Bb Pilipinas 2014: Post-pageant review

Mary Jean Lastimosa gets emotional as she was proclaimed Miss Universe Philippines 2014. ALL PHOTOS FROM RAPPLER
Mary Jean Lastimosa gets emotional as she was proclaimed Miss Universe Philippines 2014. ALL PHOTOS FROM RAPPLER
Mary Jean Lastimosa, center, gets emotional as she was proclaimed Miss Universe Philippines 2014. ALL PHOTOS FROM RAPPLER

THERE was only one crown left to be awarded and Mary Jean Lastimosa was there, standing beside last year’s runner-up, Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach.

It felt just like the coronation night of 2012 – only the Bb Pilipinas – Universe crown had not been awarded, and Lastimosa was standing beside her fellow runner-up of the previous year when the host announced, “Binibini 18 Janine Mari Tugonon!” It was a heart-breaking moment for Lastimosa.

Lastimosa must have recalled that moment, on the coronation night on March 30, just after Bea Rose Santiago crowned Mary Anne Guidotti her successor as Bb Pilipinas – International.

This was Lastimosa’s third and last attempt at going for a Bb Pilipinas crown. It was all or nothing for her.

When she was finally crowned Bb Pilipinas – Universe, her dreams came true.

Unexpected, but well-deserved

Lastimosa during the long gown competition

Many pageant observers didn’t see it coming that Lastimosa would be crowned Miss Universe Philippines 2014 on Sunday night. While she was among the most cheered on candidates, many thought the battle would be between last year’s first runner-up Pia Wurtzbach, Cebuana beauty Kris Tiffany Janson, and Bicolana Yvethe Marie Santiago. But the Binibini third-timer proved there’s no limit to what one can achieve.

Compared to her two previous attempts, Lastimosa looked more relaxed this year. It was obvious she was enjoying every moment, but her competitive spirit never waned. She showed off a healthy, toned body during the swimsuit competition. She was sassy and sexy, and look how she played with the fan – it was the best performance that night. Then, she sashayed with elegance in her fuchsia sweetheart evening gown. Her wide smile, good styling and fluid walk truly made her stand out.

Winning the Best in Swimsuit award was a good sign that Lastimosa would go home with a crown. But it was the Q&A portion that must have sealed the deal for her.

The crowd cheered when Miss Universe 2013 Gabriela Isler asked her what the greatest advantage of being a woman is. She replied: “The greatest advantage of being a woman is being able to compose herself. Just like here, we’re standing in front of thousands of people, not knowing if they’re going to cheer for us or boo us. But we try to compose ourselves. We keep the emotions and show the beauty that is in us and tonight, thousands of people are standing here, celebrating the beauty of women.”

It was a heartfelt response. Lastimosa didn’t let pressure take over. She was every inch a queen.

Chances at Miss Universe
Lastimosa has big shoes to fill following the Philippines’ four consecutive runner-up finishes at Miss Universe. But one thing’s for sure: if she was able to beat the odds in Bb Pilipinas, it’s not impossible for her to take home the coveted Miss Universe crown. Lastimosa is already polished, but she still needs to undergo rigid training to maintain that pageant-ready figure, improve her communication skills and personality, among many other things, in order to package her as a Miss Universe candidate.

But her greatest advantage is that she already got training from two of the best pageant camps in the country. She was formerly under Jonas Gaffud’s Aces & Queens who was behind former Miss Universe Philippines titleholders Venus Raj, Shamcey Supsup, Janine Tugonon and Ariella Arida. She is now with Kagandahang Flores, the team behind Miss International winners Precious Lara Quigaman and Bea Rose Santiago.

Other queens
Joining Lastimosa as the new torch-bearers of the Philippines in international pageants are Mary Anne Bianca Guidotti (Bb Pilipinas-International), Kris Tiffany Janson (Bb Pilipinas-Intercontinental), Yvethe Marie Santiago (Bb Pilipinas-Supranational) and Parul Shah (Bb Pilipinas-Tourism). Finishing as first and second runners-up are Laura Lehmann and Hannah Ruth Sison, respectively.

Guidotti and Santiago will be facing a big challenge this year: to score back-to-back wins for the country in the Miss International and Miss Supranational pageants.

