Category Archives: Celebrities

Binbining Pilipinas 2019 Review: Winners, Heartbreaks and Vindication!

I was not able to closely follow this edition like the previous year because I’ve been so busy with work so I pretty much got my updates through social media and from my pageant-fanatic friends. A week and a half leading to the coronation night, I decided to watch most of their videos, check out their photos and even visited forums to come up with my top favorites and below are the My top 10 favorites based on everything I’ve seen and read about them.

1. Vickie Rushton
2. Gazini Ganados
3. Samantha Lo
4. Aya Abesamis
5. Leren Mae Bautista
6. Emma Tiglao
7. Patch Magtanong
8. Julia Saubier
9. Hannah Arnold
10. Samantha Bernardo

The Coronation Night AKA In partnership of Miss Universe Philippines and Binibining Pilipinas *rolls eyes*

The Stage, Opening Number and Segments Productions:
I absolutely loved the very Pinoy theme of the opening number with its own song, Raise Your Flag inspired by Catriona’s answer during the Miss Universe 2018. I loved the vibrant lighting of the stage and the very simple stage design, but from afar,- it looks a bit dark.

The introduciton where the girls are wearing all-white looks really good with the Philippine Flag on the LCD behind them.

Host Richard Guttierez and Anne Curtis are back as this year’s main hosts while Binibining Pilipinas – Grand International 2015 Nicole Cordoves serves as the segment host and she was just fantastic as usual!

Richard somehow redeemed himself here after receiving flock from his 2018 gig. He was more relaxed , though he forgot Leren Mae during the Q&A but it was easily edited on TV so all’s good.

Anne meanwhile was such a joy to watch! She’s very professional and very charming at the same time! I’d love to see her comeback next year!

What’s so prominent about this edition is its pacing! From the first cut up to the question and answer, everything was done quicky. I was also checking Facebook and Twitter while inside the Big Dome and learned that the live audience were just a segment ahead of the telecast!

Swimsuit and Evening Gown Competition:

For the swimsuit round, a reggae band played while the top 25 sashayed with their blue swimwears. The girls were given a choice to don either one-piece or two-piece swimsuits – Binibining Bataan, Bea Patricia Magtanong surprisingly end up topping this round of the competition. My personal pick during this round was Emma Tiglao from Pampanga.

The evening gown portion was another thing – that segment was just mesmerizing! I loved this presentation better than last year’s. There are a lot of standout gowns here that it’s anybody’s ballgame but it probably boiled down to presentation with eventual Miss Universe Philippines winner Gazini Ganados from Talisay, Cebu nailing it from head to toe to that alluring smile! Her aviary-inspired Cary Santiago gown was to die for! My favorites here are Gazini, Aya Abesamis and Samantha Lo.

Face of Binibini
This is one of the three major awards given that night and I really thought that this was locked for Vickie who earlier in the night amassed the majority of awards from the pageant’s sponsors so what a pleasant surprised it was when Gazini snatched it, looking very surprised herself.

The Farewell Walks of the 2018 Queens!
The 2018 Queens did really well internationally with the obvious ring leader, the reigning Miss Universe Catriona Gray getting the spotlight in the said segment. I loved her speech after her AVP, though a bit long it was really a touching moment. She really is a one in a million queen!

What I was hoping to happen in this segment though was a little more acknowledgment to Karen Gallman who made history as well as the country’s first Miss Intercontinental winner. The five girls farewell messaged and final walks felt like mere afterthought compared with Queen Cat.

Announcement of Winners!

Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray crowning Miss Universe Philippines 2019 Gazini Ganados of Talisay, Cebu.
(photos via normanorman)

The New Miss Universe Philippines 2019!
Gazini Christiana Jordan Ganados made her mark at the latter part of the coronation when she sashay on the stage with her Cary Santiago neon pink evening gown. She was just breathtaking during her turn stealing the thunder from the night’s favorite, Vicky Rushton who strut after her. Her pasarela wasn’t the strongest but nobody could deny that face! Her Best in Evening Gown and Face of the Binibini (Miss Photogenic) awards are truly well-deserved wins! She may not be a Catriona during the Q&A but she was charming and had grace under pressure. Even if some would argue that her answer isn’t the best, it is undeniable that she was the most mesmerizing ensuring the top plum for Talisay City, Cebu!

