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My Thoughts on Binibining Pilipinas 2021 Coronation Night!

I absolutely loved this edition of Binibining Pilipinas and it may actually be the one of the best editions for me. What’s freaking insane is that it is the first time it was actually televised in real-time! And with no live audience too well…because Covid. Ahem. So, I have to talk about a few things this edition has offered us.

The Binibining Pilipinas 2021 was supposed to be the year 2020 edition but due to the pandemic, it was moved a year later which is the very first time the pageant was not held since it’s inception in 1964. However, Samantha Mae Bernardo, Binibining Pilipinas 2019 Second Runner-up and was a contestant of the supposed 2020th edition was appointed the Philippines’ representative to the 2020-2021 Miss Grand International earlier this year making her the only title holder to wear a 2020th sash! So many fun facts!

Another first for this edition is its all-female hosts with two former Binibining Pilipinas queens – Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray and 2016 Binibining Pilipinas Grand International and 2016 Miss Grand International First Runner-up, Nicole Cordoves. Catriona and Nicole not only made a Binibini history last night, they also did an incredible job that it’s hard to imagine them not doing this every single year moving forward!

The Stage: It looks amazing! It was simple and classy looking with its three gigantic led screens! Easier

The Opening: Donning yellow, orange and lime-green cocktails dresses, the girls dances a to a new Binibining Pilipinas song! It was catchy and they all looked absolutely amazing! The introduction was a sight to behold too, showing each Bibibini in their respective National Costumes! It was marvelous! The costumes are simply to die for! Why are we not seeing these kind of costumes in the international level though? Hmmm…

The board of judges are also a batch of impressive panel that includes Rajo Laurel, Maria Garcia, Dioceldo Sy, Benito Bengzon Jr, Pinky Webb, Enrique Gil, Miss International 2016 Kylie Versoza and the ever-so-beautiful actress Liza Soberano! Can I just say that Liza looked like a goddess last night!

First two set of awards:

Best in National Costume: Nueva Ecija, Marian Ruth Erika Quin


Miss Friendship: Tagum City, Lesley Anne Ticaro
Miss Talent: Bocaue, Bulacan, Vianca Louise Marcelo
Miss Photogenic: Manila, Patrizia Mariah Garcia
Miss Alagang Silka: Angeles, Pampanga, Ma. Francesca Taruc
Jag Denim Queen: Masbate, Hannah Arnold
Miss World Balance: Olongapo, Alexandra Faith Garcia
Miss Ever Bilena: Batangas, Maureen Montagne
Miss Piza Hut: Iloilo, Karen Laurrie Mendoza
Manila Bulleting Readers Choice Award: Batangas, Mica Rosal

Last batch and some major awards:

Bb. Araneta City: Angeles, Pampanga, Maria Francesca Taruc
Miss Creamsilk: Batangas, Maureen Montagne

Best in Swimsuit: Valenzeula, Meiji Cruz
Best in Long Gown: Eastern Samar, Gabrielle Basiano

The proceedings was fast! The top 12 were announced right away plus a Top 13th people’s choice voted via the Binibining Pilipinas app, and they paraded in Swimsuit and their beautiful Evening gown! It was such a glorious sight!

My favorites for the swimsuit round are: Maureen Montagne, Hannah Arnold and Meiji Cruz.

As for the Evening Gown, it was obviously Gabrielle Basiano with that presentation that totally nailed the round! Another one of my favorite for this round is Hannah Arnold with her baby pink gown ensemble and Graciella Lehman with her effortless pasarela!

As each finalists is called into the top 12/13, she will deliver a short message about her pandemic experience (this is almost similar to the opening speech in the Miss Universe during its 2018 and 2019 edition)

Here are my on the spot notes last night for each finalists!

