Binibining Pilipinas 2018 Specials: Meeting The Press

Earlier today, the 40 hopefuls of Binibining Pilipinas had their press presentation showing off their bikini bodies and great personalities while sashaying the stage mounted at the Novotel Manila Araneta Center.

Amongst the 40 candidates, these are the 10 ladies who made an impression on me upon seeing their pictures and videos!

(L-R: Vicky Rushton, Catriona Gray, Kaizelle Cajandig, Michele Gumabao, Ena Velasco)

(L-R: Anjame Magbingtang, Shane Tormes, Eva Patalinjug, Samantha Bernardo, Aya Abesamis)

Who are your picks?

photos courtesy of Bb.Pilipinas Facebook Page.

 

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Binibining Pilipinas 2018 Specials: My Second Hot Picks!

I’ve had a hard time selecting the girls for my second hot picks. After seeing them in person during the talent competition and their sponsors tour, there are some girls who went up from practically nowhere to the top of my list. Catriona is still a force in the competition. I firmly believe that she’s still the one to beat for the top plum at this point but there are girls who are peaking at this point and are challenging her claim to the most coveted crown.

It’s not going to be easy for Catriona to maintain her stronghold to the Miss Universe Philippines title but her international exposure, gift for gab and universal beauty are still the main factors that’s keeping her afloat amongst these bevy of beauties. She is still my Top Pick at this point.

Trailing behind her is the formidabble rallying of Ena Velasco. She’s slowly and surely becoming one of those girls that may pose a greater challenge to Catriona. She is beautiful, moves like a gazelle and her background as a doctor will play well to her advantage. For now, she is my alternate pick for the top title.

We cannot easily discard beauty over brains. This is a beauty pageant after all. Ma. Ahtisa Manalo is arguably the prettiest in this batch and her beauty alone could catapult her to the top. She is undeniable. A Miss International prototype to the hilt.

Vicky Rushton may just be Ahtisa’s biggest rival for the International crown. She’s like a ray of sunshine with that effervescent smile. Her presence has been widely felt in the competition since the beginning and I’m expecting her to peak real soon.

I am quite certain that if Michele Gumabao will be fielded to the Miss Supranational, there’s a big chance for her to bring the crown back to Asia. I’m still not discounting her to win the top plum but she’s kind of fading for me.

Karen Gallman is at a disadvantage because of her height but like Catriona, her gift of gab may just give her one of the coveted crowns. For now, I am delegating her as Katarina’s succesor.

***

I am delegating Aya Abesamis and Samantha Bernardo as my 7th and 8th placer for now. Both have polarizing yet similar auras. They are also in the ‘oldest’ contestants category so I am expecting that they will either go home crownless or one of them will do an upset.

To complete my Top 10 are Wynonah Buot and Loren Mar Artajos.
Wynonah because of her facial beauty alone. I’m still not sold by her overall packaging but I think she’s still got a lot to offer. Artajos’ experience will be a huge advantage for her but up to this point, I’m not seeing her advancing into the winners’ circle but she’s definitely part of the upper 50% .

Binibining Pilipinas 2018 Specials: Who’s Your JAG Denim Queen?

As one of the major sponsors of this year’s edition, Jag Jeans is letting you choose who you think should be this year’s Jag Jeans Denim Queen!

You can vote for your favorite candidate by hitting the LIKE and SHARE button of the official video found on the page timeline of JAG Jeans

Online votes through number of LIKES & SHARES on facebook will aid the brand in choosing which Binibini reigns best in JAG Jeans.

JAG Denim Queen 2018 Award winner will receive P100,000* worth of prizes.

Voting via FB LIKE & SHARE is until March 17 at 12nn.
JAG Denim Queen 2018 will be awarded on-stage during the Coronation Night on March 18 at the Smart, Araneta Coliseum.

Use the following tags for your shares:
Example: #Binibini(number)#JAGDenimQueen2018 #JAGJEANSPH #BbPilipinas2018
@Jagjeans @RealBBPilipinas

Here are my Top 3 favorites amongst the 40 lovely candidates!

Muriel Orais

Catriona Gray

Ena Velasco

Who are your favorites?

 

Binibining Pilipinas 2018 Specials: Talent Competition – Video Performances!

15 out of 40 Binibinis showcased their dancing, singing and some unique skills yesterday at the Farmer’s Plaza Activity Area for this year’s Binibining Pilipinas Talent Competition. The event was hosted by the uber-enthusiastic reigning Binibining Pilipinas-Supranational Chanel Thomas and the mild mannered Elizabeth Clenci, Miss Grand International 2017 2nd Runner-Up.

