#ThrowbackThursday: Most entertaining Q&A moments in Bb Pilipinas

The question-and-answer portion is probably the most awaited part of any beauty pageant. They say this is the deciding moment, where grace under pressure becomes a girl’s best friend.

As we await for the 2014 coronation night, Pageant Focus rounded up some of the most entertaining pageant answers from Bb Pilipinas. Some are downright hilarious but became winning answers.

Melanie “Long-legged” Marquez, 1979

Q: Are you willing to change your legs with the one million insured legs of Angie Dickinson?
A: I won’t change my legs because I am contented with my long legged.

Maria Isabel “Virgin” Lopez, 1982
(Unfortunately no video available)

Q (asked by actress Rita Gomez): Here’s your question, hija, Are you still a virgin?
A: If I say I still am, can I bring home the crown tonight?
Judge: Good answer!
Maria Isabel: What about you Ma’am, are you still a virgin?
Judge: Hija, I have 5 children with 5 different fathers, and what do you call that, Immaculate Conception?

Jeannie “Quiet Please” Anderson, 2006

Q: If you were given a chance to become beautiful but not too smart or very smart but not too beautiful, what would you prefer to be and why?
A: Well, um, quiet please! Okay. Well, I’d rather choose to be, uh, beautiful. Um, because, um, to be beautiful like, um, it’s natural. But, um, being smart you can learn. You can learn, um, a lot of things. You can learn from the experience. You can learn a lot of things to be smart.

Janina “I don’t feel any pressure right now” San Miguel, 2008

Host: So you won two of the major special awards…do you feel any pressure right now?
A: No, I don’t feel any pressure right now!
Then she was asked to pick the name of the judge who would ask her the question.
Q: The question is, what role did your family play to you as candidate to Binibining Pilipinas?
A: Well, my family’s role for me is so important because there was the wa- they’re, they was the one who’s very (laughs). Oh I’m so sorry. Um, my family, my family. Oh my god. I’m…
Host: Pwede ka magtagalog. Okay lang.
A: Ok, I’m so sorry. I, I told you that I’m so confident… Eto, um, wait… (laughs). Um, sorry guys because this was really my first pageant ever because I’m only 17 years old and (laughs) I, I did not expect that I came from, I came from one of the top 10. Hmmm, so… but I said that my family is the most important persons in my life. Thank you.

Angelee Claudette “Example of beautiful people of the Philippines” Delos Reyes, 2012

Judge: Good evening. How are you?
A: Good evening. I’m so fine and I feel so great that I’m one of the finalists. And I feel so excited that one life will be changed tonight.
Judge: Wow, you answered the question before I asked! Let me try…How would you show to the rest of the world that it’s more fun in the Philippines?
Answer: I can show to the world that it’s more fun in the Philippines because I am a nurse by profession and I decided to stay in the Philippines because we have a very beautiful geographical setting which we can travel through land, air and seas. And I think that we have beautiful people and standing here in front of you right now is an example of the beautiful people of the Philippines.


The Philippines’ DEFINING MOMENTS in 2013 Pageants

SCENES of disaster were associated with the Philippines in 2013 as the nation experienced a big earthquake and a deadly super typhoon. The victories of Filipinos in the international arena provided the silver lining during these trying times. As we hope for a better New Year, here’s a countdown to six of the Philippines’ glorious moments in 2013 beauty pageants.

The Philippines had a successful year in 2012 pageants with placements in all of the Big Four pageants. But Rizzini Alexis Gomez capped what was then thought as a “glorious” year by winning the 2012/2013 Miss Tourism International title on the eve of 2013. Who would have thought that last-minute win was a sign of things to come for a historic year for the Philippines in the beauty pageant scene? The Philippines has been winning pageants left and right the whole year. What a better way to end the banner year for the country than to win another crown? Angeli Dione Gomez, another Cebuana, scored a back-to-back win for the Philippines in Miss Tourism International, held on New Year’s Eve.

The Philippine beauty pageant season kicked off early this year with Bb Pilipinas Gold, which marks the 50th year of the most prestigious pageant in the country. I was blessed to have witnessed this momentous event in person. It was a magical night, needless to say, nostalgic after seeing some 70 past title-holders in walk on the red carpet one by one all glammed up and their top form. The production is undoubtedly one of the best staging of Bb Pilipinas in recent history. And what a better way to cap the celebration was to crown what pageant observers deemed as “one of the strongest set of Bb Pilipinas winners in years”.

