The question has been making the rounds of online message boards, social media circles and even in the middle of not-so-hushed talks among pageant followers huddled together in get-togethers or coffee dates. Does Catriona Gray have even the slightest chance to lose the Miss World Philippines 2016 crown which has already been virtually placed on her head as far back as the day that she announced her candidacy?
I must admit. You cannot find fault in Catriona Gray. Some kibitzers are saying that she shouldn’t be too sweet as to lose whatever minimal spunk she possesses in her regular aura. Other than that, I see no reason for her to walk away with just a Princess sash across her catwalk-trained body. And it actually saddens me a bit that I’m not even giving another contender or two a substantial chance to prove their worth. It just cannot be helped. Miss World Philippines has now become a national pageant where you can zero in on the clear winner from Day 1.
True. The 2015 edition provided a sprinkling of jitters during the finals among the pro-Hillarie Parungao fans and followers. But with the dead giveaways of numerous Special Awards being thrown in her way, there was only an iota of doubt that the likes of Cassandra Naidas or Mia Allyson Howell would be able to pull the rug from right under Hillarie’s dainty feet.
And so we come to this. With hesitation, I am now making a forecast on the four (4) Princesses who will make up Catriona’s court. With the #1 spot already a clear triumph for Candidate #13, let us see which quartet will stand beside her at the end of the finals.
Sandra Lemonon is my 1st Princess. And in this placement, she is already considered a lock after getting a clear view of how the pre-pageant activities unraveled.
As for 2nd Princess, it could still be a toss between JDV entry Marah Muñoz and crossover A&Q bet Alyanna Cagandahan. The edge might be provided by the speech to be delivered towards the last half-hour of the program.
4th Princess for me is Arienne Louise Calingo. But this spot remains precarious still. Independent comer Roshiel Asingua, Kris Bernal-deadringer Ralph Lauren Asuncion or even the sweet Vinie Dy Quiangco could jockey up for that one last spot to make up the magic circle.
Regardless, the one sure thing that can no longer be contested is the practically foregone conclusion that Catriona Gray will be Washington, DC-bound for Miss World 2016. It’s something that only a person of less shimmer and runaway popularity can ruin the contest’s reputation.
And so, we now sit back and await the formal announcement. 🙂
courtesy of Pageant TV
First off, below is a video of my Top 5 Predictions:
Now here are the Top 15 on my list in photos:
Truthfully, I have assessed the Official Candidates over and over again for the past two weeks (moreso when I sat on the panel of Pre-Pageant judges last September 18) and I could really see the competition among the 34 remaining gay men being dominated by five of them:
1) John Raspado of Baguio City – the tall and very good-looking Igorot who has the Mr. Gay World profile all over his features and qualifications. He can also speak his mind well, and needs to just steady his nerves during crunch time. The title is his to lose, in my opinion. If he fumbles in the most important part of the competition, the next likeliest winner would be…
2) Janjep Carlos of Cavite – the adorable chinito who never hides the fact that he went under the knife to achieve the look he now proudly displays to all and sundry. This guy can be a real scene stealer once you give him the chance to express his innermost self. He can have a way with words, and in a brief and concise manner at that. He is definitely the biggest opponent of the #1 on my list, but would not yet discount the plan of attack being readied by…
3) Bench Ortiz of Pangasinan – cleary the most familiar face in the competition, owing to his widespread popularity among fans and followers of KF Beauty Queens and the camp’s pageant contenders as a Fitness Coach. He definitely exudes a tempered flamboyance that will never go unnoticed. And I have always seen him as the Best in Swimwear among all comers. But how far will he go considering that there could be a silent killer in…
4) Khalil Vera Cruz of Zamboanga del Sur – this corporate yuppie who earned his latest business acumen from the Asian Institute of Management blends his very Pinoy facial charm with a generous dash of wit and a very articulate self. And boy, he is the most dashing when it comes to suits, tux and smart casual wear. Did I also mention that he is an active voice for HIV/AIDS Awareness #LoveYourSelf? But wait, there could be one more spoiler in the ranks and he is…
5) Leo Andrew Ponce of Batangas – the former business trader turned professional hair and make-up artist can also be a force to reckon with. He may not have the look that grabs you outright. But he definitely overflows in character. His appeal grows on you and stays firmly rooted. He is a vocal LGBTQi advocate who will will always fight for equality and give a whiplash to gay men who discriminate their fellow gay men.