The event was jam-packed by pageant enthusiasts and each candidate have their own group of supporters with crowd favorite Catriona Gray getting the loudest cheer!

Here are the ladies videos of the 15 ladies who wowed the audience and the judges present.

photo from Bb. Pilipinas Facebook Page.

Binibini #1 Vickie Rushton looks utterly beautiful playing a keyboard version of Fallin’. (I was unable to video the whole thing but it was very soothing)

Binibini #2 Katherine Ventura sang Marian Carey and Whitney Houston’s When You Believe. It wasn’t perfect but Katherine looks marvelous in her sparkly evening gown!

Binibini #4 Ana Patricia Asturias sang a medley from Sound of Music soundtrack accompanied by his brother on the stage. She dedicated her performance to her Mom.

Binibini #7 Sigrig Grace Flores sang a ukulele cover version of How Far I’ll Go from the movie Moana.

Binibini #8 Shane Quintana Tormes is all decked belting out Aretha Franklin’s Natural Woman!

Binibini #14 Samantha Bernardo wowed the judges with her Folk dance/ rhythmic gymnastic presentation!

Binibini #19 Michele Gumabao did a dog trick presentation but her dogs didn’t cooperate. Good thing Michele and her pets were charming enough!

Binibini #20 Catriona Gray tried to speak Tagalog but it was awkward yet charming. I applaud the effort but I’d rather hear her speak in English than a butchered Tagalog. LOL. And as expected, Miss Gray sang wonderfully. I cannot wait to hear more from her after her pageant stint!

Binibini #23 Ena Velasco channeled her inner-Sarah Geronimo dancing to the tune of the latter’s hit song, Tala.

Here’s a Binibini repeater from the golden edition Henna Kaizelle Cajandig (Binibini 27) performing a a folk dance from Mindanao. (please help me correct this description)

Binibini #28 Angelica Corbe performed a an Arab-inspired dance presentation.

Binibini #30 Sarah Margarette Joson was very impressive with her interpretative dance!

Binibini #32 Eva Patalinjug. I’m not exactly a fan of this presentation but I’m loving the exuberance!

Here’s Binibini #36 and 2016 Miss Earth Philippines Loren Mar Artajos belting out One Moment in Time by Whitney Houston.

Binibini #40 Angelie Aubrey Asuncion sure knows how to close a show! What a fantastic voice!

Okay, These are the ‘talented ones’ this year and if I were to give the award for Bb.Talent – I’d give it to either of these three – Samantha Bernardo, Catriona Gray and Angelie Aubrey Asuncion.

Who do you think should win Bb. Talent?

Photos courtesy of Bb.Pilipinas Facebook Page.

 

 

 

Binibining Pilipinas 2018 Specials: My Top 6 First Hot Picks

I’ve been going back and forth with my first hot picks and finally decided with this list.

Catriona Gray is easily the most recognizable for pageant fans and pundits all over the world. By joining the biggest national pageant in the land, she’s as good as secured with one of the national crowns at stake. If the finals were to happen tomorrow, the biggest travesty would be denying her the Miss Universe Philippines crown.  This makes Catriona the one to beat at this point.

Michelle Gumabao isn’t new to the spotlight.  Being a celebrity daughter of Denis Roldan and being one of the top volleyball players in the country, it is easy for her to play the camera. Her height is one of her advantages, and like Catriona whose gift for gab is unbeatable – Michelle comes second, adding new admirers as her Binibining Pilipinas journey unfolds.  She is my alternate MUP contender.

Vickie Rushton at this point is slowly gaining momentum as the prime candidate for the Binibining Pilipinas – International crown. All the girls may be targeting the MUP sash but if Vickie’s dream is to represent the country in this Japan-based major pageant, then title is hers to lose at this point.

Sandra Lemonon’s face is flawless. She’s Isabela Manjon Version 2 but way prettier. She’s also very articulate but I find her styling a bit bland. Nevertheless, she’s one of the strongest girls in the competition. For now, I will be assigning her as my Bb.Pilipinas – Supranational!

Karen Gallman is the strongest repeater this year and six years after her first attempt for the crown, it is easy to see how she’s grown more confident with the way she carry herself. My only hesitation in putting her higher than my first four is her height. She’s short and she looks short. But hey, if Olivia Culpo could win Miss Universe with that face – Karen’s nothing to sneer about. She is my Miss Globe Philippines for now.

Muriel Orais isn’t even on my radar until I saw her web interview a week ago. This girl is oozing with simple elegance. I loved the vulnerability I saw in that video and she speaks pretty well! She actually reminded me of Stephanie Retuya from Asia’s Next Top Model Season 1. For now, she’s one of my top contenders and I am delegating her as my Miss Intercontinental succeeding Katarina Rodriguez – again, for now.