Bb Pilipinas International 2014: Mary Anne Bianca Guidotti
Meanwhile, Guidotti’s win came as a surprise to me. While she was able to bag the Best in Long Gown award for her stellar performance and elegance, I thought her answer could’ve been meatier. She was asked about using the crown to push for her advocacy should she win, and she said she would “use [the] crown to influence people to adopt their own advocacies.”

Despite this, there’s no denying Guidotti is classy. Also she speaks well which is one of the qualities of Miss International winners. The Philippines seems to have mastered the art of placing in this Japan-based pageant. Winning the title is a long shot for now, but I’m confident Guidotti can give us our 7th consecutive placement.

Bb Pilipinas Supranational 2014: Yvethe Marie Santiago
The Big Dome went wild each time Santiago hit the stage. She had lots of supporters at the venue, and she was also deserving of the accolades. At one point, I really thought she was going to win the top title, especially after giving a good answer when she was asked about the inherent quality that makes Filipinas stand out in beauty pageants: ” I believe that the quality that every Filipina has that makes her stand out in a beauty pageant is confidence. We feel confident in our own skin and that makes us feel very beautiful.”

Santiago was at top of her game and was really among the best performers of the night. With her presentation skills, I’m confident she could keep the streak going for the Philippines in Miss Supranational.

Bb Pilipinas Intercontinental 2014: Kris Tiffany Janson

Janson was touted as the girl to beat prior to the coronation night, but her star lost its luster during the pageant. While she has one of the most beautiful faces, her performance in the first two rounds was underwhelming. However, she made up for it in the Q&A. She makes history as the first recipient of this title, but the biggest challenge for Janson is to bring home the country’s first Miss Intercontinental crown.

Bb Pilipinas Tourism 2014: Parul Shah

Shah’s overall look was perfect – the curly hair parted to one side, plus the shimmering gown. She was glowing and her presence was really commanding. She almost untied her bikini during the swimsuit round, but she still gave a solid performance. Her placement was solidified by her heartfelt response to the question given to her. Shah will surely give her co-candidates a good fight in Miss Tourism Queen International.

Surprises, upsets
The two runners-up, Lehmann and Sison, were the biggest surprises of the night. Laura was breezing through the competition, until the Q&A. She raised many eyebrows when she answered Amsterdam as the city that best describes her personality.

Hannah, meanwhile, made a big comeback after failing to make the cut the previous year. She gave one of the best and most diplomatic answers. “If I were to fall in love outside of my religion, I would. Because for me it’s not about what you are, you should not condemn any person because of their religion. Love is what you need to get into a relationship and that’s why I would marry someone or I would fall in love with someone who is not even part of my religion.”

The Top 15

Rounding up the Top 15 were Julian Aurine Flores, Joanna Angelica Romero, Pia Wurtzbach, Emma Mary Tiglao, Zahara Mae Soriano, Mae Liezel Ramos, Kenneth Santiago, Nichole Marie Manalo.

The inclusion of underdogs Joanna Angelica Romero and Zahara Mae Soriano came as a surprise. The performances of the two were totally forgettable. Add to that that Soriano had to ask the question again during the Q&A. Many pageant fans, myself included, though Kimverlyn Suiza, Angelique Celine De Leon and Diana Arevalo were far more deserving to be in the Top 15.

The biggest disappointments of the night were the exclusion of Arevalo in the Top 15 and Wurtzbach failing to get a crown. This was Arevalo’s third try in the pageant. After placing in 2009 and 2011, she was expected to still make as finalist this year. Her face was stunning and her swimsuit performance was solid, but the black evening gown must have cost her the placement. She lost her spark and her performance was dry.

Wurtzbach was breezing through the competition, but choosing to answer in the native tongue was a risk when judge Sen Sonny Angara asked her in Filipino. To be fair, she gave a good answer and the production should have given her time to translate it in English given that there were foreigners in the panel of judges. She has been very vocal about wanting to win the Miss Universe Philippines crown, but should not lose hope. She should take inspiration from Lastimosa.

Russian pop star Emin

The technical side
From the stage to the camera angles and the performances, the production made a huge improvement this year. The size of the stage was just right and was completely utilized. The swimsuit competition was very engaging and those fans, hats and masks gave it all a festive feel.

The decision not to have singers during the long gown competition was also a welcome move. While they could’ve chosen a better background music, the segment was regal and didn’t seem rushed.

