Catriona Gray’s Thoughts on “Home Court Advantage” Should the Philippines Host Miss Universe 2018

In a blogpost I have posted about several days ago, I have written about my thoughts on the chances of Miss Universe Philippines Catriona Gray winning the Miss Universe title should the Philippines host the pageant. Now we have heard her respond to that query in an interview posted on the Philippine Star’s website.

The reigning MUP reiterated my thoughts on the issue specially on how ready she would be to represent the country whichever is the host country. Below is a snippet of the Philstar article… Continue reading “Catriona Gray’s Thoughts on “Home Court Advantage” Should the Philippines Host Miss Universe 2018”

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Sashes&Scripts’ Final Leaderboard for Bb.Pilipinas2018

40 ladies…
6 crowns…
1 nerve-wracking finals night…
With a very competitive batch of ladies I can name at least 20 ladies that should make semis and it still wouldn’t be enough to fairly squeeze in the strong girls in the competition. So this year, my final leaderboard follows a different format. I took away the ranking of the semifinalists as it would not matter who makes #15 vis-a-vis #9.

Alternate Semifinalists – one way or another, these ladies have left an impression on this blogger. Each girl could easily sneak into the top 16 semis this year. But I am sure that these ladies will make top 25 in the finals.
* Loren Mar Artajos
* Sarah Joson
* Shane Tormes
* Aubrey Asuncion
* Wynonah Buot
* Kristie Cequeña
* Janette Sturm
* Patrizia Garcia
* Anjame Magbitang
Semifinalists – no surprises here as these ladies have continually made a mark in the course of the competition. However, these ladies at some point lost consistency along the competition. Some had a strong start, other had their moment on the latter parts of the competition. But they are still a threat for those in the upper half of the list
* Agatha Romero
* Ahtisa Manalo
* Samantha Bernardo
* Ana Patricia Asturias
* Karen Gallman
* Sandra Lemonon
Continue reading “Sashes&Scripts’ Final Leaderboard for Bb.Pilipinas2018”

The Philippines’ Longest Streak in Miss Universe

2010-2017 has been longest streak of the Philippines in terms of placements in Miss Universe.

It started off with 4 successive runner up placements with Venus, Shamcey, Janine and Ariella. Then came the Miss Universe win of Pia and culminated with the top 10 placement of Rachel.  This is partly due to the support that the girls have received from the Binibining Pilipinas organization headed by Madame Stella Marquez-Araneta. 8 consecutive years of placements that is only seconded by the 4 successive placements of the Binibining Pilipinas Universe winners of 1972-75. SMA surely stands tall with how her ward has made the country proud.

2010 – Venus Raj, 4th runner up
2011 – Shamcey Supsup, 3rd runner up
2012 – Janine Tugonon, 1st runner up
2013 – Ariella Arida, 3rd runner up
2014 – Mary Jean Lastimosa, Top 10
2015 – Pia Wurtzbach, Miss Universe
2016 – Maxine Medina, Top 6
2017 – Rachel Peters, Top 10

#PhotoCollage of the Day: Rachel Peters in MU2017 Top Gowns

I chanced upon these photos on Facebook, somebody named Raphy Yecyec edited Miss Universe Philippines Rachel Peters’ face into the photographs of the Miss Universe 2017 top 5 in their evening gowns.

NOTE: Keysi Sayago’s evening gown was from the bridal brand Pronovias. The original design of the gown didn’t have the sweetheart inner on the upper part of the torso.

The results are surprisingly good as if no matter what gown Rachel wore, she would all look good on them. This is not a surprise considering Rachel has one of the most enviable body proportions among the Miss Universe semifinalists of 2017. It has something to do with her long legs and whistle-bait figure. Enjoy these photos!

Here is Rachel in her Val Taguba gown side by side with those of Thailand and South Africa’s gowns…

Rachel Peters and her Miss Universe Top 10 Finish

At the heat of the debate regarding Rachel Peters’ top 10 finish, I have refrained from posting my own thoughts and feelings on the said outcome. Now that I have had more than enough time to ponder thru it, here are my thoughts on the matter…

Despite a strong performance during the finals (swimsuit and evening gown) what we should have to consider is that the judges are all briefed on what the Miss Universe organization is looking for in a winner. So it is unfair to solely blame Pia Wurtzbach alone on the outcome as all the judges are briefed accordingly by the org. By the time the judges were introduced, they may already have a winner picked in their minds and they probably stuck through their favorites throughout the telecast. Not to mention that the highest and lowest scores by the judges are cancelled to get the median scores.
We should also consider that the judging panel is heavily comprised of Americans and that their perception of beauty may be different from ours. Their perception on the girls could have easily been influenced by the sexual harassment issue enveloping the US right now and hence they chose someone like Demi who was speaking in behalf of self-defense for women.

