Bb Pilipinas 2018: Fearless Prediction

SINCE I started to religiously follow pageants in 2011, writing reviews and predictions for the Bb Pilipinas pageant has become some sort of tradition. It is never easy.

Trimming down 40 ladies to just 25 and/or 15 is hard. What more choosing which girl should go to what pageant? Aside from that, you also consider age requirements (for international pageants), camp affiliation and politics, pageant experience, communication skills, stage presence and most of  beauty of face. But no matter how mind-boggling it could get, there is always that sense of fulfillment whenever you manage to finish your list, with fingers crossed that you get at least one of your placements correct come finals night.

This year is no different. A lot of ladies managed to standout throughout the pre-pageant activities. While there are some big names in the roster, some fresh faces also emerges as favorites, too. And after seeing the ladies in person (during the parade of beauties), watching and re-watching their web interviews, and checking their social media presence, here is my fearless prediction for Sunday’s Bb Pilipinas 2018 coronation night.


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Here are 10 ladies who managed to catch my attention throughout the pre-pageant activities. They barely made it to my Top 15, however, I am not counting them out just yet.

#Binibini18 Rosantonette Mendoza
#Binibini15 Juliana Kapeundl
#Binibini28 Angelica Mae Corbe
#Binibini21 Anjame Magbitang
#Binibini33 Stephanie Joy Abellanida
#Binibini36 Loren Mar Artajos
#Binibini37 Patrizia Garcia
#Binibini24 Edjelyn Joy Gamboa
#Binibini34 Mary Joy de Castro
#Binibini40 Angelie Aubrey Asuncion


Potential spoilers

Now, we move on to my Final 15. These girls could pull off huge upsets come finals night.

15 #Binibini14 Samantha Bernardo

15-Samantha

Samantha‘s first foray in national pageants was in Miss World Philippines 2013, won by Megan Young. Five years later, she’s back in the pageant scene with an improved physique but the same hunger for the crown. This 25-year-old model and gymnast from Puerto Princesa sometimes appear too manufactured, as if she just came straight off a pageant oven. However, her stage presence is undeniable.

14 #Binibini10 Kayesha Chua

14-Kayesha

Kayesha is one of the least popular delegates who impressed me the most during the parade of beauties. She has the charming personality and beautiful smile that could light up a dark room. This 25-year-old flight attendant comes from Bicol, a region which has produced numerous pageant titleholders. And as Miss Bicolandia 2017 winner, it won’t be a surprise if Kayesha also wins a national title.

13 #Binibini3 Muriel Orais

13-Muriel

Muriel was a heavy favorite during her Miss Philippines Earth stint in 2012. However, she failed to grab the crown after faltering in the all-important Q&A round. Now back in the spotlight, Muriel definitely has high chances of redeeming herself. The 26-year-old flight attendant has shown marked improvement not just in the physical aspect, but also in the communication department. She’s one of most facially appealing candidates, too.

12 #Binibini26 Wynonah Van Joy Buot

12-Wynonah

Wynonah is giving me the Nicole Cordoves-meets-Jennifer Hammond vibe! Like Nicole, this 24-year-old Cebuana has impressive academic background (UP Cebu mass communications graduate, cum laude!). Meanwhile, her beauty is reminiscent of Jennifer’s, but fiercer. But she’s not all that. Wynonah can talk (has good communication skills) and walk (great stage presence). As a Miss Cebu winner in 2015, expect to see her fight tooth and nail for the crowns at stake.

11 #Binibini4 Ana Patricia Asturias

11-Patrik

Patrik is one of the ladies who surprised me the most during the parade of beauties. Her sweet smile was a breath of fresh air from a sea of fierce ladies. She has shown improvement from last year’s Top 25 finish in Bb Pilipinas. This year, she came back stronger. With better styling and a story to tell (together with her family, she built a cafe out of scraps from Typhoon Yolanda), this 25-year-old interior designer could be the pageant night’s biggest upset.

10 #Binibini35 Sandra Lemonon

10-Sandra

Sandra is one of the prettiest ladies in the competition, so it breaks my heart to put her in this position in my list. This 23-year-old bartender from Pasig City was a favorite during her Miss World Philippines stint (won by Catriona Gray), and since then, she has shown potential to be a beauty queen. Now competing in the country’s premier competition, I feel Sandra has been a hit and miss. She was breathtakingly stunning during the national costume competition. However, she was lacking in energy and appeal during the parade of beauties. Give her a year or two of more rigid pageant training and I’m sure will wreak havoc in Bb Pilipinas.

