39 comments on “Bb. Pilipinas 1997: The return of a more victorious Abbygale Arenas

  1. Lots of gorgeous and well-spoken girls in this batch
    Only Ritter made the first cut
    I was expecting both Abbygale and Kristin to place

  2. She’s very pretty.
    She’s prettier than the PH reps from the previous decade 2010-19.
    If her younger version competed now, even other countries will acknowledge and not question her beauty.

  3. Masaya ako para sa cabalen ko na si Ms Abby Arenas na naging matagumpay siya sa buhay niya kahit na hindi siya pinalad na makasama sa Top 10 ng MU 1997.

  4. Sayang talaga sya nung MU97.

    1997 had one of the weakest top 3 in MU history. (The winner was untouchable in the interview rounds, but was over-scored in SS and EG)

    However, 1997 have one of the most stunning contestants ever – Verna Vasquez of Curacao.

  5. “Gamunggo na lang.” These are the words of Abbygale referring to her not making into the top 10 in 1997 MU. She was ranked 11th overall in the preliminary competition with an averaged score of 8.950.
    What went wrong with her considering Abby as one of the excellent Bb. Pilipinas-Universe winners in the 1990s along with Gem Padilla (ranked 12th in 1990 MU), Charlene Gonzales (top 6 1994 MU), Ailean Damiles (ranked 16th or 19th in 1996 MU), and Miriam Quiambao (1st runners up)?

    Her highest score in the preliminary competition was the INTERVIEW SEGMENT. She got 9.25, much higher than the score of the controversial Miss Italy Denny Mendez. Abby only got 8.86 in the swimsuit round but her score is higher than that of Venezuela, Trinidad & Tobago, Sweden & Puerto Rico.

    What pulled Abby down was her 8.79 score in the evening gown competition. This is the area which she could have made a big impact had Abby was provided with a very “competitive” gown by BPP. She wore a white strapless ballgown matched with a white shawl, more or less similar to the gowns (design) of Carolina Gomez (during the preliminaries) and Charlene Gonzales in 1994 MU. While Carolina was amazingly awesome in her red ball gown and Charlene (though a bit bulky to look at) was very lovely with her peach ensemble, Abby’s gown was very simple (& boring) for the competition.

    Another factor that blocked Abby from entering the top ten was Miss Italy. Since Denny Mendez won the national title, she had became the talk of the nation that reached worldwide attention. People in Italy were asking if she is the the right person to represent the country considering her African lineage and Dominican Republic as her country of birth.The controversy made her popular all the way to the 1997 MU competition. Without the issue, I DON’T think she would be able to make it to the top 10.

    Abby is blessed with a striking (model like) face, athletic yet sexy figure, runway & projection expertise as well as good communication skills. Yet other important elements were not that given the right attention such as better choice of gown & accessories and more appropriate hairstyle & make up. She could have also been coached on how to be bubblier and more charming with the judges & the audience. Only if the pageant camps had existed then… So sayang.

    Still ABBYGALE ARENAS is ONE of MY MOST FAVORITE Bb. Pilipinas-Universe WINNERS in the HISTORY of BPP holding the MUP franchise. She will be turning 46 this year (Magkaedad lang kami along with Charlene Gonzales, Mikee Cojaungco, Isko Moreno, Hans Montenegro, Paolo Bediones, etc. who were all born in 1974). He, he, he…

    • @ Pierro Rocco ‘Ala! Lagalagan na. 1974. At alam na rin natin ang edad ni @ unorthodox. 🙂

      • 1974 IS A GREAT YEAR FLOR. Ikaw Flor ano ang UP student number mo? First TWO numbers lang. Thanks. He, he, he…

      • @ Pierro Rocco Again, my apologies for the lingering typo’s. I meant “laglagan”, not “lagalagan”.

        ‘Ay! Secret ‘yung first two numbers ng SN ko. Suffice it to say, you and I are not widely disparate in age.

        Abbygale has nice collarbones, no? (Deliberate attempt to evade question) 🙂

      • nakakaloka ka @Flor! hahaha. For reference, my student number is 2011-6xxxx. I can still remember Shamcey stopping by our college right after the Lantern Parade.

  6. Abby benefited a lot during her stint as PMAP model and after winning the Supermodel of the World Philippines! During those time, there was heavy emphasis on SS and EG though Abby can clearly express herself too!

    Kristine just gave birth to a twins in New York where she is working there as a Nurse now. She’s a cousin of Michelle Gumabao through her mother who is related to Dennis Roldan and Isabel Rivas.

    Susan Jane Ritter was casted in Palibhasa Lalaki then disappeared in showbusiness just like Vanessa del Bianco!

  7. Is it true that Abbygale had worn wig throughout the 1997 Miss Universe competetion? I would like her more if she had worn her natural hair instead, be it long or short.

  8. I’ve read in one of the comments here from previous blog that Abby placed 11th overall in 1997 MU edition. Parang sobrang sakit non ha kasi 10 lang ang pasok sa semis tapos pang-11 sya. I think if she had entered in the elite top 10 at that time, she could have ended a better placement…at least runner-up finish.

  9. Anyone knows why Bb.Pilipinas International 1996 was not present to crown her successor?

    • This is not confirmed, but what I know is that Yedda was abroad at the time. Maybe Cool Brew knows the more exact reason.

