Of all the beautiful gowns worn by our Filipina reps in international pageants from the past 30 years, these are the 5 Binibining Pilipinas gowns that can still be worn today.
The concept of recycling gowns for international pageants is a huge No-no for Filipino pageant fans, however there are some pageant gowns that can still be worn today and not look dated. These are our picks from the gowns previously worn by former Binibining Pilipinas in various international competitions…
- Miriam Quiambao’s Halston Gown – while the original white and powder blue ombre is lost, there exists a nude copy of that gown that Michelle Reyes wore for Miss Tourism World 2002. In fact even Karen Loren Agustin wore it for her Miss Universe portrait. All it needed is to be updated and re-beaded to look more modern.
- Katherine Manalo’s Barraza gown – this midnight blue gown with beaded black tulle flounced overlay is one of the Colombian designer’s best works for a Filipina candidate. The design was very classy and it complimented Kate’s curves in the 2002 Miss World edition.
- Lia Andrea Ramos’ midnight blue gown – although similar in cut with Kate’s gown, this gown is a little bit simpler but the ombre effect of the silver, blue and black beadwork would look gorgeous in motion. Lia wore this gown for the evening gown portraits and IMHO would have been a better option for the prelims than the white gown she wore.
- Karla Bautista’s Barraza gown – the aurora borealis inspired gown is arguably the best gown that Alfredo lent to a Filipina rep. The gown was worn by a Miss Colombia runner up but that doesn’t remove the fact that it glittered in motion and photographs hardly do justice to how it looked onstage. The good thing about this gown is that because of the crystal embellishments, it will sparkle even when not in motion. Hence it would be very attention grabbing.
- Carlene Aguilar’s Barraza gowns – (MW2005 ice-blue gown) it is said that this gown was inspired by ocean waves or the glimmering ripples of ocean waves. The design itself is a beautiful one but the material could be better. It does however look well in motion with the ice blue color and the white crystals on the gown’s bodice. (Red MW portrait gown) This Barraza creation is sexy and timeless. This gown was first used by a Senorita Colombia candidate that Barraza dressed up. The photo was taken during Carlene’s training in Colombia.
We would also like to mention that the pink and gold/ orange gown worn by Anna Maris Igpit would be a runner up to this list. The only drawback to that gown is its color combination that may look dated nowadays.
What do you think of this list? Is there any other gown from the past thirty years that you’d like to see again? Let us know on the comments below…
Today’s post is a continuation of the last week’s Miss Universe #nostalgia post on Miriam Quiambao.
Miriam was one of the girls considered to be a favorite by the MUOrg during her year in Trinidad & Tobago. If you look at the stage blocking during the finals of the pageant, Miriam was always situated at the center of the stage. Back then, this was one of the signs that you were a favorite to win. Not to mention that she was also a press favorite during that time. Even the local crowd seemed to like her as well.
During the preliminaries of the pageant held on the 21st of May, Miriam tripped onstage during the evening gown competition. At that time she mentioned that upon her recovery from the fall she needed to “do something” so she stretched her hands as if to say “I’m OK”. That drew a standing ovation from the audience but was shaken upon getting backstage where she started to cry. Miss Universe choreographer Scott Grossman comforted her backstage and told her that he never saw a recovery that fast. That trip guaranteed her a spot at the semis.
The powder blue Halston gown was hurriedly hemmed an inch shorter as it was only 3 days before the finals was to be held. Miriam later revealed that she tripped in the gown due to a loose thread at the hem.
Miriam dominated the preliminaries with scores that placed her number 2 overall behind South Africa’s Sonia Raciti. Perhaps that was an overshadowing of her eventual 1st runner up placement during the finals. She was 2nd place in both evening gown and swimsuit during the finals and despite a 9th place in interviews, her scores managed to pull her to the top 5. She easily coasted through to the top 5 when she was able to milk the instance of her fall during the top 5 q&a.
It was her nervous answer to the final question that gave lead to Mpule Kwelagobe of Botswana, and thus winning the title. Nevertheless, Miriam’s performance was to become the standard of how to pose (one foot forward then switch to the other foot forward). The year after, a number of pageant girls would copy that move. Her MU performance also drew in several clones in Binibining Pilipinas, all to no success. It was even mentioned that she would be sent to Miss World as her original title as BB. Pilipinas World. This would be a conflict as should the MU winner could not complete her reign, Miriam would have to step in.
To this day, no other Filipina queen has ever matched her poise and grace onstage. That innate queenly stature and elegance onstage is so difficult to copy and is uniquely Miriam’s.