9 #Binibini1 Vickie Marie Rushton

9-Vickie

Vickie is a familiar face in the showbiz and pageant scene. She was former Mutya ng Pilipinas titleholder and also joined the reality show Pinoy Big Brother. It can’t be denied that she has the beauty and brains. However, the 25-year-old model and actress has been under the radar for the most part of the pageant, at least in my opinion. Despite that, I believe she will be a great representative in any international pageant.


Best bets for the crowns

Now, onto my top bets for this year’s Bb Pilipinas. They are not necessarily my sentimental favorites, but who I think could best represent and continue the Philippines’ placement and winning streaks in the international pageant scene.

2nd runner-up: #Binibini23 Ena Louis Velasco

8-Ena

Ena was one of my early favorites during the screenings. She looked crown-ready from head to toe. However, as the days passed by, the 25-year-old medical doctor started to appear too manufactured. Thankfully, the former Masskara Queen started to ditch the heavy make-up and opted for more natural look in her more recent appearances. I still think she got the beauty queen look and stance, so it won’t be a surprise if she gets a crown. But for now, she’s a runner-up in my books.

1st runner-up: #Binibini17 Ma Ahtisa Manalo

7-Ahtisa

Ahtisa is one of the most refreshing faces in the competition. She managed to standout in the press presentation despite her disaster hairdo. Her national costume presentation in her her canary yellow dress was a bomb, too! Ahtisa’s doll-like features would be a sure hit in Miss International, but I feel she’s still too raw for Bb Pilipinas at 20 years old, so she’s in my runner-up slot. A diamond in the rough, she’ll be a force to reckon with in Bb Pilipinas in two to three years time.

For Bb Pilipinas Globe: #Binibini31 Jehza Mae Huelar

6-Jehza

Jehza is following the footsteps of MJ Lastimosa and Pia Wurtzbach, and is hoping to have the same result as the two queens on her third try. Compared to last year, the 23-year-old beauty from Davao is taking things slowly but surely this time. Just when everyone thought she’s being sidelined, she emerged as one of the Top 10 finalists in national costume. She has always been ready for her crowning moment. With her preparations and pageant experience, a minor international pageant like Miss Globe would be just a cakewalk for her.

For Bb Pilipinas Intercontinental: #Binibini11 Maria Andrea Abesamis

4-Aya

Aya is probably the most bashed candidate this edition and all for the reason that she’s the daughter of Desiree Verdadero-Abesamis, former Miss Universe Philippines. That’s unfortunate for someone who has always been in pageant fans’ wish list. I remember seeing her in Miss UST in 2010, and since then I’ve seen the potential in her. This 25-year-old artist might not have the prettiest of faces, but with great styling, she looks amazing. Her professional modeling experience will also work to her advantage. However, I feel she’s too raw for a big, major pageant.

For Bb Pilipinas Grand International: #Binibini38 Karen Gallman

5-Karen

Karen. That’s the name I’ll give you if you ask me who the most beautiful face in the competition is. After her semis finish six years go, the 25-year-old Fil-Aussie stunner is back to finally clinch a crown. Karen started slow in the competition, but is now peaking at the right time. With that effortless beauty and improved speaking skills, it won’t be a surprise if Karen finally gets crowned. It’s time to finally send a facially stunning beauty in Miss Grand International, and Karen is the perfect fit for that gold crown.

For Bb Pilipinas Supranational: #Binibini19 Michele Gumabao

3-Michele

Michele is a familiar face for sports fanatics as a competitive volleyball star. But the 25-year-old sportswoman put her jersey to a temporary rest for a whole new different ballgame: Bb Pilipinas. Michele’s transformation has so far been impressive, that if this were a different Bb Pilipinas season, she could easily win the top title. She’s facing tough competition from my top pick, but that doesn’t mean Michele is not up to par. With her spontaneity when speaking, she could slay the all-important Q&A. Her towering height would be a great advantage, too. If no Miss Universe, I believe her celebrity status will be a good sell in Miss Supranational.

For Bb Pilipinas International: #Binibini32 Eva Psychee Patalinjug

2-Eva

Eva is a pageant veteran. For some, she might be treading under the radar. But with her previous experience in Mutya ng Pilipinas, this 23-year-old registered nurse surely has something up her sleeves come finals night. This law student talks with sincerity and walks with finesse. Her biggest waterloo is her inconsistent styling, but with a winning look (like in her recent photo shoots) she could do great damage during the finals. With the guidance of her training camp, which has produced two Miss International winners for the country, Eva is the best choice to compete in Japan.