The production numbers were good. The opening number was engaging and did a good job at setting the mood for the evening. Emin’s performance of “Amor” also made it seem like we were watching the Miss Universe final look segment.

Anne Curtis sings “Alone”

Anne Curtis was a joy to watch, but the highlight of the night was when she sang Heart’s “Alone” during the break, when the judges were deliberating the results. Xian Lim improved compared to his first Bb Pilipinas hosting stint in 2012. The three former titleholders Raj, Supsup and Tugonon also did well as side hosts. And let me just say they wore stunning gowns that night!

This year’s winners will try to keep the winning streak going for the Philippines in their respective international pageants. The pressure is always there, but with proper training and the drive to win, nothing is impossible.


This article also appeared on Rappler.

Experts weigh in: Pia, Diana, Kris top picks for Bb Pilipinas 2014

Pia Wurtzbach, Diana Arevalo, Kris Tiffany Janson
THE EXPERTS' PICKS. Pia Wurtzbach, Diana Arevalo, Kris Tiffany Janson
THE EXPERTS’ PICKS. Pia Wurtzbach, Diana Arevalo, Kris Tiffany Janson

The pageant experts have spoken!

After weeks of following every candidate’s move, the three pageant message boards released their top bets for Binibining Pilipinas 2014.

Missosology is betting on last year’s first runner-up, Pia Alonzo WurtzbachSash Factor is putting its money on Kris Tiffany Janson, who was awarded Best in National Costume a week ago. Yours truly’s prediction, published on Rappler, has Janson, too, for Miss Universe Philippines.

Meanwhile, OPMB Worldwide predicts a darkhorse will clinch the top plum, and she’s Diana Arevalo, who finished as finalist in 2009 and 2011 editions for bb Pilipinas.

Whose predictions will prevail? We’ll find out at the conclusion of the Coronation Night today. But I will be very happy and satisfied if anyone among the three gets the top crown.

Please follow Missosology Philippines on Facebook for real-time updates on tonight’s finals.

Bb Pilipinas 2014: My fearless prediction

THE PHILIPPINES has finally reclaimed its “powerhouse” status in the world of beauty pageants, after winning four international crowns and a string of placements in numerous contests last year.

The Bb Pilipinas Gold batch, touted as “one of the strongest sets of Bb Pilipinas winners in years”, played a big part in this achievement. Bea Rosa Santiago won for the country its 5th Miss International crown. Mutya Johanna Datul became the first Filipina – and Asian – to win the Miss Supranational crown. Ariella Arida gave the country its 4th consecutive runner-up finish in the Miss Universe pageant, while Joanna Cindy Miranda placed in the Top 10 of Miss Tourism Queen International.

The pressure is on the eventual winners of this year’s Bb Pilipinas edition to keep the winning streak going for the Philippines in the international pageant scene. Who among this year’s candidates deserve to represent the country in Miss Universe, Miss International, Miss Supranational, Miss Intercontinental and Miss Tourism Queen International? Here’s a list of who will likely wear the crowns on March 30.

ALMOST THERE
20: Mary Ainjely Manalo (Bb 2)
Ainjely is one of the fashion show’s most pleasant surprises. She walked with confidence in casual wear and was stunning and regal in her national costume. Her height (5’6″) might be her waterloo. But her best asset is her toned body, which was the product of mountain climbing and hitting the gym, which she lists as her hobbies.

19: Julian Aurine Flores (Bb 1)
There’s always an added pressure being the first one to go on stage, but Ja sure knows how to shrug it off. She exhibited one of the finest performances in the fashion show. She has a commanding walk and her face oozes with so much charisma. She is among the most consistent since the screenings, and for that she deserves some recognition.

18: Hannah Ruth Sison (Bb 27)
Many pageant fans were surprised when Hannah failed to make it as a Top 15 finalist last year. Her performance was solid enough to have made the cut. This year she came back more prepared with a healthier body and better styling. She’s also a good speaker so expect her to ace the Q&A round if ever she makes it.

17: Aiza Faeldonia (Bb 7)
There’s no denying Aiza is a bombshell. She has a body to die for and a pretty face to complement that. She’s the most talked about candidate on Facebook mainly because she was initially excluded in the roster of candidates but was called back. I’m not a fan of her beauty, but I’d be a hypocrite if I say I wasn’t impressed by Aiza’s performance during the fashion show. She’s prepared and is definitely within the radar.

