Category Archives: Beauty Pageants

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!

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Miss Universe Philippines 2018 Catriona Gray for Star Style PH!

So what has 2018 Miss Universe Philippines Catriona Gray been up to lately?

via startyleph

Here, you can read a very interesting Ms. Gray discussing life after becoming the Miss Universe Philippines and her preparations for the upcoming Miss Universe pageant.

A bit of snippet from the interview conducted by Celina Bonga.

Now with four months left until the big day, the 24-year-old is heavily involved in the creative process that happens behind all the glitz and glamour. We learned that the show stopping ear cuff she wore on the crowning night of Binibining Pilipinas was actually her idea. Like a true queen, she has taken full control of her pageant preparations from choosing the team she works with to personally designing her gowns. She explains, “I really wanted to be involved. I told my team, ‘I hope you don’t mind me pitching in my ideas.’ I’m not saying that I have the best taste in the world, but let me share my ideas. I was crazy hands-on about it. I even had PowerPoints!”

Best of luck, Catriona!

Miss Universe August 2018 Hot Picks!

On December 17 (Bangkok Time), the most beautiful day in the Universe will be held at the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand.

via Miss Universe Facebook page.

Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters will crown her successor for the Miss Universe crown. So without further ado, let me present to you my Top 15 for the month of August!

From Catriona’s Instagram

1. Philippines – Catriona Gray
Catriona’s main weapon heading to Bangkok this December is her gift of gab. She is without question one of the best communicators to ever represent the Philippines in Miss Universe. With her modelesque features, alluring beauty and her large fan base across the globe amassed after her 2016 Miss World stint, Catriona is definitely the one to beat at this point.

Tamaryn Green (mytvnews.co.za)

2. South Africa – Tamaryn Green
The pressure is on for Tamaryn this year and she’s expected to deliver after Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters mounted a campaign so strong last year that ended their 39-year Miss Universe title drought. Her background as a medical student would be an advantage for her to push a related advocacy. Her towering height and beautiful complexion will be hard to ignore, so there’s a high probability for her to come on top this edition of the pageant if she’s as strong-willed and as confident as Demi-Leigh.

Sarah Rose Summers (thegreatpageantcommunity.com)

3. United States – Sarah Rose Summers
Sarah Rose reminds me so much of Miss Universe 2012 Olivia Culpo. They both have great and sunny personalities and it’s not hard to imagine her duplicating what Olivia did 6 years ago. Her beauty may not be as versatile but what she lacks in that aspect, she makes up with her larger-than-life personality. For now, she’s in a safe third place for me.

4. Canada – Marta Stepien
Marta is the beauty pageant contestant doppelgänger of Taylor Swift. She is one of the latest confirmed contestants having recently won her national pageant. She skyrocketed to the top 5 right away by here mere sex appeal alone and that’s says a lot about her. Marta may just duplicate her compatriot’s accomplishment in 2015 when Natalie Glebova took the title away from the Latina. Is Bangkok Canada’s lucky city?

5. Thailand – Sophida Kanchanarin
Sophida’s beauty is a polarizing one and she definitely has a big shoes to fill after Maria Poonlertlarp cracked the top 5 last year in Vegas. She may not be everyone’s cup of tea but for me, she’s a diamond in the rough. I’ve a feeling that she’ll shock everyone come pageant proper.

6. Venezuela – Sthefany Gutiérrez
Sthefany is the first contestant confirmed for this year’s pageant and like Sophida, she’s also got a lot to prove as her predecessor Keysi Sayago reached the final five last year. She’s been widely praised for her exotic beauty with her so-called ‘Pocahontas’ hair but I’m honestly still not convinced that she could duplicate or even surpassed Keysi’s feat last year. I still think though that she’s still one of the strongest candidates this year.

7. Ecuador – Virginia Limongi
If there is someone as polished as Catriona Gray, it would be Virginia Limongi. She reminds me so much of Sofia Vergara although she have to be careful because she tends to look old at times. I won’t put her this high but the hype around her is pretty convincing so for now, she definitely have her place on my hot picks.

8. Vietnam – H’Hen Niê
Vienam’s H’Hen Niê is definitely the Kaci Fennel of this edition. I’m not sure how well she would be received by the preliminary judges but given the right training and styling, I could see her going far in the competition.

9. Korea – Baek Ji-hyun
She’s one of the recent contestants to be confirmed and I am absolutely loving her. She’s giving me the Honey Lee vibe and if she continue to improve until December, I’m definitely seeing her usurping early favorites for the crown.

10. Brazil – Mayra Dias
I loved Mayra’s beauty because she reminds me of the Latina heavyweights of the early 2000’s. This may either be an advantage or a disadvantage for her depending on her styling come pageant season. She is definitely going to make it, beauty alone.

