Catriona and MUO President Paula Shugart
I wanted so much to end 2018 with a big bang. If only clarity on the issue of whether the Miss Universe franchise remains with BPCI or crosses over to LCS has been settled in the last few days, then it would make for an explosive year-end blog entry. But then again, that would be asking for way too much confirmation during the uber busy Holiday Season.
Pageants fans and followers are divided on the matter. But I reckon that – if we play by percentages – there would be a lot more who are in favor of the franchise staying put with Bb. Pilipinas to maintain the prestige of the country’s biggest national pageant as well as to preserve its glorious place on top of the pedestal in full hierarchial view of the entire Philippines. Besides, the record of the leadership of Madame Stella Marquez de Araneta is something that other National Directors can only hope to achieve in their lifetime.
On the other side of the coin, there is this side of business that doesn’t give much premium on sentimentality or loyalty or time-honored tradition. As the line goes, “…the only thing constant is change.” And with the ties that bind the Miss Universe Organization (MUO) and the LCS Group of Companies, the partnership could only move to a logical next step of having the franchise be placed under the latter’s care. That way, both MUO and IMG will have a more direct hand in controlling/advising how the brand is managed and sustained with progressive exclusivity.
This is me in the middle. Having grown up with Bb. Pilipinas, I would love to see MU stay with BPCI. But I’d also like to see how MU will grow nationally as a stand-alone pageant. I won’t take sides now. I will just let destiny speak for itself. Because with what I have been hearing, it could be a done deal – unless some kind of a unique arrangement can be finalized in the coming month or two.
Artwork by Henry Nicholson Labajo
Since the issue has not been settled yet, let me end 2018 with lyrics from the song written/composed by Prince and made more famous by Sinéad O’Connor because I personally feel that some of the lines simply fit:
Nothing Compares 2 U
It’s been seven hours and fifteen days
Since you took your love away
I go out every night and sleep all day
Since you took your love away
Since you been gone I can do whatever I want
I can see whomever I choose
I can eat my dinner in a fancy restaurant
I said nothing can take away these blues
‘Cause nothing compares
Nothing compares to you
It’s been so lonely without you here
Like a bird without a song
Nothing can stop these lonely tears from falling
Tell me baby where did I go wrong…
More than two years ago today – the 22nd of November 2016 to be exact – Catriona Gray, who was then the reigning Miss World Philippines, was given her official sendoff to Miss World 2016 at the C3 Events Place Greenhills. I was able to corner her to sing a few lines in Tagalog (or Filipino if you will). Watch the first video above.
Now if you click the second video below, she gave her greetings to the readers of normannorman.com.
Just imagine, had Catriona won Miss World 2016, then the right photos of her as Miss Universe 2018 (courtesy of The Nation Bangkok and PentyDynamics) would not happen and there just might be no BIG reason for the Philippines’ major celebration in pageantry.
In 2018, it would be safe to say that the Asia/Pacific nosed out the other continental regions in international male pageantry with wins courtesy of Seung Hwan Lee of Korea in Mister International, Prathamesh Maulingkar of India in Mister Supranational, George Reylor De Lumen of the Philippines in Mister Universal Ambassador and Brata Angga Kartasasmita of Indonesia in Mr. Universe Tourism (who took over the reign of another Asian – Ion Perez of the Philippines). José-Manuel Alcalde of Chile snatched Mister Model International and Anthony Clarinda of Curacao copped Men Universe Model. There are several other male competitions to cite, but you can also add the victories of Vietnam in Man of the World, Tahiti in Mister Grand International, the Philippines in Mister Model Worldwide and Nepal in Mister Model of The World to add up to the score card of AsPac.
For 2019, we have the two biggest international male pageants happening in our shores come February (Mister International) and March (Mr World). So there really is so much to look forward to this side of the tilts in the Year of the Earth Pig!
Happy New Year everyone!
The four winning pillars of pageantry in 2018:
Catriona Gray – Miss Universe
Vanessa Ponce de León – Miss World
Mariem Claret Velazco – Miss International
Nguyễn Phương Khánh – Miss Earth
Indeed, this is the year split between Asians and Latinas in international beauty competitions. If you consider the rest of the other pageants like Miss Supranational (Puerto Rico), Miss Grand International(Paraguay), Miss Tourism International (Indonesia), Miss Asia Pacific International (Philippines), Miss Eco International (Philippines), The Miss Globe (China), Reina Hispanoamericana (Venezuela), Miss United Continents (México) and more, you’ll see what I mean.
As 2018 comes to a close, let us look forward to an even more exciting 2019 with the opening salvo being the 47th Miss Intercontinental next month.
Happy New Year to all of you, my dear readers!
Click above to sign the petition
No to LCS: Miss Universe Philippines to retain in BPCI
BPCI: The true gateway for Filipinas to make a difference in the world.
This is one thing that many pageant fans do not realize. BINIBINING PILIPINAS CHARITIES is a reputable organization and one way for BPCI to perform their community advocacy is through donations/honorariums received from private corporations/governments when the beauty queens are invited to do their jobs such as Public Speaking about an advocacy, judge a pageant, endorse …a product, etc. If BPCI will lose the top plum, it will mean the demise of MANY communities that they support both in Metro Manila and the provinces. BPCI has been supporting the ccommunities since the 1960s and it’s hard to think that the support will be divided. BPCI donates ALL OF ITS EARNINGS (Honorarium and payment of these private organizations/governments) to orphanages, daycare centers, calamaty centers (when it happens), hospitals such as PGH and AFP hospital and bringing of indigent children by hosting Disney on Ice.
I’m sure LCS will promote an advocacy of its own too. But let us not forget that the TRUE RELEVANCE of Binibining Pilipinas lies in more than just the quest for the True Filipina Beauty and not on thinking about who can be sent to Miss Universe/International from its roster of crowned queens.
BINIBINING PILIPINAS IS AN ADVOCACY IN ITSELF. Losing a crown may impede donations given to this advocacy but BPCI has been a legacy since the 1960s. Our support should be given not only to the glitz, fame and representatives but to the mother organization who also fights to helo these young Filipinas to be a torch-bearer of community advocacies that they and BPCI jointly supports.
As what BPCI have said in their official website, “Binibining Pilipinas is the TRUE GATEWAY to many meaningful opportunities to be able to make a difference in the world, with its enduring commitment to various humanitarian causes.”
Sign the petition HERE if you are willing (or not) to show your support.
While everyone else is busy stuffing themselves with yummy Holiday treats, Miss Intercontinental Philippines 2018 Karen J. Gallman continues to keep herself in fighting form for the big mission in the 47th Miss Intercontinental happening next month. She really makes you drop dead just looking at her sexiness. Whew!
#karengallman #47thmissintercontinental #missintercontinental2018
Raymond Saldaña Photography | Makeup by Anthea Bueno | Hair by Junie Sierra | Accessories by Christopher E Munar
If you happen to be near or around SM Pampanga, the Mak Tumang gowns for Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray (and as Miss Universe Philippines 2018) are on exhibit from today till Sunday (December 28-30, 2018).
Will keep you updated on the schedule/s in other areas.