Troye Sivan’s Bloom Tour Live in Manila!

Another update that I wanted to post here is Troye Sivan’s Bloom Tour in Asia! Yasss!!! You’ve read it right! Troye is coming to Asia and Manila is one of his destinations!!! I am so happy he didn’t wait too long to do a show here!

He will be performing at the Mall of Asia Arena on May 01, 2019 – ticket prices to be announced – and I’m so ready to buy my VIP ticket!!!!

 

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Miss Philippines’ Catriona Gray’s National Costume for Miss Universe 2018 – #BuongPilipinas

I’ve been MIA during the start of the Miss Universe proper in Bangkok because I’m attending some personal issues but now that I’ve found some time to actually post some updates here, let me start with yesterday’s National Costume show.

Miss Universe Philippines Catriona Gray’s national costume was one of the most anticipated costumes of any Philippine delegate to ever compete in the pageant as well as any delegates in this year’s edition. The costume apresented to the public last night in Pattaya garnered polarizing reception from the different spectrum of social media.

Her elaborate costume with a touch of the #BuongPilipinas or the whole Philippines is something that has never been seen from a Philippine delegate in the past editions or any international beauty pageants that usually settles for a single-themed outfits.

This intricately designed ensemble is called “Celebrate” in a collaboration of different designers with Catriona’s inputs too! Jojo Bragais designed and provided the thigh-high boots and the beautiful headress representating Mindanao, Eric Quiwa for the Parol representing Luzon and Jearson Demavivas who spearheaded the creation of this costume and was also responsible for Catriona’s winning national costume during the Binibining Pilipinas earlier this year worked on the Pintados body representing the Visayas region.

The costume may have not garnered universal acclaim but for a delegate to represent the country with such pride in our culture and heritage is achievement enough and is already a winner in my book!

In the midst of sociopolitical divisiveness in the Philippines, Catriona Gray and her team made me realized that outside of this spectrum, there’s a lot to be proud of our country, our people and our history.

Maraming Salamat!

Miss Universe Indonesia Sonia Fergina Citra Stuns in a Bird of Paradise National Costume!

via veoverde.com

Puteri Indonesia 2018 Sonia Fergina Citra recently unveiled her national costume for the upcoming Miss Universe pageant and it’s a truly stunning creation showcasing the uniqueness of Indonesia. Her costume aptly named Bird of Paradise was the theme of her stunning costume. If you must know, the majority of the bird-of-paradise species are found in Eastern Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Eastern Australia.

This costume was created by Jember Fashion Carnaval and is already getting the attention of worldwide pageant fans and pundits for its fun and absolutely unique designs!

Watch the video below for the surprise twist!

It’s All or Nothing for Catriona Gray Come Miss Universe 2018!

Catriona Gray under the lens of Raymond Saldaña

The Miss Universe competition proper is looming around and it’s going to be an all or nothing journey for Philippines’ bet Catriona Gray as she aims to win the fourth Miss Universe crown for the country, merely three years after Pia Wurtzbach controversial crowning in Las Vegas.

In her recent guesting in The Bottom Line with Boy Abunda, Gray stated that she never considered failure in terms of actually winning the crown.

I never consider failure. Why? Because I feel that if you have that in your vision, it will distract you, it will withdraw your energy from you. And I need 100%, 120% of my energy to go towards winning.

In a stunning showcase of her gift of gab, Catriona answered questions relevant to the country and issues its facing today and she answered them oh-so-eloquently, whilst getting tips from the Talk Show king Abunda himself.

Here are some of the questions asked by the panel.

What’s her take on the recent passage of the Mental Health Act:
I think it’s a great step forward because I believe that there’s more awareness now than there ever was before. And it’s something usually that wasn’t talked about because we thought it was a weak will or weak sense of character. Maybe they’re just going through something bad or we made up all these excuses to color over what was the truth behind it. But now that we have something that can be put in place, the proper education can finds its way to the hands of people that need it. And the stigma can start to break apart.

Why is she mum about her political views:
I like to take it as if it’s the time and place. I am not going to be a public figure that just spouses an opinion without being considerate of both sides and validating both sides because at the end of the day, I wear a Philippines sash and the Philippines is made up of millions of Filipinos with different points of view and different political standpoints. So I never want to polarize that.

The truth why she decided to apply as an independent candidate during the Binibining Pilipinas when she was initially under Aces & Queens back when she competed for Miss World Philippines and subsequently won: (Would you rather be the one who hides the truth, or tells a lie)
I would rather be the one who hides the truth because I believe no matter what, the truth will always come out. And I always believe that staying true to myself which is what I did in being an independent candidate, I just wanted to create my own team. Instead of focusing on multiple girls, I got undecided focus from a team of people that I chose myself. So I was allowed to be creative in that space and surround myself with a core team and it’s one of the best decisions I made

And the question that made Boy Abunda jump off his seat! It was really funny, tbh.
How would you convince a feminist that beauty pageant are still relevant?
I believe the aim of feminism isn’t to bring women down for what they choose to express themselves as or what they choose to pursue. I think and I believe that the whole aim of feminism is to support women in whatever they choose to do as long as it’s considerate and respectful to someone else.

