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!

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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!

Asia’s Next Top Model Cycle 6 Episode 7 Recap!

Tonight’s episode was pretty predictable. We’ve all seen it coming especially after Jachin’s shocking elimination last week. But what I find surprising is that Dana whom I thought should’ve gone home two episodes ago is still very much alive in the competition and even got the first call out this week! 🤔

I’m not a hater but I thought she is the weakest model amongst the Top 8 back when Han was still in the house, mind you.

Dana works her magic with the judges again!

Now this is a ‘Larger Than Life’ shot. This is perfection no matter how you look at it. Beauty is in it to win it!

This is my favorite shot of Pink to date! That face is simply arresting!

I do not think this is Adela’s best shot. She looks super short here.

Nah – this isn’t really working for Mia. Clearly, she is a top 3 material but it looks like she’s losing steam!

Bye Beautiful Vy ❤

Asia’s Next Top Model Cycle 6 Episode 6 Recap!

Everything just crashed – Jachin

Spoiler Alert!

Spoiler Alert!

Spoiler Alert!

Homegirl Jach just got axed from the competition!!! Really, I thought it was a joke but it isn’t. They seriously just booted Jach from the competition!!! I mean, I’m not exactly a fan of Jach’s personality but I thought she was one of the strongest models in the house!!!

On to the episode…
Challenge winner is the white team which has Adela, Jach, Dana and Beauty in it. No scores were revealed.

The shoot this week was another one with a partner but this time, they will be posing with their mentors – Shikin, Monika and Tu.

First Call Out: Beauty (28.0)‎ – This is Beauty’s second best photo in the competition and it is a well-deserved one!

2nd: Dana (26.5)‎ – I am still at a loss how Dana was able to surpassed the likes of Han, Jach and Rubi. She’s so unremarkable.

3rd: Adela (25.8)‎ – This isn’t Adela’s best photo to date, IMO but this is heaps better than that monstrosity that the judges picked for her last week.

4th: Mia (25.5)‎ – I actually loved this film and she owned this picture!!! It kind of reminds me of that Little India shoot from Cycle 1, was it?

5th: Pim (22.0) – Obviously a favorite of the judges. Pim’s got a very strong chance to win this thing if only she’d listen and stop bitching.

Bottom Two: Jach and Vy‎ – Now if you’re going to tell me that Vy will advance into the competition at the expense of Jachin, I wouldn’t believe you and I’d call BS. Alas, the judges saw Jach’s weakness. Now, she’s got 20% chances to win (which means she’s never gonna win this) the whole thing given that she’d be chosen to comeback.

6th: Vy (21.5)‎ – This is a very weak picture and the worst in the whole of competition if I’m being honest.

Eliminated: Jach (19.5)‎ – She dug her own grave. Buh-bye, Sis! 🙋🇵🇭

ICYMI: New Release from Brad Boney – Brothers Across Time

I am a massive fan of Brad Boney and I’ve read (and reviewed) all of his published books so far – The Nothingness of Ben, The Return, The Eskimo Slugger, Yes – and enjoyed each one tremendously!

Brothers Across Time is a sweeping saga of family and friendship that spans four centuries, three love stories, two generations—with one unassuming but kick-ass gondola…

Over three years after the release of Yes, Brad is back with another story that will surely render his avid fans (yet again) in awe of his talent and captivate new readers with his heartwarming/wrenching storytelling with absolutely memorable characters!

Tony Bass longs for an adventure, and on a sleepless night in 1997, fate is about to deliver. His random encounter with twin brothers at first seems unremarkable, since it takes more than period costumes to stand out in Austin, Texas. When pressed for an explanation, the twins make an astonishing confession. They have traveled across time from sixteenth-century Venice.

Once Tony learns their enchanted gondola goes both ways, he convinces his brother Frank to take a vacation to 1590. There, Tony meets the beautiful and enigmatic Isabella, the daughter of a Venetian senator. But what begins as an innocent flirtation ends in crisis when Isabella gives birth to twin sons. The boys must be separated and raised in different centuries.

Eighteen years later, an American teenager boards the gondola and returns to the past to find his brother. While a struggling young man in old-world Padua embraces an unexpected future, which might just include romance with a handsome stranger.

I am still in the process of writing my review so do watch out for it but let me tell you right now that I absolutely loved it!!!

You can buy you copy in the Amazon Link below:

AMAZON BUY LINK: BROTHERS ACROSS TIME

About The Author
Brad Boney lives in Austin, Texas, the 7th gayest city in America. He grew up in the Midwest and went to school at NYU. He lived in Washington, DC and Houston before settling in Austin. He blames his background in the theater for his writing style, which he calls “dialogue and stage directions.” His first book was named a Lambda Literary Award finalist. He believes the greatest romantic comedy of all time is ’50 First Dates’. His favorite gay film of the last ten years is ‘Strapped’. And he has never met a boy band he didn’t like.

Film Review: Searching (2018)

At the beginning of the film, we were introduced to David Kim’s family through a montage sets the mood of the film. It makes you root for this family. For this father who lost his wife to cancer and for the daughter that was left behind.

And when said daughter has gone missing, David tried every avenue to locate her including tracking her daughter’s online footprints and this is where the film got that thriller film that it’s almost maniacal at times, like your solving the case with David. I enjoyed Aneesh Shaganty’s way of telling the story via the screens of each gadget used in the film. This is how you make use of these ‘millennial’ stuff properly in a movie, if I may say so.

It is like a puzzle or a computer game with levels-up and it makes you thoroughly involved in it. I know I was trying to guess a twist midway through the film and it actually did not disappoint. It was a bit debatable but it feels new, it feels fresh. It helps that by this time, you’d already be emotionally invested.