For Miss Universe Philippines: #Binibini20 Catriona Elisa Gray

1-Catriona

Catriona is a cut above the rest. No one else in this batch comes close to her in terms of popularity, training and pageant experience. If these are an indication, she has the highest probability of bringing home the most coveted Bb Pilipinas crown. She was a trending topic on Twitter when she submitted her BBP application. She previously trained under A&Q for the Miss World Philippines pageant. She was a Top 5 finalist in Miss World 2016. What an impressive resume if you may say.

However, knowing how unpredictable Bb Pilipinas can be, I was half-hearted when she decided to join the country’s top beauty pageant. What if she gets disqualified? What if she goes home empty-handed? What if she fails to win the Miss Universe Philippines crown? I was afraid she will go through another painful pageant experience, after her Miss World stint. But I realized, it was a long wait to finally see her compete in a pageant. And like what she said, there’s an “unfinished business” that she needs to fulfill.

Since the day she appeared at the BPCI office, Catriona has been unstoppable. She experimented on different looks, veering away from her sweet Miss World aura. She transformed into a chameleon: fierce and sexy or sweet and lovely when the need arise. Despite having a not-so-toned body, she managed to standout during the press presentation. She brought the house down with her show-stopping national costume performance. But most of all, she was glowing during the parade of beauties.

Naysayers claim she’s out of shape and even sounds scripted when speaking. But these criticisms can be worked on. But the charisma and the dedication can’t be learned; it has to be innate. And that has always been inside Catriona’s heart ever since the day she decided to enter the glamorous but dangerous world of pageantry.

Sure, there are other girls who can snatch the top plum from her, but it would be an injustice to give her less than the MUP crown. It is hers to lose. Haraya

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Parade & 2017 queens photos by Drew Francisco/Missosology; Head shots from Bb Pilipinas Facebook page

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Bb Pilipinas crowns 2017 queens

Binibini 19 Rachel Peters was crowned Miss Universe Philippines 2017 at the conclusion of the Bb Pilipinas 2017 pageant held Sunday evening, April 30, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao, Quezon City.

The 25-year-old beauty from Camarines Sur bested 39 other candidates for the right to represent the Philippines in the next edition of the Miss Universe pageant.

The former Miss World Philippines runner-up impressed the judges when she was asked during the Q&A round about her message to Asean leaders.

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She said: “I believe that one of the biggest problems that our country faces today is divisiveness in politics, in religion and also in culture. And I believe that is something the same across the world. That is something I want to address. I believe that when people can learn to tolerate each other’s diferrences and respect each other’s opinion then we will just going to be a stronger nation and world.”

Peters also brought home Best in Swimsuit, Bb Photogenic and Jag Denim Queen special awards.

Binibini 15 Maria Angelica De Leon was crowned Bb Pilipinas International 2017. The 23-year-old opera singer and daughter of Filipino actors Christopher De Leon and Sandy Anfolong, will compete in Miss International 2017 in Japan.

She also won Best in Long Gown and Miss Creamsilk.

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Binibini 22 Chanel Olive Thomas was named Bb Pilipinas Supranational 2017. She will represent the country in Miss Supranational 2017 in Poland

Thomas also bagged the Best in National Costume and Bb Friendship awards.

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Other winners who will also compete in other international pageants were Binibini 39 Elizabeth Clenci (Bb Pilipinas Grand International 2017), Binibini 31 Katarina Sonja Rodriguez (Bb Pilipinas Intercontinental 2017) and Binibini 18 Nelda Ibe (Bb Pilipinas Globe 2017).

Binibini 32 Charmaine Elima and Binibini 40 Kristel Guelos finished first and second runners-up respectively.


Other winners of special awards were Binibini 1 Dane Felisse Marasigan (Bb Talent), Binibini 20 Christagale Borja (Manila Bulletin Readers’ Choice) and Binibini 31 Katarina Rodriguez (Miss Philippine Airlines).

