One of the 8 ladies above could spring a surprise on Sunday night.
Every year, a surprise or two in the official results of Bb. Pilipinas (even Miss Universe) make us look closer at the TV screen (or the stage if watching live) more intently. It’s as if we missed this one girl who is suddenly performing beyond everybody’s expectations.
Last year, a petite and less regarded – albeit photogenic – Ali Forbes stunned amused watchers when she placed 2nd Runner-Up which translated to a year-long Top 5 appearance with Janine, Nicole, Katrina and Elaine. The year before that, the surprise was relatively minor when the likes of less popular Sarah Nicole Clenci and Wendy Lucas made it to the Top 15. And the year before that, Czarina Gatbonton floored everyone by becoming the last Filipina to wear the Bb. Pilipinas World sash.
For 2013, who will provide us with that eyebrow-raising moment? For your consideration, I short-listed eight candidates who just might sneak into the magic circle of Top 15 or Top 10 or even Top 5 when nobody’s looking (or taking a restroom break in between commercial gaps).
Cebuanas Angeli Dione Gomez and Herlie Kim Artugue head the group. Their excellent communication skills – and acceptable facial attractiveness – might not be lost on the judges’ scorecards. Same goes with Law student Ivy Kristel Gonzales and UK-raised Zandra Flores. And how about the youthful beauty of 17 year-old Imee Schweighart? She could turn on the charm that we have been ignoring for so long.
And then there is also Best National Costume winner (and Mutya Datul deadringer) Ma. Teresita ‘Mateane’ Baccay plus sexy Abby Monderin who may possibly complicate the field even more. Finally, let’s not forget the statuesque Valiry Vispo whose 5’10″ frame can be hard to ignore in a less competitive year.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, there is likely to be one shocking contender for this year. Her identity remains a mystery, though. After all, what’s Bb. Pilipinas without one?
Valiry, Matet, Carmela and Bence are always appearing without funfare. Let's give them their day in the spotlight.
No fancy write-up for this group.
I simply want to feature Val, Matet, Carmela and Bence as they have been lacking in equal opportunity exposure in the pageant so far.
Val is deliciously tall, Matet is scrumptiously articulate, Carmela is delectably sensual and Bence is flavorful and all. What seems to be missing?
Strong competitors? Lack of forward moves? I don’t want to think that they are being a wee bit complacent. One of them might just place in the semis to surprise us all…or not.
In this quartet, Matet might qualify for the first cut. But I might end up biting my tongue if I push it even further. Oh well, let’s just be happy for them. After all, they belong to the golden batch of Bb. Pilipinas 2013.
How do you love your Filipina beauty? Let us count the ways…
Do you like your Filipina with the light chocolate skin texture exuding an allure – at once exotic – and inevitably enviable to Westerners and pale Caucasians alike?
The Brown-Skinned Beauties
Or do you prefer them mixed blend enough to highlight the best of both worlds – or in some cases, the best of three worlds? Fil-German? Fil-Polish/Ukrainian? Fil-Indian? Take your pick.
The Mixed-Race Beauties
Or you might want to go for Filipinas with verifiably (read: on bare feet) statuesque height and hard-to-miss presence?
The Towering Beauties
Or better yet, your preference could be the girl-next-door Filipina – pretty face and pretty reachable – not the kind of neighbor who locks a homely appearance inside the confines of a bedroom.
The Girl-Next-Door Beauties
Whichever direction you find yourself headed to, one thing remains clear. The Filipina is diversely beautiful.
The mix of cultures may not be peculiar to our shores, but our lovelies will always have the edge over other types. The warmth? The sunny disposition? The wholesome sensuality? The fearless confidence? I say, it’s all that and more!
Binibini No. 26: ANNA FERNANDINA BUQUID
Age : 22 years old
Hometown : La Loma, Quezon City
School : DLSU/College of Saint Benilde
Other info : An airsoft enthusiast, Dindi takes pride in being this year’s tallest candidate at 5’11 3/4″ – just a breath shy of 6 feet.
Binibini No. 27: VANIA VALIRY VISPO
Age : 25 years old
Hometown : Tanauan, Batangas
School : San Beda College
Other info : 5’10″ Van is into basketball, swimming and graphic designing. She considers it a big honor to represent the country abroad if she wins the pageant.
