Category Archives: Beauty Pageants

Catriona, Oh Catriona!

A recent photo release from famed Filipino photographer Raymond Saldaña made the rounds of social media today that shook pageant fans and pundits around the world for it showcased yet again the alluring beauty of Miss Universe 2018 frontrunner Catriona Gray!

Catriona Gray
Miss Universe Philippines 2018

Raymond Saldaña Photography
https://www.instagram.com/raymondsaldana_klickbox/

Make up by : Jelly Eugenio
Hair by : Florenz
Styled by : Patrick Henry Mergano
Earrings : Christopher E Munar
Gown : Cherry Samuya Veric

Exquisite, isn’t she?

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Nariman Battikha of Venezuela wins Reina Hispanoamericana 2018!

After missing out from the Top 4 in last night’s Miss Earth, Venezuela is back on track with Nariman Battikha becoming the new Reina Hispanoamericana, the 7th Venezuelan to win the prestigious Latin-based pageant since its inception in 1991.

Although Miss Filipinas Alyssa Mulach Alvarez failed to advance into the semis, she still look like a queen wearing a patriotic marsala red evening gown from Benj Leguiab IV.

Congratulations Venezuela! And to Alyssa, we are proud of you. You were amazing tonight!

Result Reaction: Miss Earth 2018 – Live at the Mall of Asia Arena!

‘Just got home from watching the coronation night of the 18th Miss Earth edition where Nguyen Phuong Khanh of Vietnam was adjudged the ‘ultimate goddess of the Earth.’

Her Elemental court are: Miss Air Melanie Mader of Austria, Miss Water Valeria Ayos of Colombia and Miss Fire Melissa Flores of Mexico.

This edition is without its fair share of controversies the moment outgoing Miss Earth 2017 Karen Ibasco passed the crown to Phuong Khanh.

Rumor has it that Miss Venezuela was supposed to be in the final four but she fainted backstage before the announcement and host James Deakin had to announce a replacement (supposedly the fifth place who is Miss Vietnam) to complete the top four. I personally call bullshit on this.

Vietnam was an all-around performer during the finale and she easily nailed both Q&A segments of the pageant with charm, sincerity and sense. I’d say she’s a deserving winner and such allegation should be put to rest right away.

And regardless if it’s true or not, Miss Venezuela fainted.The show isn’t going to wait for her to feel better. This show is broadcasted live and they have to follow a schedule. IF and only IF she was indeed in the top 4, they would have to exclude her and put the next girl with the highest score into the next round. Sorry, but this is what’s live television for you. Plus, the girls in the top 4 are very much deserving too. Shame on the President of Miss Earth Venezuela for releasing such information without the ME organization’s confirmation!

Congratulations to Miss Vietnam for winning the Miss Earth crown! Again, it was a well-deserved win! A big round of applause as well goes to the rest of the girls for giving a good fight!

To my favorite Telma Madeira of Portugal – you did your best and you made your country proud! I hope to see you competing in other international pageants like Miss Universe or Miss World in years to come ❤

To Celeste Cortesi – you are pure class and you represented the Philippines well! Thank you.

Congratulations to the Miss Earth organization and Carousel Productions for the wonderful show this year! ❤👏 Bravo!

I will be posting my full pledge review in the days to come! 😘

Bangkok is Ready for the Miss Universe 2018!

After almost three months of radio silence from the Miss Universe Organization (MUO), Bangkok is now ‘officially’ re-confirmed as the host of this year’s Miss Universe pageant. The MUO team spearheaded by its President Paula Shugart confirmed the event happening on December 17, 2018 (Local Time) after the initial announcement in July.

Yesterday, a Press Conference was held in Bangkok where the Miss Universe Organization presented the new financier of the pageant – the TNP Group – after its initial investor TW Investment pulled out from the project due to misbehavior of its shareholders putting the third hosting of the Kingdom in peril.

And there’s also a rumored new crown for the winner of this edition? So that means, no more Mikimoto crown? We’ll see in the coming days or during the finals night at the Impact Arena.

Miss Universe 2017 Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters via missuniverse.com

It can now be said that Bangkok is all set and ready to provide the most beautiful show in the Universe!

Catriona Gray’s Profile on the Miss Universe Website!

The Miss Universe website have started populating the profiles of this year’s Miss Universe contestants. One of the considered frontrunners this year, our very own Catriona Gray’s profile is already up and this is what it says about her.