16: Ellore Noelle Punzalan (Bb 18)
Ellore surprised everyone when she cracked the Top 15 last year. She may not be the most facially stunning candidate but this 26-year-old Medicine student has a toned body and a fluid walk to boast. But what to love most about Ellore this year is she is a scene stealer. With her exaggerated white belt, over-the-top intros and a dramatic national costume presentation, you just can’t help but keep an eye out for her every move.

TOP FIFTEEN
HARAYA11-1515: Racquel Kabigting (Bb 21)
Racquel, 22, is banking on her morena beauty and towering height for a shot at a crown. It isn’t hard for her to stand out given her height (6′) and curvaceous body, as proven during the fashion show (she was the only one wearing a one-piece swimsuit). However, she seems to be playing it safe with her subdued performance. She must work on her pasarela if she wants boost her chances.

14: Joy Antonette Diaz (Bb 9)
Being related to the country’s first Miss Universe surely has its perks, but it can only do so much to advance her chances in the competition. Antonette may not be heavily favored as there are more popular and more prepared candidates, but could also pull off a surprise. She owns a certain charm that makes her lovable especially when she smiles. She has one of the best web interviews and is definitely one of the best speakers in the batch.

13: Emma Mary Tiglao (Bb 14)
Emma is an adorable beauty and is one of the catwalk divas of the batch. Her fresh and adorable face is her strength. Her Mutya ng Pilipinas runner-up experience seems to have polished her beauty. However, it seems she’s still raw for Bb Pilipinas at 19 years old. I would love to see her back in a year or two more prepared – physically, mentally and figuratively (I’m referring to sex appeal).

12: Joy Marie Gangan (Bb 30)
Joy is one of the most underrated candidates in the competition. With a sweet face and radiant smile, it is a surprise that this girl isn’t given much attention –until the fashion show. Who would have thought this underdog could give them front-runners a good fight on stage? Joy is one of this year’s catwalk divas. Winning Best Asia Model in Best Model of the World 2012 contest in Turkey surely played a big advantage.

11: Parul Shah (Bb 4)
The first time I saw Parul was disappointing because this half-Indian beauty just blends in with the rest of the girls. But during the fashion show, I finally saw the energetic and vivacious Parul that I liked last year. She has commanding motion on stage and her well-toned body is her greatest asset. She just needs to find that perfect look for the finals to stand out.

HARAYA6-1010: Mary Anne Bianca Guidotti (Bb 22)
Mix Janine Tugonon and Bea Rose Santiago and you het Bianca. Her web interview is one of the most memorable, and it must be because she spoke in Portuguese. Simple yet head-turning is the best way to describe her. She may not have the best face, but proper styling could advance her chances. She has so much potential but needs a little work to make her catwalk skills more natural and some body toning.

09: Kimverlyn Suiza (Bb 15)
She’s a chameleon. In one photo, she looks like an anime character, in another, she’s a doll. From the innocent-looking girl in Miss Philippines Earth last year, Kimverlyn has transformed into a fierce beauty for Bb Pilipinas. Her performance during the fashion show was one of the best. This girl is peaking at the right time, and who knows she might be the coronation night’s biggest surprise.

08: Diana Arevalo (Bb 17)
After her semi-finals finish in both the 2009 and 2011 editions, 25-year-old Diana is back with vengeance. It can’t be denied that Diana is has the universal beauty and an endearing personality. While she is among the most experienced in the batch, she is inconsistent and that makes her star shine less bright. She needs to improve on her presentation skills and needs to gain more confidence when speaking. It’s bumpy road ahead for Diana, but with sheer luck and determination, who knows she might just finally win a crown.

07: Yvethe Marie Santiago (Bb 35)
I’m on the fence with Yvethe. Her face was just okay, but when properly styled she transforms to a beautiful lady. But this 21-year-old accountant has a good body and towering height, as well as a string of experiences in local pageants (she was Miss Bicolandia 2012 and Mutya ng Magayon 2011 1st runner-up) to boost her chances. Don’t count her out just yet because she will deliver her best on stage, where she does the magic.

