefining what it is to be a beauty queen in this age. Nowadays being a beauty queen means being encompassing in terms of physical, mental and emotional characteristics. Meaning having the maturity to understand that being feminine is not just about physical attributes but a complete synchronicity of heart, mind and body.

Mariel de Leon recently spoke up on political issues on RH contaceptives and government appointees. Keysi Sayago joined the march for political change in her native Venezuela

Wonder Woman is not afraid to speak her mind and stand up for what is right. Which is very timely in current situations where beauty queens are expected to be articulate but mum on important social and political issues. Where being apolitical is passed off as being neutral, when being opinionated is being labeled as hypocrisy. This is where lines are set, where the rights and responsibilities are being set to the table. Moreover, the portrayal of Gal Gadot lends to the viewers a sense of moral compass to act when things are wrong, hence the line “if there is something wrong in the world you either do nothing or do something”. Choose the latter. Wonder Woman chose the latter.

Miss International 2016 Kylie Verzosa: mental health advocate, Miss Earth 2015 Angelia Ong: environmental awareness, Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach: HIV-AIDS awareness…

But most of all Wonder Woman represents the woman who could make a difference. One person deciding to act like when Wonder Woman did when she defied her mother’s command to “do nothing” in a world that is turning into chaos does a whole lot of difference than one who would have kept silent. Albeit to a smaller scale beauty queens parallel such as they lend their voices on issues that affect us such as education, climate change, social justice, mental health awareness, HIV-AIDS, child welfare, and more. 
This is why beauty queens are in some ways Wonder Women… Why don’t you think that the ladies who wore the Wonder Woman tiara are beauty queens themselves?

Kylie, Megan & Pia: Independence Day Colors

There is no more used and abused buzzword today than ‘influence’. A lofty ideal that stems from respect, aspiration and ability to make an effect, it has become muddled in the face of curation, branding and filters. This month, we get to the bottom of things and figure out what it means to be influential in this day and age, and consequently, pin it side by side with the bigger cause for celebration, pride.

A courageous queen, Kylie Verzosa steps up to the plate to make sure her reign matters. Speaking up on issues one normally shies away from, Kylie brings them out in the open and engages in a discourse that isn’t all surface level.

Years after reign as Miss World, Megan Young still reigns on in our hearts. Taking purpose well after the crown, she continues on with her advocacy, making sure every life is well accounted for. This is where true purpose begins.

And naturally, you cannot talk of beauty without Pia Wurtzbach. A celebrated Miss Universe of her time, she talks to us about life after the crown and how she plans to take life from here on out.

*Text from Mega Magazine Instagram account

PhotoCollage of the Day: Kylie Verzosa for FAIR Magazine

To call Kylie Verzosa as one of the most visible Miss International winners is an understatement. If she’s not busy in public engagements promoting her advocacy or rubbing elbows with prominent public officials on mental health awareness, she is seen glamming it up on the ramp or on the covers of magazines. Her latest cover is that of FAIR Magazine…

Lounging out at IM Hotel…

Videographer : Bella Morcen
Photographer : Rxandy Capinpin
Hair Stylist : Renz Pangilinan
MakeUp : Pong Niu
Stylist : Edz Cabral
Check out her feature on FAIR Magazine at this link: http://www.asiantvchannel.com/fair-mag/

Beauty Queen Moms: Ms. Raquel Verzosa on Kylie

It’s Mothers’ Day today for the most part of the world (although here in Indonesia we celebrate it during December). And today it is my hope that everyone would celebrate this day with some wisdom and comforting words from our beloved beauty queen moms.
When I reached out to Ma’am Raquel Verzosa (who is also a beauty queen herself being a former Bb. Pilipinas alum) for a feature, I was surprised with the wealth of wisdom in her words. Here is what she had exclusively shared to Sashes&Scripts on being a mom to Miss International 2016 Kylie Verzosa and the advise she gives to other mothers who have daughters aspiring to be beauty queens.

Mothers generally love their children all the same. At home, they have the same treatment, regardless of what they have achieved in life.
Being the mom of Kylie, our Ms. International, nothing much changed at home. She still gets picked on by the other siblings and gets reprimanded by us when necessary. Kylie remains a jolly person with a bubbly personality at home.
However, since Kylie has become a celebrity and a public figure, this has put some restrictions in some ways. We have to choose where to go to think of her safety as well. When we go out as a family, she has to stop to welcome requests for photos, which at times takes time, hence, family members have to wait as well.
She also needs to be assisted and accompanied in some special events especially during her talks regarding her advocacy. Her Dad and I make sure that she feels that she is not alone in helping others, and that we are supportive of her engagements especially with the Mental Health Awareness Advocacy.
Kylie has significantly changed in many aspects. She has become more welcoming of other people. (She used to be a more private person in the past.) She has become more understanding and more mature for her age as she believes that she carries in her heart a responsibility addressing many vital issues that benefit the majority in an international scene.
I would like to believe that Kylie was destined to be someone significant in the world, and with this, I have prepared myself (as well as the rest of the family) for anything that can happen.
She is relatively new to the industry so when she feels the need, she does not hesitate to seek help. She is open to us about her engagements and her Dad and I give her the advice and support that she needs.
Another challenge for me, as a mother, is when people can be so rude and brutal and senseless with their remarks in social media. No matter how hard I try to disregard these, at times, no mother can stand the ruthless remarks. So, I would go back to the advice of other family members and Kylie herself, i.e., not to read or dwell on negativity.
My advice to mothers who wish to embark in the same journey…
*At times, it may not be our choice but our daughter’s. We should be supportive of their dreams and give as much support as we can.
The support that they need requires more than love and understanding. This endeavor requires even our time and finances.
Remember that beauty queens are not born, they become the product of love, passion, dedication, hardwork and perseverance. They should not be content with what others provide in terms of practices, trainings and learnings. Their daughters must go out of their way to learn more, thus, this entails more time, effort and expenses too. Believe it or not, this is part of the so-called preparation.
Lastly, I want to share to all mothers that every child is beautiful, deserving of our love and support, beauty queen or not…
Happy Mother’s Day ❤❤❤

Such words are not only beautiful but rings very true. 

