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 Kabigting
14 | Shauna Indra Curran
13 | Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach
12 | Kris Tiffany Janson
11 | Laura Victoria Lehmann
10 | Diana Arevalo
09 | Mary Jean Lastimosa
08 | Vanessa Saliba
07 | Yvethe Marie Santiago
06 | Angelique Celine de Leon
05 | Mary Ainjely Manalo
04 | Joy Marie Gangan
03 | Kimverlyn Suiza
02 | Ladylyn Riva
01 | Parul Shah
If you don’t see your favorites here, they must be on my BIZZARE costumes list, to be published soon.
ASIDE from winning in Binibining Pilipinas, what do Bea Rose Santiago, Venus Raj, Diane Necio and the late Melody Gersbach have in common? They all hail from the Bicol region.
Bicol never runs out of beauties, and this may be partly attributed to the fact that pageants seem to have been ingrained in their culture. The popular Miss Bicolandia pageant is held during the Penafrancia Festival, while other cities and provinces also hold well-organized pageants.
This year, the region offers three representatives to the country’s premier beauty contest. Who among them has the biggest chance at winning a crown? Let’s meet them.
Joanna Angelica Romero, Naga City
After graduating from Ateneo de Naga University, Joanna traveled to Manila to work for a hotel. It was hard to live alone and support herself financially, but this didn’t stop her from pursuing her dream of joining Bb Pilipinas. But before this, she represented Naga City in Miss Bicolandia 2010 where she finished 3rd runner-up. She hopes to make her father proud when he comes home from abroad to watch her during the pageant in March. She is one of the least talked about delegates, but who knows this girl might bring it on come coronation night.
Fun facts about her: Joanna is very passionate about music but also spends her downtime surfing the internet. Also inclined to sports, she was a basketball varsity player in college.
Mae Liezel Ramos, Naga City
A local pageant veteran with the Miss Camarines Sur 2010 title and runner-up finishes in Mutya ng Magayon 2013, Mutya ng Ibalong 2009, and Miss Bicolandia 2008 under her belt, Mae Liezel is someone to watch out for in the competition. She has one of the most fluid walks among the girls based on their press presentation performance and her pageant experiences surely played a part in molding her. She might not be a heavy favorite, but watch out! Liezel could give them front-runners a run for their money.
Fun fact/s about her: Liezel is a licensed nurse, but she also plans to become a specialist in Internal Medicine. Her interest in medicine was inspired by seeing “gory stuff” in Discovery Channel documentaries. She loves eating spicy food, and even has sili in her bag just in case the restaurant she is eating in does not have sili.
Yvethe Marie Santiago, Daraga, Albay
Yvethe was Miss Bicolandia 2012 and Mutya ng Magayon 2011 1st runner-up. She also represented the country in World Miss University 2010 held in South Korea where she was awarded Best in National Costume. She’s the most talked about Bicolana in the pageant right now and is one of the heavy favorites for the crowns. This is no surprise because Yvette is a real stunner. She might be criticised for having her nose “enhanced”, but she shouldn’t fret. She is confident, she speaks well, she is charming. She could easily walk away with a crown despite being a Binibini neophyte.
Fun fact/s about her: Yvethe is a family girl who loves to spend quality time with her family. She considers passing the CPA board exam as the best thing that happened to her.
The Bb Pilipinas 2014 Grand Coronation Night is on March 30 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. To get your tickets, click here.
Never miss the chance of seeing the Binibining Pilipinas 2014 candidates in the flesh. Photos and videos could be deceiving because when I got the chance to see them the second time around, I learned to appreciate their beauty even more.
While the girls were munching on their merienda, the fans again waited for them for more than an hour. While passing time, I got to chat with some die-hard pageant fans. One of them is Mr Mike Herrera who came from the province just to have his photos signed by the girls. When it was finally time to say goodbye to the girls, the fans which had grown in number by this time, gathered outside Barrio Fiesta in hopes of seeing their favorite delegates.
Who stood out? Vessica Sambo‘s exoctic-morena beauty really caught my eye. But aside from her, the glowing aura of Diana Arevalo, Yvethe Marie Santiago and Mary Anne Bianca Guidotti also caught my attention.This is the closest I ever got to the girls and I got to say there were new girls that impressed me with their stunning beauties this time around.
Kris Tiffany Janson is one of them. I now agree that she is a real charmer, though a bit shy. Joy Gangan, who made a mark with her fluid performance during the press presentation, also impressed me. Ladylyn Riva is also a living doll in person! Mary Jean Lastimosa got the loudest of cheers with some of her fans even bringing banners with her Binibini number on them.
While it is a contest and that the girls are being judged primarily on their physical appearance, it is interesting to note the positive message that one cheerful pageant fan said loudly while the girls are moving away: “Tandaan ninyo: lahat kayo magaganda!”
Having a killer bikini body is one of the keys to winning in a pageant. It shows how disciplined a girl is and how far she is willing to take to win.
This year’s Binibining Pilipinas candidates surely take this belief by heart as most of them have pageant-ready bodies when they strut their stuff during the official presentation. But here are, in my opinion, the top 10 girls with the best swimsuit bodies. Photo credits to Rappler’s Jose Del.
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 (LAST PART):
Binibini #31 Angelique Celine L. De Leon
Binibini #32 Jeslyn Santos
Binibini #33 Gabrielle Erika Tilokani
Binibini #34 Leonalyn D. Dela Cruz
Binibini #35 Yvethe Marie A. Santiago
Binibini #36 Krystal Alonday
Binibini #37 Vanessa N. Saliba
Binibini #38 Janine A. Asanion
Binibini #39 Ladylyn Riva
Binibini #40 Vessica L. Sambo
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.