These five are my strongest bets for the title, and I bet one of them will be our representative in Mr. Gay World 2017.
As for the remaining ten on my list, I would pick two (2) special competitors who may also pull a hat trick and surprise everyone come October 2. Sycris Brown of General Santos City and Ron Ramos of Palawan could be real spoilers if the breaks come their way. We’ll just have to wait and see if any cookie will crumble and give way to their entry to the big spotlight.
So for now, my top pick for Mr. Gay World Philippines is John Fernandez Raspado of Baguio City. He’d better deliver because I have a lot of faith in him. He is definitely in it to win it.
Allow me now to give a huge thanks to the Head and Founder of Mr. Gay World Philippines Organization Wilbert Tolentino who has transformed the usually non-mainstream search to the national level with his brave and daring. He has the maverick personality that will pull out all the stops to make this competition a big success. Kudos as well to his senior team made up of Raoul Barbosa, Ryan Soto, Rodgil Flores and others for providing solid support from beginning to end.
To the successor of Christian Lacsamana, may you inspire even more.
See you at the UP Theater this Sunday. It’s going to be one hell of a show that could approximate Miss Universe proportions. 🙂
Bb. Pilipinas Intercontinental 2016 Jennifer Hammond is all set to leave for Colombo, Sri Lanka this coming Monday, October 3, to start with her mission to win the country’s first Miss Intercontinental title in the more than four decades old beauty pageant.
During her send-off, Jen confessed that she was initially sad of not going to Germany as previously expected. But after studying more about the Sri Lankan culture and traditions, she started developing a real interest for the South Asian nation. She even dug deep into the dos and donts for first-time visitors. In short, she is all hyped for the host city now.
And outside of taking inspiration from having the most exotic destination among the Bb. Pilipinas 2016 Queens, she is also motivated by the fact the she will be writing pageant history for the Philippines should she become the next wearer of the Miss Intercontinental crown. Of course, it goes without saying that her boyfriend Ryan is super proud and supportive of her. They may have only eyes for each other – love-wise – but they allow a lot of room for growth in their respective careers.
Best of luck, Jennifer!
Do not forget what I whispered in your ears during the sendoff. It should serve to inspire you even more. 😉
Earlier in the afternoon, a triple send-off was hosted in honor of Bb. Pilipinas International 2016 Kylie Verzosa, Bb. Pilipinas Intercontinental 2016 Jennifer Hammond and Bb. Pilipinas Grand International 2016 Nicole Cordoves at the Monet 2 Ballroom of Novotel Araneta Center.
The three queens showed to everyone how well-prepared they have already transformed themselves into, especially Nicole Cordoves who is sporting a very sexy (explosive) vibe knowing that her contest will expect a Miss-Universe-like fierceness. Kylie Verzosa continues to be her very confident self as she is adding extra elements of elegance to her stance as she knows that this is one of the key strengths the Japanese are looking for. As for Jennifer, she has studied Sri Lanka and all its practices, traditions and religion so that she can adapt best to the liking of the locals.
All in all, I believe we have a really strong set of contenders who can literally bring home their respective international crowns if fate continuously stays in their favor.
Best of luck in your missions abroad, Binibinis! 😀
Tomorrow night in Surabaya, Mister Universal Ambassador 2016 will be named. He will be the 2nd in the two year-old male pageant that has managed to rise up the ranks in terms of popularity. From a mere nineteen (19) candidates in 2015, it has assembled forty-eight (48) in this batch – quite an impressive jump in terms of the trust given by National Directors from all over the world.
So as is customary in my blog, I will give now my Final Predictions for the Top 15. The video above had the choices presented in alphabetical order. Here now are my picks arranged from 1-15 (top to bottom):
In all honesty and objectivity, I can see a three-way battle for the top spot with Christian Llorente of Spain, Alejandro Martinez of the Dominican Republic and Andrea Biondo of the Philippines fighting tooth and nail to be #1. The rise to pole position won’t be easy, as I know that the IMP (Indonesian Male Pageant) Organization will make it doubly hard for the contenders to slug it out considering that the next winner will have big shoes to fill in the person of Christian Ortiz of Puerto Rico. In the end, I can see a winner who will not only be a “Captivating Role Model” (the pageant’s tagline), but also a committed brand ambassador who can help make Mister Universal Ambassador become the best male competition anywhere in the globe.
