What you need to know about Binibining Pilipinas

Alexa Villano
What you need to know about Binibining Pilipinas

Rappler

The prestigious organization turns 56 this year!

MANILA, Philippines –  Pageant season in the Philippines would not be complete without Binibining Pilipinas, the annual search which has produced numerous titleholders in the last 5 decades.

With the country experiencing a golden era in pageantry following the recent wins of the Philippine representatives, let’s take a quick look at the organization.

1. Happy 56th year. The year 2019 marks the pageant’s 56th anniversary. Established in 1964, it is currently headed by former Miss International 1960 Stella Marquez Araneta. Bb Pilipinas holds the franchises to many pageants including Miss Universe, and Miss International. Currently, it is also the pageant the searches for representatives to Miss Supranational, Miss Globe, Miss Intercontinental, and Miss Grand International.

CHAIRPERSON. BPCI chairperson Stella Marquez Araneta has been heading Bb Pilipinas after it was established. File photo by Jory Rivera

2. Queens turned celebrities. Bb Pilipinas has not only produced queens but it also paved the way for many of the titleholders to enter showbiz. Among the queens who became movie stars are Pilar Pilapil, Miss Universe 1969 Gloria Diaz, Rosario “Chat” Silayan, Alice Dixson, Dindi Gallardo, Charlene Gonzales,  Bianca Manalo, Ariella Arida, Maxine Medina, Miss International 2005 Lara Quigaman, Mariel de Leon,  Miriam Quiambao, Miss International 1979 Melanie Marquez, Miss International 2013 Bea Santiago, and Miss International 2016 Kylie Verzosa.

LIFE AFTER MISS UNIVERSE. Although already in showbiz before Bb Pilipinas, Pia Wurtzbach's career skyrocketed after winning Miss Universe. File photo by Alexa Villano/Rappler

Miss World 1993 2nd princess Ruffa Gutierrez, and Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach were already in showbiz when they tried their luck in pageantry. (READ: 12 Bb Pilipinas titleholders who entered showbiz)

SHOWBIZ DOORS. Miss International 2016 Kylie Verzosa has starred in movies, and is part of the show 'Los Bastardos.' File photo by Jay Ganzon/Rappler

3. Miss Universe and Miss International winners. The organization has the honor of producing representatives that won the top crowns in the world. It was through their management that the country has won 4 Miss Universe crowns  – Gloria Diaz (1969), Margarita Moran (1973), Pia Wurtzbach (2015), and Catriona Gray (2018).

MISS UNIVERSE. Under Bb Pilipinas, the Philippines has 4 Miss Universe crowns. Photos from Miss Universe Organization/ Lillian Suwanrumpha/AFP

For the Miss International title, Bb Pilipinas has 5 ladies under its roster of winners – Aurora Pijuan (1970), Melanie Marquez (1979), Lara Quigaman (2005), Bea Rose Santiago (2013), and Kylie Verzosa (2016).

Gemma Cruz, the first Filipina to win Miss International won under a different Philippine pageant.

MISS INTERNATIONAL. Five ladies have won the Miss International title under the guidance of Bb Pilipinas. Photos from Miss International website/YouTube screenshots/ Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP

It was also under Bb Pilipinas that the country won other titles in various pageants. Mutya Datul became the country’s first Miss Supranational in 2013, Ann Colis took home the Miss Globe crown in 2015, while Karen Gallman became the first Filipina to win the Miss Intercontinental title last January.

FIRST FILIPINA. Karen Gallman wins the first Intercontinental crown for the Philippines last January. File photo by Rob Reyes/Rappler

4. Dethronement controversies. The organization has been hounded with a number of dethronement controversies in the past, most notably on the issue of citzenship. Ladies who previously won but were dethroned from their titles include Anjanette Agbayari (Bb Pilipinas Universe 1991), Tisha Silang (Bb Pilipinas Universe 1998), and Janelle Bautista (Bb Pilipinas Universe 1999).

Venus Raj, who won Bb Pilipinas Universe 2010 almost lost the crown after a question over her birth certificate. Venus eventually secured a Philippine passport and went on to compete in the Miss Universe 2010 pageant, placing 4th runner-up to Mexico’s Ximena Navarrete.

ALMOST DETHRONED. Venus Raj almost did not compete in Miss Universe 2010 due to a questionable birth certificate. She eventually got a passport and placed 4th runner-up. File photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

5. Charities. Bb Pilipinas is not just about searching for a beauty queen. BPCI through the years has supported a number of charities since it began the pageant. They have helped out in relief operations for typhoon victims, spent time with kids and wounded soldiers in the hospital, and also does feeding programs.

COMFORT. Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray hugs a kid during her visit last February to St. Peter's church for the program managed by Fr. Tony Labiao. Photo from Bruce Cassanova/Bb Pilipinas

TIME WITH KIDS. Catriona Gray, Stella Araneta and Fr Tony Labiao smile for the cameras with the kids during Catriona's visit to St. Peter's church in Commonwealth, Quezon City. Photo by Bruce Cassaonova/Bb Pilipinas

Last February, BPCI chairperson Stella Marquez Araneta accompanied Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray and MUO staff members to visit some of the charities close to Catriona’s heart. One group was a program under Fr Tony Labiao, who has been helping children orphaned as a result of the Duterte administration’s drug war campaign.

– Rappler.com

Editor’s Note: In an earlier post, we erroneously reported that the pageant is celebrating its 55th  anniversary.  This has been corrected.

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Alexa Villano

Alexa is one of Rappler's Lifestyle and Entertainment reporters, covering local entertainment news to a wide range of topics from beauty pageants to reality shows.