She was supposed to be the Philippines’ representative to the Miss World pageant but destiny had other plans for her.
5’8″ tall Miriam Quiambao was originally crowned as Binibining Pilipinas World on February 20th 1999. But a technicality over Bb. Pilipinas Universe Janelle Bautista’s citizenship rendered her a dethronement (Janelle was an American citizen). This was the second consecutive year that the top winner of the Bb. Pilipinas pageant was dethroned (Tisha Silang of 1998 was also dethroned due to citizenship issues, it was found out that she was Canadian). Instead of naming the 1st runner up the new winner like the case of Jewel Mae Lobaton, BPCI named Miriam to assume the vacated title.
In a rush, that is how best to describe Miriam’s training for Miss Universe. Her local training was cut short in order to move up all her preparations for the MU pageant which was just less than 2 months away. While she trained locally for several weeks with Dale Carnegie, Abbygale Arenas and Anthony Pangilinan, it was Miriam’s stint in Venezuela that got people talking. She first arrived in LA before taking a connecting flight to Miami. It was there in Miami that she received the Halston gown that she will be wearing for the pageant from SMA’s brother Arturo Marquez. (The team of designer Alfredo Barraza were the ones responsible for doing the beadwork on the Halston gown.)
Here below is a snippet of how her training went with Osmel’s team (taken from a Channels Magazine interview):
“I left Miami for Caracas, Venezuela. I was billeted in a suite, kaya feeling-wow! The next day, May 1, I met up with Osmel Sousa, the president of La Quinta Miss Venezuela, as well as his other colleagues: there was Gerardo who trained me in speech, Maria who helped me with walking, Miguel for hair and make-up, and Gabriel, assistant of the president. Everything was personalized. I was training the whole day, two to three hours per teacher. It was just me and Miss Venezuela, so we became really close. We were together for a week before all the other contestants.”
Miriam wasn’t an instant hit with the locals upon her arrival in Port au Prince, Trinidad & Tobago. As per her training, she was told to be seen photographed with early favorites Silvia Salgado of Mexico and Carolina Indriago of Venezuela. Feeling like a fish out of water, she got depressed in the early days of the competition. Add to that is not being able to communicate with her family. Miriam later revealed that she felt the pressure specially after her training in Venezuela.
Thankfully a conversation with one of her UST professors lifted her spirits and removed the weight off her shoulders. Her luck changed later when she was able to gather strength from her family and the Filipino community in the host country. During the Parade of Nations, one of the local MU events, she was seen dancing on a float (with the delegate from the host country nonetheless) and that got her recognized by the locals. That was the start of her getting more media mileage in the competition.
It was rumored that Osmel got nervous upon seeing Miriam train in Venezuela. She absorbed the training very quickly despite being there in Caracas for only one week.
Part 2 coming next week…
Today’s photo-collage of the day post is an homage to Miss Universe 1999 1st runner up, Miriam Quiambao.
Rumor has it that the 5’8″ lass was the favored girl to win the competition by MUOrg. It is even said that she closely resembles the Miss Universe logo with her body proportions.
In these photocollages, Miriam shows her divine body/ bone structure. Thin and very modelesque. It was no wonder that she was 2nd overall during the finals night swimsuit competition despite not wearing a two piece swimsuit. Her lovely body is also well styled in these photos below when she trained in Venezuela under the Osmel Sousa’s team of pageant experts.
Since then, we haven’t seen a Filipina with her reed thin modelesque proportions (although Venus Raj comes close) that looks like the MU logo. Hopefully when we do find one, we could send her to the Miss Universe pageant…
The Miss Universe fever continues on the Journey to the Crown on ETC!
After the pilot episode featuring Miss Universe 1969 Gloria Diaz, pageant photographer Jory Rivera and beauty queen mentor Jonas Gaffud, the second episode will feature more of what makes the Miss Universe the Holy Grail of beauty pageant. This week’s episode will be featuring Miss Universe 1999 1st runner up Miriam Quiambao who almost clinched the title in Trinidad and Tobago! The lovely 5’8” beauty, whose modelesque proportions have people believe that she could have been the personification of the Miss Universe logo, will talk about her journey to MU. It can be remembered that she was originally crowned as Binibining Pilipinas World before ascending to the Bb Pilipinas Universe title following the dethromnement of Janelle Bautista, for failing to meet residency requirements. What followed was a 2-3 week training and preparations that included a stint in Venezuela for a training with Osmel Sousa’s team.
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