After her comments against the appointment of Mocha Uson to a government post and even after she apologized for it, Mariel de Leon has been villainized by the Pro-Duterte and Pro-Mocha Uson netizens. It was brutal and relentless to say the least. They didn’t care that Mariel will be representing the Philippines in the international stage. They want her to fail. They want her to receive her bad “karma.” They want this “arrogant” beauty queen to get what they thought she deserves – a winning-less participation in the pageant.
Is Mariel really a villain?
She spoke up. It was her opinion. A political opinion that didn’t sit well with those who voted for the current President. They said it was in bad taste. They said a beauty queen shouldn’t be so tactless. Truth be told though, what Mariel said was the the opinion so many of us were afraid to voice out because we’re afraid of the same backlash that she’s receiving until now.
She could’ve worded her opinion differently they say but Filipinos are not stupid. Let’s not dumb down ourselves. Whether she said it differently or not, the meaning will still be the same. Same difference. Same Difference folks.
She is a beauty queen so she should act accordingly. Why put her in a box? She’s clearly an intelligent woman with her own thoughts. She stood her ground and continue to do so. Just how should a beauty queen act? Which standard should they follow? They’re not mere beauties whose job is to smile and look pretty. Why continue to crucify her?
Some were even outrageously calling Mariel the most hated beauty queen ever. I wonder if people remembered Imelda Schweighart last year when she disparagingly compared Duterte to Hitler and badmouthed her fellow delegates after her non-inclusion into the Top 16 of Miss Earth which eventually leads to her resignation. I’m not trying to resurrect an old issue but did Mariel’s ‘infraction’ was too much for these people to give their support? Or even if they are unable to give their support, can they at least stop spewing negative tirades towards her?
Winning back the crown for the second consecutive year is not unheard of; although it’s never happened in Miss International. A runner-up finish would still receive negative critiques from her haters. A win could diminish said critiques but it will still be mired with negativity.
Seriously my fellow kababayan – when will Mariel get her unnecessary vindication?
I am not affiliated with any political parties. I am not part of any beauty camps. I am not a fan of Mariel de Leon. I don’t hate her either. I am just a Filipino pageant fan. Mariel is doing her best to represent our country. For that alone, she has my support.
For me, she’s already ‘vindicated.’ For being a strong-willed woman who does not cowed to her haters, she already earned my respect.
No matter what happens in Japan tomorrow, she would still be my Miss International 2017.
The remaining Binibining Pilipinas 2017 Queens who are about to compete in their respective international pageants were given their official send-off this afternoon at the Monet Ballroom of Novotel Manila-Araneta Center.
Miss Universe Philippines Rachel Peters is set to compete in Las Vegas on November 26 while Chanel Olive Thomas will be heading on the second of November in Poland. And finally but not definitely not the least, is Katarina Rodriguez who will be traveling to Colombo, Sri Lanka come December 21 in her quest to win the country’s first Miss Intercontinental title.
The said send-off was sort of a welcome party as well for Nelda Ibe who came in 2nd at the Miss Globe in Albania and Elizabeth Clenci who placed 2nd runner-up in Miss Grand International. Only Mariel de Leon is missing amongst the crowned Binibinis this year since she’s currently competing in Japan in the hopes of a back-to-back Miss International win!
Best of lucks girls!!! Mabuhay kayong lahat!
photos are from the Binibining Pilipinas Facebook Page.
Visited the Mikimoto Head Office @official_mikimoto today! Really a beautiful crown. 👑 Styling: @vstyleteam Dress: @patsantoscouture Bag: @ysl Shoes: @ysl #MissInternationalPhilippines #MissInternationalPhilippines2017 #MissInternational #ミスインターナショナル #MissInternational2017 #ミスインターナショナル2017 #Mikimoto #OOTD
Now at Tokyo University. It’s getting colder! 😊 Coat: lft outerwear collection Top & Pants: @zara Bag: @prada Shoes: @toryburch #TokyoUniversity #ILoveJapan #JapanTravel #MissInternationalPhilippines #MissInternationalPhilippines2017 #MissInternational #ミスインターナショナル #MissInternational2017 #ミスインターナショナル2017 #OOTD
Arigatou gozaimasu, Niigata for hosting a successful welcome dinner. I can’t wait to explore more of Niigata tomorrow! 💕 Dress: @pablocabahug ❤️ Earrings: @jacatel #Niigata #ILoveJapan #JapanTravel #MissInternationalPhilippines #MissInternationalPhilippines2017 #MissInternational #ミスインターナショナル #MissInternational2017 #ミスインターナショナル2017
Classy and Confident!
photos from Mariel de Leon’s Instagram.
