Last March 18, the most anticipated Philippine pageant finally chose its official candidates.
A total of 84 women were screened by the Binibining Pilipinas Charities Inc. (BPCI) headed by chairperson, Stella Marquez Araneta, at the New Frontier Theatre, Araneta Center in Quezon City.
The pressure isn’t only on the potential candidates but also on the BPCI Execom and panel responsible for the successors of Miss Universe 2018, Catriona Gray, Miss Intercontinental 2018, Karen Gallman, Miss International 2018 1st Runner-up, Ahtisa Manalo, Bb. Pilipinas Supranational 2018, Jehza Huelar, Bb. Pilipinas Grand International 2018, Eva Patalinjug, and Bb. Pilipinas Globe 2018, Michele Gumabao. (FULL LIST: Official candidates, Binibining Pilipinas 2019)
In a highly sought after and competitive pageant with a strong group of candidates, one would want as any bit of perceived advantage. Although it is not a guarantee for a win, there’s nothing better to prepare a candidate than with a solid experience of competing. Almost half of the hopefuls consists of women with at least one international or national pageant under their belt.
With 40 equally beautiful, empowered and perfectly polished women competing, the mental game becomes a significant and determing factor in their success. Knowing what to expect, having sashayed in a swimsuit and answered a Q&A in front of thousands can either help calm nerves or bring more pressure. But for newcomers, not knowing what to expect can also have the same effect.
Here’s a quick look at the ladies who will be vying for the 6 coveted Bb. Pilipinas titles of Universe, International, Supranational, Intercontinental, Grand International and Globe.
In recent years, the repeated attempts and the hard earned victories of Pia Wurtzbach (Miss Universe 2015) Janine Tugonon (Miss Universe 2012 1st Runner-up and Miss Universe Philippines 2012), and MJ Lastimosa (Miss Universe Philippines 2014), continue to inspire young hopefuls to keep trying and trying until they succeed. It is very interesting to see that both of the runners-up from last year have returned. They almost felt that crown being placed on their heads but it slipped out of their hands. Will it be their destiny this year to finally become a titleholder?
Vickie Marie Rushton, Bb. Pilipinas 1st runner-up 2018
Samantha Mae Bernardo, Bb. Pilipinas 2nd runner-up 2018
Aya Abesamis, Bb. Pilipinas 2018 Top 15
Marie Sherry Anne Tormes, Bb. Pilipinas 2018 Top 25, Best in Talent and Miss Friendship
Sigrid Grace Flores, Bb. Pilipinas 2018 Top 25
Larah Grace Lacap, Bb. Pilipinas 2017 Top 15
Kimberly Penchon, Bb. Pilipinas 2016 Top 15
Emma Mary Tiglao, Bb. Pilipinas 2014 Top 15
The crossover phenomenon has been going for years but Catriona Gray’s story of redemption with a spectacular victory made it more publicized. In pageantry, crossover is when a winner/candidate of a national pageant joins another major national pageant.
Catriona Gray was Miss World Philippines 2016 and became Bb. Pilipinas Universe 2018. One of the first successful crossovers was Carlene Aguilar who is the first ever Miss Earth Philippines (2001).
Four years later, she competed and won Bb. Pilipinas World 2005. At that time, many pageant fans thought for a moment, “pwede pala yon.” For as long as the applicant meets the requirements and is not under any contract that would otherwise prevent them, a woman can compete in other pageants.
This year, we have these amazing, young women who are braving the pageant circuit once again for a shot at the big time pageant. You can’t get any bigger that Bb. Pilipinas.
It takes alot of courage for these women to join again knowing that they will be held to their previous placements and subject to social media scrutiny. For the purpose of this article, pageants considered for crossover are Miss World Philippines, Miss Philippines Earth, and Mutya ng Pilipinas.
Given today’s huge pageant scene, then practically every girl would be a crossover if every minor or regional pageants are included.
Leren Mae Bautista, Mutya ng Pilipinas 2015 Winner and 2015 Miss Tourism Queen of the Year International
Ilene Astrid De Vera 2017, Mutya ng Pilipinas Winner and 2017 Miss Asia Pacific International 4th runner-up
Jessica Marasigan, Miss Philippines Earth-Water 2017
Gazini Christiana Ganados, Miss World Philippines 2014 – Top 13
Marianne Marquez, Miss World Philippines 2018 Top 10
Denielle Joie Magno, Miss World Philippines 2018 Top 10
Jane Darren Genobisa, Miss World Philippines 2017 candidate
Joanna Rose Tolledo, Mutya ng Pilipinas 2016 Top 10, Miss Philippines Earth 2016 Top 12
Honey Grace Castano, Mutya ng Pilipinas 2018 Top 25
Jessarie Dumaguing, Mutya ng Pilipinas 2013 candidate
The following ladies can be considered crossovers because they won as “Miss Philippines” in another country.
Hannah Arnold, Miss Philippines Charity Queen Australia 2014
Jean Nicole Guerrero, Miss Philippines USA 2017
Resham Saeed, Miss Philippines Canada 2017
One of the significant moves in this year’s selection was the inclusion of numerous newcomers.
They must be quite an impressive batch for them to overtake former official candidates. They are a breathe of fresh pageant air and bring a sense of wonder and spontaneity that can be lost on veterans. The returnees and crossovers shouldn’t get too comfortable in their performances.
These ladies may be the new kids on the block but that doesn’t mean they are less capable. They are accomplished women as well from various fields. In fact, some are even considered heavy front-runners as early as this stage in the competition.
Bea Patricia Magtanong
Maria Isabela Galeria
Julia Eugene Saubier
Louisielle Denise Amorog
Pauline Anne Cordero
Mary Faye Murphy
Dia Nicole Magno
Alanis Reign Binoya
Rubee Marie Faustino
Martina Faustina Diaz
Samantha Ashley Lo
Voltaire has 10 years experience in the fashion industry. He previously worked with a luxury clothing and accessories brand in Los Angeles, CA. He graduated magna cum laude from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, major in Fashion Design. He also holds a BS in Applied Economics and BS in Marketing from DLSU. He is now doing real estate but finds ample spare time to pursue his passions.