Male pageants has always been a waterloo for the Philippines, but this changed in 2012 when model June Macasaet won Manhunt International and athlete and once-controversial celebrity Andrew Wolf finished second in Mr World. Their wins gave a boost to the male pageant industry in the Philippines, with the launch of Mister International Philippines and a more rigorous search for the next Manhunt Philippines. The Philippines road to male pageant glory didn’t stop there, as former cager Gil Wagas finished fourth runner-up in Mr International 2013 held in Indonesia. Some would say it was his towering height, good physique and winsome smile that gave him an advantage over the rest, but in one of his interviews after the pageant, Wagas said his secret weapon was his “faith in God”.

The country didn’t run out of placements this year. Aside from the semifinals placements of Cindy Miranda (Top 10) and Angelee delos Reyes (Top 8 ) in Miss Tourism Queen International and Miss Earth pageants, respectively, the country also scored three third runners-up finishes.

Ariella Arida had big shoes to fill following the Philippines’ three consecutive placements in the top five and Janine Tugonon’s first runner-up finish in Miss Universe the previous year. She was bashed to death, many thought she can’t keep the momentum going. But she shut them naysayers when she made it to the Top 16 via fan votes and easily breezed through the competition, finishing third runner-up.

Annalie Forbes, Bb Pilipinas 2012 second runner-up, also finished third runner-up in the inaugural Miss Grand International in Bangkok, Thailand. Proving that the Philippines is a force majeure in beauty pageants, Forbes made it in the Top 10 of the National Costume and Top 20 of the Swimsuit competition held prior to the finals slated on November 19. Koreen Medina, who won the top plum in Mutya ng Pilipinas, followed with another third runner-up finish at Miss Intercontinental, held in Germany. It was the highest the Philippines has ever achieved in the pageant since 1995, when Maria Sovietskaya Bacud finished second runner-up.

The best way to set the stage for the Philippines record-breaking feat this year is with a crown! Mutya Johanna Datul indeed took Belarus by storm after winning the Miss Supranational crown early September. She is the first Filipina to win in the pageant. She had a rough start: she missed her connecting flight to Moscow on her way to Belarus, she had those breakouts and lousy styling. Despite that her winsome smile and positive aura shone through, as affirmed by her Miss Personality award. But many didn’t lose hope. “She’s very genuine on stage, you can see it. Her innate charm just radiates, and you can tell she’s being true to herself,” said Bb Pilipinas runner-up Pia Wurtzbach in an Inquirer report. Indeed, showing the real her was the key to winning the crown. Recounting her closed-door interview with the judges, she said: “I first introduced myself in Russian, and then I said ‘I will go straight (to the point). I want to become Miss Supranational because this is my ultimate dream. I want to become an ambassador, a good example and an inspiration to many’.”

For Bea Rose Santiago, keeping the faith helped her win the Miss International crown. “Miss Japan told me, ‘You’re funny. Every time you go up and leave the stage, you pray.’ I told her that is my source of power,” she was quited as saying in an Inquirer report. “Even the Latina—they are all Catholics—I gathered them all and we formed a prayer circle. I speak English so I pray aloud. Prayer is a lot powerful if you do it together.” Santiago is no stranger to pageants. She was crowned Mutya ng Pilipinas Overseas Communities in 2012 and went on to place in Miss Tourism Queen International of the Year. This experience surely helped her ace Bb Pilipinas and Miss International. Aside from that, Santiago was glowing on stage and her sincere and heartfelt speech surely sealed the deal for her.

The supreme moment for the Philippines in 2013 pageants is Megan Young’s victory in Miss World. What was once a dream for Filipino pageant fans to see the actress-TV host compete in a major international pageant finally came true. Despite having only two weeks to prepare, Megan was ready for battle and was well-received by pageant enthusiasts around the globe. Different pageant sites named her as one of the girls to beat. Pageant guru Ines Ligron even tagged her as “one of the best Miss Philippines ever”. True enough, her performance proved she is the best delegate the country has ever sent in Miss World. She aced the Top Model challenge. She was fifth in Beach Fashion and was fourth in Multimedia. She also ranked second in the official Miss World poll. No wonder she topped the overall leaderboards, making her one of the Top 10 finalists during the finale. When asked why she should be Miss World, Young said “I treasure a core value of humanity and that guides people why they act the way they do. I will use this to show other people how they can understand each other … as one, we can help society.” The rest, as they say, is history. The Philippines bagged the elusive Miss World crown. But what really gave (and still gives the chills) was when Megan Young spoke in her native tongue , teary-eyed, when asked what she feels as the new Miss World: “Salamat sa mga kababayan ko. Mahal na mahal ko kayo.” One would feel the victory wasn’t only Megan’s; it was a victory for the Philippines. PageantFocus

This article first appeared on Missosology.