It looks like Mariel De Leon’s road to the Mikimoto crown is going to be a tough one not only because of the beautiful contestants she will be competing against with but also because of the divisiveness of Filipino pageant fans as a result of the controversy earlier this year where she criticized the appointment of Mocha Uson as Assistant Secretary of the Presidential Communications Operations Office.
I, for one believe that we should support Mariel on her quest because at the end of the day, she’s representing our flag. Besides, she already apologized which I thought was very much unnecessary to start with. Divisiveness on politics is always present but when it comes to our country as a whole, I’d love to say one day that I was proud of supporting our own.
Manny Pacquiao is a bigot but I was proud of what he accomplished in boxing and every single time he steps in the ring. Why can’t we do the same for Mariel? What would it take for you to support our home girl?
photos are from Mariel’s Intagram account.
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 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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
One word – Classy. Voila! A Crown!
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!
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.
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!
Images courtesy of the Binibining Pilipinas Official Facebook Page
First Set of Special Awards!
1. Best in Talent – Dane Felisse Marasigan
2. Miss Friendship – Chanel Olive Thomas
3. Miss Photogenic – Rachel Peters
4. Best National Costume – Chanel Olive Thomas
5. Bb. Manila Bulletin – Christagale Borja
6. JAG Queen – Rachel Peters.
1.18 Nelda Ibe
2. 2 Arienne Louis Calingo
3. 19 Rachel Peters
4. 27 Beatrice Valente
5. 1 Dane Felisse Marasigan
6. 31 Katarina Rodriguez
7. 28 Juliana Kapeundle
8. 17 Camille Manalo
9. 37 Sammie Anne Legazpi
10. 22 Chanel Olive Thomas
11. 39 Elizabeth Clenci
12. 6 Ma. Beijeleen Nama
13. 13 Sirene Sutton
14. 40 Kristel Guelos
15. 7 Jennyline Carla Malpaya
16. 15 Mariel De Leon
17. 32 Charmaine Elima
18. 9 Vanessa Saliba
19. 33 Kristi Rose Cequeña
20. 16 Larah Grace Lcap
21. 20 Christagale Borja
22. 26 Ruffa
23. 34 Gabriela Ortega
24. 10 Jezha Huelar
25. 38 Ana Patricia Asturias
The girls who are expected to make the cut but didnt: Angelique De Leon, Dindi Pajares and Jamaica Ambal
Pia still have not change her wardrobe. Hehe!
Next Round: Swimsuit Competition.
JR and company serenading the girls! A much faster pacing for this round which is great!
They’re called in chronological order this time.
Sirene, Rachel, Chanel and Maine are the most outstanding this round.
Evening Gown Competition
#1 was a genius for wearing that bright yellow evening gown!
Mariel was very enigmatic!
Rachel Peters is channeling MJ Lastimosa!
Chanel was charming, almost stumbling into her pink gown.
Ruffa Nava is such a revelation tonight!
Charmaine looks ethereal with her sequined white evening gown!
Second Set of Special Awards:
Best in Swimsuit – Rachel Peters
Best in Evening Gown – Mariel De Leon
Miss PAL – Katarina Rodriguez
Miss Creamsilk – Mariel De Leon
Next Round: Top 15
1. 39 Elizabeh Clenci
2. 15 Mariel De Leon
3. 22 Chanel Olive Thomas
4. 31 Katarina Rodriguez
5. 10 Jezha Huelar
6. 13 Sirene Sutton
7. 40 Kristel Guelos
8. 18 Nelda Ibe
9. 32 Charmaine Elima
10. 20 Christagale Borja
11. 17 Maria Camile Manalo
12. 34 Gabriela Ortega
13. 16 Lara Grace Lacap
14. 19 Rachel Peters
15. People’s Choice: 28 Juliana Kapeundl
Q&A Sirene choked big time. Poor girl. I feel for her.
Who nailed their Q&A? Rachel Peters, Katarina Rodriguez, Charmaine Elima, Juliana Kapeundl, Chanel Olive Thomas, Mariel De Leon
Judges have been deliberating for almost an hour now…
Miss Universe Philippines – #19 Rachel Peters
International – #15 Mariel De Leon
Grand International – #39 Elizabeth Clenci
Intercontinental – #31 Katarina Rodriguez
Supranational – #22 Chanel Olive Thomas
Globe – #18 Nelda Ibe
First Runner-up – #32 Charmaine Elima
2nd Runner-up – #40 Kristel Guelos
images via Binibining Pilipinas FB Page.