  1. Eastern Samar, Gabrielle Basiano – too short, prolly got nervous but very beautiful face.
  2. Manila, Patrizia Mariah Garcia – reminds me of Aya Abesamis. Very simple message. Challenging governance…
  3. Iloilo, Karen Laurrie Mendoza – Loved her accent! talks about mental illness is not a sign of weakness, you are heard, you matter – a really thoughtful and relevant message.
  4. Oriental Mindoro, Graciella Lehman – talked about being a cabin crew and to be in the service of fellow Filipinos.
  5. Angeles Pampanga, Francesca Taruc – to be more grateful and appreciate little things in life. Quick. Message was okayish.
  6. Valenzuela, Meiji Cruz (Cat said Venezuela – a cute mistake) – loved her Pinoy accent, very good message. Unity, compassion together we can heal!
  7. Albay, Jashmin Dimaculangan – very on point message!!! talks about Typhoon Ulysses during the pandemic
  8. Cavite, Samantha Panlilio – very good communication skills, her family are from the tourism industry and how in perseverance we can survive this pandemic.
  9. Quezon Province, Patricia Babista – being a frontliner, aims to face a new world with a healthier, braver and kinder human
  10. Rizal Province, Honey Cartasano – loved her styling! regain her purpose thru volunteering in helping her kababayan!
  11. Masbate, Hannah Arnold – As a forensic science graduate she wanted the country to invest on science and prevent another pandemic. Very good.
  12. Batangas, Maureen Montagne – I witness firsthand the true beauty and strength of community. Siargao community pantry, together we can overcome any obstacle. Lovely messaging too!
    People’s Choice / Fan Vote
  13. Cagayan de Oro – Misamis Oriental – Cinderella Fae Obeñita very good messaging! With her personality, I wonder why she missed the first cut in the first place…

Another segment is an interview with Miss International 2013 Bea Rose Santiago who’s battling a end-stage renal failure and she delivered a lovely message of hope to the girls and to us viewers! Get well soon, Bea!

Can I just talk about how amazing the Evening Gown presentation was? I mean, that’s international level of production! Each girl in the top 13 talks about their chosen gown and the symbolism it represents! So powerful!

Moving on to the ‘dreaded’ Q&A, it’s obvious that a lot of girls were nervous. Overall, I thought they all gave amazing answers! It just boils down to presentation and how confident they are with their answers!

The one that top this segment is surprisingly Miss Cagayan de Oro – Misamis Oriental Cinderella Fae Obeñita. She just sealed her win with that answer!

Winners!

Second Runner-up: Meiji Cruz, Valenzuela

I loved Meiji. She’s such a stunner but I didn’t expect her to place this high after the Q&A but overall, she’s probably in the upper tier of the scoreboard to nab this title.

First Runner-up: Gabrielle Basian, Borongan Eastern Samar

Her Q&A wasn’t that bad. I thought she gave an apt answer to the question even though she faltered a bit. It’s obvious that her performance there affected her overall placement. I thought she’d get one of the major titles if I’m being honest pegging her to win the Bb. Pilipinas-Intercontinental title.

Binibining Pilipinas Globe 2021: Maureen Montagne, Batangas

I really thought that Maureen would either win the International or the Grand International title so I was very surprised that she got Globe! It’s still a crown after all and she very much deserved a crown, regardless of the title! She was unstoppable last night!

Binibining Pilipinas Intercontinental 2021: Cinderella Fae Obeñita, Miss Cagayan de Oro – Misamis Oriental

As I’ve mentioned above, her gift of gab is her major strength that none of the girls probably expected! She was such a revelation and she should thank her lucky stars that she won the fan vote! Tonight was her destiny fulfilled!

Binibining Pilipinas Grand International 2021: Samantha Panlilio, Cavite

Samantha is definitely one of the best speakers in this batch and I was also on the lookout for her during the first few months of the competition but that excitement died down as the other girls started to peaked so I was very much surprised that she was named to follow suit Samantha Bernardo in Miss Grand International. Samantha reminded me of the Binibining Pilipinas-Universe prototypes of the early 2000’s. I’m excited to see her transformation on her quest to win the first ‘golden crown’ for the Philippines.

Binibining Pilipinas International 2021 – Hannah Arnold, Masbate

Binibining Pilipinas International 2021: With the Miss Universe pageant no longer affiliated with Binibini, Miss International takes center stage as the premier crown for the most prestigious pageant in the country! Hannah Arnold rightfully and deservedly won this major crown last night with her flawless performance emulating a doll and humble demeanor which the Japanese couldn’t seem to resist! She’d definitely do well in Japan later this year!