Miss Earth 2013: Girls to watch out for

This article first appeared on Rappler.

IT’S THAT time of the year again when the most beautiful women in the planet strap on their heels for the worthy cause of preserving and saving Mother Earth.

The 13th edition of Miss Earth is proving to be an exciting season. Aside from the traditional evening wear, national costume and swimsuit competitions, the candidates also engaged in environmental awareness and conservation activities to showcase their knowledge of the organization’s causes.

But before the 89 beauties battle it out on December 7, here is a list of candidates to keep an eye out.

POWERHOUSES. These countries seem to have mastered the art of placing in Miss Earth after dominating the top four in the last two years.


Brazil,  Priscilla Martins. This year’s delegate of the winningest country in Miss Earth is proving why Brazil is a force to reckon with in the competition. Early on, she was adjudged second-best in National Costume among delegates from the Americas. But just last night, she won a silver medal in the Swimsuit competition. This didn’t come as a surprise because she’s got a toned and pageant-ready body. She’s well-prepared for this and her Eco-Beauty video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E5sxNTysbYI) is a testament to that. 

Philippines, Angelee delos Reyes. Her placement in challenge events (Third, Evening Gown; Top 15, Swimsuit; Top 15, Resorts Wear; Second, I Love My Planet Challenge; Third, Most Child Friendly candidates; Second, National Costume; and Third, Miss Photogenic) may be partly attributed for being the host country’s delegate. But it can be safely said that Angelee made it on her own merits. She is good on the ramp. She is always styled well. Simply put, she knows exactly what she is doing. 

Venezuela, Alyz Henrich. Alyz has been an early favorite since her crowning as Miss Venezuela Tierra. Winning five awards from pageant sponsors and three medals from challenge events just solidifies her status as a front-runner. Her gold and silver medals in the Evening Gown and Swimsuit competitions are no shocker. She looked very regal in her heavily pailletted silver strapless gown. Also, it can’t be denied she has one of the best bodies in the competition. If the coronation night will be held today, Alyz could win it hands down.

SURPRISES. Underrated, but are proving to be real contenders for the crown.


Ukraine, Anastasia Sukh. Anastasia is the most pleasant surprise in the competition. This serene beauty is cementing a spot in the semis after winning the gold medal during the Swimsuit competition. She also placed second in Resorts Wear competition and was third Most Child Friendly candidate in her group. With a face that could launch a thousand ships and a to-die-for body, there’s no doubt Anastasia is a strong contender for the crown.

Nepal, Rojisha Shahi Thakuri. She’s nowhere to be found in pageant sites’ pre-arrival lists, so Rohisha surprised everyone by snatching a silver medal in the Evening Gown final competition. Her blue mermaid cut gown was bordering pageant patty, but her presentation skills was superb. She was also chosen as one of the Most Child Friendly candidates. More than that, she has good understanding of environmental issues, as proven by her profile in the ME website.

FAVORITES. They are darlings of the pageant aficionados.


Bosnia & Herzegovina, Vera Krneta. Vera is an effortless beauty that exudes so much sweet aura, so it really is disappointing she isn’t excelling in pre-pageant activities. Just when she was about to go unnoticed, Vera was awarded Miss Casino Femme. It’s not over ’til it’s over for this underrated girl.

Costa Rica, Mariela Aparicio. It comes as a surprise that this girl with a sweet face and queenly aura isn’t given much attention. She has a good body, no wonder she made it top the Top 15 of the Swimsuit competition. Mariela may not be heavily favored, but she could also pull off an upset. After all, she was a semifinalist in Miss International 2010.

Serbia, Andjelka Tomasevic. Andjelka is the face of the competition, in my opinion. Her beauty is unassuming. Her shapely body merited her spots in the Top 15 of both the Swimsuit and Resorts Wear competitions. The sophistication that she exudes makes her standout from the rest of the girls. She would definitely be a perfect ambassadress for Miss Earth.

EBONIES.  The black beauties are here to prove they are the true warriors of Mother Earth.