The Top 15 finalists were (in order of announcement):
Binibini 39 Elizabeth Clenci
Binibini 15 Mariel De Leon
Binibini 22 Chanel Thomas
Binibini 31 Katarina Rodriguez
Binibini 10 Jehza Huelar
Binibini 13 Sirene Sutton
Binibini 40 Kristel Guelos
Binibini 18 Nelda Ibe
Binibini 32 Charmaine Elima
Binibini 20 Christagale Borja
Binibini 17 Maria Camille Manalo
Binibini 34 Gabriela Ortega
Binibini 16 Larah Lacap
Binibini 19 Rachel Peters
Binibini 28 Juliana Kapeundl (People’s Choice)

The rest of the Top 25 semifinalists were:
Binibini 2 Arienne Calingo
Binibini 27 Beatrice Valiente
Binibini 1 Dane Marasigan
Binibini 37 Sammie Legaspi
Binibini 6 Maria Nama
Binibini 7 Jennyline Malpaya
Binibini 9 Vanessa Saliba
Binibini 33 Kristi Cequeña
Binibini 26 Ruffa Nava
Binibini 38 Ana Asturias

Miss Universe 2015 Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach and actor Xian Lim hosted the pageant with Miss Universe 2010 4th runner-up Venus Raj. PageantFocus | Missosology.Org

Bb Pilipinas 2017: Fearless prediction

THE TIME has come again for the most beautiful ladies in the country to battle it out in the annual Binibining Pilipinas pageant.

This year, 40 ladies from all walks of life are vying to represent the Philippines in Miss Universe, Miss International, Miss Supranational, Miss Intercontinental, Miss Grand International and Miss Globe competitions. 

Trimming the list from 40 to just 15 was tough. I could still name at least 5 ladies who deserve to make this list. After seeing all the ladies in person and observing them, here’s a list of who are likely to emerge victorious on April 30.

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15: #Binibini35 Thoreen Halvorsen
Sounds familiar? Thoreen was crowned Miss Philippines Fire in 2012. This 25-year-old consular and diplomatic affairs student from Palawan crossed over to Bb Pilipinas with her previous pageant experience as her advantage. She is always under the radar but her good communication skills and natural charm could work to her favor in the important interview portion.

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14: #Binibini24 Dindi Joy Pajares
Dindi is banking on her previous pageant experiences for a chance to win a crown. She first joined Miss World Philippines 2011 and Miss Bikini Philippines 2013 before trying her luck in Bb Pilipinas last year, where she finished in the Top 15. Now back for another chance, it seems 23-year-old Dindi has lost her spark. Her styling wasn’t as on point as last year. She is lacking in star appeal and her public speaking skills seems the same. She remains as one of the favorites, however, and the great stage presence is still there.

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13: #Binibini39 Elizabeth Clenci
She first joined Bb Pilipinas in 2011 together with her sister, Sarah. The latter made it to the Top 15, while Elizabeth went home with the Best in National Costume award. Fast-forward to 2017, the 26-year-old session bassist from Cebu is back better and prettier. Although underrated, she managed to standout during the parade of beauties with her unassuming beauty and elegance. She is also one of the good speakers in the batch so watch out for her come finals night.

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12: #Binibini30 Mae Liezel Ramos
Another familiar face in the competition is Liezel, a 26-year-old nurse from Naga. She was Top 15 finalist in her first try in 2014, then went home unplaced the following year. Now back for a final shot at a Binibini crown, Liezel is not wasting every moment. Her styling are always on point and she’s one of the most photogenic candidates.

Here are the alternates to the crown-contenders.

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11: #Binibini18 Nelda Ibe
This 23-year-old English literature graduate was a surprise during her Miss World Philippines 2014 stint where she finished 2nd princess. But this time around, it won’t be a surprise in case she bags any of the crowns at stake. This cadet pilot has been impressive in the last few weeks leading up to the finals. Her inclusion in the Top 10 Best in National Costumes is also well-deserved as her hand-painted terno is magnificent.

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10: #Binibini2 Arienne Louise Calingo
Arienne, 24, perfectly fits the mold of Miss Universe Philippines winners of the 2000s. She has resemblance to former Bb Pilipinas World Mafae Yunon, too. With an impressive educational background, it would be easy for this Georgetown University honor graduate to clinch any of the crowns at stake. In addition to that, she’s lethal in the Q&A department. No fan of her beauty, but she is perfectly styled since Day 1.

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9: #Binibini31 Katarina Sonja Rodriguez
Probably the face of the competition, Katarina was the clear standout during the parade of beauties. She doesn’t even need a lot of make-up to standout because her charm comes out naturally. However, this 24-year-old business management and philosophy still seems raw for pageants now. Give her another year of training to improve her walk and figure and she will be a force to reckon with next year.

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2nd runner-up: #Binibini12 Angelique Celine De Leon
Angelique’s non-inclusion in the set of semifinalists in 2014 and 2016 inspired her to unleash the better version of herself. Angelique came back this year stronger than ever, and with a legion of supporters behind her, she is set to claim what is rightfully hers: a Bb Pilipinas crown. Her presentation skills, styling and communication skills are all waiting to be shown in the international arena. A 2nd runner-up finish a modest prediction, but Angelique deserves a lot better!