06: Nichole Marie Manalo (Bb 23)
This girl gets a free pass for being the sister of two former titlists: Katherine Manalo (Bb Pilipinas-World 2002) and Pamela Bianca Manalo (Bb Pilipinas-Universe 2009). Many fans underestimated this girl, but Nichole is determined to prove them wrong. She was effortless in bikini with her glowing skin and well-shaped body. She was unstoppable when she hit the Fashion Show runway. While many pageant observers believe she is a downgrade from her sisters, it can’t be denied that this girl is transformable.

THE CROWN CONTENDERS
HARAYA1-5Bb Pilipinas-Tourism: Angelique Celine De Leon (Bb 31)
For someone who admits she was “tomboy-ish” growing up, Angee has bloomed into a fine lady. She may not be your initial bet but Angee could definitely win your heart with her natural charm. She has one of the most striking performances during the fashion show. A diamond in the rough, she’s definitely someone to watch out for as the pageant progresses. I won’t be surprised if she clinches any of the major crowns.

Bb Pilipinas-Intercontinental: Laura Victoria Lehmann (Bb 11)
With a pretty face to match her sexy body, Laura definitely has a bright future ahead of her in beauty pageants. She doesn’t even need a lot of make up to make her stand out – her tantalizing eyes do all the talking. She delivers both on and off stage and is very consistent. With her good communication skills and impressive scholastic background (she’s taking up Psychology, Neuro Science and Spanish Studies in the US), Laura could give give them front-runners a run for their money.

Bb Pilipinas-Supranational: Mary Jean Lastimosa (Bb 25)
She was the heavy favorite in 2012 but unfortunately failed to crack the Top 5. Now back for a final hurrah in beauty pageants, MJ has matured a lot. Having one of the best bodies in the competition, much was expected of this lady during the fashion show. And to everyone’s delight, she didn’t disappoint. Her wide smile, well-toned body and fluid walk make her a shoo-in for any contest out there. Being a repeater means double the pressure because you have to outdo your previous performance (She was 2nd runner-up in 2011 and a Top 12 finalist the year after). But it seems MJ is not allowing pressure to take over on her third attempt as she seems more relaxed now. A lot of criticisms have been thrown at her, but she still remains unfazed. It’s about time she gets rewarded for all her hard work.

Bb Pilipinas-International: Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach (Bb8)
Being a good runner-up to the Gold queens surely has it perks, and this definitely gives Pia an advantage, making her an instant front-runner, now that she has decided to join again. With that stunning face and a year of training to back her up, Pia could do no wrong. During the fashion show, Pia gave everyone a good show. She could easily transform from fierce to elegant. Although she has the tendencies to overdo her performance, Pia is a complete package making her one of the strongest candidates of this year. You just can’t deny her hunger for a crown.

Miss Universe Philippines: Kris Tiffany Janson (Bb13)
Kris, 24, is undeniably one of the best bets for any of the crowns at stake with her marketable beauty. Her calm aura is a breath of fresh air from a sea of fierce faces. Despite possessing one of the most beautiful faces in the competition, I was initially disappointed with Kris. Her styling was off, her smile a bit awkward. She looked raw and unprepared. But as they say, it’s not over ’til it’s over. She exudes so much sophistication and finesse during the national costume competition. That must have won her the Best in National Costume., fortifying her status as a front-runner. She is a bit lackluster in presentation so she needs to work on her pasarela. But she can do real damage in the Q&A round with her articulateness and sincerity when speaking. Given that Filipinos love beauties with brains (Read: Shamcey Supsup, Theresa Licaros), it won’t be a shock if Kris wins it all.


This article also appeared on Rappler.

 

Bb Pilipinas 2014: Head shots on exhibit at the Gateway Mall

Wondering where the official head shots of Binibining Pilipinas 2014 are? They are on exhibit at the Gateway Mall ground floor.

Since not all of these photos are available online, I took the chance yesterday to take a picture of all of the panels. Who do you think has the best face among them all?

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Bb Pilipinas 2014 Parade of Beauties: Who stood out?

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.

Festive mood with with the drum beats in front of the Green Gate of Araneta Coliseum prior to the parade. ALL PHOTOS BY DREW FRANCISCO
Festive mood with with the drum beats in front of the Green Gate of Araneta Coliseum prior to the parade. ALL PHOTOS BY DREW FRANCISCO

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.

Two of the Philippines festivals-themes floats.
Two of the Philippines festivals-themes floats.

