A BUZZ of excitement filled the Araneta Center grounds in Cubao, Quezon City on the afternoon of March 22 as the much-awaited 2014 Binibining Pilipinas Grand Parade of Beauties took place.
Beauties on parade
Beaming with positivity, the 40 candidates wore eye-catching headdresses and neon green bikinis as they paraded atop giant floats inspired by Philippine festivals. Divided into three groups, they all tirelessly waved to the excited crowd amid the scorching heat of the sun.
The candidates were joined in the parade by the reigning queens Ariella Arida (Miss Universe 2013 3rd runner-up), Bea Rose Santiago (Miss International 2013), Joanna Cindy Miranda (Bb Pilipinas-Tourism 2013) and Mutya Johanna Datul (Miss Supranational 2013), who also wore their best smiles.
The parade ended in front of Smart Araneta Coliseum’s green gate, where the girls introduced themselves one by one.
The parade is one of the final major events before the coronation night. The candidates rocked the Big Dome early this month for the annual Fashion Show and National Costume Competition. They also had a string of sponsors visits. They also spent a day with the children of the Gawad Kalinga Escopa. Meanwhile, the pageant primer, The Road to the Crown, will be aired on ABS-CBN’s Sunday’s Best tomorrow night.
The grand coronation night will happen on March 30, and will be hosted by Anne Curtis, Xian Lim, Venus Raj, and Shamcey Supsup.
Who stood out?
The parade is one big event where the candidates get scrutinized by the public. It is but natural and expected that these girls will prepare hard for this — from the make-up to their tanning lotions to how they would wave and smile to crowd.
As the crowed cheered, the festive drum beats echoed throughout the Araneta Center, here are the girls who caught my eye.
Julian Aurine Flores. She was the first girl to go out of Balay and I must say, this girl is glowing.
Parul Shah. This morena beauty’s winsome smile is hard to ignore. Plus that gorgeous body!
Hannah Mariz Dela Guerra. She may not have the best body, but her smile radiated so much energy. Mapapangiti ka pag nakita mo siya.
Emma Mary Tiglao. The oriental beauty never lost her beautiful smile, and those nice dimples. A real stunner!
Mary Jean Lastimosa. The crowd favorite and it’s easy to say why. She is beautiful. She has a bangin’ body. She has a winsome smile. She is charismatic.
Hannah Ruth Sison. While most of the girls chose to curl their hairs, Hannah opted to wear it straight. And it worked to her advantage. Plus she was very bubbly on the float.
Pia Wurtzbach. I seldom call someone a super-beauty, but Pia is an exception. She’s one of the prettiest in the batch, no doubt! She was one of the crowd-favorites. But I wasn’t able to utter a single word for a few seconds when I finally saw her face-to-face after the parade. Pretty, stunning, sophisticated.
Diana Arevalo. I might sound bias here because she’s one of my favorites, but I’m sure everyone who saw the parade can say that Diana has one of the best faces in the competition. I also got the chance to talk for a few minutes to her after the parade, and I must say she is really determined to win a crown this year.
Angelique De Leon. Just like the rest, she was smiling all throughout the parade, but she really has this magnetic vibe in her. One can’t help staring at her.
Yvethe Marie Santiago. Some may call her “layogenic” (someone who looks pretty from afar), but you just can’t deny this girl is a head-turner. Also one of the most cheered girls.
Finally, the Bb Pilipinas Gold queens. They are all beautiful and deserving of their victories.
That’s all for now. I’m just thankful to Pawee Ventura for the opportunity to cover this event for Missosology. Hope you all were entertained by my updates on the Missosology Philippines Facebook page.
TO REPRESENT the Philippines in the world’s most prestigious pageants is a responsibility. A Binibini must embody the strength and character of Filipinas and they should champion women empowerment. That’s why it is only apt that this year’s Bb Pilipinas candidates joined the International Women’s Day celebration last March 8.
The Binibinis also shared their thoughts on issues regarding women.
Binibini 31 Angelique Celine De Leon on what women can do for society: “Women can do a lot of things in society, and we are privileged to be living in an age where we can enjoy freedom to pursue things we want to do and achieve. For me, as a Binibini, I can inspire women to become better versions of themselves and we advocate women to be empowered Filipinas.”