The Pride of Bataan is going International!
Patch is one of the most hyped contestants this edition and for a lot of good reasons – statuesque beauty, impressive credentials and good communication skills. Everyone inside the coliseum knew that after she delivered a very convincing answer during the Q&A, she would end up winning one of the crowns. Some fans were disappointed that she “only” nabbed the Binibining Pilipinas – International title but I honestly feel that she’d do well in the Japanese-based pageant and may end up winning it all. It’s also clear that Gazini outperformed her all throughout the night so she should be thanking her lucky stars that she even end up second in ranking with other girls like Lo, Tiglao and Saeed trailing behind fiercely.

Resham is now on my radar!
Resham Saeed isn’t even on my radar prior to the finals night. I’ve seen her free-speech delivery and was duly impressed by it but I was blinded by the early frontrunners to pay her a glance or two. Lo and behold though, the girl cemented her status as a crown-worthy contender with her saltry Swimsuit catwalk and gift of gab. She may need more polishing and better styling but that’s what Binibini is there for and I’m pretty sure she’d be explosive come Miss Supranational in Poland later this year.

Samantha Lo is a Miss Universe Philippines in the making but…
This was Samantha’s first national pageant and she made it all the way to the winners’ circle by clinching the Binibining Pilipinas – Grand International title. I’m still not sure how to feel about her winning the said title but given Samantha’s assertiveness, I know that she’d be fighting hard and will represent our country well in Venezuela later this year. It’s a shame that the owner of her international assignment had an on-going beef with Filipino pageant fans and is seemingly on a revenge mode. And doing his pageant in Venezuela? What the hell was he thinking?!

Enough of that for now, this is about Samantha so I’d just like to say how impressive her performance was during the finals. She was so-so during the swimsuit round but she was definitely one of the best during the evening gown portion of the competition. Her pink evening gown with a black silthouette accentuated her boxy (no pun intended) body and looks every inch like the queen she is. And of course, it is without question that she provided the best answer during the Q&A – it must have been a very difficult deliberation for the judges!

Had her fellow Cebuana Gazini not perform explosively and charmed the whole of Araneta, she’d definitely be a good alternative too!

The Vindication of Emma Tiglao!
Emma’s biggest waterloo during her Miss World Philippines and first Binibining Pilipinas stints was the question and answer rounds. These girls are smart but some aren’t just as spontaneous and this is where Emma keeps on falling short so it was with relief that she was able to sail through the Q&A like a boss and finally able to bagged a national crown! She was flawless throughout the night and I really thought that she’d be be sent to Miss International or Miss Supranational but I guess, SMA wanted a back-to-back crowning in Miss Intercontinental and Emma’s sheer beauty is an ace that could do that.

Leren Mae Bautista Barely Made it…
Leren is one of the girls pegged as the possible Miss Universe Philippines crown successors going into the compeition. Her exotic look was glaring throughout the night making her a possible contender for the top crown. For the Q&A, despite being one of the girls considered to be good communicators, she was just mediocre to say the least. Her beauty and presentation definitely leave a mark to the judges enough for her to creep into the winners’ circle.

Aya’s One Big Moment
Despite not getting one of the ‘coveted’ six titles, Maria Andrea Verdadero Abesamis will always be remembered as a fighter after vindicating herself from her last year’s unsuccessful bid for a crown. Aya came back more polished. She was vibrant on stage and even channeled her Mother Desiree when she competed for the Miss Universe 1984 during the Evening Gown competition. Her readiness was evident last Sunday and although she fell short on clinching a title, her runner-up finish is still a good note to end her pageant career! She should be proud of herself for it must be very difficult doing this all over again!