Martinique, Rani Charles. She may have not won a single medal so far, but this doesn’t mean Rani’s chances of placing are slim. In fact, she made it to the Top 15 of the Talent and Resorts Wear competitions. Her natural charisma blends well with her winsome smile and positive aura. Her styling needs improvement, but thanks to her presentation skills she was able to give justice to her mediocre evening gown. She may have a weak sash, but that didn’t stop her from becoming the most talked about black delegate this year.

South Africa, Ashanti Mbanga. Two gold medals for Ashanti for the I Love My Planet School Tour Challenge and National Costume competition are enough to prove she shouldn’t be taken lightly. She has rigidly prepared in almost all aspects of the competition. No wonder she was adjudged Best Teacher early on in the competition because she is well-versed in environmental issues. With her impressive communication skills, this girl for sure will ace the interviews. So-called front-runners need to watch out for this girl might give them a run for their monies come coronation night.

AVENGERS. Some of the candidates from these countries were heavy favorites during their time but failed to place.


India, Sobhita Dhulipala. India has failed to make the cut after winning its first Miss Earth crown in 2010. This year, Sobhita is determined to end the drought and it seems she is on the right track. She made it in the the Top 15 of both the Talent and Resorts Wear competitions. She also won Miss Photogenic, after receiving the most number of likes on Facebook. She has one of the best Eco-Beauty videos (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=soIYlozXKeQ) and her environmental advocacy of providing water purifiers in Indian communities with no access to safe drinking water is really commendable. Aside from that she’s a natural charmer and a good speaker.

Thailand, Punika Kulsoontornru. With barely two weeks to prepare for the pageant, Punika is surprisingly very well-rounded. She was awarded Most Child Friendly candidate and was third in National Costume among Asian candidates. She also made it in the Top 15 of the Talent competition, but her biggest moment was when she was named Best in Resorts Wear. Aside from that, she has also bagged three special awards from sponsors. It seems Thailand is ready to win its first Miss Earth crown after surprisingly missing the cut last year after five consecutive placements.

The Philippines’ glorious moments in 2012 pageants

Year 2012 will surely go down in history as one of the best years for the Philippines in the international pageant arena. The country placed in all of the four major female pageants for the second consecutive year, even bagging two bridesmaid finishes. Surprisingly,  it also managed to dominate the male pageant scene, with a major title and a runner-up finish. Not only that. Pinay representatives also shone in other pageants across the globe.

As 2013 unfolds, let us look back at the defining moments of the Philippines in last year’s pageants.

1-2_zpsa0a02b50Upon her crowning as Miss World Philippines, Queneerich Rehman had been touted as a “girl to beat” in Miss World. Despite having only three-weeks to prepare, hopes were high that she could take home the country’s first Miss World crown. Many thought she was the perfect choice because she is a well-rounded beauty. True enough, she came to Ordos, Inner Mongolia well-prepared. She placed in the Beach Fashion Top 40, Performing Talent Top 5, and Top Model Top 46. Her Michael Cinco gown also made it to the Top 10 of World Fashion Designer Dress.

However, it was clear from the beginning that she had slim chances of getting the elusive crown given the row between China and the Philippines over the Scarborough Shoal. Despite this, she managed to standout. Her greatest weapon: beat boxing. Her video performance has gone viral over the net, even reaching the pages of The Huffington Post and TIME. She was expected to win the Talent round but lost to China’s Wenxia Yu (who eventually took home the crown).

Still, Queenee’s Top 15 finish, against all odds, is a feat for the Filipinos.

2-1_zps3faab033Who would have thought Filipinos will finally get noticed in the male pageant arena?

June Macasaet, 29-year old commercial and ramp model, defeated 52 other contestants at the Manhunt International pageant held in Bangkok, Thailand. He wasn’t a heavy favorite during the competition. But one can’t deny his competitiveness . He behaved well, and seemed very focused on his goal: be the first-ever Pinoy to win the Manhunt title. True enough, with his determination  he shone during the finals. He even bagged the New Urban Male Award.

Meanwhile, model and athlete Andrew Wolff finished second at Mr World 2013 held in Kent, UK. His experience as a member of Philippine Volcanoes since 2007 played an advantage to him as he placed in the Sports fast track. But his main advantage came in the Multimedia fast track where the candidates were tasked to make video. He won the award “with his energetic and engaging creations on his social media pages. He was deemed to have created the most exciting, informative and inventive news stories.” Joining the pageant made us know the other side of who was once a controversial celebrity. Andrew is actually involved with Tuloy Foundation, an advocacy group that supports marginalized children.