Overall, I am just in awe of the level of production, the girls, the hosts, the judges – they just set a new standard on how to stage a pageant in the new normal!

Congratulations, Binibining Pilipinas!

Watch the full show of the Binibining Pilipinas 2021 Grand Coronation Night on their official Youtube Channel.

All images are courtesy of Binibining Pilipinas Official Facebook Page.

AmiAmi English Twitter’s 10th Anniversary Campaign!!!

July 2021 is the start of AmiAmi English Twitter Account’s 10th year and they are giving away 10,000 AmiAmi Points (10,000JPY worth) to 10 lucky winners in a campaign draw! Below are the rules on how you can participate while the campaign is still running!

AmiAmi is one of my trusted online shop for anime figures and other merch, and if you haven’t read my review / tips on how to use their website, do read it here: Ordering Anime Figures from AmiAmi. Best of luck!

Review: Ordering Anime Figures from AmiAmi

I’ve ordered Anime figures from AmiAmi three times now, and I thought I’d let you know about my experience ordering from their website. First, you should know that AmiAmi actually has a physical store located in Akihabara, Tokyo, Japan.

Address: Akihabara Radio Kaikan F4, 1−15−16, Sotokanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 101-0021, Japan (source)

I’ve only been to Japan once and I never got to visit Tokyo so I really missed out visiting Akihabara in general but I found out about the store from friends who are fans of anime figures and have been ordering from amiami.com for a while now.

Being one of the  largest shops in Akihabara, they offer a lot of figures – brand new, on bargain sale, pre-owned, as well as pre-order items! Take note that their shop is separate from their online shop which may offer different rates!

My first online order with them was May of last year. I thought I’d try ordering four Nendoroid first. I’m a fan of Bungo Stray Dogs and I just couldn’t resist ordering the Osamu Dazai and Chuya Nakahara Nendoroid figures! I was so glad that the Good Smile Company decided to rerelease them and I got them with discounts from AmiAmi! Such a sweet deal!

The ordering process is easy. First, you go to their website: https://www.amiami.com/eng/ – this is the English version, and it’s also in Chinese. I didn’t create an account first, but once your check out – it’ll prompt you to create an account which is easy peasy too!

The website is very easy to navigate and is very straightforward. There is a category list which includes: Figures, Toys Categories, Scale Models, Character Goods, Book & Games and a lot more. And there is a ranking for New Products, Sale Items, w/AmiAmi bonus, Pre-Owned Items and Bishounen Items. I regularly check the Sale and Pre-Owned items haha!

I haven’t tried pre-ordering from them but they have an FAQ in case you’d like to try it yourself. Of the three instances (so far) I’ve order from them, I chose to combine the shipping of each order since they’re “In-stock.”

In ordering, all you need to do is add your chosen items to your cart and once you’re ready to check out, fill out the necessary information that includes your mode of payment, shipping method and contact information.

This page includes your mode of payment, and shipping method of your choice.

Above this page, you’d see your contact details, and the summary of your order.

The shipping fee  is yet to be determined once you placed your order because it all depends on the weight of the items and the size of the box they use, plus the courier of your choice too! As stated above, AmiAmi offers EMSDHLAir Small PacketSAL ParcelSAL Small Packet (registered, unregistered) and local courier for domestic delivery. You will be receiving the grand total of your order via email, where they will send your a link to complete your payment and you will actually have an option to change your choice of courier since it will also show you the rest of the fees for other shipping methods. So far, I’ve only tried EMS and DHL and all transactions went smoothly.

Also, once you order from them, you will be accruing points which will be credited to your account 17 days upon payment of your order. You can use your AmiAmi Points to pay for your orders. 1 AmiAmi Point can be used as 1 JPY (Japanese Yen). Customers can use their points when submitting payment for an order, from the payment screen. In case of orders shipped within Japan, AmiAmi Points can also be used when placing a new order.

Here’s my second order from them – a bunch of pre-owned Levi Ackerman’s figures!

And here’s my most recent order: a 1/8 scale figure of Izuku Midoriya, and five Nendoroid Easels!

For now, AmiAmi is definitely my number one go-to online store when it comes to Anime Figures along with Mandarake, Good Smile Company Global Website and of course, Amazon US and Japan! I think I need to explore more online stores but so far I’m very satisfied with these online shops. 