Samantha’s Sorrow…
Samantha Mae Bernardo made have finished with a runner-up title but it’s probably a bittersweet moment for her since she also garnered the same placing at last year’s Binibining Pilipinas edition. Many thought that she did well but she probably just fell short on getting a few more votes from the judges to get a title. If it’s any consolation, she still have another chance next year to clinch a title as she’s still qualified age-wise. She just have to remember that Pia had to join thrice and even went home empty handed on her second try and had to work hard on her journey to win the Miss Universe crown. I’ve a feeling that this isn’t the end for Samantha’s pageant journey – I just hope that she’d keep it

The Heartbreaking Exclusion of a Fan Favorite!
Last year’s 1st Runner-up Vickie Rushton is one of the fan favorites and frontrunners leading up to last night’s finals. She was on her way to nab one of the crowns, if not the top plum until the dreaded Q & A got to her. She was asked why mental health is as important as physical health. She already started wobbly and was about to recover until the live audience (unheard through the TV) started jeering and the girl who’s perceived to be THE ONE TO BEAT all night long lost her train of thoughts and regrettably resigned to the inevitable.

I was really hoping that she’d do a Karen Gallman and still end up winning one of the crowns, alas, the judges deemed the other girls answers too strong for them to spare her a title. It was just heartbreaking to see her defeated expression after her turn in the Q&A portion. Online sources are stating that she’s already 27 thus overage to join again next year, but for now I hope she finds time to rest and be with the people who loves and supports her. And I also hope that people will stop shaming her for her Q&A performance because I could only guess how difficult it is to be in her position last Sunday.

Conclusion:
Overall, I can say that this is one of the best Binibining Pilipinas editions I’ve watched to date. The pacing was way better, the hosts are great in general and the quality of the contestants are some of the best we’ve had in years – I’d say that this is the most competitive edition in the last five years. Although the pre-pageant took months due to the Miss Universe Philippines franchise hoopla, we’re still treated with a surprisingly amazing show. Camera-works was still a missed at some parts but overall, it was a well-delivered show. Kudos to ABS-CBN and to Binibining Pilipinas Organization for bringing us another awesome edition of the most beautiful night in the Philippines!

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Quick Post: My 2019 Oscars Predictions!

I am sharing to you what I’ve submitted to this year’s Pinoy Exchange Oscars Prediction Pool!

Best Picture – Roma

Best Director – Alfonso Cuaron, Roma

Best Actress – Glenn Close, The Wife

Best Actor – Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody

Best Supporting Actress – Amy Adams, Vice

Best Supporting Actor – Mahershala Ali, Green Book

Best Original Screenplay – Roma

Best Adapted Screenplay – BlacKkKlansman

Best Animated Feature – Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Best Foreign Language Film – Roma

Best Documentary – RBG

Best Film Editing – Vice

Best Original Score – Mary Poppins Returns – Marc Shaiman

Best Original Song – Shallow, A Star is Born

Best Cinematography – Roma

Best Visual Effects – Black Panther

Best Sound Editing – A Quiet Place

Best Sound Mixing – Bohemian Rhapsody

Best Production Design – The Favourite

Best Makeup and Hairstyling – Vice

Best Costume Design – The Favourite

Best Documentary Short Subject – Black Sheep

Best Live Action Short Film – Mother

Best Animated Short Film – Bao

Complete List of Nominees for Oscars 2019

Best Picture
“BlacKkKlansman”
“Black Panther”
“Bohemian Rhapsody”
“The Favourite”
“Green Book”
“Roma”
“A Star Is Born”
“Vice”

Best Director
Alfonso Cuarón, “Roma”
Spike Lee, “BlacKkKlansman”
Adam McKay, “Vice”
Pawel Pawlikowski, “Cold War”
Yorgos Lanthimos, “The Favourite”

Best Actor
Christian Bale, “Vice”
Bradley Cooper, “A Star Is Born”
Willem Dafoe, “At Eternity’s Gate”
Rami Malek, “Bohemian Rhapsody”
Viggo Mortensen, “Green Book”

