One comment on “Missed watching Miss Universe 2011?

  1. MISS PHILIPPINES-UNIVERSE 2011: Beauty and Brains Beyond Universal

    Much as I’d like to blog about something new, I can’t afford to let go of my own share of retrospect on last September 6’s Miss Universe 2011 event. Quite understandable, because aside from being a pageant fanatic, a frustrated beauty queen, and a mentor to aspiring beauty queens, I will always be proud of every Filipino, past and present, who has made a mark in any international beauty quest.

    Miss Philippines Shamcey Supsup may not have come home with the coveted Miss Universe 2011 crown, but she’s brought pride and honor to our country by placing 3rd runner-up. Talks and blogs have it that she should’ve placed higher. As far as I’m concerned, she could have either clinched the crown or gotten the first runner-up position had most of the judges been receptive to and respectful enough of her honest-to-goodness answer to such a make-or-break question asked during the final round. However, I’d like to think that the result was fair, and I highly respect the judges’ decision.

    In all fairness to Miss Angola Leila Lopes (the winner), she had the most beautiful face among the 15 semi-finalists. She reminds me of her fellow exotic beauty from her continent, Nigeria’s Agbani Darego, who won the 2001 Miss World crown in South Africa, but had been misplaced at Miss Universe 2001 held in Puerto Rico a few months prior (Denise Quinones of the host country won the night). Anyhow, Miss Ukraine Olesya Stefanko (first runner-up) was also seductive and glamourous.

    Shamcey Supsup was exceptional. She’s a dead ringer for Binibining Pilipinas-International 1996 Yedda Marie Mendoza Kittilsvedt and Binibining Pilipinas-Universe 2007 Anna Theresa Licaros mixed. She had the best walk and the best style. She displayed the most grace and elegance, and delivered the most substantial answer in terms of honesty and conviction. Moreover, who wouldn’t have been impressed by the fact that, of all the five finalists, she was the only one who needed no interpreter? For that she should’ve been given extra points.

    Any true-blue Filipino everywhere would be proud of and happy for Shamcey’s feat at the pageant. But because we can’t please everybody, some may have blamed her for sounding too religiously fanatic in her response to the final question: “Would you change your religious beliefs to marry the person that you love? Why or why not?”

    She replied, “If I had to change my religious beliefs, I would not marry the person that I love, because the first person I love is God, who created me. I have my faith and my principles, and this is what makes me who I am. And if that person loves me, he should love my God, too.”

    I could hardly see anything wrong with that, with being honest and humble in a beauty pageant. It’s just so unbecoming that some title-holders won in their respective competitions owing to their answer that the judges and the audience wanted to hear. Hence, most contestants are pressed to answer against their personal choice and opinion, because they’re afraid to lose their chance of winning.

    Please spare Shamcey, for she stood her ground with conviction as a God-centered human being and pride as an exemplary Filipina. Born brainy and bold, she did not come through a traditional method of training wherein beauty-queen wannabes are taught to lie and be politically correct for the sake of winning.

    I reviewed the pageant a few days ago. Donald Trump was right about choosing Brazil as this year’s host country, because its culture is so rich as it was evident in the pageant’s stage. It might not be as majestic as that at Miss Universe 2000 in Cyprus (crown won by my all-time favorite beauty queen, India’s Lara Dutta) or as big as that at Miss Universe 2004 in Equador (Australia’s Jennifer Hawkins was crowned), but Brazil’s production was awesome. It was festive that they let each of the candidates introduce herself onstage, rather than having the segment pre-taped from a separate location. It could, however, have also been taped onstage beforehand, but to the televiewers worldwide it looked as if it was done live.

    I wish the present organizers could create an opening production number again that’s as visually enthralling as that of Miss Universe 2004, wherein USA’s Shandi Finnessey brought the house down with her hip-swaying. Such dance number may be a good ice-breaker for all those delegates coming from different countries and competing for one coveted crown. Plus, let’s face it: It’s pleasing to see all equally beautiful women dancing together, isn’t it? If I may remember it right, legendary pageant choreographer Scott Grossman did it and made it classy. He’s the hot man onstage, during his terms with the organization, who was tasked to hand bouquets to special award winners, the runners-up and, of course, the Miss Universe.

    This year’s production number into each segment (the swimsuit competition as well as the evening gown competition) was eye-popping. What I like about Miss Universe compared to other pageants is that, like science, it undergoes change and development, as the structures of the universe. Gone are the days when girls dilly-dallied in their evening gowns. Such old-school style is common in neighborhood and municipal beauty contests, and even in some national and international pageants except for Miss Universe and Miss World. I found this year’s host Andy Cohen as delicious as his voice and accent. To me he’s the hottest host that Miss Universe pageant has invited.