We cannot fault the gown as well since Rachel’s Val Taguba gown was immaculate onstage. Because if we fault the gown, then how can we explain Jamaica’s yellow gown that didn’t look very chic onstage. Personally, the Val Taguba powder blue confection is the best evening gown that a Miss Universe Philippines worn on the MU stage since 2010. Rachel carried the gown with an elegance and she didn’t have to over-do her facial expressions (yes I’m looking at you Laura, even Shandy Finnessey called you out on it). Here are several recorded videos of Rachel during the Miss Universe from Instagram… and I couldn’t see a flaw on Rachel’s overall performance.

IMHO, I still believe that Rachel deserved a top 5 spot during the Miss Universe finals. She could have given the Philippines at least another runner up placement in the pageant. Too bad that the judges didn’t see her as Miss Universe potential as we did… I believe that it all boiled down to luck. Former Miss Universe Gloria Diaz once summarized it briefly saying that winning is a matter of luck, of being in the right place at the right time with the right judges.

PhotoCollage of the Day: Rachel Peters at the Miss Universe Pt.3

Here is part 3… This is Rachel in her Val Taguba evening gown…





For one who has seen her compete in the evening gown portion  of the Miss Universe pageant. I really believed that she would make it to top 5. She carried her gown very well and with class and elegance without overdoing facial expressions (unlike some girls).
While she may not have been favored by the MUOrg and the judges, we can all at least take pride with the way Rachel did her best during the finals…

PhotoCollage of the Day: Rachel Peters at the Miss Universe Pt.2

Here is part 2… Rachel has been one of the strongest girls in terms of the swimsuit presentation IMHO. It is clearly shown in these photos how she worked the stage. If the rumored scores floating around on how high she scored in the swimsuit rounds is true, all you need to see are the photos below to know why…






Sashes&Scripts’ 3 Favorites for Miss Universe

My 2017 Miss Universe picks is gonna be a real nail-biter. And since I have been covering here in Las Vegas, seeing the girls up-close adds a different dimension to their personality which just reinforced by belief that it will boil down to just three girls…

Here are my thoughts on these girls:
3. Philippines, Rachel Peters – definitely the Miss Universe prototype. She is perhaps the most well-rounded girl that the Philippines have sent to the pageant. How she performs on the finals will rely on how she will handle the pressure onstage. Rachel has to gather all her strength and focus on the task at hand and deliver an explosive performance as she did during the Binibining Pilipinas finals.
2. Thailand, Maria Poonlertlarp Ehren – an academic achiever whose advocacy is about education. The Thai rep this year is one of the rumored favorites of the MUOrg just like how Pia was in 2015. Nevertheless it will be a tough competition as it will be the panel of judges who will pick the eventual winner. Maria just needs to stick to her gameplan and execute it flawlessly.
1. South Africa, Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters – the girl who kills it in the interviews. She is most likely the real threat to the crown with her sweet and bubbly disposition. She seems to be someone that you would like to befriend because of genuine smile and lovely personality. Demi needs to make sure that she minimizes her weak areas by maximizing her strong assets. If genuineness is the main criteria of being a MU winner, then she would runaway with it without much effort.
Back when I covered the Binibini send-off of Miss Universe Philippines Rachel Peters in Novotel, I asked her this question: who do you think is your biggest competitor aside from yourself? She mentioned Thailand and South Africa. I observed here in Las Vegas that she is right. Maria is very on point in everyday styling and has always been very accommodating to fans. Demi-Leigh is showing her genuine personality day in and day out. Rachel on the other hand is the quiet darkhorse that will slay come finals. I believe that the title is going to be a triple-battle between the Rachel Peters, Maria Poonlertlarp Ehren and Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters. It will all boil down to the judges’ picks now…
All I can say now is good luck to these three girls. May the best lady win!

Rachel & Maria: Two Multicultural Beauties from Asia

If there are three things in common Miss Universe Philippines Rachel Peters and Miss Universe Thailand Maria Poonlertlarp Ehren together, they are: 1) Thailand, 2) halfies 3) international studies.

Rachel was born in Bahrain to a British father and a Filipina mother. Her unique upbringing has enabled her to live in different parts of the world as she lived in Australia, Thailand, UK and the Philippines. She graduated from the British International School, Phuket in Thailand with an International Baccalaureate degree, and earned her bachelor’s degree in business, tourism, and events from La Trobe University in Australia.
Maria was born in Bangkok to a Swedish father and a Thai mother. But has lived in Vietnam and Europe. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Erasmus University Rotterdam in the Netherlands and later attended Stockholm Business School for her master’s degree taking up international business commerce.

Both ladies are also representing the country from which their mothers hail, both girls are in their mid-20’s, and both girls are  considered Asian frontrunners. These similarities would hopefully be a good start off point for both Thai and Philippine pageant fans to support both girls in Miss Universe.