With the caliber of how she answered these hard-hitting questions, it is very hard to lower our expectations for Catriona who is heading to Thailand next month as one of the pageant’s frontrunners.

Will the world, the universe rather finally align for Catriona?

Coming Soon: Paradise Lodge by Riina Y.T.

If you’re like me who’s  looking for something to read over the holidays – then look no more because I’ve got you. I mean, NinePress Star will be releasing a holiday anthology that is surely going to tickle your boy to boy – men 2 men romance fantasies! That doesn’t sound dirty at all, is it? Haha!

Let me present to you of course the first story I’d be reading in the series – it is from one of my favorite people from Europe! 💙 From my good friend Riina Y.T. who wrote the very charming Spring, Bax and Butterflies and the super adorable Blame the Fireworks comes Paradise Lodge.

Azariah Bell is a nervous wreck. He isn’t prepared to spend the final week of the year with his best friend, Ky O’Sullivan, lead vocalist for their pop rock band, Moving Insignia—especially after the fight he caused before they parted ways two weeks ago.

Afraid of not being taken seriously by Ky, Azariah was concerned about what confessing his feelings would do to their friendship, or the band. He tried to keep his emotions in check, but instead, he exploded in anger over some petty issue, and now he’s potentially lost Ky forever.

Ky is looking forward to the band’s annual writing retreat for a week of songwriting and recording at a secluded mountain resort. Spending Christmas with his family gave Ky time to reflect on how he’d handled Azariah’s epic meltdown. It wasn’t good, and Ky is determined to uncover the true nature of Azariah’s unusual behavior. They didn’t keep secrets from each other, or so he believed.

Expecting to see the rest of the band when they arrive by helicopter, Ky and Azariah are shocked to learn they are alone at a deserted lodge. When they discover they’ve been set up by their bandmates so they can “sort it out,” their choices are few. But it’s critical for them to resolve their problems if they have any hope of enjoying the new year together, let alone make that new album happen.

I am super-excited to  read this one and enjoy it as much as I’ve enjoyed SBB and Blame the Fireworks!!!!

Preorder it here!

Paradise Lodge will be release on December 3, 2018 by NineStar Press.

About The Author
Riina currently resides in Germany. She spent countless exciting days in the UK and US and lost her heart in Tokyo.
She would be thrilled if one day her stories could brighten someone’s day in the way those beautiful romances always lighten up her dull everyday life. Riina is looking forward to sharing many more stories with the world.
When she doesn’t daydream about boys in love, and isn’t glued to her Kindle, Riina loves to travel the world and explore the unknown.
Website: http://www.riinayt.wordpress.com

Out Now: Playing in the Dark (Glasgow Lads #4) by Avery Cockburn

Finally! The long wait is over! Close to three years after the release of the last Glasgow Lads installment, we are finally getting Evan’s story. if you’re a big fan of the series like moi, you probably are very curious as well as to what pushes Evan to leave Fergus behind? A lot of us speculated that he’s a secret service agent, was blackmailed or he’s just a regular-ol’-a-hole but we all want a great redemption story right? So here’s the answer to all of our burning questions – Evan and his love interest Ben’s own book entitled Playing in the Dark! 

The popular Scottish gay romance series takes a thrilling turn, as a spy falls for a wedding planner who can’t keep a secret to save his life—literally.

Evan Hollister needs to feel real. He’s pledged his life to protecting the innocent, but heroism carries a heavy price. After his job forced him to abandon his last boyfriend, Evan vowed never to love—and hurt—another man. Now, a wedding planner with a kind heart and a goofy grin is taking a blowtorch to Evan’s wall of ice.

Ben Reid needs to feel safe. Burned by secrets in the past, he thinks knowing everything about everyone is the best way to keep people happy—to keep them, full stop. But after falling for a god-on-earth-gorgeous footballer spy, Ben learns that some secrets can never see the light.

When Ben’s same-sex weddings become a terrorist target, Evan must once again choose between the man he loves and the country he swore to defend. And Ben must find the courage to fight for what he needs—no matter the cost. 

I don’t know about ya’ll but I’m having my pre-holiday vacation next week I have this newly released book from Avery to read while enjoying the beautiful  beach of Boracay.

If you haven’t read the series you can get them from Avery Cockburn’s Amazon page. and of course, don’t forget this latest release from the series! (Read my reviews of the first three books by clicking this link)

I’d really try my best to contain myself and not read this right away because I really just want to savor the whole thing while enjoying my off from my dayjob!

You can order Playing in the Dark below!

About The Author
Hiya, I’m Avery Cockburn (rhymes with Savory Slow Churn). In a previous incarnation I wrote over a dozen novels for major publishers. Some of these books even won awards, which was pure awesome. But last year I decided to “go indie” so I could write exactly what I wanted, how I wanted, and publish as fast as readers wanted. Now my days are filled with beautiful men who play the Beautiful Game in the most beautiful place in the world—and who happen to love other beautiful men. It’s pretty much the best job ever.