It’s that time of the year again to share with you my final hot picks…err… predictions for this year’s Binibining Pilipinas edition! This has been a pretty solid batch with fresh new faces, crossovers and repeaters vying for the six crowns at stake and snag the rights to represent the Philippines in the international beauty arena! Without further ado, let me present to you my Top 16 Finalists! (Note that a 16th lucky girl will be able to advance thru fan voting!)
16. Arienne Louise Calingo
15. Jennyline Carla Malpaya
14. Cristagale Borja
13. Chanel Olive Thomas
12. Ruffa Nava
11. Dindi Joy Pajares
10. Jehza Mae Huelar
9. Nelda Ibe
I loved Angelique since her first try in 2014 and I still loved her until now. She’s improved a lot and looks more relaxed now. What I don’t get is her inability to turn on that charm from the get-go. I don’t think she’ll be able to do a Pia, MJ or Maricar but she’s got something up her sleeves – I’m placing her as my second runner-up!
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.
In 2014, I honestly thought that she’ll end up usurping Valerie Weigman at the final night of the Miss World Philippines but she was not focused and laugh her way to fifth place. This year, I just love her aura and I think that she’d be perfect for Miss Globe where she could possibly snatch the title back for the Philippines!
Sirene is just pure class and elegance! I’ve said this about Mutya Datul in 2013 and she end up becoming the first Asian to win the Miss Supranational title.
Mariel is a consistent player all throughout this competition. I placed her as my eventual Bb. Pilipinas – International in 2013 but both she and Maine (my MUP 2013) went home empty-handed. I’ve a feeling that this year, she’d finally get a crown and I think that the unpredictability of this pageant may very well suit Mariel’s brand of beauty!
She’s already recognizable in South East Asia where Asia’s Next Top Model was aired a couple of years back and her competing to this Thai-owned pageant will instantly make her a favorite! She’s vibrant, charming and a really good communicator. What more could Mr. Nawat ask for?
She was under my radar until last week when I finally saw her in person. This girl’s beauty is breathtaking and I don’t think the Japanese could resist her infectious smile! Jamaica Ambal is going international!
and my Miss Universe – Philippines is none other than…
I’ve said it all from my last three hot picks. Maine is the strongest candidate for the Miss Universe title. She just need to give a decent answer in the Q&A portion and not choke like her 2013 stint, and she’ll go home already gearing up for the 66th Miss Universe pageant! Maine is a complete package whose mere beauty could eclipse any delegates from all over the world. This is not a joke. If you think she’s beautiful in pictures and in videos, you have got to see her in person!
See ya tonight at the Araneta, folks!
images courtesy of the Binibining Pilipinas FB Page.
Six days from now, we’ll finally witness the coronation of the new Binibining Pilipinas queens who will represent the Philippines in the international beauty pageant arena. The competition is getting more intense as the day of the finals night at the Araneta Coliseum is getting closer and closer. With that being said, let me present to you my third hot picks for this year’s circle of winners!
Charmaine Elima is reigning supreme as my unbeatable Miss Universe Philippines pick for the third time in a row! Maine has everything going on for her and she knows it. I don’t think I have to say more about it – the Miss Universe Philippines title is hers to lose.
Mariel De Leon will definitely get a crown come Sunday night. The only question is, which crown is it? Methinks, the Miss International pageant will be a better fit for her. After sending Kylie last year and charming the Japanese to give her the crown, Mariel’s brand of beauty may just be refreshing enough for them to consider a back-to-back win for the country.
Katarina Rodriguez is no doubt the face of the competition. After finally seeing her person – vibrant and oh-so beautiful, I figured that she’s do really well in Miss Grand International! This Thai-owned pageant is looking for someone to carry the brand all across the spectrum and Katarina may just be the girl for the job!
Jamaica Ambal is a new entry on my winning circle. She’s just so beautiful in person and so charming! I loved her exotic sex appeal! She’s so mesmerizing and methinks Miss Intercontinental will eat her up!
Juliana Kapeundl is the second newbie on my list. This girl was not even on my radar until I had the chance to see her in person and focused more on her videos and images. I must admit, Miss Globe is just about perfect for her beauty and personality!
‘Hope you like my Hot Picks! If you don’t, lemme know who you think should be in it! ❤