11. Australia – Francesca Hung
Chinese-Australian Francesca is a welcome change for an Aussie delegate in this edition. If you search online for her make-up less face, you’d see how gorgeous she is. She’s definitely going to be a hit in Thailand with her biracial beauty.

12. Japan – Yuumi Kato
I adore Yuumi Kato! I feel that she’s one of the strongest Asian delegates this year and if Japan will make it again into the Top 5, she should be able to make it happen.

13. Spain – Angela Ponce
I loved that she’s making history as the first transwoman to compete in Miss Universe but generally, I do not find her at par with the contestants I have on my top 10. Maybe they should change her styling? Or perhaps with less make-up? I mean, she is definitely going to be in the semis but how far do I think she can go? Uhm, for now – top 15 at the most.

14. Mexico – Andrea Toscano
Oh, I loved Andrea even though she look a bit pageant patty to me. Nothing wrong with that but I’d love for her to sport a pony or perhaps more extension. No to heavy make up and she’s good to go for the Evening Gown round.

15. Nicaragua – Adriana Paniagua
Adriana is a quality rep for Nicaragua. She looks a bit old at times but I feel that it’s only because of her styling. I also want to see her with straight hair and I think that would make her more ravishing.

The ‘World’ Invasion of Katarina Rodriguez!

Katarina Rodriguez first gained popularity as a contestant in the second season of Asia’s Next Top Model in 2014 where she finished third next to fellow Filipina contestants Jodilly Pendre and eventual winner Sheena Liam of Malaysia.

Fast forward to 2017, Katarina joined the Binibining Pilipinas – the premiere beauty pageant in the country and easily became one of the contenders for the top plum – the Miss Universe Philippines. She still emerged victorious but as our representative for Miss Intercontinental 2017.

At the Miss Intercontinental 2017 edition held earlier this year in Egypt, she was touted to easily pick up our first title from said pageant but the stars are not in our favor as she settled for a runner-up finish next to Veronica Salas of Mexico. There was a bit of an outrage but like the true queen she is, Katarina easily pacified her fans with a very heartfelt post about her experience in Egypt.

from Katarina’s Instagram

Earlier this week, the screening of the Miss World Philippines 2018 was held in Manila and unsurprisingly, Katarina showed up as she’s been hinting for months that she’s still open to joining other pageants this year. This feisty model is now embarking on her journey towards the Blue Crown but it won’t be an easy one as she has to beat 39 other candidates first in order to set foot in China this December for the 2018 Miss World pageant.

via Katja’s Twitter

What are Katarina’s chances in finally snagging the top title this year? I adore this girl! I loved her fighting spirit and her positive disposition kahit mukha daw siyang maldita. Hahaha! I loved how she could easily socialize with everyone and I think that’d be one of her advantages in the national pageant and if the stars will align in her favor – hopefully towards her road to bring back the blue crown to the country!

Good luck Katja! Get it!

ICYMI: Miss Universe 2018 – Live in Thailand!

The 67th Miss Universe pageant will be held on 17 December 2018 at the Impact Areana in Bangkok, Thailand. This would be the third time the country will be hosting the show after the ultra successful staging of the pageant in 2005 and way back in 1992.

Steve Harvey who hosted the infamous 2015 edition will return for the fourth consecutive times as host.

Our very own Catriona Gray is also all set to ‘battle’ it out in Thailand releasing a short but beautiful video giving us a bit of a glimpse of the beautiful host country! Now, that is what you call gameplan!

Go and book your tickets now for the most beautiful event in the Universe!

Miss Universe Philippines 2018 Catriona Gray for Preview.PH May 2018

Here’s my favorite and the reigning Miss Universe Philippines Catriona Gray gracing the digital cover of  Preview.PH’s May 2018 edition.

It has only been a month and a half since Catriona Gray was crowned Binibining Pilipinas-Universe but the internet is already abuzz with her fighting chance at this year’s Miss Universe pageant. Perhaps a fourth crown for the country at pageantdom’s most prestigious competition is all too soon—we had just won in 2015—but we’re not about to complain. Catriona, after all, goes far deeper than the aforementioned hype that surrounds her these days. Her dedication should not come as a surprise to anyone who’s seen her work at close range way before she became a full-fledged beauty queen. (s)

See her full spread and read the full article via https://www.preview.ph/

Former Miss World PH Catriona Gray wins Miss Universe Philippines 2018! 

And the Universe heeded our plea as Catriona Elisa Magnayon Gray made history as the first Filipina to be crowned as Miss World Philippines (back in 2016) and Miss Universe Philippines in this year’s edition of the Binibining Pilipinas Beauty Pageant.

