The Ilocos Region was graced with the presence of the Bb. Pilipinas 2012 winners during a trip sponsored by Philippine Airlines and the provincial governments of Ilocos Sur and Ilocos Norte. Janine Tugonon (BPU2012), Nicole Schmitz (BPI2012), Katrina Dimaranan (BPT2012), 1st Runner-Up Elaine Kay Moll and 2nd Runner-Up Annalie Forbes were all treated to the warm hospitality of the Ilocanos as they visited the key cities of Vigan and Laoag.
I hope it doesn’t stop here. Since their respective competitions abroad are still several months away, Philippine Airlines should bring them to other local destinations like Cebu, Davao, Bicol and the like as some sort of tourism pitch, as well as getting the ladies closer to their countrymen. Don’t you think so?
Abbygale Monderin, Miss Bikini Philippines 2012
Abbygale Monderin, representing Slimmers World Pasig, was crowned Miss Bikini Philippines 2012. Last year’s winner, Angelee Claudett Delos Reyes (BBP2012 Semifinalist), was on hand to crown her successor.
Monderin will now prepare for her trip to China where she will represent the country in the finals of Miss Bikini International 2012 scheduled for August 28. She will vie for the crown against 70 other delegates from all over the world. What’s interesting with this year’s competition is that a separate group of male contenders (made up of select participants from previous Manhunt International editions) will simultaneously vie for Mr. Beach Hunk.
Good luck, Abbygale!
Below is the trailer of Venus Raj’s program on MercatorTV – ‘The Queen’:
Courtesy of MyMercatorTV
Mercator TV is the brainchild of Beauty Queen maker and Mercator Artist and Model Management Head Jonas Gaffud. The concept is to showcase the company’s popular entertainment, ramp and commercial talents by way of online programs that delve on a variety of topics such as beauty and lifestyle (Venus Raj), health & fitness (JC Tiuseco – with photo on left), reality TV (Benjamin Alves), travel (Lia Andrea Ramos), showbiz (Ervic Vijandre & Alizon Andres), brapinoy comedy (Giselle Sanchez, Fabio Ide & Daniel Matsunaga), fun and games (Jovic Susim, Benj Bolivar & Geron Lontoc), interesting personalities (Nicolette Henson), male talk (Kerbie Zamora, Bjorn Aguilar & Lem Pelayo), surfing (Luke Landrigan & Lui Villaruz), love/family (Hideo Muraoka) and more.
Below is the trailer of Nicolette Henson’s program ‘The Valedictorian’
Courtesy of MyMercatorTV
MercatorTV is something new. Something unique. Something that, unlike traditional TV itself, you can watch over and over again at your convenience.
Check out the initial list of shows in their lineup:
Below is the trailer of Lia Ramos’ program ‘Travel With Lia’:
Courtesy of MyMercatorTV
Make it an online habit. Better yet, bookmark the site right now so you can regularly visit and be updated on what’s new, what’s cool and what’s trending in the world of pop culture and entertainment.
Below is the trailer of ‘Island Boys’ with Luke Landrigan and Lui Villaruz:
Courtesy of MyMercatorTV
MercatorTV. Its’ time has come. On your demands.
Heard from the grapevine that newly-crowned Bb. Pilipinas Tourism Katrina Dimaranan may not be sent to the Miss Tourism Queen International competition due to some franchise concerns with the Chinese organizers. As a result, she just might be fielded in Miss Supranational instead. Your thoughts about this new development if confirmed to be true?
And since we’re in the subject of international representation, who do you think has the greatest chance of bringing home a crown among our three queens? Is Nicole Schmitz a sure winner given her almost perfect fit for Miss International? Or can Janine Tugonon continue the placement streak of the Philippines in Miss Universe and reach Top 5 just like her two immediate predecessors? Or Katrina Dimaranan perhaps, since her exotic features will be better appreciated in Central Europe if ever?
Whatever fate awaits this troika, all I’m hoping for at the moment is that they be fully prepared for their trips abroad so that the beauty of the Filipina continues to shine through.
The infant of a pageant called Teen Universe 2012 is ongoing in Nicaragua. There are thirteen (13) young ladies who will vie for the crown to be given away early next month. You can show your support for the Philippine representative, Clarise Merie Obia, by voting for her as favorite candidate HERE or by clicking on her image above. She is running third at the moment. You have up to Monday, April 30, to cast your vote.
The competition, given its very small number of delegates, is not affiliated in any way with Donald Trump’s Miss Universe Organization (MUO). It looks interesting, though, in a way that they do not use the word ‘Miss’ in the title anymore.
Heaven knows they gave it their best shot and still fell short of winning a crown.
Both Mary Jean Lastimosa and Patricia Lae Ejercitado are the most hyped candidates of Bb. Pilipinas 2012, and for crystal clear reasons at that. These two ladies exude the fire and sensuality that can bring them to the fore if fielded internationally. And if you talk about being battle-ready at an instant, they can be sent for competition abroad with the most minor of training/adjustments, especially Mary Jean who is just one smoldering hot beauty.
But all is not lost if they would only wander their eyes beyond the confines of BPCI and the Gateway Suites. There is still the Miss World Philippines 2012 to consider. While the title may not come off as fetching and as prestigious as Miss Universe Philippines, Miss World remains to be the second-best beauty pageant globally. It also attracts the most number of participants.
Therefore, why not give serious consideration to joining MWP? The deadline for submission of applications is still set for Friday next week (May 4) and I bet Cory Quirino will welcome them with open arms, especially now that she needs all the additional publicity to fan continued interest in the contest after transferring to TV5 which has the least percentage of viewership among the big three networks.
What say you, dear readers?