      • TRIVIA. Yedda was Cebu’s bet to the 1993 Ford Philippines Finals and finished 1st RU to Lorena Pangan of Pampanga and a top 15 finalist in the world finals. Lorena was unplaced though in Binibini 1995

  10. This is the batch where the top 3 solidified their frontrunner status after the press presentation. Susan, in one of her interviews mentioned some candidates started giving them (the three eventual winners) cold shoulders after the event. But actually, the only suspence is who will be crowned MU and MW between Abbygail and Christine.

    On side note, isn’t Kristin related to Michelle Gumabao. Though I think the former is prettier.

  11. Guys, pansinin niyo si Sir Blogger. Bumata pa siya ngayon. Compare this (one) here with recent pix.

    So,… 35-25-35 is, for our race, more or less the norm for a 5’5″ lady? Sa baywang lang ako sumablay, pala. But then, I now have at least a two-decade lead on these girls compared to when they competed. Plus, I have HUGE feet. 😦

    On a 5’7″ American lady, the same set of stats would be considered…. skinny, for them?

    The set is reminiscent of Miss Venezuela 2018. It was Osmel’s last batch. Mariem-Sthefany-Veruzka.

    Patis Tesoro did (Susan Jane) Ritter’s evening dress? Seems for a designer of her caliber, she could have done better. But Tesoro, imo, is THE BEST in Filipiniana of her generation! Look at the “terno’s” she made. By hiking the hemline, this one simple modification, the thing looked MODERN. It was also at that time that a Furne Onne from Cebu was gaining a following, making a buzz, and earning PRAISE.

    I will go ahead and ask the un-askable. Mr. Tinio, is Abbygale somehow related to Rosemarie, the Pangasinense socialite rumored to have been the mistress of former President FVR, with whom he allegedly had a love-son? How did First Lady Amelita take all this?

    Abbygale’s nose looked blunt from a quick camera side shot when she was interviewed on TV prior to representing us at Ford New York (Anna Bayle said, “she (Abbygale) has potential”). But here, looks perfectly fine. Contouring, perhaps. But if true, indeed, like Emma Tiglao why not basta happy siya.

    You know sino ka-batch ni Abbygale sa Ford New York? Elsa Benitez of Mexico, who while not winning, too, eventually ended up a staple in the pages and runways of American Vogue and NYFW, respectively. Another great beauty at that time was Eugenia Silva of Spain, who became the face of Oscar de ka Renta. But I am unsure of the Spaniard’s pageant history, if any. Either way, neither can hold a candle to whom I believe very strongly to be THE SINGLE MOST beautiful woman ever — Paulina Porizkova (PLENTY to google on her. Get started, dear commentators!). 🙂

    • Is Paulina, the ka batch of melanie Marquez in Supermodel of the world?😊

      • @ Sjeffie Cheon That could be easily confirmed on YouTube. But, of course, Mimilanie represented New York. I wonder now if Paulina represented “Czechoslovakia” (before the partition).

        Paulina herself fled the then-civil war, to Paris at 16. But it was really America that gave her FAME.

        I will hopefully get back to you if I find confirmation on your question. But in any case, Abbygale got Premio Fotogenico at MU, thanks to what were the beginnings of Pinoy online vote WERPA. 🙂

      • @ Sjeffie Cheon OK. Just got hold of SotW1986, where Mimilanie was “Philippines”, NOT NY. She was semifinalist. I think Monika Schnarre (?) of Canada won.

        Now, I’m confused because I know Mimilanie competed at the Face of the Eighties precursor as NY’s rep. Does this mean she competed at (Eileen) Ford’s behest TWICE?

        1986, she was 22. When she won MI 1979, she was 15.

        @ Cool Brew HELP! I’m totally lost on the model chapter. 😦

        As for Paulina, she was with Elite. So, no. She and Mimilanie were, in fact, competitors in a sense.

      • Hi flor. UP alumna k din pla! Deadma n s batch!!! Ahahhaa..pero kung pipilitin ako, sige n Alexa Ilacad (Malayang pagsulat 2022) ka batch ko! Charot! Katuwa lng that since we all have the time in this world to cruise all the multi media platforms kaya patola much to each and everything! 🥰

      • @Flor, Paulina Porizkova was already a top intl model that time and mareied to Ric Ocasek 22 years her senior. She was cast as the love interest in the iconic “Drive” music video of the Cars frontlined by Ric. She didn’t need to compete for the model tilt’s US $300,000 top prize as she had signed a multi million dollar contract with Revlon (a record deal that time)

        As for Melanie, she was supposed to represent the US in the 1986 modeling tilt but declined coz she wanted to represent the Philippines. Hence, during the 86 US Finals, right after the winner was chosen, the curtains opened and revealed the candidates from around the world. Such a nice segue for the emcee as he announced the start of proceedings for the Ford SOTW 1986 finals. And by the way, Melanie didn’t finish as 1st RU to Monika the 13 year old winner from Canada. They tied though for the Clairol Best Hair award. If only Mellanie was in her teens that time, she could have won. She ended up as top six finalist along with USA. There were no runners up

    • And one more thing, yaman rin lang at na-bring up ko na, just to put things into some perspective and give credit where it is due, Rosemarie “Baby” Arenas was philanthropist. Just fyig f u care. 🙂

  12. She’s one of the prettiest reps
    Totally deserved to be in the final top 5 at MU
    Because her last name’s Arenas, she was never labeled in the same way as Pia and Cat.

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