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?
Photography: Raymond Saldaña
Styled by: Patrick Henry Mergano