Best Actress
Yalitza Aparicio, “Roma”
Glenn Close, “The Wife”
Olivia Colman, “The Favourite”
Lady Gaga, “A Star Is Born”
Melissa McCarthy, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”

Best Supporting Actor
Mahershala Ali, “Green Book”
Adam Driver, “BlacKkKlansman”
Sam Elliott, “A Star Is Born”
Richard E. Grant, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”
Sam Rockwell, “Vice”

Best Supporting Actress
Amy Adams, “Vice
Marina de Tavira, “Roma”
Regina King, “If Beale Street Could Talk”
Emma Stone, “The Favourite”
Rachel Weisz, “The Favourite”

Best Adapted Screenplay
“The Ballad of Buster Scruggs” (Joel Coen , Ethan Coen)
“BlacKkKlansman” (Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz, Kevin Willmott, Spike Lee)
“Can You Ever Forgive Me?” (Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty)
“If Beale Street Could Talk” (Barry Jenkins)
“A Star Is Born” (Eric Roth, Bradley Cooper, Will Fetters)

Best Original Screenplay
“The Favourite,” Deborah Davis, Tony McNamara
“First Reformed,” Paul Schrader
“Green Book,” Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie, Peter Farrelly
“Roma,” Alfonso Cuarón
“Vice,” Adam McKay

Best Foreign Language Film
Capernaum (Lebanon)
Cold War (Poland)
Never Look Away (Germany)
Roma (Mexico)
Shoplifters (Japan)

Best Production Design
Black Panther
The Favourite
First Man
Mary Poppins Returns
Roma

Best Costume Design
“The Ballad of Buster Scruggs”
“Black Panther”
“The Favourite”
“Mary Poppins Returns”
“Mary Queen of Scots”

Best Make Up & Hairstyling
Border
Mary Queen of Scots
Vice

Best Cinematography
Cold War
The Favourite
Never Look Away
Roma
A Star is Born

Best Sound Editing
“Black Panther”
“Bohemian Rhapsody”
“First Man”
“A Quiet Place”
“Roma”

Best Visual Effects
Avengers: Infinity War
Christopher Robin
First Man
Ready Player One
Solo: A Star Wars Story

Best Sound Mixing
“Black Panther”
“Bohemian Rhapsody”
“First Man”
“Roma”
“A Star Is Born”

Best Original Score
“Black Panther”
“BlacKkKlansman”
“If Beale Street Could Talk”
“Isle of Dogs”
“Mary Poppins Returns”

Best Animated Short
“Animal Behavior”
“Bao”
“Late Afternoon”
“One Small Step”
“Weekends”

Best Animated Feature
Incredibles 2
Isle of Dogs
Mirai
Ralph Breaks the Internet
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Best Original Song
All The Stars
I’ll Fight
The Place Where Lost Things Go
Shallow
When A Cowboy Trades His Spurs For Wings

Best Live Action Short
“Detainment”
“Fauve”
“Marguerite”
“Mother”
“Skin”

Best Film Editing
“BlacKkKlansman”
“Bohemian Rhapsody”
“The Favourite”
“Green Book”
“Vice”

My 2019 Oscar Nominations Predictions!

It’s that time of the year again people, the Oscar season is officially on as the nominees for the 91st Academy Awards are set be announced tomorrow! So without further ado, let me to tell you about my predictions for this year’s Oscars nominees!

Best Picture
1. Roma
2. A Star is Born
3. If Beale Street Could Talk
4. Green Book
5. The Favourite
6. BlacKkKlansman
7. Black Panther
8. Vice
9. Bohemian Rhapsody

I would’ve picked only 7 films for this category but I added Vice and Bohemian Rhapsody. The latter is due to the fact that it went on to become the highest-grossing musical biographical film of all-time and with Rami Malek racking up six Best Actor awards as of press time. Vice on the hand is one of the critics’ favorites from last year despite tanking at the box office.

