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…

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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…

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!

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.

Time for Filipino, Indonesian & Thai Pageant Fans to Unite

The recent results of the Miss Universe pageant has finally shown every Asian pageant fan one major lesson: unite to support our Asian representatives in any pageant.

During the Miss Universe pageant, one of the biggest changes that we have seen is the introduction of the continental groupings. While a number of fans deemed that this delivered a huge disadvantage to the girls from North & South America and the Caribbean, the girls from Asia is just as affected. After the non-placement of Indonesia’s Bunga Jelitha, the top 10 finish of the Philippines’ Rachel Peters and the disappointing placement of Thailand’s Maria Poonlertlarp Ehren, there now is a larger reason to unite.
The fans of these countries saw how other countries advanced in Miss Universe this year leaving Asia out of the top 3. Months of bickering online left all three pageant-crazed countries realize that we need each other to support each other online. And unity is a must not only for these three countries, it also includes fans from Vietnam, Malaysia, Cambodia, Myanmar and the rest of Asia.

It is time to set aside differences and end bickering against each other. Now is the time to set aside petty arguments and see each other as allies instead of rivals. Hopefully in the near future, we see a united front for Asia…

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!