Gray bested 39 other hopefuls for the top plum and won 5 major awards that includes the Pitoy Moreno Best in National Costume, Miss Ever Bilena, Jag Denim Queen, Best in Swimsuit and the Best in Evening Gown.

Other winners are Ahtisa Manalo for Bb.Pilipinas – International, Eva Psychee Patalinjug for Bb.Pilipinas Grand – International, Jehza Huelar for Bb.Pilipinas – Supranational, Karen Gallman for Bb.Pilipinas – Intercontinental and Michele Gumabao for Bb.Pilipinas – Globe. Vickie Rushton and Samantha Bernardo settled for first and second runners – up respectively.

Full review to follow!!!

Binibining Pilipinas Specials 2018: Final Hot Picks & Predictions

In three days’ time, the winners of Binibining Pilipinas 2018 will be announced in a grand coronation at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. Six girls will be crowned and will represent the country to these pageants – Miss Universe, Miss International, Miss Supranational, Miss Grand International, Miss Intercontinental and Miss Globe.

With that being said, let me present to you my final pick for these titles along with the girls whom I think will most likely to spoil it for each title.

Binibining Pilipinas – Globe
The Miss Globe organization is a generous organization who has gifted us two winners already – Maricar Balagtas in 2001 (before the conflicts of the owners and when it was still an Istanbul based pageant) and most recently, Ann Colis (2015, now simply Miss Globe based in Canada). Nelda Ibe almost got the title last year and it’s easy to say that the organization is basically looking for a polished contestant to represent their brand. With that being said, I would pick Vickie Rushton as the best delegate to represent the Philippines. With her sultry look and very interesting background, she could easily seal the deal for our third win.

Most Likely to Upset: Ma. Andrea Abesamis. Aya’s polarizing appeal may do wonders overseas and she could clinch the third Miss Globe title for the country just as easily.

Binibining Pilipinas – Grand International

This budding Thai-owned pageant has been a tough nut to crack for the Philippines. The country has been sending top notch delegates such as Parul Shah, Nicole Cordovez and Elizabeth Clenci from last year who finished 3rd overall. With ‘promotion of peace and love’ as the pageant’s motto, I could easily envisioned Dr. Ena Velasco using her profession to easily see her way through the top and win the country’s first Miss Grand International title. Blessed with a pleasant mixed of Pacific and Oriental beauty – Ena is the perfect girl to win this title.

Most Likely to Upset: Karen Gallman’s beauty is definitely Nawat’s type of beauty. She’s like a petite latina beauty contestant and we all know how much Nawat loves her Latinas. Karen is a solid candidate but her height pretty much derails her chances on clinching the top 2 crowns.

Binibining Pilipinas – Intercontinental

Like in Miss Grand International, the country hasn’t won its first crown from this pageant. Pageant fans and pundits were in shock earlier this year when favorite Katarina Rodriguez failed to snag the crown but since it’s all done and over with, it seems like the best contestant to send here is the polarizing beauty of Ma. Andrea Verdadero Abesamis. I initially pegged her as the ultimate spoiler for the Miss Universe Philippines crown but as we approaches the finale, it looks like Aya will be best suited for this pageant for its unpredictability.

Most Likely to Upset: Michele Gumabao may also be a good fit for this pageant. She’s a great talker and an amazing personality that nobody cannot resist.

Binibining Pilipinas – Supranational

If there is one contestant who could charm this Europe-based pageant, Michele Gumabao with her statuesque frame and fun personality may just be the girl for it. Since the win of Korea’s Jenny Kim last year, it’s now kind of difficult to say if her win was just a bleep from their usual type of winners but knowing Michele could easily adjust the way she did from being a professional athlete into becoming a beauty pageant contestant, she could easily make her presence known and perhaps get our second win from this pageant.

Most Likely to Upset: I’ve to settle for Ahtisa right here as the second-best for this title. If she’s unable to clinch the International sash, she could easily be our Miss Supranational rep where her beauty will surely be appreciated first and foremost.

Binibining Pilipinas – International

This is actually a tricky one for me because I’ve consistently pitted two girls for this title since the very beginning. I thought it’d be a two-way battle between Vickie Rushton and Ahtisa Manalo, but lo and behold – Sigrid Grace Flores came out of nowhere leading up to the final stretch of the competition. Her contagious smile and glowing aura during the Parade of Beauties and her communication skills that was briefly showcased during The Road to the Crown was enough to render Vickie & Ahtisa’s arsenal weak to clinch the second highest title in the competition.