Best Director
1. Alfonso Cuaron, Roma
2. Bradley Cooper, A Star is Born
3. Yorgos Lanthimos, The Favourite
4. Spike Lee, BlacKkKlansman
5. Marielle Heller, Can You Ever Forgive Me?

This is an easy pick for me but I put Heller’s name into the mix because I feel like she deserved some sort of recognition for her work along with Melissa McCarthy and Richard E. Grant.

Best Actor
1. Bradley Cooper, A Star is Born
2. Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody
3. Christian Bale, Vice
4. Viggo Mortensen, Green Book
5. Ethan Hawke, First Reformed

This looks like a pretty solid line-up for me but if there’s someone who could usurp Ethan Hawke spot, it would be Luca Hedges for Boy Erased.

Best Actress
1. Glenn Close, The Wife
2. Lady Gaga, A Star is Born
3. Olivia Colman, The Favourite
4. Melissa McCarthy, Can You Ever Forgive Me?
5. Emily Blunt, Mary Poppins Returns

My rank 1-4 are pretty much locked for this category. At first, I picked First Man’s Claire Foy but Emily Blunt’s name last year made some serious buzz so she may just complete the 5th spot. Viola Davis could also pose some serious mixed-up for this race but for now, I thought it’s just pure hype. I also didn’t include Yalitza Aparicio because I feel that she came in late in the competition.

Best Supporting Actor
1. Timothée Chalamet, Beautiful Boy
2. Mahershala Ali, Green Book
3. Richard E. Grant, Can You Ever Forgive Me?
4. Sam Elliott, A Star is Born
5. Adam Driver, BlacKkKlansman

This is pretty much my top 5 for the Supporting Actor category.

Best Supporting Actress
1. Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk
2. Rachel Weisz, The Favourite
3. Emma Stone, The Favourite
4. Margot Robbie, Mary Queen of Scots
5. Amy Adams – Vice

This category is a bit tricky because The Favourite’s stars Emma and Rachel are both in my list which I thought are rightfully deserved spot for them but I feel that only one of them will get the nod and I’m leaning towards Rachel Weisz.

Best Animated Feature
1. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
2. Incredibles 2
3. The Grinch
4. Ralph Breaks the Internet
5. Isle of Dogs

I feel that Isle of Dogs has a much stronger campaign than Mirai so there ya go.

Best Film Editing
1. Roma
2. BlacKkKlansman
3. Black Panther
4. Vice
5. Green Book

This was an easy-peasy category for me – another solid top 5.

Best Visual Effects
1. Black Panther
2. Mary Poppins Returns
3. Solo: A Star Wars Story
4. Ready Player One
5. First Man

Best Original Song
1. Shallow, A Star is Born
2. Revelation, Boy Erased
3. The Place Where Lost Things Go, Mary Poppins Returns
4. I’ll Fight, RBG
5. All The Stars, Black Panther

This is just between Shallow and I’ll Fight to be honest.

I won’t be posting the rest of the categories as this was the same predictions I’ve submitted at 8th Pinoy Exhange Guess The Oscar Nominees Game!

ICYMI: Catriona Gray on the cover of PeopleAsia Magazine – January 2019

You can now buy your own copy of Catriona Gray’s first printed magazine cover as Miss Universe through PeopleAsia’s Special Collector’s Issue this month.

The inside stories will include her preparation for the pageant, her thoughts and analysis on why she won and PeopleAsia’s front-view observation during the coronation night!

This collector’s issue will also feature Catriona’s long-time collaborator – the Kapampangan designer Mak Tumang and our three previous Misses Universe – Pia Wurtzbach (2015), Margie Moran (1973) and Gloria Diaz (1969).

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, 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?

Newest Kapamilya Regine Velasquez’ Message to her Bashers!

Newest Kapamilya Asia’s Songbird Regine Velasquez- Alcasid has had enough of netizens bashing her, her hubby and her son Nate. Velasquez shared her feelings towards her bashers via Instagram that says:

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.”

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!