Bb Pilipinas 2017: A Fashion Review Pt.2

This is the second part of my Binibining Pilipinas fashion review. While not a lot of girls went off-road with their fashion choices, a number of them went via the tried and tested pageant patty/ typical gowns: lots of beads lace and see-though fabrics. 
Kylie Verzosa
– I have seen this Francis Libiran multitude of times already (on Marie Ann Umali, Shamcey Supsup or was it Venus Raj, several models during fashion shows, etc…) and the novelty has worn out. I was wishing that Kylie would have worn the powder blue gown she wore during the Miss International finals instead. Nevertheless Kylie looked immaculate in this gown. 

Joanna Eden – simple and understated. She is the best dressed among the outgoing queens that evening. It didn’t need too much bling but she looked tres tres chic in her white column gown.

Maxine Medina – her gown by Rhett Eala was a high fashion risk that didn’t pay off. It was perfection from the neck up and looked like Cousin Itt got a reverse Mr. T head-shave from the neck down. I didn’t expect that the outgoing MUP would wear such a disastrous gown. Didn’t Maxine read my sarcastic post on what we would want to see during finals?
Elizabeth Clenci – her fashion choice paid off big time as this ranks as one of the best gowns that night. Her hair and make up was also spot on which made the gown stand out more. I would put this gown as my 2nd fave among the gowns that night.

Jehza Huelar – went for the Zuleyka look, which was almost a fashion home-run except for the high slit in the middle that shown the huge platform sandals she was wearing. These type of heels would look great in swimsuits, but not necessarily on evening gowns. Still a fashion win though.
Mariel de Leon – she shone in her Cary Santiago red berry gown. While she may have not been my choice as the best in gown that evening, she nevertheless was one of those that scored a fashion win.

Sirene Sutton – I love this girl and her purple gown! But I would loved it even more had she wore this gown in a deep berry color or in dazzling white. She could have also styled her hair up to really set off the gown’s color. That would have earned her major diosa points.
Charmaine Elima – hers was a gown that could compete with the best gowns that Misses Colombia would wear in Miss Universe. Pablo Galicia Mendez’s gown could stand at par with any of the best gown Alfredo Barraza could dish out. I would have preferred if Maine styled her hair up to really set off her neck and the neckline of the gown.

If I were to pick my best dressed it wold be a toss between these three ladies: Elizabeth Clenci, Charmaine Elima and Pia Wurtzbach’s powder blue gown…

Madam StellaMarquez Araneta’s 5 Crowns in 4 Years

For the past 7 years, the Binibining Pilipinas pageant has earned several international titles and numerous other runner-up placements (10 in total) thru to the dedication of BPCI Chair Stella Marquez Araneta. The BPCI Matriarch has managed to score 5 international crowns in just the span of four years. It is thru her ability to match the right lady for the international pageant she is competing that we owe much to SMA.

Mutya Johanna Datul, Miss Supranational 1013 – she was the first of two international titles to be won that year. The 5’8 stunner from the province of Isabela had the most polished and strong ramp skills in her batch. It was a perfect match to have seen her sent to the pageant that perfectly matches her strength. Mutya was in her best element during the finals in the Poland-based pageant. It was also with her win that the Miss Supranational pageant became a budding pageant to keep tabs on.
Bea Rose Santiago, Miss International 2013 – this lady was a personal favorite from the get go and was a personal favorite for the Bb Pilipinas International title with her semblance with Aurora Pijuan. Rumor has it that it was Bea who received top scores at the nationals. Smart, articulate, tall at 5’9″, gorgeous and blessed with long limbs, Bea was an instant hit in Japan. No surprises seeing her taking home the Mikimoto crown that year. 
Ann Colis, Miss Globe 2015 – IMHO, this girl would have been better sent to a more ‘substantial‘ pageant. Personally, it was like sending a ‘big fish in a small pond‘ scenario. We all knew she was gonna win the Canadian-based pageant, in fact some pageant fans felt that she was unjustly underutilized as she could make a bigger splash in bigger pageants. Nevertheless, Ann Colis shines as one of BPCI’s crown jewels of this decade.

Pia Wurtzbach, Miss Universe 2015 – her presence would be an icing on the cake specially since she is still under contractual obligations with MUOrg via her contract with WME|IMG. Whilst she may not be the main spotlight for that evening (which I believe will be reserved for Kylie), her presence would add a certain pride for how far the BBP has come since our MU non-placements that ended in 2010.
Kylie Verzosa, Miss International 16 – Kylie is gonna be the lady of the night definitely! It would also be a good opportunity to spotlight on Miss International as Kylie’s win makes the lead of Venezuela with the most MI wins narrower. She would be passing her title that night and I have high hopes that she would be allowed to take the final walk last among the reigning queens.
It is in that same vein that Sashes&Scripts is hoping to have all these 5 ladies attend the Bb Pilipinas 2017 coronation night. Having all 5 ladies present during the finals would be remarkable, it would be a star-studded affair for the penultimate night of Binibining Pilipinas 2017.