What you need to know about Binibining Pilipinas
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.
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.
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)
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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