“Catriona Elisa Gray is know to spontaneously burst out into song which is most likely the fault of her love of the arts and her Master Certificate in Music Theory. A great travel buddy and definitely not a “scaredy cat”, Catriona is always game for heart racing adventures. Zipline anyone? This model is openly passionate about her love for Filipino dishes including adobo, balut, and the sweetest mangoes in the world. Catriona is an HIV/AIDS advocate at Love Yourself PH, and volunteers as a Teacher’s Assistant to the students of Young Focus NGO. Catriona hopes to make her country proud at this year’s Miss Universe competition.”

Review: Miss World Philippines 2018 Coronation Night

Date: October 07, 2018
Venue: Mall of Asia Arena

First and foremost, let me say my congratulations to the new Miss World Philippines queens most especially to Katarina Rodriguez who successfuly managed to secured the rights to represent the country in China this December!

Now, let’s talk about that dangerously designed stage – lol. Seriously, whoever thought of that probably was hoping someone would fall off the two gaping holes in the middle! Kidding! Luckily, nobody did. The lighting and camera works was okay but not as good as last year’s edition. The whole thing just looks like a super-sized runway.

The MCs for the event are Miss World 1993 2nd Princess Ruffa Guttierez, GMA Artist Carla Abellana and Mister World 2012 Francisco Escobar. I thought Ruffa and Carla did a decent job engaging the contestants since they got to interview each winner of the fast track events which was rather tedious if I may just say so myself.

Francisco Escobar on the other hand was a total eye-candy but he seriously needs to do some workshop if he wanted to continue doing these stuff! It was so awkward and almost painful watching him! I know that English isn’t his first language but since he’s well-traveled and he’s been based in New York for a while now, I thought he’d be more articulate to say the least.

Introduction: The 2017 queens led the the very long dance sequence before the introduction of the 40 candidates. The contestants look cute with their opening dresses but the introduction felt stilted and the audio was not that good. The mic could barely pick up their voices.

In between segments are the corporate sponsors special awards.
Here’s the list of the special awards and fast track winners:
1. Miss Photogenic – Chanel Morales
2. Miss Blue Water Day Spa – Maureen Montagne & Katarina Rodriguez
3. Miss Best Skin – Alyssa Muhlach Alvarez
4. Miss Cosmo Skin – Katarina Rodriguez
5. Miss Tanduay – Maureen Montagne
6. Miss Erase Placenta – Alyssa Muhlach Alvarez & Chanel Morales
7. Miss BYS Philippines – Alyssa Muhlach Alvarez
8. Miss Philippines Airlines – Maureen Montagne
9. Miss GCOX – Maureen Montagne & Alyssa Muhlach Alvarez
10. Miss Resorts World Manila – Katarina Rodriguez
11. Miss Bench Body – Katarina Rodriguez
12. Best in Long Gown – Katarina Rodriguez

Fast Tracks Winners
Talent Competition: Marie Danica Reynes
Sports Competition: Kimilei Mugford
Beach Beauty: Katarina Rodrigues
Top Model: Maureen Montagne
Multimedia: Alyssa Muhlach Alvarez
Charity: Kim De Guzman

Top 16

#6 – Marie Danica Reynes

#9 – Arienne Louise Calingo

#10 – Pauline Labayo

#14 – Monique Tuzon

#21 – Annalita Vizcarra

#31 – Cleopatra Jones

Top 10 Question & Answer portion was facilitated by Ruffa and Miss World Philippines 2017 Laura Lehman who both did a great job in this segment by the way.

#5 – Kim De Guzman – A pageant party answer. She’s one of the girls I really liked before the Q&A. She should practice more because her answer was a generic answer that is very much forgettable.

#23 – Marianne Marquez – She gave a very practical and specific answer. Not as ‘pageant patty’ as most girls but still forgettable.

#32 – Kylah Sanchez – I loved her composure despite being only 16! Can you believe that? 16! She gave a decent answer, though the delivery could’ve been more precise.

#34 – Danielle Joie Magno – She was asked about crypto currency and I was like??!! Wtf? Her answer reminded me a bit of Pia Wurtzbach’s answer during the top 6 q&a of the Miss Universe 2015. It wasn’t very convincing but she was able to pull it off in a way that doesn’t make her sound like a dumb blonde.

photo via Miss World Philippines Facebook

2nd Princess: #11 Pearl Hung – Ugh. Pageant patty answer. I honestly don’t know why she was elected to a runner-up position.