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1st runner-up: #Binibini28 Juliana Kapeundl
Many thought this 25-year-old Fil-Austrian beauty is just another candidate, but event after event, Juliana’s star started to shine. She reminds me of Laura Lehman during 2014 who started as a nobody but became a contender at the homestretch of the pageant. She could walk and talk and with her winsome smile and unassuming beauty, who knows she might bring home one of the crowns!

And here are the best girls who could best represent the Philippines in international pageants.

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Bb Pilipinas Globe: #Binibini10 Jehza Mae Huelar
She was one of the pleasant surprises last year after finishing 2nd runner-up. Now back for another shot, this 22-year-old Dabawenya is ready for a crowning moment. She was one of the most impressive ladies during the press presentation, where she showed her improved physique and fiercer but sweet aura. Making it to the Top 10 national costumes is an indication that she is doing well so far. With her preparations and pageant experience, a minor international pageant like Miss Globe would be just a cakewalk for her.

Elima

Bb Pilipinas Grand International: #Binibini32 Charmaine Elima
After her disappointing Top 15 finish in 2013, Charmaine is back with vengeance. The 24-year-old flight attendant started the competition really strong. By merely observing her actions, you’ll know that she studied what she is doing and has mastered it well. However, as the pageant progressed, her old weaknesses became apparent. At times, she looks too pageant patty to the point that even her answers to interview questions don’t appear natural. Despite that, her fierce looks, wide smile, and well-shaped body make her a shoo-in for any contest out there. Who knows, she might just bag our country’s first Miss Grand International crown.

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Bb Pilipinas Intercontinental: #Binibini22 Chanel Olive Thomas
She’s gaining strength as the pageant progresses, and who knows, she might become the coronation night’s biggest surprise. This 25-year-old Fil-Aussie is an experienced ramp model and was runner-up to Angelia Ong in Miss Philippines Earth 2015. It was quite surprising that she wasn’t an early favorite given her previous pageant experience. But Chanel made sure she will make an impact before the coronation night. She was the most charming during the parade of beauties, and the most eloquent in the BBP primer. The Philippines has sent a excellent candidates in Miss Intercontinental in the last three years, and Chanel could keep the streak going.

And now, we’re down to the Final Three candidates. Three girls who are all equally stunning and deserving to represent the Philippines in any of the Big5 beauty pageants. This trio reminded me of the Wurtzbach-Lubina-McGarry tandem in 2015. It was a tough act assigning them to each pageants, but I has to be done.

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Bb Pilipinas Supranational: #Binibini19 Rachel Peters
Not to be forgotten, Rachel literally owned the press presentation with her commanding presence! She may not have the most beautiful face but she body to die for. This 25-year-old beauty is no bimbo, too – she has business, tourism and events degree from a university in Australia. She was a one of the heavy favorites during Miss World Philippines 2014 but the nerves kicked in during the final question round. She was 4th princess then. Rachel has the gift of gab and just needs to relax come the Q&A round during the finals. Her glamorous beauty and model-ish stature at perfectly fits the Supranational prototype. Poland, make way for this super-beauty!

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Bb Pilipinas International: #Binibini15 Maria Angelica De Leon
Mariel first joined Bb Pilipinas in 2013. She was rumored to be the “favored” one but ended up only in the Top 15. She was very raw back then, and in dire need of training. Four years later, Mariel is back with a better styling and a clearer objective: to win a major Bb Pilipinas crown. Back then, she was the most talked about delegate, mainly because she is the daughter of actors Christopher De Leon and Sandy Andolong. But now, people are talking about Mariel because they see her as a legitimate crown contender. And the parade of beauties was the deciding factor. Mariel didn’t disappoint as she sashayed grace and class that day. In 2013, I had her as my BbP-International and it doesn’t change until now. She has the breeding and the doll-like features and exudes sincerity when she talks – something a candidate needs to win the judges’ nod. Kylie Verzosa would be happy to have Mariel as her successor.

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Miss Universe Philippines: #Binibini13 Sirene Sutton
People might mistake her for Aphrodite, because every encounter with Sirene is an encounter with inimitable beauty and sophistication. Compared to her stint in Miss Global Philippines in 2014, this 23-year-old model looks fresher and more polished now. She might not have the best walk or the sexiest body, but Sirene is transformable, which is a must for a potential Miss Universe candidate. What is important is that Sirene can speak her mind and compose her thoughts well. Most of all, she has a beautiful face, because after all, this is still a beauty pageant.

