This batch could easily rival the 2011 batch which I consider up to this day the best batch of national delegates from the last 10 years. Not even the 2013 Golden Batch, who happened to be the most winningest batch could rival it in my eyes but going back to this year’s edition, it has been a rather predictable year as the perceived frontrunners were easily catapulted to the top at the end of the rather grueling six hours finals night last April 30!
I absolutely love the stage design this year. It’s still minimal but I thought it looks more sophisticated than the set-up from the previous editions.
I thought Xian Lim’s much steadier now compared to his first stint. Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach on the other hand was a bit of a letdown. Don’t get me wrong tho, I loved Kween P but she could’ve work the crowd more on and off the cam. Mostly, she was just reading the prompter. She looks absolutely smashing though! Segment host Venus Raj meanwhile was a delight to watch – she who started it all – will always have a special place in pageant fans’ hearts. She’s a fantastic segment host and I hope that we’d see more of her hosting big events like this.
Awarding of Special Awards
There are two set of special awards given before the first cut and before the Top 15 Q&A. It was fast-paced which I liked very much. As for the awardees, I can’t say I was that surprised saved for two awards –the Photogenic award which I thought is already locked for Katarina Rodriguez and the Miss Philippine Airlines to Charmaine Elima.
Best in Swimsuit – Binibini 19 Rachel Peters
Best in Long Gown – Binibini 15 Maria Angelica De Leon
Miss Philippine Airlines – Binibini 31 Katarina Rodriguez
Miss Creamsilk – Binibini 15 Maria Angelica De Leon
Bb. Friendship: Bb. 22 Chanel Olive Thomas
Face of Binibini (Miss Photogenic): Bb. 19 Rachel Peters
Miss Talent : Bb. 1 Dane Marasigan
Best National Costume : Bb. 22 Chanel Thomas
Miss JAG : Bb. 19 Rachel Peters
The First Cut: The Top 25
The first cut was not that surprising as well saved for a few Binibinis expected by pageant aficionados to moved forward but end up as mere clappers. They are Angelique De Leon, Dindi Pajares and Jamaica Ambal. I’m real sad for Angelique because this was her last hurrah to Binibini as she’s already 27 and ineligible to join again.
It was the swimsuit round and If I’m being honest, I didn’t really like the design of their swimsuits. I thought the ones used during the press presentation are more flattering.
Singers JayR, Kris Lawrence and some ABS-CBN’s newbies provided the background music during this segment.
The standouts for me during this round are Rachel Peters, Sirene Sutton and Charmaine Elima.
Evening Gown Competition
Gone are the days when the Binibinis had to wear evening gowns from Cumbia. Them 25 who strutted their to-die-for evening gowns are just a vision on stage. Filipino designers are pure genius!
Dane Felise Marasigan was a vision in yellow so I was slightly disappointed that she didn’t make the top 15.
Rachel Peters was channeling MJ Lastimosa and I just loved it!
Mariel De Leon was perfection to the brim during this segment. No wonder she won this part of the competition.
My sentimental favorite Charmaine Elima looks ethereal in a shimmering white gown!
Top 15 Deciding Question and Answer Segment
I actually loved this format but I just hope the audience weren’t that unruly because most of the time, I couldn’t hear the question asked by the judges. My heart just goes out for Sirene Sutton during this segment. The girl was hella nervous and it showed on her non-answer answer. Those who gave the passable to best answers were declared the winners f the night so Q&A was obviously given a lot of points this year.
Second Runner-up: Kristel Guelos.
Nobody expected Kristel to make it this far but she must have been a really good performer in the eyes of the judges that she ended up usurping much favored candidates to garner the second runner-up award.
First Runner-up: Charmaine Elima.
She was a heavy favorite to win the top plum but her Achilles heel rears up its ugly head when it matters most. She’s improved tons but she still needs to practice to be more articulate. Her way of answering reminds me so much of Venus Raj during her pageant days. I think she could easily improve on this factor because she’s a smart lady based on her answer. She couldn’t just articulate her thoughts that well. A first runner-up finish was an upgrade tho and I thought this was a nod from the organization itself because they could easily bestowed her a minor crown but they decided to give her another chance at snatching that elusive Miss Universe Philippines crown.
The Queens of 2017!
Binibining Pilipinas Globe – Nelda Ibe
She was very much underrated on so many pageant hot picks but her name keeps on popping up every now and then. She delivered well and she’s very much deserving of a crown!
Binibining Pilipinas Intercontinental – Katarina Rodriguez
She was touted to be the face of the competition and her showing during the evening gown and the question and answer portion sealed her win. A couple of days after the competition, she’s got some hang ups whether to accept the crown or not which I thought was a bit disconcerting because she’s obviously gunning for the Miss Universe Philippines crown. It’s a good thing everything’s finally settled and she’s (hopefully) happy with her title. She could be the country’s first Miss Intercontinental winner.
Binibining Pilipinas Grand International – Elizabeth Clenci
One word – Classy. Voila! A Crown!
Binibining Pilipinas Supranational – Chanel Olive Thomas
I loved her! She was so charming during the finals night. She’s a sure win the moment she almost stumbled in the evening gown competition. This girl is gonna go places!
Binibining Pilipinas International – Ma. Angelica De Leon
The daughter of celebrities Christopher De Leon and Sandy Andolong has now a brand of her own. She and Rachel were neck and neck for the top plum but she was deemed by the judges to succeed reigning Miss International Kylie Versoza. I’ve no problem with her placement.
Miss Universe Philippines – Rachel Peters
She’s probably the first representative of the Philippines in years that could compete right away without so much transformation or training. She’s a complete package already. She’s Miss Universe waiting to be crown. I mean, she was faultless during the pageant night and she looks really sincere when her name was called despite the fact that the rest of Araneta that night was chanting her number. Let me tell you, this girl is so going to bring home our fourth Miss Universe crown!
It was a fun night. A bit annoying because of the delay during the announcement of winners but it was so worth it. Team Philippines is ready to slay this year!