Binibini 22 Mary Anne Bianca Guidotti on the women she looks up to: “I work with Noraida Abdullah Karim in CFSI (Community and Family Services International) and she is someone I look up to. She is a multi-awarded social worker who specializes in psychosocial care, and she has helped counsel countless women and children who underwent traumatic experiences in war-torn Mindanao. I admire her because of her passion for the advocacy.”
Binibini 28 Carla Jenina Lizardo on her advocacy for women if she were to win Bb Pilipinas: “I want to have an organization that would foster and support sexually abused teenagers. Like a big sister-little sister project that would help the victims. Because of my exposure to so many news stories on rape and abuse, it became something I feel strongly about.”
“This day made me realize the importance of gender equality — that women deserve to be treated equally with men and that women are able and capable of reaching their dreams. As a girl who underwent struggles in my life, I keep these thoughts in mind to fuel me to achieve my goals,” said Binibini 36 Krystal Alonday.
The event involved the film showing of documentary Girl Rising, sponsored by SPARK Philippines Inc (Samahan ng Mga Pilipina para sa Reporma at Kaunlaran), J. Amado Araneta Foundation, and the Araneta Center.
Aiza was ready to return to her pre-Bb Pilipinas life the day after she wasn’t included in the Top 40 until she got a call from the organization asking her to report to the office. She used to sell vegetables with her grand mother back in the province, but is currently in Manila for work. Now, this 24-year-old model from Isulan, Sultan Kudarat is ready to bring her A-game in the competition.
Carla Jenina Lizardo
Carla first forayed into beauty pageants in 2010 when she won the Mutya ng Pilipinas Interncontinental title. But her duties as a student-athlete in Ateneo de Manila University prevented her from partaking in the international pageant. She decided to give pageants a second go in 2012, but only finished in the Top 12 of Miss World Philippines. She’s a news anchor for PTV-4 and a disc jockey, too. No wonder she’s one of the best speakers in the batch.
No “callback ladies” in recent memory became finalists in Bb Pilipinas. Can Aiza and Carla break this “curse”?
The Bb Pilipinas Charities Inc has finally confirmed the official numbering of this year’s candidates by posting these photos of the girls wearing their official numbers. From now on, they will be wearing the number on every activity until the finals on March 30.
Feast your eyes on these ladies (PART THREE):
Binibini #21 Racquel D. Kabigting
Binibini #22 Mary Anne Bianca G. Guidotti
Binibini #23 Nichole Marie R. Manalo
Binibini #24 Ednornance Agustin
Binibini #25 Mary Jean Lastimosa
Binibini #26 Hanna Sheena L. Manuel
Binibini #27 Hannah Ruth Sison
Binibini #28 Carla Jenina Cabrera Lizardo
Binibini #29 Krischelle DG. Halili
Binibini #30 Joy Marie Gangan
The girls wore their best smiles as they wave to the excited crowd. One by one, they introduced themselves and the public got a flurry of impressive academic background and occupations as well as some “Kung Hei Fat Choi”.
I left work early that holiday to have a first glimpse of the girls in the flesh. I met with my friend Larry and we both share the same sentiment that most of the hyped girls are really deserving of the hype. Many girls who I thought looked mediocre in photos were stunning in person. But we can’t avoid to say WTF to some (though I won’t be naming them here because I respect them girls).
Who were the standouts? Who were disappointing? Who are potential spoilers? Here are some of my impressions of the girls based on what I saw last Friday night.
Diana Arevalo. This pageant veteran, for me, is the prettiest in the batch. Her face may appear “monayin”, but the beauty just shines through especially when she smiles. Yet for someone who has experienced this for two different seasons, she seems to be lacking in energy. Diana needs to show that “beauty queen” aura or else she’ll get overpowered by the younger ones.
Mary Anne Bianca Guidotti. Mix Janine Tugonon and Bea Santiago and you het Marian. She’s one of the most memorable, and it must be because she spoke in Portuguese during the presentation. Simple yet head-turning is the best way to describe her. She may not have the best face, but her styling was just right. Definitely a threat to the so-called “front-runners” out there.