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.

(L-R) Aiza Faeldonia, Julian Aurine Flores, Mary Ainjely Manalo, Joanna Romero, Parul Shah and Hannah Dela Guerra
(L-R) Aiza Faeldonia, Julian Aurine Flores, Mary Ainjely Manalo, Joanna Romero, Parul Shah and Hannah Dela Guerra

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.

(L-R) Laura Lehmann, Shauna Curran, Joy Diaz, Pia Wurtzbach and Aiza Faeldonia
(L-R) Laura Lehmann, Shauna Curran, Joy Diaz, Pia Wurtzbach and Aiza Faeldonia

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.

(L-R) Sarah Asido, Kris Janson, Emma Tiglao, Kimverlyn Suiza, Zahara Soriano, Diana Arevalo, Ellore Punzalan and Liezel Ramos
(L-R) Sarah Asido, Kris Janson, Emma Tiglao, Kimverlyn Suiza, Zahara Soriano, Diana Arevalo, Ellore Punzalan and Liezel Ramos

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.

(L-R) Hannah Sison, Carla Lizardo, Krischelle Halili, Joy Gangan, Angelique De Leon, Jeslyn Santos and Gabrielle Tilokani
(L-R) Hannah Sison, Carla Lizardo, Krischelle Halili, Joy Gangan, Angelique De Leon, Jeslyn Santos and Gabrielle Tilokani

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.

(L-R) Vessica Sambo, Ladylyn Riva, Janine Asanion, Vanessa Saliba, Krystal Alonday, Yvethe Santiago, Leonalyn Dela Cruz
(L-R) Vessica Sambo, Ladylyn Riva, Janine Asanion, Vanessa Saliba, Krystal Alonday, Yvethe Santiago, Leonalyn Dela Cruz

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.

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(L-R) Sheena Manuel, MJ Lastimosa, Ednornance Agustin, Nichole Manalo, Bianca Guidotti, Racquel Kabigitng and Kenneth Santiago

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.

See you all on the Coronation Night. 🙂

The Golden binibinis: Ariella Arida, Cindy Miranda, Mutya Datul and Bea Rose Santiago
The Golden binibinis: Ariella Arida, Cindy Miranda, Mutya Datul and Bea Rose Santiago

 

 

Bb Pilipinas 2014: New videos

These are the Binibining Pilipinas 2014 video plugs that have been airing in ABS-CBN during commercial breaks.

Who are the most telegenic for you? Who’s the most beautiful? Watch them all here.

Binibini 1-10

Binibini 11-20

Binibini 21-30

Binibini 31-40

What’s up with the Bb Pilipinas 2014 candidates?

PAGEANT fans are in for a colorful treat as the 2014 Binibining Pilipinas candidates prepare for the much-awaited Parade of Beauties and pageant primer.

‘Road to the Crown’ TV special
The 40 candidates danced to festive beats wearing their bikinis in Montemar, Bataan as part of the 
Bb Pilipinas: Road to the Crown primer which will be aired on March 30. ABS-CBNNews.com also reported that a preliminary swimsuit competition was also held there.

Watch the TV Patrol report here:

Parade of Beauties
But a day before the TV special’s airing, the girls will be parading in swimsuit around Araneta Center, Cubao for the annual Parade of Beauties. The parade will start at 4pm, according to Bb Pilipinas’ official Facebook page.

JAG visit
The candidates also paid a visit to the sponsors, most recently at Jag Jeans. Here are some photos by Bruce Cassanova.

Diana Arevalo and Mary Jean Lastimosa
Binibinis 1-20 pose with their JAG bags
Kris Tiffany Janson, Nichole Manalo and Yvethe Marie Santiago shows their JAG GCs

Bb Pilipinas 2014: Candidates join International Women’s Day celebration

Binibinis join International Womens Day celebrations. ALL PHOTOS BY BRUCE CASSANOVA / BB PILIPINAS
Binibinis join International Womens Day celebrations. ALL PHOTOS BY BRUCE CASSANOVA

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 3 Joanna Angelica Romero (first from left) on gender equality in the Philippines: “We are blessed that the Philippines is ranked number 5 in the world for gender equality based on a survey. But at the same time, there are still problems that need to be addressed like abuse in women. But it’s a good thing that we have programs that cater to the abused and empower women.” Binibini 1 Juliane Aurine Flores (first from right) on women’s day festivities in the country: “I am happy that there is a day for women to be recognized and it’s also an important day for us to be aware of women’s issues. I think awareness is key to solve a lot of social issues women are facing.”