Binibini No. 28: MERCEGRACE RAQUEL
Age : 21 years old
Hometown : Nueva Ecija
School : University of the Philippines-LB
Other info : A Math and Science Education major, MG takes her studies seriously while doing modeling stints on the side.
Binibini No. 29: PAULINE QUINTAS
Age : 19 years old
Hometown : Antipolo City
Other info : Pauline majors in Tourism and was crowned Mutya ng Antipolo 2012.
Binibini No. 30: MARIA THERESA GORGONIO
Age : 24 years old
Hometown : Cebu
School : University of San Carlos
Other info : Tourism graduate Matet is one of Cebu’s active fashion models.
All photos shot by Bruce Casanova and partial texts courtesy of Bb. Pilipinas (Official).
This is just the beginning for the 50 Official Candidates of Bb. Pilipinas 2013. OPMB Worldwide chanced upon some of them upon arrival at Gateway in preparation for their first official photoshoot for the pageant. Their energies are brimming with excitement. I hope they can keep it up till the homestretch because it won’t be an easy trek to the finals. With all the scheduled activities and personal appearances, the last thing in their minds should be getting a good 8-hour sleep.
Clockwise from top left: Mateane Baccay, Mercegrace Raquel, Mariz Ong, Valiry Vispo, Cassy Naidas and Charmaine Elima
Clockwise from top left: Pia Wurtzbach, Theresa Fenger, Mariel de Leon, Cindy Abundabar, Parul Shah, Imee Schweighart and Angel May Villafuerte.
Clockwise from top left: Angeli Gomez, Zandra Flores, Hannah Ruth Sison, Ara Arida, Ivy Gonzales, Bence Bianzon, Pauline Quintas, Yvette Mildenberger and Ria Rabajante.
Clockwise from top left: Rhea Nakpil, Bea Santiago, Ana Carmela Aquino, Matet Gorgonio and Ellore Punzalan.
Clockwise from top left: Lourenz Grace Remetillo, Leona Santicruz, Anna Buquid, Abby Monderin, Anna Carmina Antonio, Herlie Kim Artugue and Nicole Donesa
All photos courtesy of OPMB Worldwide.
What are the chances of having girls with the same names in a group of fifty? Very high. But let’s skip long write-ups for now. I will let pictures speak in the meantime. Discussions and assessments will be reserved for another day. Enjoy them first!
Clockwise from top left: Aiyana, Ria, Pia, Bea, Angeli, Merry Joyce, Parul, Charmaine and Theresa
Clockwise from top left: Zandra, Krisma, Mariel, Amanda, Hannah, Mutya, Camille, Imee and Kate
Clockwise from top left: Valiry, Cindy M, Cassy, Mariz, Ara, Bence, Jacqueline, Mercegrace and Anna Fernandina
Clockwise from top left: Shan, Yvette Chantal, Lourenz Grace, Abby, Ivy, Gabrielle(?), Sofia, Angel May and Rhea
Clockwise from top left: Rose, Carin, Anna Carmela, Cindy A, Pauline, Noelle, Mateane, Matet and Nicole
Counter clockwise from top left: Herlie Kim, Paula, Leona, Anna Carmina, and Jhan Helen
All photos courtesy of OPMB Worldwide.
Valiry on top photos; MJ below: BBP2013's JDV twin towers version
John dela Vega takes pride in mentoring two of the towering applicants in this year’s Bb. Pilipinas. While a stronger statuesque duo exists in Anna Buquid and Cassy Naidas, you can never dismiss Valiry Vispo and Merry Joyce Respicio that easily.
Let’s make quick comparisons of Val and MJ.
Val is 5’10″. MJ is 5’11″.
Val is older. MJ is fresher.
Val is an experienced national pageant joiner. MJ is a national pageant newbie.
Val is more elegant. MJ is more charming.
Val has a more confident stance. MJ still needs to go beyond cute.
So who should score higher between the two?
Methinks MJ is a more moldable trainee. Val has ingrained pageant learnings that may already be stuck in her system.
I choose MJ over Val.
One thing is clear. Both beauties have great chances of becoming Official Candidates.
A multitude of choices...
Your mind is reeling from the flood of beauties...
Who to pick? Who to pick? Aaahhh...I love this beautiful mess!
If it's going to be like this every year, then I would be the happiest pageant dreamer!