1st Princess: #39 Chanel Morales – I do loved the sincerity in her voice. I thought she deserved her 1st runner-up placing. Her answer about shaming is beautiful! It may sound rehearsed to some but I thought it was one of the most hearfelt answers that night.

Miss Multinational Philippines 2018: Kimilei Mugford – It’s obvious that she’s very articulate and English is also obviously her first language. I personally thought she did better than Muhlach and should have gotten the RHA title but at the end of the day, she’s still a winner!

Reina Hispanoamericana Filipinas 2018: Alyssa Muhlach Alvarez – She gave a very convincing answer about discrimation against women in the workplace but it wasn’t as eloquent in comparison to Kimi or Kata.

Miss Eco Philippines: Maureen Montagne – I find her answer a bit disappointing because she was just getting round and round. I wished she could’ve worded her answers differently or maybe she was just nervous?

Miss World Philippines 2018: Katarina Rodriguez – I do loved the casual way she answered her question. Along with Kimilei, I thought she delivered her answer full of sincerity despite almost sounding like it’s a memorized answer. I do trust her gift of gab, though, so I am happy that the judges made the right call to crown her the new Miss World Philippines!

Overall, it was a good program. It’s not as grand as last year –  production-wise but it’s apt with the whole concept of Miss World. I loved how the ‘Beauty with a purpose’ theme was heavily mentioned throughout the night. Plus, we’ve got a new set of lovely queens that I’m sure would make us very proud yet again in the pageant arena!

My Miss Universe September 2018 Hot Picks!

The month of September was a crucial month in the pageant world as we get to see more pageant powerhouses and regular participating nations select their Miss Universe representatives. With that being said, here are my Top 15 Hot Picks from last month:

15. India (Nehal Chudasama)
Newly crowned Nehal is a sight to behold! She’s prettier than the last 5 Miss Universe India. Even prettier in a unique way than Urvashi dare I say. There’s something about her that is easily likable. She’s also very articulate. I’m going to give this to India this time – a good five years since their last semis appearance.

14. Spain (Angela Ponce)
Angela Ponce’s participation is still a point of debate until now and for that alone, I think she’d make the first cut.

13. Denmark (Helena Heuser)
This former Miss World 2016 contestants who competed along with Catriona Gray is the Siera Bearchell of this edition. She’s also prettier than Siera if I’m being honest. For diversity alone, she should make the cut.

12. Ecuador (Virginia Limongi)
I still don’t see the appeal of Inday Virgie but I heard that she’s really nice especially after learning that she’s actually training here in the Philippines. Yeah, she’s pretty and has a great body and she reminds me a bit of Sofia Vergara but I find her too mature. I won’t discount her though as she is one of the early fan favorites and this could work as an advantage for her.

11. Mexico (Andrea Toscano)
I am absolutely enamored by her vibrant aura. She’s so personable and photogenic. I’m not sure if she’s as articulate as the some of the frontrunners but based on her Q& A during her national pageant, I think she’d be okay.

10. Vietnam (H’Hen Niê)
I find her very classy and modelesque. It’s nice that she’s trying out different styling but she should definitely keep her short do come Miss Universe proper.

9. Malta (Francesca Mifsud)
She’s just plain gorgeous. Period. I’m still not convince she could win it all or surpass the early favorites but I’ve a good feeling about her.

8. Thailand (Sophida Kanchanarin)
Host delegate Sophida has been getting polarizing support from her countrymen but that doesn’t mean that she won’t get the biggest support come December. She may get a free ride into the semis but I personally believe that she’d make it through her own merit. I find her beauty refreshing but she seriously needs to read up on current events! I hope she learns something from Maria and Fahsai’s mistakes during the crucial Q&A portion of their respective pageants.

7. Colombia (Valeria Morales)
Valeria have some big shoes to fill since her last 4 predecessors are in the top 3 with Paulina Vega even bagging the second Miss Universe crown for Colombia in 2014. She’s not as tall as these former Misses Colombia but her enigmatic look could work wonders for her. Besides, IMG seems to really love the Colombians so whilst I don’t find her the prettiest, I will go out on a limb to say that she will reach at least the top 10.