Nendoroid Doll and Obitsu 11cm Body Comparison!

Edit: I’ve just realized that the rest of the article I wrote about this topic was not fully uploaded when I visited my site this morning! I was so busy that I usually do auto-posts so imagine my horror when I saw that the full article I’ve been writing for so long was nowhere to be found.

I accidentally discovered the Nendoroid world last year when I was searching for some local Obitsu stuff sellers on Facebook and it led me to Nendo Farm – a group created by one of the local Nendoroid and Obitsu distributors in the Philippines.

As per its Wiki definition: The Nendoroid series is a brand of plastic figures created by the Japanese Good Smile Company in 2006. They typically depict characters from anime, manga or video games and are designed with a large head and smaller body to give them a cute appearance. Their faces and other body parts are exchangeable, giving them a range of different expressions and poses. The Nendoroid brand spans a variety of different products: the original 10 cm figures, smaller Nendoroid Petite figures, additional display tools known as the Nendoroid More series as well as plushies and play sets. Several video games have also been released based on Nendoroid designs.

In 2018, Good Smile Company introduced the Nendoroid Doll series which is a new addition to the Nendoroid series which features the same Nendoroid heads, but an alternate doll-like body that is highly articulated and can easily be dressed-up into different outfits while still remaining a palm-sized action figure!

Obitsu (doll) body meanwhile are a type of ball-jointed body manufactured by the company Parabox.

In this post, I am going to show you the comparison between a Nendoroid Doll body and an Obitsu doll body. See, you can actually use the Nendoroid heads to Obitsu 11cm bodies and resulting to a hybrid doll popularly known in the toy community as Obitsuroid!

In this photo you can see a male Nendoroid Doll body and an Obitsu 11CM body (non-gendered).

Nendoroid doll bodies comes with three different colors – cream, peach and cinnamon while Obitsu is more varied with its Whitey, Pure White, Natural (Fleshtone) and Pure Black color.

Their height is just about the same with the Obitsu body just a tad bit higher. They can usually share clothing although Obitsu tends to be a bit bigger.

One main advantage of the Nendoroid body though, is that it fits the Nendoroid head for obvious reason while there are a lot of techniques to make sure that the Obitsu body would be able to accommodate the Nendoroid Head. You can obviously see the difference on their neck connector.

UPDATED: Here’s a Nendoroid Doll of Deku celebrating the new year! He can actually stand on his own but it’d take a bit of time to achieve it. The Obitsu body may not be perfectly fit with the Nendoroid head but it could easily stand on its own.

As you can see, he’s perfectly perched on top of my luggage looking oh-so-cute!

Another thing is that Nendoroid body all comes with magnetic sole, while for Obitsu you can choose to buy with or without one.

This is a Nendoroid Doll: Boy Archetype.
And this one is the Natural Skin Color of an 11cm Obitsu Body.

They’re actually pretty enjoyable to play with, to display and to look at buy they could be very expensive. So, make sure to check them out at your favorite toy stores!

Please also note that this blog is reader-supported. When you buy through links on my site, I may earn an affiliate commission.

My First Book Depository Experience! (2019) – Free Book Delivery to the Philippines

I’ve been hearing a lot about Book Depository from friends (especially from Goodreads friends) for a few years now but I’ve never tried ordering from them. I loved books! I’ve reviewed a lot of ’em here and I loved reading ‘printed’ books with their smell, their feel in my hands – either old, second hand or brand new. There are not a lot of book stores in the Philippines so there are some titles that you really need to order / buy overseas.

Book Depository (previously The Book Depository) is a UK-based online book seller with a large catalogue offered with free shipping to over 160 countries. The store was founded by a former Amazon employee. In 2011 it was acquired by Amazon. (s)

The shipping fee is my biggest concern whenever I order online. It is because the post office here does not have standard guidelines when claiming packages (Actually they do but they don’t seem to follow it). There are horror stories that I’ve read about the post office peeps asking people to pay more or has the same price of the time that they are about to claim. What kind of BS is that, yeah?

And from my most recent experience (April 2018) when I won a book from an author in the US and had to pay PHP250 for me to claim a USD14.00 book. I asked what is it for and the guy from the post office told me that it was for custom duty. Ooookay… Nakakaloka talaga!