Who are your top picks for the Binibining Pilipinas crowns?

Images courtesy of the Official Facebook Page of Binibining Pilipinas. 
Photography: Raymond Saldaña
Styled by: Patrick Henry Mergano

Binibining Pilipinas 2018 Specials: The Repeaters

There are only three candidates this year who are out to prove themselves worthy of a Binibining Pilipinas crown after failing their first and even second and third try at the nationals. They may not have the hype of MJ Lastimosa (2011, 2012, 2014 – Miss Universe Philippines), Maria Angelica de Leon (2013, 2017 – Bb. Pilipinas International), and Pia Wurtzbach (2013, 2014, 2015 – Miss Universe Philippines, Miss Universe) but they will surely be stepping up their game this time around.

Juliana Kapeundl just landed in the Top 15 last year – her first attempt. I personally predicted her as my first runner-up because truth be told, the girl is too gorgeous in person.

Here’s what I wrote about her last year: Juliana is a living barbie doll in person and I just want her to train more and come back next year because this girl just screams “Miss International!” but not this year though.

This is Jezha Huelar’s third attempt to win a crown after her being 2nd Runner-up  in 2016 and a Top 15 finish last year, Jezha is more than ready for her final hurrah in the country’s biggest pageant stage!

What I thought about her return last year: Jezha Huelar’s second runner-up finish last year helped her gain confidence and the training she went through along with the 2016 queens was the result of her fierce return into the compeition. I was never a fan before but she’s slowly growing on me. Those legs are to die for! Not sure how many brownie points she had acquired from Madame Stella over the course of her runner-up reign but for now, I am willing to bet that she’d get one of the crowns – the ‘Globe’ one presumably.

Finally, we have 2012 semifinalist Karen Gallman. IMO, she’s the strongest amongst the three returnees this year. Her face to die for and I’ve a feeling that gaining life experiences overseas will work in her favors although I am a bit worried about her height. Pero sabi nga ng Tita Beks ko, at the end of the day BEAUTY pageant parin ang Binbinin (At the end of the day, Binibini is still a BEAUTY pageant).

Who do you think has the best chances to clinch a crown this time around?

Binibining Pilipinas 2018 Specials: The Frontrunners

Whilst Katarina Rodriguez is currently competing in Egypt to bag the elusive Miss Intercontinental crown for the Philippines, the pageant season in the country has officially started with the announcement of this year’s Binibining Pilipinas official candidates.

As per our tradition, we catapult girls to the all-so-important and perhaps the most difficult position to be in – the frontrunners pedestal where there is intense pressure from every pageant fans and pundits.

This year, we’ve a few frontrunners who are mostly crossovers and returnees, although there are also some newbies amongst them. Rest assured though, that these girls have the experience, the hype and the power to lord it over the other girls. The only question is – will they be able to maintain said status until the pageant night?

These are the seven considered frontunners based on the hype, connections, experiences or whatever you wanna call it. They have it.

We’ve been hearing Aya Abesami’s name since 2014 as a possible contender for the nationals but it’s only now that she decided to try out under the tutelage of Aces & Queens allegedly leaving behind a very stable job from the Big Apple.

For all of you unaware of her beauty queen pedigree, Aya is the daughter of Miss Universe 1984 3rd Runner-Up Desiree Verdadero and the niece of Miss World 2003 finalist Mafae Verdadero Yunon. Pretty formidable connections yeah?

She is now being touted by many as the flag bearer of her beauty camp but does she have what it takes to win the top plum? Her beauty is a polarizing one but we have to remember that Aya before her beauty pageant quest is a model first and foremost. Will she be able to carry on her legacy this year?

Former DLSU Lady Spiker and Pinoy Big Brother housemate Michelle Gumabao is also gunning for one of the national titles this year as the lone sportswoman who applied and made it through the Top 40. Daughter of veteran Filipino actor Dennis Roldan, Gumabao is one of the tallest from this batch and is all ready to power it up under the Aces & Queens banner.

This is Jehza Huelar’s third attempt to win a crown after her 2nd Runner-Up title in 2016 and disheartening Top 15 finish last year. This Davaoena beauty is still as fresh as ever and she’s now hoping that she’d be able to do a Maricar-MJ-Pia comeback! Mind you, all three of these ladies went eventually won the Miss Universe Philippines title.

Karen Gallman made the semis back in 2012 and won the Miss Photogenic award. After a long hiatus in the pageant world, this beauty from Brisbane is all set to snatch one of the crowns at stake. Her height maybe her most disadvantageous quality at this point but we’ll see if the she’d be able to do a David against her Goliath competitors.

