Seventeen to shine for Aces & Queens!
Your blogger had the privilege of receiving an invite to the uber exclusive preview of the beautiful ladies comprising Aces & Queens’ entrants for Bb. Pilipinas 2014 held at Lee Gardens in Mandaluyong City. Jonas Gaffud and other members of his team were around to usher in the coming-out gathering of the latest batch. Adding more glitz to the occasion were Miss World 2013 Megan Young, Miss Universe Philippines 2013 Ara Arida, Miss World Philippines 2012 Queenie Rehman and MWP2012 1st Princess Mary Ann Ross Misa.
These beautiful crown-claimers – seventeen (17) all in all (with three absentees* which would have made them twenty) – were presented in pageant-like fashion. It was almost like watching a smaller version of the national competition, complete with all the crucial segments (cocktail dresses, figure wear and evening gowns) that the guests were looking forward to.
Let me tell you – and I have been repeating this statement for more than a year now – that majority of them look so much more attractive in person. Pictures posted in this blog and other sites do not always give justice to how they come across when the girls are already a few feet (even less) away.
The first photo grid below has Pia Wurtzbach, Bianca Guidotti, Yvethe Santiago, Kim Suiza, Hannah dela Guerra and Carla Lizardo. The second photo grid has Janelle Tee, KC Halili, Gabe Tilokani, Laura Lehmann, Monique Trinidad, Katrina Salao, Ainjely Manalo, Diane Querrer, Jeane Flores, Hannah Caayon and Mona Hammad.
So I know you’ve been waiting for my face-to-face impressions of the wannabes. Allow me to start with the ones who have not been introduced here as part of the group to date. I will give individual solo features in the days to come.
Mona Hammad (5’6″) – one of the best catwalks among the 17. This Fil-Egyptian has a very regal bearing that is hard to ignore.
Ainjely Manalo (5’7″ and no relation to the ‘sisters’) – perfectly-chiseled face and if only she had 2-3 more inches to her height, she would’ve been a scene stealer.
Monique Trinidad (5’6″) – this Morong resident is special in the sense that her very down-to-earth ways show a simple lass who wants to rise above it all by giving it her best shot.
Hannah Caayon (5’7″) – this stock broker belies the kind of profession she is in. She delivers her lines in English fluently and has a career girl peg that makes you want to discuss things at length.
Katrina Salao (5’6″) – this radio dj is actually a strong speaker whose communication skills are music to the ears. She has a whistle-bait figure as well.
KC Halili (5’6″) – although she appears to be the shortest in the batch, this lady has a winsome appeal that makes people sit up and take notice.
We can now segue to the lovelies who have not received the most encouraging feedbacks from readers, but are more than pleasantly surprising in my opinion.
Carla Jenina Lizardo (5’7″) – again, one of the group’s best speakers. No pageant newbie, she knows the right approach to presentation and brings her talents to the max. Features may be a bit strong, but nothing that a good make-up artist can’t handle.
Gabrielle ‘Gabe’ Tilokani (5’7″) – the surname is of Indian lineage I was told. This girl looks a lot more beautiful in the flesh. Her pictures are far from how she projected during the event.
Laura Lehmann (5’9″) – though she might seem to be a bit more Americanized by now, this former national softball player is quite a presence with her witty mind and ever-smiling face.
Diane Querrer (5’6″) – this model and events host has improved a lot from the pictures I’ve seen of late. She has a far more lively appeal in person and looks to be styled and made-up more beautifully.
How about the ones who have been getting positive albeit middling replies, but may actually produce some instant converts from the previous un-believers?
Jeane Louise Flores (5’9″) – a sleeper-in-the-making this tall Cavitena. She has a fierce catwalk and very Pinay aura and skin tone that could spell a hit abroad if packaged the right way.
Janelle L. Tee (5’7″) – this lady has her own brand of charm that is distinct in the way she presents herself. She no longer fits the Fil-Chi mold, but more distinctly Filipina in projection and styling.
Let’s go to the hyped ones. These are the young women who have already been ticked as potential winners from the group – pending an extra round or two of further convincing.
Kimverlyn Suiza (5’8″) – the group’s Latina-looking chick is already familiar to most everyone. While her presentation may strike some as one-dimensional, she can actually be transformed into a more gorgeous contender in due time.
Hannah Mariz de la Guerra (5’6″) – one of the group’s most beautiful faces in my opinion. While the sophistication is still missing, her adorable looks and fluid oral facility in English are assets that can be used to full effect.
And now we’re down to the beauty camp’s lead players – much like piece de resistance if you will. And these three gorgeous individuals are more than just your premium eye candies. They walk the walk and talk the talk. Their make-overs are truly something to buzz about.
(L-R) Mary Anne Bianca Guidotti, Yvethe Marie Santiago and Pia Wurtzbach
Yvethe Marie A. Santiago (5’9″) – her looks are cute at first, but her charm and over-all aura grow splendidly well the minute she glides and speaks. With a little more sharpening, she can be quite a strong bet in the nationals.
Mary Anne Bianca Guidotti (5’10”) – for your information, there is more to this statuesque lady than her fluency in Portuguese. She has a cool and easy vibe that goes well with her striking face and warm disposition.
Pia Wurtzbach (5’8″) – the friendly lady knows what she wants. And she is not leaving any stones unturned to realize her dream of wearing the Philippine sash abroad. Her beautiful face, greatly helped by sharp turns and studied angles & poses, is the stuff that gives for plus points over the first-timers and cross-overs.
I will post a second part of this presentation coverage where my top camp choices will be named.
P.S. for height purposes, your blogger (who stands 5’9″) had a picture taken with the tallest among the ladies, Mary Anne Bianca Guidotti, who is 5’10” and wearing four-inch heels. Check out below.
* – the three absentees were Zahara Soriano, Meryl Angeline King and Diana Arevalo who had their justified personal reasons for not making it.