Most Likely To Upset: Angelie Asuncion. She’s one of the few girls who stood out for me in the televised Road to the Crown primer. What a revelation! She reminds me so much of her camp sister, Janicel Lubina. If Sigrid won’t make it past Ahtisa and Vickie, I’ve no problem with Angelie nabbing this title.

Miss Universe Philippines

This has been Catriona’s title to lose since the very beginning. Catriona went to the screening battle-ready and up to this point, she’s the girl that’s been tagged as the one to beat and the girl with the complete package. Barring any “political” moves against her, the probability of her getting the top plum is almost at a 100%.

Her gift of gab, facial beauty, elegant aura, towering height and international experience are what made her my ultimate Miss Universe Philippines.

Most Likely to Upset: Another fan favorite, Michele Gumabao may provide a hurdle to Catriona’s path to the MUP crown but I honestly don’t see her usurping Cat for the top title of the night.

I recall reading a comment from somewhere that actually encapsulate my thoughts about the Bb.Pilipinas Organization choosing the new Miss Universe Philippines – If they are gunning for the fourth Miss Universe crown – they should crown Catriona. If they’re after the continuous semis streak – choose Michele or Ena. If we want to rest for a bit and give others a chance to penetrate the semis – pick Aya.

I am now going to pray that we’d get the best results come Sunday night #forthePhilippines

Binibining Pilipinas 2018 Specials: Third Hot Picks!

We are just two weeks away from the finals night of choosing the next batch of Binibining Pilipinas queens and it’s getting more and more intense for our forty girls in terms of consistency and peaking at the right time. I feel like some faded since my last hot picks and had trouble getting the attention of fans and pundits when it matters. With that being said, here are my hot picks before my final prediction for the finale.It’s very difficult to topple Catriona out of the top spot at this point. There’s no denying that the hype around her is justifiably real. She’s not flawless but she knows how to capitalize her other assets that pundits tends to forget what she’s lacking. Catriona by any means is a league of her own. During the most recent fashion show at Kia Theater, her performance completely annihilated the compeition. She has Miss Universe Philippines written all over her face. At this stage of the competition, she’s still very much the one to beat.

Ahtisa Manalo has finally overtook Vicky Rushton in terms of overall performance in the last couple of weeks. On stage, she was glowing and she’s getting better and better. She’s now poised to spoil the game from the initial frontrunners for the Binibining Pilipinas – International title.

Michele Gumabao’s transformation has been nothing short of amazing. Her metamorphosis from being a national volleyball athlete to being a national beauty pageant contestant is one of the best things to happen this season. She’s doing her assignment and it’s paying off.

Vicky Rushton is still a contender for one of the crowns. A Miss International prototype, she’s still one of the favorites to win but recently, she’s been playing it safe which might cost her a title. She’s still amongst the strongest though, but she definitely need to step it up!

Ena Velasco may have fallen from the top of my list but she’s still firmly in the winners’ circle for me. I feel like she’s being overpowered by the stronger contestants but her overall performance from the last two weeks is really nothing to scoff about. Like Vicky, she’s a strong contender but she’s slowly fading. I am hoping that she’d gain more steam as we approach the finale.

Ulimate Spoiler:
I’d like to include other girls here like Samantha Bernardo, Eva Patalinjug, Karen Gallman and even Roseantonette but methinks that Aya VERDADERO Abesamis’ pedigree is something that would be use to advance her fight in the competition. Not to take away too much credit from her but she’s being overpowered by the “talks” of her connections. It’s a nasty thing to imply that she’d be nowehere without these connections but If I were a betting man, I’d place my bet on her to spoil everything. She seems determine to prove her worth but will it be enough to topple the top 5 above her? We’ll see…

Photos courtesy of the Binibining Pilipinas Facebook Page

Binibining Pilipinas 2018 Specials: Top 10 National Costume!

I’ve just been to the KIA Theater last night (about 6 hours ago) for the presentation of this year’s Binibining Pilipinas National Costume. This year, it wasn’t just a celebration of beauty but also of culture and heritage. Filipino designers once again showcased their creativity, inspiring and elaborate designs that will make you proud to be a Filipino.

With that being said, 10 costumes were adjudged to be the best amongst the 40 amazing designs. But before that, lemme share my very own Top 10 vs the actual Top 10.

My personal Top 3 are from Catriona Gray (#20), Vicky Rushton (#1) and the one wearing the white hijab – (#4) Ana Patricia Asturias.

Below are the actual Top 10 who made the cut and votes from the public thru Binibining Pilipinas’ social media will determine the winner of the Best in National Costume award.

photos courtesy of Bb.Pilipinas 2018 Facebook Page.