6. Venezuela (Sthefany Gutiérrez)
Having the longest preparation amongst the girls competing this year, Sthefany is all set to do a repeat of Keysi Sayago’s top 5 finish from last year. I still couldn’t see her winning the crown but she’s definitely a very strong contender.

5. Canada (Marta Stepien)
Like Kiara Ortega, Marta’s towering height and ugh-amazing body are two of the factors that would catapult her into the top. She may not be getting the noise of the four ladies above her but her multilingual background will boost her campaign for the crown!

4. USA (Sarah Rose Summers)
Sarah Rose still has a stronghold onto the top five and in contrast to Tamaryn, her personality is what makes her a perennial favorite by every pageant fans and pundits. I think she needs to work on her frame and experiment on her styling but it’s almost impossible for her to miss the top 5 much less the first cut.

3. South Africa (Tamaryn Green)
Tamaryn may have been Catriona’s biggest threat before Kiara but she’s losing steam as days go by. My biggest issue with her is that she tends to look too polished rendering her aura robotic and unapproachable.

2. Puerto Rico (Kiara Ortega)
Kiara is the highest entrant for the month of September even surpassing early favorites Tamaryn Green and Sarah Rose Summers and zooming into the second place next to La Gray. It’s been half a decade since Puerto Rico made the cut and for the third most winningest country in the pageant – that is not acceptable. This year seems to be the year that we’d finally see another Puerto Rican sailing through the semifinals and most likely will make it until the end. Kiara’s crowning sent ripples through the pageant community because of her exotic beauty that is just too hard to ignore. We’ll see if she could surpass Miss Gray and end up winning it all.

1. Philippines (Catriona Gray)
Catriona up to this point is heaps and miles ahead of her competitors. After her successful walk at the New York Fashion Week for Sherri Hill last month which made the brand one of the most talked about shows – it’s almost easy to imagine her doing shows gigs in New York as part of her Miss Universe duties. Heading to Thailand by November, the Mikimoto crown is hers to lose at this stage.

Katarina Rodriguez versus the World!

Katarina Rodriguez now has the task to bring the blue crown back to the Philippines. After besting 39 other candidates for the top plum last night at the finals night of the Miss World Philippines 2018, this former Binibining Pilipinas queen and Asia’s Next Top Model alumnus will battle it out in Sanya, China to put the Philippines in the “World” stage (quite literally) again! If successful, she will be succeeding Manushi Chhillar of India and will become the second Miss World winner after Megan Young snatched the elusive blue crown back in 2013 in Bali.

Katarina will be armed with training from her Aces & Queens family and a wardrobe most likely filled with Francis Libiran creations. With her gift of gab and enchanting beauty, Katarina is ready to win it all vs the World!

Congratulations Katarina!

ICYMI: Eva Patalinjug and Michele Gumabao’s Pageant Send-Off!

Earlier today, a send-off was held at the Novotel Manila Araneta Center for Binibining Pilipinas Grand International 2018 Eva Patalinjug and Binibining Pilipinas Globe 2018 Michele Gumabao who are set to represent the country in Miss Grand International in Myanmar and Miss Globe in Albania later this month.

 

They will be the first Binibining Pilipinas queens  to compete this year for their respective pageants. We’ve yet to win the Miss Grand International crown and the closest we’ve come to winning is in 2016 with Nicole Cordovez placing first runner-up. Ann Colis meanwhile successfully got the first Miss Globe crown in 2015 under the Binibining Pilipinas organization.

Amongst the well-wishers are their Binibining Pilipinas sisters – Catriona Gray, Karen Gallman,  Ahtisa Manalo and Jehza Huelar.

ICYMI: Catriona Gray to walk for Sherri Hill

In a rather unprecedented event, Miss Universe Philippines Catriona Gray was invited and flown by Sherri Hill’s team in the US to walk for the designer’s show in the on-going New York Fashion Week.

Catriona Gray wearing Sherri Hill in the streets of New York. Photo from Facebook/ Bb Pilipinas

This news was first posted through Sherri Hill’s Instagram stories twice that was then confirmed by the Gray herself on her own Instagram.

Catriona will be competing in Bangkok on December 16 for the 2018 edition of the Miss Universe pageant and is touted to be one of the top contenders for the crown!