Telenovela Actress and 1994 Miss Universe 1st Runner-Up Carolina Gomez Correa of Colombia
Let’s cruise down memory lane today. The year was 1994 and it was the second time that the Philippines was awarded hosting chores for Miss Universe. There were so many beautiful candidates then. Miss USA Lu Parker was such a sweetheart, just as Silvia Lakatosova of Slovak Rep had a childlike quality hiding beneath her glam facade. Belgium’s Christelle Roelandts was the solid fave of Filipinos, while the country’s bet Charlene Gonzalez made sure that she projected a most gracious sister image to all the girls. Anyways, I pulled some strings to get a well-located room at the Manila Hotel (The Official Residence of MU1994) so that I can ‘stalk’ the ladies for three solid days that they were constantly rehearsing for finals night. I got all the photo ops I wanted, but sought one particular lady who caught my attention from the day the delegates landed on Philippine soil – Miss Colombia, Carolina Gomez Correa. This Latina was one of my top 2 favorites to win the crown (the other one being Venezuelan Goddess Minorka Mercado). And she was dead close to becoming her country’s 2nd Miss Universe when she landed 1st Runner-Up honors to eventual winner Sushmita Sen of India. Unfazed by the same, she went to become a top model and actress (she starred in a number of hit telenovelas
) in Bogota. She also starred with Fil-Am actor Rob Schneider in the movie ‘The Chosen One’. As for her lovelife, she was twice married to and separated from long-time boyfriend Nicolas Hoyos to whom she bore a son named Tomas.
Below is the latest photo of Carolina Gomez with her son…
Carolina Gomez posing with her handsome son, Tomas. (Photo credit: Jose Gomez and Miss Colombia Official)
How about you, dear readers? Any stand-out memories of Miss Universe 1994?
The finals of Miss USA 2012 won’t be until June 3 (at the Theatre for the Performing Arts in Las Vegas, Nevada), but I have already filtered the 50+1 delegates to just the seven I am putting my bets on as potential winner and their Miss Universe 2012 representative.
Here are the seven I am liking in a major way, and in this order of preference:
Olivia Culpo of Rhode Island
Michelle Leonardo of New Jersey
Brittany Booker of Texas
Catherine Muldoon of Virginia
Alaina Bergsma of Oregon (she stands 6'3"!!!)
Audrey Bolte of Ohio
Katherine Webb of Alabama
Now if you insist that I complete a Top 10, I would add Natalie Pack of California, Nitaya Panemalaythong of Minnesota and Ashley Hooks of Illinois.
Natalie Pack of California
Ashley Hooks of illinois
Nitaya Panemalaythong of Minnesota
If you want to check out all the candidates and come up with your top picks as well, click HERE.
During my recent trip to Bangkok, I made sure of reserving a day just for Terminal 21 – the City of Smiles’ latest addition to its ever-growing number of shopping malls. I simply love the concept of the place. Designed like an airport terminal, each floor has a country theme that evokes specialty shops. Level M1 is Caribbean (Popular Thai and International brands), Level M is Paris (Mixed), Level 1 is Tokyo (Women’s/Teens Wear), Level 2 is London (Men’s Wear), Level 3 is Istanbul (Jewelries, Accessories), Level 4 is San Francisco (Dining) and Level 5 is an extension of San Francisco which includes the Multiplex. What makes this mall different from the others? Well, it looks and feels like a high-end place, but the independent shops dotting the Paris, London and Istanbul levels make Terminal 21 such an attractive venue to splurge your money (or credit limit) in. In fact, if you’re good at reasonable bargaining, you can get some excellent buys. And the most creative of local clothing manufacturers have joined hands to give shoppers the most unique options. In short, the expensive looks from the outside are just for show because there are really no high-end stores/boutiques inside. It is practically an homage of a mall for the more price-conscious but ambiance-particular among Thais and tourists alike.
Here are some interior shots I took of the place:
It can be dizzying looking down from where I took this photo. The long escalator is actually a short cut from M level to all the dining places in San Francisco level.
It was pure joy checking out the independent shops in the Paris and London levels.
Here's a view of Terminal 21's entrance coming from the BTS Asoke Skytrain station.
By the way, don’t worry if you just want to plain window shop. The food level offers a wide variety of mouth-watering choices and all priced competitively. A good number of my favorite eateries (e.g. Hachiban 8 and Oishi) have branches here. And if you have a thing about rest rooms, you will be pleased to know that all the toilet bowls are heated (imported from Japan) and the wash room designs adjusting to the theme of each level.
Terminal 21 has an excellent location. It is right at the corner where BTS Asoke (skytrain) and MTR Sukhumvit (subway) meet. If you’re a lazy bone and want to be super close, book a room at Grand Centrepoint Hotel & Residence – Sukhumvit Terminal 21 which has its own access to the mall. Otherwise, some of the walking distance hotel options here are The Key Bangkok, Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit, Westin Sukhumvit, Radisson Sukhumvit, Kingston Suites, City Lodge Soi 19 and Sacha’s Hotel Uno which you can book HERE.
Miss Universe Philippines 2012 Janine Tugonon atop the float that paraded her around Balanga, Bataan - her hometown.
Miss Universe Philippines 2012 Janine Tugonon took time out from her busy schedule to return to her hometown in Balanga, Bataan to acknowledge her family, friends, ka-probinsiyas, supporters and town officials who stood by her in Bb. Pilipinas 2012. She was honored during a parade which brought her along the main streets, much to the delight of everyone in attendance.
This homecoming reminds me so much of Shamcey Supsup last year when she visited Gensan shortly after her victory in Bb. Pilipinas 2011.
Looking at the photo above, don’t you agree that Janine is getting lovelier by the day? I hope she keeps it up.