Anyway, Book Depository promises to deliver the books in your doorstep free so last Monday after some more procrastination, I finally decided to try ordering from the site. I ordered a couple of books just to try their service first.

First you have to create a Book Depository account through their website (obviously haha!) https://www.bookdepository.com and search the book you wanted to buy or you could simply browse their catalogue.

I ordered the movie tie-in edition of Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman and the first book of the THIRDS series Hell & High Water by Charlie Cochet last January 21, 2019 and you can see on the image below that they were dispatched at different dates. I actually emailed their support team about this and they said it is to avoid delay as they would need to get some books from separate warehouses or suppliers.

For now, it’s a waiting game for me and I wanted to see how true is their door to door delivery or if I will fall again to the hands of our ‘very dear’ local post office staff.

Update: February 6, 2019

After coming from our long holiday weekend, I found this on top my work desk. It looks like it was received by the local post office (Pasig) last Friday, January 1 and was delivered directly to my office address. Call Me By Your Name was the first book in my order that was initialy dispatched! It was well-packaged and totally brand new!

Upon checking the status of said order online, it was still under ‘Dispatched’ so I guess, there is no way for Book Depository to determine if the buyers have already received their books.

Now, I just have to wait for the other book I’ve ordered, Hell & High Water which was dispatched a day later after the first one.

Update: February 9, 2019

I’ve received my other order today and the stamp indicated that it was received by the Philippine Post Office in Pasay last February 5, 2019 (? – My address is in Ortigas Pasig).

The delivery time from when I clicked checked out on the website was about 18 calendar days – not bad at all! I am very impressed!

UPDATE: JANUARY 2020

I have this month-long e-mail exchange with Book Depository about my undelivered orders which they keep on trying to claim to replace but would go around in circles to avoid doing so. Bunch of thieves! Shame on you! Shame on you #Amazon, fucking thieves and liars!

And for the record, the books were ordered three months ago. They think, we shit money around here.

Miss Universe® 2018 : Meet the Preliminary and Final Telecast Judges!

The Miss Universe Organization just announced today the name of the all-female commitee who will determine the successor of Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters as the next Miss Universe. Both preliminary and final telecast will be judged by the same panel. They are:

Bui Simon/gettyimages

Porntip “Bui” Simon
Miss Universe 1988 from Thailand, founder of Angel Wings Foundation, which addresses the needs of Thailand’s young and vulnerable citizens with increased educational opportunities

Monique Lhuillier/gettyimages

Monique Lhuillier
World renowned bridal and fashion designer with creations worn by celebrated women including first ladies of the United States for more than two decades; member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America

Janaye Ingram/nydailynews

Janaye Ingram
Corporate executive, political grassroots organizer and founder of Women’s March, Inc.; 2017 Glamour Magazine Women of the Year along with her fellow Women’s March organizers; Miss New Jersey USA 2004
Michelle McLean: Returning to Bangkok, where she was crowned Miss Universe 1992 from Namibia, internationally recognized model and television presenter; Chairperson of the Michelle McLean Children Trust and Founding partner of the Business of Beauty

Iman Oubou/outremersbeyou.com

Iman Oubou
Moroccan-American entrepreneur, former pageant titleholder and founder of women’s digital platform SWAAY MEDIA; published scientist recently named as one of CIO Magazine’s 2018 “Female Entrepreneur’s to Watch” and awarded the first ever “Visage Du Maroc” of 2018, a new initiative uplifting female voices in Morocco and across the Middle East

Lili Gil Valletta/bizjournals.com

Lili Gil Valletta
Award-winning entrepreneur, co-founder and CEO of CulturIntel and CIEN+, TV business commentator and World Economic Forum Young Global Leader; O.S. Hispanic Businessperson of the Year; and 2018 Women of Excellence Award recipient, among others

Richelle Singson-Michael/LinkedIn

Richelle Singson-Michael
CEO of Platinum Skies Aviation and FinTech Casha.me; pioneering architect and Vice Chairwoman of the LCS Group of Companies, which led and oversaw the successful hosting of the 65th MISS UNIVERSE® in the Philippines

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!!!!

 

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.