    To Shamcey Supsup, thank you for uplifting the image of our country. The same goes to Maria Venus Raj, for placing fourth runner-up in last year’s edition of Miss Universe pageant: You paved the way for aspiring Filipina beauty queens. On the other hand, it’s quite interesting to note that it was also in (Sao Paulo) Brazil where our very own Chat Almarvez had won the first runner-up award in the prestigious Ford Supermodel of the World 2010 competition. A big thanks to her as well.


    To those who were not able to read, let me share an article that I wrote about Shamcey Supsup before she left the country to compete in the Miss Universe 2011 pageant. I hope that, through this, you will get to know more about our very own beauty queen and admire her brains beneath those Chi-done waves, not to mention have a glimpse of her inner being through the grace and elegance of her tsunami walk. Thank you.

    SHAMCEY SUPSUP: Beauty, Brains and Beyond

    A beauty-and-brains combo can be hard to find among pageant contestants. More often if a candidate is too pretty, her Intelligence Quotient is scarcely high enough to match. There may be others who are blessed with a little bit of everything — lovely face, smooth skin, curvy figure, height of five-feet-seven or better, or just enough guts to say something during question-and-answer.

    But if you’re judging a beauty contest, and there’s one girl onstage standing before you, alongside her equally gorgeous fellow contestants, and you knew that she graduated with Latin honors and she was a board topnotcher, why would you have to look around and find someone else?

    This year, our country has chosen its national queen whose charm is as unquestionable as her wit. Recently crowned Binibining Pilipinas – Universe 2011, Shamcey Supsup has proven a woman’s worth by defining beauty at par with brains.

    She’s not the first title-holder who has graduated Magna Cum Laude (from the University of the Philippines-Diliman), but her placing first in the 2010 Philippine Architecture Licensure Examination is what makes most of us hold her in higher esteem — than winning that coveted crown of the night. In a country where kids are told to study hard as soon as they start going to school, Supsup will serve as a role model for young girls out there who want to make a stride into the world of pageantry.

    While most national beauty contests require girls to be at least high school graduates who are between 18 years old and 25, a completed undergraduate educational attainment will still be the best preparation, let alone weapon.

    Not only will it have molded their minds, thus making them more confident throughout the competition, from pre-pageant interviews to the final question-and-answer in the coronation night, it will be easy for the winner to fulfill her duties and responsibilities during her reign. And then, she can pursue her long-term dream, be it in show business, or in the corporate world, or in the medical profession. It depends, though, on the girl’s physical potentiality and mental preparedness. Mutya Ng Pilipinas 1993 Michelle Aldana was still studying Speech and Drama at the University of the Philippines-Diliman when she joined the pageant. Her stature, spontaneity and fresh Filipina beauty won for our country the last Miss Asia-Pacific title.

    Supsup will be competing in the Miss Universe pageant come September, to be held in Sao Paulo, Brazil. There’s no question to the way former Miss Universes have been selected, but almost always the Miss Universe Organization is hounded by controversies about their basis for selection of the semi-finalists. Many pageant experts and analysts have wondered how come that lousy lady from Europe made it to the semi finals, while this elegant lass from Asia barely did.

    It goes without saying that results are always unpredictable and that we can only expect the unexpected. However, as soon as the semi-finalists start strutting their stuff and pivoting their way onstage, we cannot help noticing one or two finalists looking so out of place in swimsuit and in evening gown. Our country has sent sexier and prettier delegates to all international beauty pageants out there, but to no avail. We might as well support someone like Shamcey Supsup whose resume is as eloquent as her personality, a representative who can interact well with her co-candidates, the press, the sponsors, the organizers, the bigwigs of the host country.

    Never mind the Final Question segment, for we cannot blame delegates who answer in their mother tongue. Intelligence is not measured by someone’s command of English, in a country where they’re using their native language as medium of instruction. But if we talk about a non-English speaking finalist’s gist of her answer, only the interpreter can admit to either translating her thoughts as is, or glossing over its content to make it sound more sensible.

    And if, God willing, Shamcey Supsup brings home the crown this year, then she will be the next Miss Universe from the Philippines since 1973. But all the same, she will always be a full-fledged, one-of-a-kind icon of beauty and brains, born to be our country’s cream of the crop, donning the sash as the Philippines’ most beautiful woman, wearing the medal for being the most intelligent architect around.

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