3-1_zpsa26351d1After so long, a Filipino finally bagged a title in a pageant for transsexual and transgenders in the person of Kevin Balot. Kevin Balot bested 20 other contestants from 15 countries en route to bagging the Miss International Queen 2012 crown. Two other Philippine representatives in the pageant made it to the top 10: Michelle Montecarlo and Miriam Jimenez.

With her success, Kevin’s only one wish is “acceptance” from her family. “I’m very proud to be the first here, and I hope my dad will accept me. Because in the family I’m the only boy, and my dad has big expectations of me. I made it. I won the International Queen Pageant, and I believe that my dad will accept me not only as his son but also as his daughter,” Kevin said in an interview after she won. And her winning answer: “I believe my dear friends that all the candidates are equally beautiful and talented but the best word that describe me as a Miss International Queen is being simple because being simple makes me simply the best.”

6_zps64cbad21Outside the Big4 pageants, Filipinos continued to excel.

Elaine Kay Moll, BBP 2012 first runner-up became the first Filipina to place in the budding Miss Supranational pageant. Defying beliefs that the pageant is anti-Filipinos, Kay made it to the Top 20 and even finished as third runner-up. Ayelee Dasalla was 2nd runner-up, Miss Humanity International. Angelee Claudette de los Reyes and Bea Rose Santiago made it to the top 10 of Supermodel International and Miss Tourism Queen of the Year International, respectively. Clarise Marie Obvio won Miss Teen Universe 2012 First Runner-up. And the best way to cap the year is to bag a crown! Rizzini Gomez won the Miss Tourism International 2012 title last night.

4-1_zpsebaed236They were both heavily bashed: Janine Tugonon right after her crowning, Stephany Stefanowitz during the Miss Earth pageant. But in the end, they both proved their detractors wrong by almost clinching the crowns.

Janine could be considered as the most bashed Philippine delegate in history. Her body was a disaster when she competed earlier this year. Many thought her win was fixed. Despite the negativities, Janine focused on her goal. That is to continue the Philippines’ two consecutive years of top five placement. Her determination to prove her detractors wrong was very evident when she came out on TV weeks weeks before the MU. She has remarkably lost weight; her shoulder blades helloing. Her styling has improved as well as her catwalk skills. When in Vegas, Janine didn’t take matters sitting down. She was always in her A-game. During the prleiminaries, she showed off her well-improved body. Despite her gown not being aesthetically beautiful, she was able to work it well. Those sealed her Top 16 fate. During the finals, Janine was obviously among the best performers. Her evening gown performance was very classy. And her final answer? It will go down in history as among the best.

For the second-straight year, the host delegate turned out to be the most bashed candidate in ME. Stephany could’ve averted all the bashings had she undergone a very rigid training to tone her body. She was obviously not in her perfect form so placing second in the swimwear competition shocked and disappointed many fans. However, it can’t be denied that Stephany is a catwalk diva. She may not be the thinnest or the sexiest, but she sure knows how to work her curves when walking. She is also facially better than her predecessor. Stones may have been cast on her, but Stephany surely proved naysayers when she came out in a better body during the top 16 swimsuit presentation. She also had a decent evening gown performance. Her answer, albeit lacking in sincerity in my opinion, is acceptable.

5_zpsde45a472The best way to wrap up 2012 is to remember the wise words from our candidates:

“For me, being Miss Universe is not just about knowing how to speak a specific language, it is being able to influence and inspire other people. So whatever language you have, as long as your heart is to serve and you have a strong mind to show to people, then you can be Miss Universe. Thank you!”

– Janine Tugonon, when asked if speaking English should be a prerequisite for Miss Universe.

“Peace, love, unity, these 3 words are the Miss International pageant. Having spent the past 3 weeks in Okinawa, I have witnessed the special connection it has with the world. Globalization and multi cultural diversity can exist. We can be uniquely global and globally unique. This is my mission. I want people to appreciate that we not only belong to local communities but world at large. By this understanding we can contribute to global goals. I am standing here in front of you open to offer my heritage and myself, as a strong compassionate responsible and independent woman in this quest for global harmony. And I can stand here proudly and consider myself an international citizen.”

– Nicole Schmitz’ heartwarming speech in Miss International