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


Happy Birthday Queen Rachel!

Today we are extending birthday greetings to Miss Universe Philippines Rachel Peters! Wishing you all you desire in the Universe!

Fresh from the recent announcement that the Miss Universe tickets are now available online is the special day of Miss Universe Philippines Rachel Peters. Rachel, who is currently finalizing her trip to Las Vegas, turns another year older today. She has also been taking social media at a frenzy lately with the release of several pictures from her photoshoots… and proving naysayers that she is on tip-top shape for the upcoming pageant in November.

Good news to readers of the blog as well as I am part of the Sash Factor coverage team going to Las Vegas for the MU pageant! So we will be bringing you closer to the MU competition and watch out for our coverage!

Rachel Peters: Miss Universe Ready

Finally, after fans’ endless clamor for news and updates on Miss Universe Philippines Rachel Peters, her team has started to release some much awaited photos…

When asked on her remaining preparations prior to flying to Las Vegas here is what she had to say several days ago:
“I use the time I have left for the day, internalizing. I think it’s better that I don’t have to post everything I do for my training for the pageant in November. But we do a lot of things, like, pasarela, personality building, a lot.”
“I have a surprise walk, but I’ll be showing it in Vegas, I’m still working on it. The only hint I could give you is it shows, a lot, of curves!” 
No doubt about it, she is ready for the Universe…

Photographed by Seven Barretto 
Styled by Paris Roxas
HMUA by Jessica Bonoan 

Where in the Universe is Rachel Peters?

During the previous week’s triple send-off for Bb. Pilipinas International Mariel de Leon, Bb. Pilipinas Grand International Elizabeth Clenci and Bb. Pilipinas Globe, Nelda Ibe the glaring absence of Miss Universe Philippines Rachel Peters is most talked about. Later, she clarified her absence was due to allergies… But pageant fans are asking why so quiet on her preparations?

Well, here is what we know and have been told by her mentors. Rachel is currently at the thick of final preparations and polishing of her pasarela and wardrobe for the Miss Universe in Las Vegas. She is also perfecting her hair and makeup so that she won’t be reliant on hairstylists and make-up artists provided by the pageant sponsors. On the Sash Factor front, our heads are coordinating with other fans in the US to make sure that we all book tickets in a solid block seating to give louder cheers in Planet Hollywood. As for my part, I have contributed by giving Rachel the list of the MU organization chart for her to be familiar with the faces behind the pageant.

So there is no need to worry as Rachel is doing her homework diligently. Plus it would be too early yet to reveal her cards. All eyes on her, most specially her competitors. So I say, keep her cards close to her chest. At this point in time, pageant fans should be a little more patient. Rachel has to get in and stay in that Miss Universe head-space in the following weeks. All these clamor for her reveal is just proof that she is an anticipated competitor…

Miss Universe 2017 Sashes&Scripts 1st Leaderboard

This list is gonna cause some uproar among pageant fans as it names several less popular girls. But hey, Sashes&Scripts has been into hot water before for previous lists so this won’t be something new. One thing I can guarantee is that this list is gonna be a diverse set of countries and names… after all, isn’t #diversity something that WME|IMG’s Miss Universe has been trying so hard to show up on our faces in the past couple of years…

Now on to the list…
1. Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, South Africa
2. Laura Gonzalez, Colombia
3. Rachel Louise Peters, Philippines
4. Kara McCullough, USA
5. Alicia Aylies, France
6. Maria Poonlertlarp Ehren, Thailand
7. Ruth Quashie, Ghana
8. Olivia Molly Rogers, Australia
9. Monalysa Alcantara, Brazil
10. Denisse Franco, Mexico
11. Davina Bennett, Jamaica
12. Kseniya Alexandrova, Russia
13. Frida Maria Fornander, Sweden
14. Keysi Sayago, Venezuela
15. Samantha Katie James,  Malaysia

This list features a diverse set of women of color (blondes, brunettes, ebony-skinned beauties, mixed race Asians,  latinas), from different parts of the world (3 Europeans, 3 Asians, 2 Africans, 3 from North America & the Caribbean, 3 from South America and one from the Land Down Under),  of different backgrounds and occupations. And the surprising part of it is that I didn’t set out to create such a diverse list, it just came out organically that way. This must be the work of the mind conditioning that the MU has been showcasing for years now.

A Sandwich Victory for Rachel “Killer Bod” Peters?

1954 & 1956 – USA
1979 & 1981 – Venezuela
1995 & 1997 – USA
2015 & 2017 – Philippines?
If you have guessed by now what these years mean then you are a die-hard Miss Universe fan. The first three are the years when the Miss Universe sandwich victories are made. Will 2017 bid positively for the Philippines as it vies for another sandwich victory in MU?