Vickie Rushton is a budding actress and a former Mutya ng Pilipinas 2011 grand winner where Miss International 2013 Bea Rose Santiago was also a co-winner. In 2011, she was unable to represent the country in Miss Intercontinental because of scheduling conflict between the local and the international pageant. Now, she’s back stronger than ever in the pageant stage hoping the represent the country in the international arena!

Like Vickie, Eva Patalinjug was also a Mutya ng Pilipinas grand winner back in 2014 and was supposed to represent the country for the comeback staging of Miss Asia Pacific Quest. Unfortunately for her, the organizers of the pageant were unable to stage it on time until last year so Eva was left without a pageant assignment but retained the title anyhow. Now older and more beautiful, this Cebuana queen is consider to be the flag bearer of the Kagandahang Flores camp, the same camp of reigning Miss Universe Philippines Rachel Peters.

Without question, Catriona Gray became the one to beat the moment she declared her intention to try out for the nationals. Now, as part of the official 40 candidates, this Miss World 2016 Top 5 finisher is more than ready to conquer the universe. Will the stars align in her favor come March 18?

Who for you are the frontrunner/s this year?

 

 

photos courtesy of Official Binibining Pilipinas Facebook Page. 

The Official Candidates of the Binibining Pilipinas 2018!

Yesterday’s final screening was a grueling day for the girls hoping to be part of the official Binibining Pilipinas candidates and earlier this morning, the name of the final 40 girls who made it were listed with their respective official numbers.

1. Vickie Marie Rushton
2. Katherine Ventura
3. Rose Murphy
4. Ana Patricia Asturias
5. Muriel Orais
6. Janice De Roman
7. Sigrid Grace Flores
8. Shane Quintana Tormes
9. Agatha Romero
10. Kayesha Chua
11. Aya Abesamis
12. Janette Roanne L. Sturm
13. Istie Cequeña
14. Samantha Bernardo
15. Juliana Kapeundl
16. Annalita Vizcarra
17. Ma Ahtisa Manalo
18. Rosantonette Mendoza
19. Michelle Gumabao
20. Catriona Gray
21. Anjame Magbitang
22. Sophia Baino
23. Ena Velasco
24. Edjelyn Joy Gamboa
25. Jerelleen Rodriguez
26. Wynonah Buot
27. Henna Kaizelle Cajandig
28. Angelica Corbe
29. Samantha Avestruz
30. Sarah Margarette Joson
31. Jehza Huelar
32. Eva Patalinjug
33. Stephanie Joy Abellanida
34. Mary Joy de Castro
35. Sandra Lemonon
36. Loren Mar Artajos
37. Patrizia Garcia
38. Karen Gallman
39. Trixia Marie Maraña
40. Angelie Aubrey Asuncion

Are your favorites on the list?

Will Catriona Gray’s Rogue Magazine Cover Ruin Her Binibining Pilipinas Dreams?

After Catriona Gray’s successful filing yesterday in the hopes of becoming a Binibining Pilipinas candidate, pageant fans and pundits are waiting in bated breath whether she’d actually make it as an official candidate or all of her preparations will be for naught.

You may recall that Miss World 2013 Megan Young was allegedly denied participation during the 2013 edition of the Binibining Pilipinas pageant due to her very daring editorial for Rogue Magazine in 2012.

Catriona was featured on the cover of Rogue Magazine during its January-February 2014 Music Issue wearing a backless Roland Mouret dress. I personally don’t see anything wrong with this and the editorial that goes along with it was too high-fashion to even be considered racy. At all.

Just  let me post what Rogue Magazine exactly is based on their website. I personally don’t read the magazine so forgive me.

Rogue is an award-winning magazine that covers entertainment, culture, and current affairs for an affluent and important audience in the Philippines. Rogue is synonymous with beautiful women, powerful photography, and intelligent storytelling. Thought-provoking, relevant, and glamorous, Rogue has become a lifestyle filter whose pages reflect the unique pulse of Filipinos, in the Philippines and abroad. Combining cutting-edge style with profiles on the country’s influencers — from art and design to business and politics — Rogue is a purveyor of impeccable taste, elegant covers, and world-class journalism.  – Rogue.ph

The crux of the matter is, detractors of Ms. Gray are already clamoring for her disqualification which I thought was really mean-spirited and very unsportmanlike stating it clearly violates the Binibining Pilipinas rules of posing for men’s magazine. SERIOUSLY GUYS, GET A GRIP. Let the girl chase her dreams!

And to Catriona, Ganbatte! ^_^

Photo Credits: Fashion Media PH