Searching is masterfully crafted in a way that the technologies that shared the focal point of the film were balanced out by the sheer emotion behind the main story line. I’d definitely recommend this film especially if you’re looking for a good thriller with modern twists.

Director: Aneesh Shaganty
Cast: John Cho, Debra Messing, Michelle La

The film had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on January 21, 2018.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Asia’s Next Top Model Cycle 6 Episode 5 Recap!

Do not talk about me like that. Do not twist my words – Han

It’s another episode and another day of drama! 😂 Surprisingly, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed watching it! Here, we see there’s a whole plethora of characters we could dissect.

Han has finally found her voice! Like literally! During the challenge she was one of the most radiant ones and even got a high score from it.

The challenge this week was a screen test for a beauty product. Not surprisingly, Adela won! Listen, this girl is definitely the biggest threat in the competition because she knows how to use her cards well.

Pim and Vy bombed for two different reasons. Pim for being complacent (napping before her shoot) and Vy – well, the language barrier just hinder her progress in the competition.

After the challenge, the girls had a heart to heart convo in their dining area.

Cueu drama SFX.😂 🎬

Now, we’ve got the Thai girls in the hosue – Dana and Pim. If you’ve been observant enough, you’d realized that they’re the one with the most animosity towards Mia. They’re a couple backstabbers, is what I’m saying. I mean, I get it. This is a competition. Based on what I’ve seen so far though, they really are the fake ones. See, Pim initiated the convo this week about being honest and shit *rolls eyes* and remember the incident about Mia’s diary when she uses Jesselyn as her pawn to castigate Mia? Ugh. Pim, I can totally see what you’re doing there. 😌

Then there’s Dana. Forgettable Dana. Oh, she got the best photo this week and I don’t even remember it. Really, I don’t hate her as a model. I just think she’s forgettable and fake as hell. All the side eye and eye-rolling towards Mia. It was so off-putting.

Don’t get me wrong though, I do not think Mia is Mother Teresa and shit. If I were to describe her, I’d say she’s cunning. She doesn’t let her emotions take over her goal in this competition – TO WIN. And she’ve done this before (Austria’s Next Top Model Cycle 7), so as Adela (Philippines’ Next Top Model Cycle 2) so they do know how to play this game. She and Adela are on to something. I won’t even be surprised if they end up in the final two.

The shoot this week wasnt that spectacular. It was a beauty shoot and I do think that they intentionally chose the worst picture of the girls save for the girl/s they wanted to put the spotlight on in the coming weeks – ahem, that is YOU Forgettable Dana.

It was altogether another interesting episode. I didn’t like that Han left before Dana or Vy but I guess, her effort was just too little too late to make it up in the eyes of the judges.

Call-Out Order
First Call Out: Dana
Jach
Vy
Adela
Pim
Beauty
Bottom Two: Mia and Han
Eliminated: Han

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.

Asia’s Next Top Model Cycle 6 Episode 4 Recap!

What can I say? I’m beauty and brains. – Adela

This is by far my favorite episode of the season. Things are shaping up a little bit from here where we see the ones most likely to face the chopping block in the coming weeks.

The rest of the girls went back to the house sans Jesslyn and you can pretty much feel the awkwardness between the “Loud Girls” and Mia. I honestly don’t get the hate towards Mia. I mean, so far she’s doing what she’s supposed to do in the competition. If anything, the “Loud Girls” AKA “Mean Girls” are the one instigating the drama against her which Pim started, FYI. I’m kind of quoting Kween Jade of ANTM here – this isn’t Asia’s Next Top Best Friend. It’s a competition ya’ll and so far, I’m not getting the “evil” edit these girls are trying to pin down on Mia.

Their challenge this week is a Rhythm Cycling Challenge. They were paired in a group of three where they will choreograph a routine and showcase their…well, rhythm. lol

Adela, Jach and Mia ended up winning this and they totally slayed that choreo!
I didn’t like Vy’s attitude here. She’s not very cooperative and she seems to get easily annoyed. I’ve a feeling that this attitude of hers would be her downfall.

The brief for this week’s shoot is for the girls to show their ugly-pretty face while posing with a partner inside a boxing ring. Mia was given the privilege to choose her partner for the shoot which raised the hackles of some of the girls like Adela, Jachin and Dana. Dana was absolutely livid when she was eventually chosen by Mia because she apparently “has good energy” during her initial shoot with Vy. Yeah right, but clever moves Mia! You Go girl! LOL

***

Okay, so my livestream got cut off while watching the episode and I decided to watch 1922 on Netflix instead. Lol. Anyway, it looks like the “quiet girls” are on a roll with ‘them’ getting the top 3 spot this week!

They were shot in pairs again (what’s up with this couple shoots anyway?) I’m guessing a beauty shoot real soon, hopefully a solo beauty shoot!

Adela the mother hen (kidding!) Definitely the one you’d most likely get advise from, lead the pack this week with a stunning photo that kinda reminded me of ANTM Cycle 15’s La Lucha Va Voom shoot with eventual winner Ann Ward getting the FCO (nostalgia, nostalgia…)

First Call Out: Adela

As you can see, Adela looks smashing here! Vy’s not to be left behind but due to her poor challenge score, she was relagated to the 8th place.


Mia’s second best photo is a well-deserved one. You have to wonder why everyone’s seems to be wary of her? What are the things the editors and producers aren’t showing the viewers that the girls are so bothered (threatened) about her presence???

This 3rd best photo from Beauty is absolutely stunning! She’s killing it!

I am not a fan of Pim & Jachin’s photo. I find it too bland.

Remove either one of them from the photo and it’d be a perfect shot. I still think they made the right choice of getting rid of Rubini. IMO, Han is more current that Rubini.

*Will update the recap once I get to watch the rest of the episode. Photos from Asia’s Next Top Model/ Facebook.