Mary Jean Lastimosa. The brightest star of the night, mainly because she’s got many supporters in the venue. Photos don’t give justice to MJ because she is beautiful in person. And when I say beautiful, I mean both the outside and the inside. By merely observing her actions, you’ll know that MJ knows what she is doing and has mastered it well. From the walk, to the look, to how she presents herself, she exudes so much beauty queen aura. But what is commendable is that she is “mabait” to her fans. She smiles and waves back at anyone who screams “MJ” and it doesn’t look plastic or rehearsed.
Yvethe Marie Santiago. At first glace, you can’t deny the fact that her face is obviously “enhanced”, but Yvette is a real stunner. She is confident, she speaks well, she is charming. She just needs to be careful with her hairstyle because it makes her forehead look wider.
Angelique Celine De Leon. For someone who admits she was “tomboy-ish” growing up, Angee has bloomed into a fine lady. She was channeling Shamcey Supsup with her walk and styling. She’s definitely someone to watch out for as the pageant progresses.
Emma Mary Tiglao. I didn’t have much expectations from this girl but she shut my mouth when I saw her. This chinky-eyed girl is very stunning, needless to say youthful. And I like that winsome smile. Her Mutya ng Pilipinas runner-up experience seems to have polished her as a candidate.
Hanna Mariz dela Guerra. I have been keeping an eye on this girl since the screening and I was glad she made it as an official candidate. This Ateneo graduate is one of the good speakers in the batch. But aside from that, her greatest weapon is her unassuming and sweet face. She reminds me so much of Sherlyn Gonzales (Bb Pilipinas 2012 finalist).
Carla Jenina Lizardo. Photos really don’t give Carla’s beauty justice. She’s miles prettier in person and looks well-prepared for battle. She’s very eloquent. Her experience in Mutya ng Pilipinas and Miss World Philippines as well as her hosting duties in Channel 4 are working to her advantage. So it’s no surprise she was one of the girls who were “called back” to join the Top 40.
Ednornance Agustin. Eds has this very striking Pinay features plus a modelesque figure. This Mutya ng Pilipinas alumna reminds me of Maricar Balagtas (Bb Pilipinas Universe 2004). Last but definitely not the least, she’s the girl after the crowd favorite MJ Lastimosa but she didn’t let this overshadow her.
Vessica Sambo. The girl with those big, tantalizing eyes. Her exotic beauty, plus good queenly posture are her assets. This dusky lady is prepared and is definitely within the radar. However, she needs some fine-tuning when introducing herself. Less talk is better.
Hannah Ruth Sison. I’ve said this before I’ll say it again, if beauty is the sole basis then Hannah is among the best in the batch. She’s eloquent, statuesque and well-trained—definitely one of the best in the batch. But what I really love about her is she’s sophisticated without even trying. But I just can’t see the winning aura.
Kimverlyn Suiza. When she screened for Bb Pilipinas, but I was disappointed when I saw her “transformation”. From the sweet-looking Kim back in last year’s Miss Philippines-Earth, it seems she’s trying hard to be fierce. I was relieved when I saw her last Friday, minus the heavy make-up. She’s prettier and that swan-like neck make her standout in her batch. But she has no spark.
Kris Tiffany Janson. Perhaps one of the prettiest in this year’s batch of candidates with her doll-like features. However, Kris seems dry during the presentation. Her team needs to be careful with her styling (last Friday’s hairdo was a mess). Her body isn’t on top form, too. She needs to work more ASAP. In my opinion, she’s still raw for Bb Pilipinas.
Parul Shah. She has commanding motion on stage and her well-toned body is her greatest assest. But when she’s with the rest of the girls, this half-Indian beauty just blends in. I didn’t see energetic and vivacious Parul that we all saw last year. Or maybe this is just the first and she’s still warming up. But as they say, first impressions last.
Pia Wurtzbach. Where was the youthful and charming Pia we all saw last year? The tan is not working on her favor as it makes her dry and lacking in beauty queen glow. She’ also looks and sounds intimidating. While her arms are thin, her face and body isn’t on their top form. It seems her team is trying to pattern her after Ariella Arida, but it doesn’t suit her. Bring back the mestiza look, please?
That’s all for now. Here’s hoping to an exciting Bb Pilipinas season ahead! I’ll leave you with a video I took myself during the event. See for yourselves who the real stars are.