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:
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
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!
- Eastern Samar, Gabrielle Basiano – too short, prolly got nervous but very beautiful face.
- Manila, Patrizia Mariah Garcia – reminds me of Aya Abesamis. Very simple message. Challenging governance…
- 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.
- Oriental Mindoro, Graciella Lehman – talked about being a cabin crew and to be in the service of fellow Filipinos.
- Angeles Pampanga, Francesca Taruc – to be more grateful and appreciate little things in life. Quick. Message was okayish.
- Valenzuela, Meiji Cruz (Cat said Venezuela – a cute mistake) – loved her Pinoy accent, very good message. Unity, compassion together we can heal!
- Albay, Jashmin Dimaculangan – very on point message!!! talks about Typhoon Ulysses during the pandemic
- Cavite, Samantha Panlilio – very good communication skills, her family are from the tourism industry and how in perseverance we can survive this pandemic.
- Quezon Province, Patricia Babista – being a frontliner, aims to face a new world with a healthier, braver and kinder human
- Rizal Province, Honey Cartasano – loved her styling! regain her purpose thru volunteering in helping her kababayan!
- Masbate, Hannah Arnold – As a forensic science graduate she wanted the country to invest on science and prevent another pandemic. Very good.
- 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
- 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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
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: 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.