Some might see her lack of beauty camp affiliation as a weakness, but I see it as her advantage. Sirene winning the top title in Bb Pilipinas is like breaking the status quo. While I do recognize the contribution and importance of beauty camps in honing the Philippines’ queens, an independent candidate winning MUP will be a good precedent for the premier pageant in the Philippines. It will no longer become a battle between beauty camps. In case Sirene competes in Miss Universe, it will be all about her own merits and achievements. Most of all, the focus will be on Bb Pilipinas as a powerhouse producer of international pageant titleholders. Haraya

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IN PHOTOS: Bb Pilipinas 2017 parade of beauties

The parade of the 40 candidates of Bb Pilipinas 2017 passed by around the streets of Araneta Center in Cubao, Quezon City on Saturday, April 22.

The candidates rode Mazda top down cars wearing colorful headpieces, and floral themed bikinis designed by Domz Ramos.

The annual Parade of Beauties began at the Kia Theatre and ended at the Gateway Pavilion where the ladies introduced themselves one by one, much to the delight of the crowd.

Bb Pilipinas Charities Inc chairman Stella Marquez Araneta was present in the event. The reigning Bb Pilipinas qieens, however, did not join the parade unlike in previous years.

Check out photos taken by Drew Francisco of Missosology & Pageant Focus:

Maxine Medina is Miss Universe Philippines 2016

Maxine Medina was crowned Miss Universe Philippines 2016 during the finals night held Sunday, April 17 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The 25-year-old professional model and interior designer will be gunning for a back-to-back win at the 2016 Miss Universe pageant. Medina also bagged the Miss Philippine Airlines special award.

Medina first joined Bb Pilipinas in 2012 but had to back out due to an existing endorsement contract.

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During the Q&A round, she was asked what advice she will give a 15-year-old girl who wants to quit school despite being able to afford it.

She answered: “I would tell the little girl to study hard no matter what their parents would tell them because having an education is something that cannot have that anybody else (sic). Education can make you even a better person. Thank you.

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Kylie Verzosa was crowned Bb Pilipinas International 2016 and will compete at the 2016 Miss International pageant in Tokyo in October. Verzosa also won the Miss Photogenic, Miss Manila Bulletin and the JAG She’s Got the Look award.

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Joanna Eden, who was awarded Best in Swimsuit, bagged the Bb Pilipinas Supranational 2016 crown and will represent the country at the Miss Supranational pageant.

The rest of the winners were: Bb Pilipinas Intercontinental 2016 Jennifer Hammond, Bb Pilipinas Grand International 2016 Nicole Cordoves and Bb Pilipinas Globe 2016 Nichole Manalo. Angelica Alita and Jehza Mae Huelar finished first and second runners-up, respectively.

Hammond won Best in Evening Gown while Manalo was named Miss Creamsilk. Other winners of special awards were: Angela Lauren Fernando (Best in National Costume), and Vina Openiano (Best in Talent and Miss Friendship).

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The rest of the 15 semifinalists were: Openiano, Riana Agatha Pangindian, Apriel Smith, Tobias, Kimberle Mae Penchon, Dindi Joy Pajares and Edjelyn Joy Gamboa.

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#BbPilipinas2016: Fearless Predictions

It’s that time of the year again when beautiful ladies from around the country compete at the most prestigious beauty pageant: the Bb Pilipinas.

This year, 40 ladies took the challenge to keep the country’s winning streak going in international pageants, following Pia Alozo Wurtzbach’s victory in Miss Universe 2016. From this group of ladies, here are the 15 girls who I think have the best chances at making it.

15_SMITH15 | Apriel Smith
I have to be honest: I’m not a fan of this girl. But her performance during the Fashion Show and National Costume presentation is enough to convince me that thus Cebuana deserves a spot in the semifinals. Apriel just needs to fins the perfect look to beat them front-runners.

14_HUELAR14 | Jezha Huelar
So young yet so strikingly beautiful are the best phrases to describe Jehza. This Davaoena is also one of the underrated ladies in the competition. While she may be a newbie in the national pageant scene, she doesn’t get overshadowed by her experienced counterparts.

13_BARTOLOME13 | Paula Rich Bartolome
Paula is undeniably pretty, but was forgettable during her first attempt in BBP. But this time, she made sure she will be remembered. We are now seeing a better version of her with her nice body, classier styiling and polished walk. And her hardwork has already paid off: she’s on of the Best in National Costume finalists.