Okay, guys, let’s do role-playing today…
If each one of us is a member of the Bb. Pilipinas 2013 Screening Committee, and asked to come up with our preferred list of Official Candidates, who will you list down as your choices?
For this purpose, let’s limit the number to just exactly thirty (30) to make it more exciting.
To start the ball rolling, here is my wish list of 30 Official Candidates* for Bb. Pilipinas 2013:
From Aces & Queens
1) Pia Wurtzbach Romero 5’7″
2) Ariella Arida 5’8″
3) Shan Apuad 5’8″
4) Cassandra Naidas 5’10″
5) Kylie Verzosa 5’9″
6) Mariel de Leon 5’8″
7) Cindy Miranda 5’7″
8) Cindy Abundabar 5’8″
9) Jacqueline Mayoralgo 5’7″
10) Theresa Fenger 5’8″
11) Angel May Villafuerte 5’6″
12) Kate Enriquez 5’6″
From Kagandahang Flores
13) Charmaine Elima 5’7″
14) Bea Santiago 5’9″
15) Parul Shah 5’9″
16) Amanda Navasero 5’6″
17) Zandra Flores 5’8″
18) Hannah Ruth Sison 5’8″
19) Herlie Kim Artugue 5’7″
20) Aiyana Mickiewicz 5’8″
21) Imelda Schweighart 5’6″
From Team JDV
22) Mercegrace Raquel 5’8″
23) Valiry Vispo 5’10″
24) Merry Grace Respicio 5’11″
25) Mateane Baccay 5’8″
26) Mutya Johanna Datul 5’8″
27) Anna Buquid 5’11 3/4″
28) Pauline Quintas 5’10″
29) Krisma Pascual 5’7″
30) Ria Rabajante 5’7″
Who are yours?
* – Heights are based on online news reports and articles. The actual measurements will be released by BPCI once the Official Candidates are posted on the pageant’s website.
Tall girls in a row (left to right): 5'11 Merry Joyce Respicio, 5'11 3/4 Anna Buquid and 5'10 Valiry Vispo (Photo credit: Poi Subijano)
When was the last time Bb. Pilipinas had more than one or two applicants standing at least 5’10″ and not stuck with just being tall? Honestly, I can’t remember anymore. Sure we had the likes of Reina Mae Maerina (5’10″, 2010) or Tabetha Jo Frick (5’11″, 2008) in the past, but they really just helped up the average height of a particular batch but never considered serious threats.
This year, we have at least five (three are pictured above and one on the left) who raise the roof so to speak. And they are not your gangling easy-to-dismiss contenders by any stretch of the imagination. We have 1/4-of-an-inch-shy-of-6-feet-tall Anna Buquid leading the trail. And then there is 5’11″-on-bare-feet Merry Joyce Respicio. And let’s not forget the 5’10″-trio of Cassandra Naidas, Pauline Quintas and Valiry Vispo. Their heights combined will help seal the height mean to about 5’8″ for 2013 (as compared to around 5’6″ in the past).
Nice, very nice!
The Philippines’ three most popular beauty camps wish you Happy Valentine’s Day! (Photo credit: OPMB Worldwide)
Before anything else, let me greet everyone ‘Happy Valentine’s Day!’ and may you celebrate the beauty and wonder of love in all its shapes and sizes.
Ok, back to Bb. Pilipinas 2013, the running Battle of the Beauty Camps has already switched to high gear going into the final day of screenings at the Gateway Suites. And I bet BPCI’s evaluating committee is being pressured to high heavens with the topnotch quality of applicants for its 50th Anniversary.
But haven’t you noticed the missing individuals in the three separate photos of Aces & Queens, Kagandahang Flores and Team JDV above? It’s quite obvious that their best bets have not been included in the group shots. You see no Pia or Ara or Charmaine or Parul or Mercegrace or Valiry! It’s like these six girls are being protected from over-exposure or they simply missed the photo op.
Anyways, Madame Stella Marquez de Araneta must be smiling from ear to ear with the entries of the three groups. Just imagine getting already polished candidates needing only the minimum of training for pre-pageant purposes. The best thing is that their individual improvements will be upgraded even more as the Official Candidates are immersed into the more demanding routine and environment of the country’s premier national pageant. And that is where the girls will be separated from the women, and the potential winners will shine on top of mere wannabes.
Oooohh! I’m so loving this! I can’t wait to see who will finally make up the 2013 batch!