The Binibining Pilipinas wish list: The search is on for 2019's queens
The moment Binibining Pilipinas Charities Inc. officially announced "The Search is On," the Philippine pageant world and fans immediately went abuzz. This year, the excitement is heightened with a very successful 2018 batch led by the victories of Catriona Gray in Miss Universe 2018, Karen Gallman in Miss Intercontinental 2018 and Ahtisa Manalo, Miss International 2018 1st runner-up.
These are very huge Bragais platform shoes to fill.
Since 2010, the Philippines has been experiencing a golden age in pageantry which began with Venus Raj’s placement as Miss Universe 2010 4th Runner-up. It was an immensely celebrated win that almost equaled winning the crown. As sweet as the placements were of other queens, Pia Wurtzbach historic and dramatic coronation in Miss Universe elevated the expectations on our candidates.
It is disheartening when some pageant fans dismiss a semifinals placement or a runner-up finish as a disappointment. Every placement is a victory and the beauty queens deserve as much love and admiration for their tireless efforts in representing the country beautifully.
Filipino pageant fans need to be mindful of their behavior and not become arrogant towards the women and other countries. (READ: Pageants are fun but...)
The thoughtful and meticulous preparations and manner by which Catriona Gray performed in Bb. Pilipinas and in Miss Universe have truly set a precedent of what is possible. In the same way that Pia Wurtzbach captured the hearts of the universe in 2015 and many thought it would take another decade to find someone like her.
What is to be learned from these is to appreciate the individualities of each woman competing and celebrate their differences.
Certainly the bar has been raised by Pia and Catriona, but that bar is not a reflection and should not be used to compare aspiring queens to these amazing Filipinas. The bar is there to remind potential Binibinis that Pia, Kylie, Karen and Catriona pushed themselves beyond their comfort zones, put all their heart in it and had noble ambitions beyond personal gain. It’s not that they are better than others – it's that they were their best versions of themselves.
The deadline for submission of applications is on March 15, 2019. As was the case in last year’s screening, anything can happen. A placement or title in another national pageant is not a guarantee to becoming an official Bb Pilipinas candidate.
Here are some of the most wished for women that pageant fans would love to see as candidates.
Battle of the Runner-ups. If these ladies join and are on their A game on finals night, they could very well secure a title each leaving only two left for the taking. But will any of them be able to cinch the much coveted Miss Universe Philippines title? They’ve all come so close to victory and you can be sure they will be giving it their all to not let it get away this time.
Vicki Marie Rushton, Bb. Pilipinas 2018 1st Runner-up. Vickie has an undoutedbly beautiful face. But she has a very meek and mild demeanor and against those tall, fierce competitors will she be able to rise above that.
Angelica Alita, Bb. Pilipinas 2016 1st Runner-up. Angelica is very close to Catriona and her team. If she makes a comeback with these people behind her, she’ll stronger than her previous performance.
Charmaine Elima – Bb. Pilipinas 2017 1st Runner-up. She was a heavy favorite in both 2013 and 2017. Her dusky Filipina beauty sets her apart from the fairer candidates. Will her third and possibly last time be the charm?
Samantha Bernardo – Bb. Pilipinas 2018 2nd Runner-up. She is polished and ready for a title. Samantha is one of the ladies who is making her presence felt early on.
Alaiza Malinao. This tall model went to the US after Bb. Pilipinas 2015. Has faceher overseas experiences transformed this beauty into an empowered woman ready to represent the Philippines? She’s definitely one to look out for.
Sirene Sutton. She was a front-runner in Bb. Pilipinas 2017 but a missed Q&A cost her a title. She has the looks of a Victoria’s Secret Supermodel with a very sweet, girl-next-door personality. If Sirene decides to join, all she needs to do is answer well and a title will be hers.
Sandra Lemonon. She was the candidate (in)famously remembered for being unable to answer the question about the government’s “Build, Build, Build” project. But Miss Lemonon made lemonade out of lemons. She may not have captured a title but became the Department of Transportations’ “Build, Build, Build” ambassador. With such grit, Sandra showed that she can overcome. If she joins again, the odds will be in her favor.