12_EDEN12 | Joanna Eden
One of my sentimental favorites this year is the lovely Joanna, who is taking up International Studies at DLSU. Her fresh face is her greatest strength and I think we have a potential international titleholder in her. However, it seems she’s still raw for Bb Pilipinas at 19 years old. I would love to see her back in two to three years time more mature and prepared. I see her more as a Miss World prototype and knowing that she can play the flute and the saxphone makes me think she could be the next Megan Young.

11_PRONGOSO11 | Maria Lina Prongoso
At first I thought she was just pure hype. Her face was just okay, nothing really exciting. But when I saw her during the Fashion Show, she reminded me of one of my favorite Miss Universe titleholders, Maria Gabriela Isler of Venezuela. Maria Lina is one classy lady that manages to standout without the need to overdo her actions. Watch out because this beauty from Iriga City could be a potential spoiler.

10_HAMMOND10 | Jennifer Hammond
Ask me who was the b10 | Jennifer Hammondest girl during the JAG segment of the Fashion Show and I’ll you it’s Jennifer Hammond. It didn’t come as a surprise because she’s a model by profession. Her mesmerizing look and commanding presence deserves to be brought in the international stage. She’s no stranger to pageants, too. She competed in Miss World Philippines in 2013 alongside Megan Young and Janicel Lubina and is the sister of Louvette Hammond Fowler (former Mutya ng Pilipinas-World).

9_GIGANTE9 | Maria Gigante
Maria has been a hit-and-miss for me. She started really strong but went out of the spotlight. But after seeing her perform in that stunning National Costume, I was convinced Maria is a legit contender in this competition. Don’t count her out just yet because she will deliver her best on stage, where she does the magic.

8_PAJARES8 | Dindi Joy Pajares
Dindi, 23, is banking on her previous pageant experiences for a chance to win one of the six crowns at stake. She first joined Miss World Philippines 2011 and Miss Bikini Philippines 2013 before trying her luck in BBP. It isn’t hard for her to stand out given her stunning face and curvaceous body, as proven during the Fashion Show. If she nails the all-important Q&A round, it won’t be surprising to see her win a crown.

7_ALITA7 | Angelica Alita
This 20-year-old chef who hopes to put up her own restaurant one day doesn’t even need a lot of make-up to standout because her charm comes out naturally. Add to that her winsome smile that could light up a room. She was very elegant in her Bessie Besana national costume. With a pretty face to match her sexy body, Angelica definitely has a bright future ahead of her in beauty pageants.

6_VERZOSABBP-Grand International: Kylie Verzosa
Kylie is one of the favorites last year because of her facial beauty and modeling experience. That is why it didn’t come as a surprise that she’s one of the most popular candidates on her second try. Without discounting the fact that she’s a formidable contender, Kylie seems to have reached a saturation point. It seems we’ve already seen all of her. I hope I’m wrong because this face deserves to be seen in the a grander, international arena.

5_FERNANDOBBP-Globe: Angela Lauren Fernando
One of the most underrated candidates this year is 24-year-old Angela from Lubao, Pampanga. She might not be the tallest or the most popular, but it’s interesting to note that she was Miss Philippines Earth Eco Tourism 2010. Six years after, Angela came back to the pageant world with a better body and an impressive academic record, too (she graduated with a medicine degree from UST). Her inclusion in the Top 6 Best in National Costume is a clear indication that she shouldn’t be ignored in the competition.

4_DE LEONBBP-Intercontinental: Angelique Celine De Leon
She was a diamond in the rough back in 2014 and it seemed her non-inclusion in that edition’s set of semifinalists inspired her to unleash the better version of herself. Angelique came back this year stronger than ever, and with a legion of supporters behind her, she is set to claim what is rightfully hers: a Bb Pilipinas crown. She is one of this year’s runway divas so for sure, she will breeze through the competition. I’ve said this before, I’ll say it again: bring this girl to the Q&A round and she could easily win a crown.

3_MANALOBBP-Supranational: Nichole Marie Manalo
Many fans underestimated this girl, but Nichole is determined to prove them all wrong. After going home empty-handed in 2014, the sister of Katherine Manalo (Bb Pilipinas-World 2002) and Pamela Bianca Manalo (Bb Pilipinas-Universe 2009) came back this year with her guns fully loaded. The glowing skin, well-shaped body and killer runway skills are still there. But look at how she has transformed from head to toe. Nichole screams winner from every angle. And while I’m still not sold on her communication skills (I’m a sucker for girls with the gift of gab), I’m putting her in Supranational.