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 5 Hannah Mariz dela Guerra on the biggest issues for women that should be addressed: “I read somewhere that the Philippines is a hotbed for human trafficking, and women are the most susceptible to this. There are women who are being exploited and violated and they were not given the choice to say no. So I think we should promote projects to push awareness on human trafficking.”

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.”

Binibini 5 Parul Shah on how a beauty queen could help promote women’s rights: “I would advocate gender equality. Everyone should be treated with mutual respect. Your race, your religion, your culture, or where you’re from-these things shouldn’t matter. Women should have the freedom to achieve anything they want in life.”

“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.

Bb Pilipinas 2014: The repeaters

Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time. 
– Thomas A. Edison

FORTUNATE are those who won a crown the very first time they joined Binibining Pilipinas But for some, chasing the crown needs a second, and even third, attempt.

Aside from the former Bb Pilipinas runners-up (Mary Jean Lastimosa and Pia Wurtzbach), there are five other former Binibinis who have come back to claim what they believe is rightfully theirs. Let’s meet them.

AREVALO. Semi-finalist, 2009 and 2011
AREVALO. Finalist, 2009 and 2011

During her first two attempts in 2009 and 2011, Diana Arevalo was always in the favorites list, but always ended up as a finalist. She took a break from pageants and worked as a welcome ambassadress in Macau, until she finally decided to give Bb Pilipinas a third (and possibly, final) try. Will lady luck be on this Mindoro native’s side this time?

Ladylyn Riva
RIVA. Unplaced, 2011

After failing to make the cut in 2011, Ladyln Riva tried out in other local pageants. She was 1st runner-up in Miss Resorts World and won Miss Casino Filipino. Now armed with more pageant experience, this Aklan native is determined to finally land in the Bb Pilipinas top five.

Parul Shah
SHAH. Top 15 finalist, 2013

Half-Indian Parul Shah was born and raised in Dubai. A nursing graduate from the University of the Cordilleras, this 25-year-old lady debuted in Bb Pilipinas last year, where she placed in the Top 15.

PUNZALAN. Top 15 finalist, 2013
PUNZALAN. Top 15 finalist, 2013

Ellore Noelle Punzalan suprisingly made it to the Top 15 last year. Will this medicine student, who boasts of a well-shaped body and great presentation skills, finally figure in the top 5?

SISON. Unplaced, 2013
SISON. Unplaced, 2013

Hannah Ruth Sison was luckless in her first attempt. She was among the favorites last year and also the most applauded during the finals, but she failed to make the cut. A former college instructor, Hannah makes a living doing freelance multimedia art.

Bb Pilipinas 2014: Top 15 Best in National Costume

I WAS fortunate enough to witness the Bb Pilipinas 2014 National Costume Competition, which was part of the annual Fashion Show held last night at the Big Dome. As we all wait for the announcement of the Best in National Costume, let me play judge and enumerate the best girls and National Costumes for me.

Here are my considerations for choosing these girls. First, the costume must strongly reflect Philippine culture. Second, how the girl presented and carried her costume. I’m really not into the flamboyant, over-the-top designs. As long as each detail shows coherence to the costume’s theme and that the girl was able to give justice to the costume through a solid presentation, then that is enough to say it is a good national costume. (Photos from OPMB)

15 | Racquel Kabigting1888577_591574467597257_126028032_n

14 | Shauna Indra Curran1240580_591574264263944_2071499938_n

13 | Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach1977122_591574210930616_523444305_n

12 | Kris Tiffany Janson
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11 | Laura Victoria Lehmann
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10 | Diana Arevalo
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09 | Mary Jean Lastimosa
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08 | Vanessa Saliba

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07 | Yvethe Marie Santiago

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06 | Angelique Celine de Leon
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05 | Mary Ainjely Manalo
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04 | Joy Marie Gangan
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03 | Kimverlyn Suiza
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02 | Ladylyn Riva
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01 | Parul Shah

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If you don’t see your favorites here, they must be on my BIZZARE costumes list, to be published soon.

Happy weekend everyone! 🙂