As for the potential qualifiers outside of the trio above, I can pick Eric of Puerto Rico, Jesus of Peru, Marcello of Brazil and Mazi of Algeria as strong spoilers. This quartet can individually zoom to higher placements if the breaks go in their favor.
All told, this batch has unleashed a really strong group of entries from Latin America and Spain – the Spanish-speaking countries if you will. But if the organization is looking at gaining more solid grounds into Europe, then a toss between Christian Llorente and Andrea Biondo would be ideal as both of them can connect the brand to the said continent effortlessly well. And between the two, our bet has a slight edge because he still has that solid link to Asia where Mister Universal Ambassador still needs to sustain its popularity.
Mister Universal Ambassador 2016 will have its Grand Finals at the Governor Hall in Surabaya Carnival Jawa Timur where Mister Tourism International Philippines 2015 Willan Pagayon will be the Master of Ceremonies.
Best of luck to all candidates! 😀
First off, Bb. Pilipinas Grand International 2016 Nicole Cordoves is thrilled to the max that she is going to Las Vegas for her competition. She has long wanted to fulfill her pageant mission in the city where: 1) the Philippines got its third Miss Universe crown and 2) the support of Filipino-Americans from East Coast to West Coast all converge in a place where no stones (or cards) are left unturned to insure that they got her back from Day 1.
Actually, as early as two months ago, Nicole already got confirmation from different Filipino groups in the US that they will rally their troops to go to Las Vegas to cheer and push for her potential victory.
And our bet is not sitting on these guarantees. She is faithfully doing her assignment. She knows that she got the speech and Q&A parts in the bag. So right now, she is preparing for explosive presentations a la Miss Universe Pageant. Miss Grand International is known to idolize the said contest so the parallelisms will definitely be felt.
Now you know why she attended her send-off in a yellow gown that brought out her sexiness even more. She knows what MGI wants, and plans to give them the peg that they want on a silver platter.
So who’s betting on Nicole now? 😉
And Nichole Manalo’s date with destiny has been finalized!
Our Bb. Pilipinas Globe 2016 will travel to Tirana, Albania for The Miss Globe 2016 which will take place from November 13-25. The Coronation Night will be at the National Opera Theater on November 25.
Now this is the reason why the reigning winner – our very own Ann Colis – made a trip to the Albanian capital more than a month ago. The organizers are putting the final pieces on the hosting of the pageant’s 43rd edition.
Nichole will be the 4th Bb. Pilipinas 2016 Queen to compete (after Jennifer, Nicole and Kylie). Joanna Eden will be next come early December, with Maxine going for glory come January. 🙂
Fresh from her successful conquest of the crown in Guayaquil, Ecuador, Miss United Continents 2016 Jeslyn Santos returned home to Manila amidst the warm reception given by friends and supporters plus selected members of the media. The 23 year-old Bulakenya was visibly elated by the rousing welcome she received and was even game enough to repeat the answer she gave during the finals in Spanish (watch below).
Jeslyn will donate part of her cash winnings to Red Cross, as she herself stated. And aside from this arrival presscon, a separate Victory Party will be hosted on her behalf this coming October 1.
From all of us here at normannorman.com, let me congratulate you once more for a job well done.
Earlier in the day, Miss Universe Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach and Miss Universe Philippines Maxine Medina teamed up to visit the UNICEF Philippines office for duscussions on how they can help in their HIV/AIDS Awareness Drive. We all know by now how driven Queen P is in this cause, and with her national successor in tow, they will do their share in the national campaign. Which more popular endorsers can/are willing to do the job except the two?
I bet Maxine also has this concern close to her heart. Aside from the meetings, I am pretty sure that the two spent long talks on how to prepare herself for the 65th Miss Universe. Who better to give her advise than the reigning titleholder? 🙂