2_MEDINABBP-International: Maria Mika Maxine Medina
This girl is peaking at the right time, and who knows she might be the coronation night’s biggest surprise. Avid pageant fans like me have long waited for Maxine to join BBP and Maxine didn’t disappoint now that it finally happened. Her modeling experience worked to her advantage as she was among the best girls during the Fashion Show. But what sets her apart from the others is how she manages to exude sophistication. She could wear a bikini and still look classy! And this trait, for me, is what makes her suitable in Miss International.

1_CORDOVESMiss Universe Philippines: Nicole Cordoves
The first time I saw Nicole’s photo during the screening, I knew she has “it”. Despite the strong start, Nicole wasn’t spared from criticisms. Her styling during the first few appearances was off. She looked raw and unprepared. Her press presentation styling wasn’t the best. But Nicole managed to find her style. She managed to look fierce during the Fashion Show and was exuding so much elegance in her gorgeous Mak Tumang terno. But the ultimate deal breaker was the Parade of Beauties where Nicole managed to standout by showing her bubbly personality. This girl could do real damage in the Q&A round with her articulateness. We’re gunning for a back-to-back in Miss Universe and we don’t just need a pretty face, we should also be represented by someone who could be a good spokesperson and the well-educated Nicole is the one! Pageant Focus by Haraya

#BbPilipinas2016: Parade of Beauties

Riding trendy Miata cars, the 40 candidates of Bb Pilipinas 2016 charmed the public in the annual parade of beauties held April 9 at the Araneta Center in Cubao, Quezon City.

The parade started at Novortel Manila and ended at the green gate of the Smart Araneta Coliseum, where a throng of supporters gathered to get a closer look at the gorgeous ladies. The girls wore rainbow-colored swimsuits designed by Domz Ramos and headdresses of multi-clored summer blooms.

Reigning queens Miss International Top 10 finalist Janicel Lubina, Miss Intercontinental 2015 1st runner-up Christi McGarry and Miss Supranational 2015 Top 20 semifinalist Rogelie Catacutan joined the festivities atop a colorful floral float. Miss Universe Philippines 2014 Mary Jean Lastimosa also graced the event as PLDT Home DSL’s insider.

The parade of beauties is Bb Pilipinas’ penultimate public event before the coronaton night on April 17. It will be held at the Smart Araneta Coliseum and will be aired on ABS-CBN. Xian Lim, KC Concepcion will be hosting the show with Laura Lehman. Reigning Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach will also grace the exciting event to crown her successor.

Bb Pilipinas 2016 candidates selected

From 88 applicants, 40 official candidates to Bb Pilipinas 2016 pageant were chosen after a day-long selection process held at Novotel Araneta in Cubao, Quezon City on the evening of February 12.

The girls will vie for the following titles: Miss Universe Philippines, Binibining Pilipinas International, Binibining Pilipinas Supranational, Binibining Pilipinas Intercontinental, and Binibining Pilipinas Grand International.

The lucky ladies are:
1. Aniger Wiji Canoy Cruz
2. Riana Agatha L. Pangindian
3. Maria Daziella Lazaro Gange
4. Leonalyn Dela Cruz
5. Loren Mar G. Artajos
6. Angelica R. Alita
7. Angela Gene R. Valdes
8. Marlann P. Flores
9. Tatiana Dolor D. Maher
10. Jennyline Carla F. Malpaya
11. Crescent Anne F. Samaco
12. Nichole Marie Manalo
13. Roshiela Navarro Tobias
14. Jehza Mae S. Huelar
15. Angela Lauren D. Fernando
16. Angelique Celine De Leon
17. Edjelyn Joy Cay Gamboa
18. Sheena B. Dalo
19. Vina Prulla Openiano
20. Kimberle Mae Licao Penchon
21. Priscilla Kimberley Dela Cruz
22. Kim Ross De Los Santos
23. Maria Mika Maxine Medina
24. April Smith
25. Dindi Joy L. Pajares
26. Kylie Verzosa
27. Mariella Castillo
28. Jeslyn Santos
29. Nicole Cordoves
30. Jennifer Ruth Hammond
31. Christianne Ramos
32. Jessical L. Gonzales
33. Alexandra Faith Garcia
34. Maria Lina N. Prongoso
35. Paula Rich Bartolome
36. Maria Gigante
37. Joanna Deapera Eden
38. Anjellica Lopez
39. Kristine Angeli Q. Estoque
40. Janelle Olafson

The coronation night will be held at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao, Quezon City on Sunday, April 17.