MANILA, Philippines – On March 18, the 50 Binibining Pilipinas 2013 candidates met the press in an invite-only event at the Rizal Ballroom of the Makati Shangri-La Hotel in Makati City.
Rappler’s Life & Style and Entertainment editor Kai Magsanoc liveblogged the event.
AS IT HAPPENS: Bb Pilipinas press presentation
The stage glittered as lights were beamed upon the 50 beauties who emerged onstage in stylish swimwear.
The number “50” was made even more significant by the commemoration of Binibining Pilipinas’s 50th-year anniversary, hence the Twitter hash tags #50beautifulyears, #binibinigold, and #bbp2013 used by the organization’s social media team.
Rappler’s hash tag is #bbpilipinas2013.
Miss Universe first-runner-up and reigning Binibining Pilipinas-Universe Janine Tugonon led the bevy of beauty queen hosts.
Binibining Pilipinas president Stella Marquez-Araneta led the panel of judges. Jonas Gaffud, the man who trained Miss Universe placers Janine Tugonon, Venus Raj, and Shamcey Supsup was also in the audience.
EXCLUSIVE: Jonas Gaffud — The man behind the beauty queens
The names of this year’s 50 candidates are:
- Ria Rabajante
- Ma. Bencelle Bianzon
- Zandra Flores
- Nicole Kim Donesa
- Maria Sofia Gloria Mustonen
- Yvette Chantal Mildenberger
- Maria Ivy Kristel Gonzales
- Abbygale Monderin
- Katherine Anne Enriquez
- Anna Carmela Aquino
- Ana Carmina Antonio
- Camille Carla Nazar
- Charmaine Elima
- Mary Rose Pujanes
- Pia Wurtzbach
- Joanna Cindy Miranda
- Carin Adrianne Ramos
- Christine Paula Love Bernasor
- Hannah Ruth Sison
- Bea Rose Santiago
- Lourenz Grace Remetillo
- Ellore Noelle Punzalan
- Leona Paula Santicruz
- Cassandra Naidas
- Merry Joyce Respicio
- Anna Fernandina Buquid
- Vania Valiry Vispo
- Mercegrace Raquel
- Pauline Quintas
- Maria Theresa Gorgonio
- Maria Angelica De Leon
- Cindy Abundabar
- Parul Shah
- Grace Yann Apuad
- Theresa Marie Fenger
- Angel May Villafuerte
- Ma. Teresita Alaine Baccay
- Mariz Ong
- Mutya Johanna Datul
- Jan Helen Villanueva
- Ariella Arida
- Jacqueline Alexandra Mayoralgo
- Rhea Nakpil
- Gabrielle Monique Runnstrom
- Imelda Schweighart
- Amanda Noelle Navasero
- Aiyana Mikiewicz
- Angeli Dione Gomez
- Herlie Kim Artugue
- Ma. Cristina Ann Pascual
Although every candidate brought their unique brand of beauty to the stage, there were some crowd favorites like Camille Carla Nazar and Zandra Flores.
According to Rappler’s Kai Magsanoc, most of the beauties were morena. Interestingly, the most recent Miss Universe placers from the country — Janine Tugonon, Shamcey Supsup, and Venus Raj — are also all morena. (Candidate number 33, Parul Shah, is also half-Indian like Raj.)
The second half of the whole-day event showcased a national costume competition during which 49 of the contestants (Binibini 7 Maria Ivy Kristel Gonzales did not join) lit up the stage in their dazzling, intricately-designed costumes.
Binibini 45 Imelda Schweighart, the youngest of the bunch at 17, glowed in an all-gold gown with headgear. She was one of the only two candidates in the competition whose national costume came with pants.
Ariella Arida, Binibini 41, amazed the crowd with a spectacular all-bead ensemble that must’ve taken weeks to finish.
Binibini 3 Zandra Flores wore a costume inspired from the many Philippine festivals honoring the Santo Niño. She even had a grass skirt, an image of the Santo Niño, and a giant rosary.
Among the judges for the national costume portion were Stella Marquez-Araneta and Miss Universe 2011 3rd-runner-up Shamcey Supsup.
The winners of the national costume competition will be revealed during the Binibining Pilipinas coronation night on April 14.
The pageant will crown 3 women: Miss Universe-Philippines, Binibining Pilipinas-International, and Binibining Pilipinas-Tourism.
The candidate to be crowned Miss Universe-Philippines will compete in the Miss Universe pageant.
She will need to rise to the challenge of surpassing or at least matching Janine Tugonon’s stellar performance in 2012. – Rappler.com
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