With Rachel Peters as our bet, this scenario can happen or rather is likely to happen. The Philippines this year is sending a strong girl in the competition and it has been years since we sent a girl that is strong overall. Lovely face, killer bod with legs that goes for miles, strong speaking skills and an interesting background (she grew up in several countries you know…), all perfect ingredients for a winning recipe.
Do you feel that this could be another year of a Miss Universe sandwich victory?

Conspiracy Theory: Miss Universe & Miss World Eager to Crown a Filipina?

This is what happens when I have too much coffee coupled by too much pageant news on my social media. But are we seeing both Miss Universe and Miss World racing against each other to crown a Filipina queen?

Let’s first review several key points here: One, the Miss Universe wants the Philippines to host the next MU pageant again after an outstanding pre-pageant activities & schedules during it’s 65th edition. Two, the Miss World is racing against Miss Universe to hold the pageant in the country (2019 they say) after seeing the success of the Philippine hosting of MU. Three, both pageants need the fan support of Filipino pageant fans to get any support for their pageant to be held in the country. Four, there is money involved, big money to be gained by these pageants if the Philippines will host.

If both pageants really would like for the Philippines to host, they might be willing to have our Filipina reps place highly in the pageant. I am not saying that neither Rachel Peters nor Laura Lehmann aren’t winnable, in fact they are. Or that there will be rigging in their favor. What I am saying is that the business and insider politics could easily boost their chances of winning. This is quite true with Laura’s case (since she is the first among the two to compete). With the Philippine government getting to be cozy with the Chinese, this may break the curse that no Filipina will ever win a crown in Chinese territory. A political advantage  for Laura. MW could give her the crown as a sort of payment from the unbelievable and shocking loss of Catriona Gray in 2016. This just might be the ticket for the MW to be accepted back by Pinoy pageant fans who have unfollowed the pageant on social media. And from my viewpoint, MW has to do a lot of damage control as evidenced by the dwindling audience of the last several editions of the Miss World Philippines pageant and the lack of online buzz for the Miss World winner. MW seems to owe the Philippines big time to even get back half of the lost fan support. That puts any Filipina rep to MW at an advantage (this holds true regardless of Winwyn or Laura is sent to compete in Sanya this year). 
Of course Miss Universe wouldn’t just sit there and let their huge slice of the Filipino market be taken by their rival. They would have to go head to head. Haven’t you noticed how the MU beefed up Gabriela Isler’s schedule to go head to head when Megan Young won MW? That is what I see happening this year. If it happens that MW would crown Laura on November 18, then imagine the scenario if Rachel bags the crown on the 26th of the same month. Since MU is a bigger deal in the Philippines, it could easily swallow down the publicity of the newly crowned Filipina MW. Add to that is how Rachel easily fits into the mold of past Miss Universe winners. That is a recipe for victory. This is why Rachel is such a threat (both to local and foreign detractors). It is no surprise that even as now we are hearing detractors from the Philippines saying ‘stuff’ against. Not to mention the concerted efforts of foreign bashers as well. She is a huge threat to the crown, everybody knows that…and that is why people are afraid of her winning. Everybody is afraid of what Rachel can do in MU. When she wins, then everything else will be eclipsed by her Miss Universe victory.
This is an opportunity for our reps to make the most out of it. Go in prepared with the correct mindset, leave no stone un-turned so that there is no reason to doubt their victories later. The most lucky scenario is we see two Filipinas with international victories in their arms and a couple of crowns on their pretty little heads.  

Now before everybody screams bloody hell at this scenario, just remember that India did this before with Sushmita Sen and Aishwarya Rai and repeated it again later with Lara Dutta and Priyanka Chopra. So why wouldn’t it be different here and now? Politics and economics do play a part in any pageant. Remember that the Topmodel sponsors of MW last year were Kenya, Indonesia and Puerto Rico..and weren’t they the same girls who made top 5 last year? Also look at how the then reigning Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach lobbied for the MU pageant to be held in Manila… it’s much easier to have your pageant hosted in the country of your reigning winner. Or the fact that Grenada had its Prime Minister as judge when it won MW in the 1970’s. Or that several countries that Russia does not recognize as independent states were barred from participating in MU2013 in Moscow. Remember the year 2012? Does the term “host it to win it” ring a bell? That was the year that pageant fans named it the year of hometown victories. This is not altogether new in the pageant world. It happens… Pageants are just as about the bottom-line as they are about beauty and women.
This is all of course just speculations and theories in my head. A product of an over-active imagination or even perhaps due to several shots of Bailey’s and Vodka (#LOLS). This scenario may or may not happen, but its fun to come up with these kinds of interesting conspiracies-slash-theories… I am largely entertained with these scenarios playing out over a huge bowl of sour cream and onion flavoured popcorn.