And so we come to the first of two titles in Bb. Pilipinas 2019 that will challenge the winner to go for a back-to-back win in her pageant mission – Bb. Pilipinas Intercontinental 2019.
Truthfully, Miss Intercontinental – inspite of its long history – still occupies a spot in global rankings that is somewhere between prestigious and less-than-prestigious. Credit goes to the mother-daughter tandem of Jhona Gimena and Kumi Miyamae for adding power-packed glitter during the 47th Edition last January here in Manila. There was no scrimping on the budget whatsoever as evidenced by the presence of Sofitel Philippine Plaza as Official Residence, Okada Manila as Official Pre-Pageant host and MOA Arena as the finals venue. While it hues close to the truth that the entire venture was not a profitable one, the image of the pageant brand stepped up by more than a few notches.
What’s more, there was no significant backlash in having host delegate Karen Gallman becoming the country’s very first Miss Intercontinental.
My #Infinity8 for this crown are:
Martina Turner Diaz of Muntinlupa
Maria Andrea Abesamis of Pasig
Maria Isabela Galeria of Sorsogon
Bea Patricia Magtanong of Bataan
Nicole Guerrero of Ilocos Sur
Samantha Lo of Cebu
Samantha Bernardo of Palawan
Resham Ramirez Saeed of Maguindanao
Ranking the ladies above, I would cite the three (3) potential grabbers of this honor – two (2) Samanthas and one (1) Andrea. This is the highest placement I can – in my heart – bestow on the Pasig City bet. But wait, the two namesakes are no pushovers. In fact, they can ease out Aya anytime of the day because of the sheer strength of their respective bids in this year’s nationals.
So if we are to do a Samantha Bernardo versus Samantha Lo match, I would give the advantage to the Palawan representative because – among all the Binibinis in this batch – she has the biggest fighting heart. Her determination is solid. She might have stumbled during the freetalk portion during the televised Pageant last Sunday, but that was just a thirty second-clip that should not pull down her chances so low. After all, what you didn’t see on TV were the longer closed door interviews that were actually scored by the panel. In all other areas of competition, she remained steadily in the top tier of favorites.
Thus, I wrap up this blog entry with my final choice for Bb. Pilipinas Intercontinental 2019 – Samantha Bernardo of Palawan.