Emma Tiglao. She was a semi-finalist in Bb. Pilipinas 2014 and 4th Princess in Miss World Philippines 2015. She has a very pretty and commercial face. She’s coming in more experienced and with added confidence, a title is within reach for Emma.
Wynonah Buot. She is blessed with beauty and brains. If Wynonah comes back with a fresher, younger styling, she can beat her semifinals finish in 2018 with possibly a title.
Aya Abesamis. Aya is a working model who can deliver. With a slew of former Binibinis giving her advice and support, Aya’s bid to become Bb. Pilipinas might become a reality should she come back in 2019.
Other national pageant titleholders
Teresita “Winwyn” Marquez. There is so much clamor for a very Filipina beauty to be our Miss Universe Philippines and Winwyn is on top of many people’s minds. She’s proven that she can compete successfully internationally and won Reina Hispanoamericana. She will have to discern what her priorities are, the dream of becoming Bb. Pilipinas or continuing her showbiz career. Who knows, she may even enter the political arena following her parents’ footsteps.
Denielle Magno. She was a semifinalists in Miss World Philippines 2018 and has been extremely determined to clinch a national title. Will Bb. Pilipinas be the key to her pageant dreams?
Marianne Marquez. Many believe this PMAP model could have been a titleholder in Miss World Philippines 2018. She made a very good showing for a first time pageant contestant. Being a professional, Maan has surely worked on her presentation skills to ensure that she reaps maximum results in Bb. Pilipinas.
Nicole Guerrero. She was crowned Miss Philippines USA 2017 but her dreams of becoming Bb. Pilipinas has led her to Manila for the past two years. Nicole goes into the competition fully adjusted to Philippine culture and with pageant experience. She is 5’9” with a Business Marketing degree from San Jose State University in California
These three ladies captured my attention with their impressive resumes and looks.
Hannah Consencino Arnold. She is supposedly the first one to submit an application, if social media posts are to be believed. She has a very beautiful face that reminds people of Pia Wurtzbach. Being 5’11” tall and from Canberra, Australia, people also quick to compare to Catriona Gray. She is a graduate of Forensic Studies and was Miss Philippines Charity Queen 2014.
Competing at Bb. Pilipinas with the best of the best, especially the returnees who have come with the sole purpose of redemption, is a whole different story. She got what it takes on paper. It would be exciting to watch if she can deliver on coronation night.
Dia Nicole Magno. She was a nationals athlete in badminton and has represented the Philippines at the SEA Games in 2011. She is a graduate of the Ateneo de Manila University with a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies.
She has a presence and confidence reminiscent of Nicole Cordoves. But the difference is that this is her first pageant. If she can harness her competitive spirit and athletic discipline and channel it in pageantry, Dia will do very well.
Kristi Banks. She has a very beautiful, angelic face with an amazingly cute personality. Kristi competed in both Miss Manila and Miss Mandaluyong where she placed as a runner-up in both pageants. I think she will do well in Bb. Pilipinas but my only concern is her height. Luckily for her, there have been others in the past who were vertically challenge and managed to pull of wins.
In today’s pageantry, it can be very daunting for women to join because of the level of preparedness that is shown on social media, with their so-called “pasavogue” photos strategically released throughout the competition to build hype and momentum.
But it really shouldn’t stop any girl from pursuing her dreams. Regardless of how many times you’ve joined a pageant, if you have the most expensive gown, if you were trained by the best coaches or former queens, all they can do is to give it their all and to be themselves. It will boil down to the destiny of each woman.
In a few short weeks, the country will finally get to meet the possible successors of Catriona, Ahtisa, Karen, Jehza, Eva and Michele. For the 56th year, BPCI led by BPCI Chairperson, Mrs. Stella Araneta, will stage another memorable pageant with a new set of Binibinis that the country will fall in love with.
It is another Binibini season that will surely have everyone on the edge of their seats until the announcement of the winners in at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. – Rappler.com
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.