I currently live in the United States with one infinitely patient man and two infinitely impatient cats. Readers make my day, so email me at avery@averycockburn.com, or sign up for my mailing list at http://www.averycockburn.com/signup to get loads of exclusive Glasgow Lads bonus material. Cheers!

Spotted: Rachel Peters, Pia Wurtzbach with Catriona Gray.

Here’s Miss Universe Philippines Catriona Gray with Miss Intercontinental 2015 1st Runner Up Christi McGarry, Miss Universe 2017 Top 10 finisher Rachel Peters and Talent scout Harley Tan.

And here’s Catriona with Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach for a program launched by Love Yourself PH earlier in the day.

Catriona sure is everywhere!

My Miss Universe October 2018 Hot Picks!

I know this post is a bit overdue but I had this note on my phone with my Top 9 only until the last month ended. I’ve tried checking out more girls and their trainings, their outfits and a lot more that has to do with their exposure but only came up with the same girls who are getting the hype since the start of the pageant season. So without further ado, let me present to you my Top 9 Hot Picks for the month of October!

In ninth place is Canada’s Marta Stepien. See, I loved Canada’s type of beauty just like the earlier comparison to superstar Taylor Swift, Marta has the type of beauty that would do well in Thailand like her compatriot Natalie Glebova when she snatched the crown from the Latinas in 2005. She’s went down on my list because I haven’t that much change in her – good or bad. I still think that she’s one of the frontrunners but her chances for me is dwindling.

At number eight is Sthefany Gutiérrez of Venezuela. I loved the fact that she’s experimenting with her looks now and that she’s listening to her supporters. I thought she looks a bit mature with her ‘pocahontas’ hair and too heavy make up so I’m very much happy with her different looks now. Seriously, she’s hella pretty with a no make-up makeup look.

Number seven for me is host delegate Sophida Kanchanarin. This Thai beauty is one of my favorite Asian beauties this year. I just loved her oriental bone structure and her classy aura. I still don’t see her winning the whole thing but she’s inching towards the Top 5 for me.

At sixth place is H’Hen Niê of Vietnam. I’m still on a fence with her recent styling with longer hair. I mean, she’s got a beautiful face but it felt too forced. Her face is meant to be shown with her current short do. She’s definitely one of the strongest Asian delegates this year!

On fifth place for me is Puerto Rico’s Kiara Ortega. Puerto has never reached the Top 3 in this decade but it looks like Kiki is about to avenge her compatriots most especially Bodine Koehler who got snubbed in 2013. Kiki is young, personable but lacks in height. Some people are touting her to be one of the ‘girls to beat’ but I am pretty sure that at this point – the girl to beat remains the same from my last Hot Picks – bias aside.

Coming in at fourth place for me is none other than South Africa’s Tamaryn Green. She also went down for me last month. She’s looking too mascular for me so she needs to exudes a little bit of softness come pageant proper in order to stand out the way Demi started her game plan to win the crown in Vegas last year.

My third placer is Miss USA, Sarah Rose Summers. I loved Sarah Rose’ looks and again, I keep on saying that her winning personality will make her shine in Thailand. I’m not sure if she’s really that focused in winning the crown or she’s content to just be Miss USA since her prizes as the reigning queen is the same with her Miss Universe counterpart. I still she’s one of the strongest delegates this year and she’s just so pretty to begin with so I have her as my third best’ for October.

My number two is Valeria Morales of Colombia. I’m very much enamored by her Juliana Franco’s aura and she’s a very good speaker too. I wished that she could speak English fluently to cater to her international fans but I think she’s the biggest rival of the ‘girl to beat’ at this point.

And my numbero uno pick is still our very own Miss Universe Philippines Catriona Gray. It’s always been Catriona Gray, you say but she’s really THAT girl who could bring Miss Universe into a whole new level. She’s beautiful, current, has a fun personality and most importantly – the gift of gab. I’m still in awe everytime I watch her speak about ANY given topics. I’m telling you, she’s coming for your favorites.

Who for you is leading the pack this year???

See you in Thailand next month!

All photos courtesy of missuniverse.com

ICYMI: Catriona Gray & Jezha Huelar’s Send-off!

Jezha and Catriona with Madame Stella Araneta

I’m a bit late in posting this but I’m pretty sure that you’ve read and seen all of there is to see during the send-off of Miss Universe Philippines 2018 Catriona Gray and Binibining Pilipinas-Supranational Jezha Huelar to their pageant assignment overseas.

Catriona of course will be competing at the 67th Miss Universe pageant in our neighboring country, Thailand while Jezha is flying to Poland for the 10th Anniversary Edition of Miss Supranational.

Catriona wowed everyone with her femme fatale styling while Jezha is looking oh-so-sweet with her blue princess cut gown.

Good luck ladies!

Miss Universe 2018 Ticket Prices – Live at the Impact Arena in Bangkok!

For those of you who are planning to watch the 67th Miss Universe pageant in Bangkok, here are the ticket prices you’ve all been waiting for!!!

The prices ranges from 2,500 – 50,000 THB (that’s about 4,000 – 80,000 Philippine Pesos exchange rate as of press time).

So, who’s going to be watching?