Back in 2016, Riana Agatha Pangindian was still a 19 year-old pageant newbie who joined Bb. Pilipinas mainly for the experience. And what a journey she fondly relishes from that stint. An inclusion in the Top 15 was almost unexpected – given that she had to battle with the likes of Maxine Medina, Kylie Verzosa, Nicole Cordoves, Jennifer Hammond, Nichole Manalo and Joanna Eden who went home with the crowns. But she was actually part of that essential cut.
Instead of pushing herself into joining more beauty contests after that experience, Riana opted to finish her studies first. She graduated June of last year and took the board exams. She is now licensed to teach Biological Science. Her plan is to return to pageantry one more time before she finally focuses on becoming a full-time Educator. Her personal advocacy is actually inspired by her profession:
“I would like to focus on the importance of mentorship to the next generation. Growing up, I have been exposed to this process until I ventured to the field of education up to now that I am already a Professional Teacher. I learned that this is a key method to exponential wholistic growth of a person, whether young or old. So if we can invest on our current and future teachers – by supporting them emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually – it could help inspire and rekindle their joy and passion to teach with love and have respect for one another, moreso to the students they encounter.
This might be a huge undertaking, and I know I can’t do it on my own. So for now I’m starting small by mentoring younger women in my community which I believe is vital in their journey to adulthood. In all of these I know that I’m not alone because I have a God who is able to do far more than what I can think.”
I would really like to see the much-improved version of Riana in the coming months. And it’s looking like we can all see her return. As to which national pageant, let’s just wait and see.
Here is another Cebuana who – I was told – is also keen on making the big move in 2020 by way of Miss Universe Philippines 2020. After her stints during Bb. Pilipinas 2016 and Binibining Cebu 2017, she is definitely ready for a return to national pageantry. She has the looks and the articulate self to hold her own side-by-side the other polished ladies who will join the battle royale.
25 year-old Maria brims with an almost faultless confidence. But more than that, she can bring a strong fighting spirit to the competition and take on what most people perceive as the new direction the Miss Universe Organization is heading to with its current and future winners.
Let’s see if she makes the appearance during the deadline for application late next month.
Someone very dear to me will finally hang her pageant heels for good and become a beautiful bride and a love-filled wife before the year ends. And I am truly happy for her.
Much as I still want to see this lovely lady give the nationals another try, Bb. Pilipinas 2016 1st Runner-Up Angelica Alita has decided to pursue a different path – this time as the future better half of Jolo Revilla, son of Senator/Actor Bong Revilla and Lani Mercado.
More updates on her big day as the date nears!
#BinibiniWishList2019: Apriel Smith
2016 – #Binibini22 and Top 15 of Bb. Pilipinas
2017 – the first ever Binibining CEBU
2019 – Back to Bb. Pilipinas?
Will her journey back to the Araneta Coliseum resume this year?
I know that Apriel has told me before that she is eyeing 2020 as her possible return to the nationals. And yes, timing is important. But what if 2019 is when she is really destined to make that important step?
She is ready and has always been ready for a comeback. And I will be one of the first to cheer her all the way from Day 1 to the Finals.
What say you, dear readers?
Photo credit: Nico Liu
Gown by: Janice T. Warner
Dear readers, I need not give all of you a long list of credentials or heavy introduction on your Binibini 31 Jehza Huelar. As 2nd Runner-Up last 2016, she returned last year and reached Top 15.
For her third and final attempt, Jehza is once more at it before finally closing the chapters of her pageant career in the nationals.
“Tito Norman, sorry if I was quiet all this time. I fasted from social media during the last three days of submission for Bb. Pilipinas.”
So what really led to the decision?
“It was Sunday, January 7, when PJ (her boyfriend PBA player Nonoy Simon) and I discussed about the Bb. Pilipinas 2018 application. There was no drama or anything that would have lengthened the talk. When he gave me the blessing to join this year, I took the opportunity to apply the following day — which happens to be the final day of submission. I went to BPCI around lunchtime.
God’s plan for me really works mysteriously… it is not my plan to join this year…it is His plans…..and I believe in that.”
Short and sweet. Yes, your Binibini 31 Jehza Huelar is now committed to boyfriend PJ Simon (right photo). But it doesn’t mean that she can no longer aspire to become a Bb. Pilipinas Queen.
Consider the two as each other’s happy pill!
During yesterday afternoon’s Presentation Show of Aces & Queens for its Class of 2018, one of the ladies who stood out was Edjelyn Joy Gamboa of Oriental Mindoro – your Binibini 12 during Bb. Pilipinas 2016. She is definitely more stunning now compared to the first time that she joined. The almost two year-rest has given her a more solid foundation for this return, aside from earning the life experience of being a Flight Attendant with Philippine Airlines.
For 2018, Edjelyn is hoping that she will be able to fulfill the long-time dream of being a national beauty queen. The will and determination are in place. All she needs right now is a healthy dose of good luck that will prompt her lucky stars to align.
But first, she needs to qualify as one of this year’s Binibini first. And that is what she is focusing on more than anything else between now and January 15.
Best of luck, Edj!
One thing is for sure. Bb. Pilipinas 2016 1st Runner-Up Angelica Alita will be rejoining the nationals. The question is – which year?
You see, I have been egging her on signing up once again. This year was too soon for her as she wanted to finish her 18-month contract with BPCI first. Next month she might not be 100% ready to do the plunge right away. The girl wants to reinvent herself (a lot more differently, I reckon) compared to the last.
Hence, 2019 should be the right time to do it. And methinks she feels the same way.
There is a cool competition going on in the first-ever search for Binibining Cebu. There may be fifty-four (54) candidates vying for the crown, but all eyes are focused on two former Binibinis of Bb. Pilipinas on opposite sides once more – Apriel Smith representing Badian and Maria Gigante bannering Bantayan.-
Maria representing Bantayan
Apriel representing Badian
This is not the first time that both ladies are facing-off in a high-profile pageant. Last year, they already did during the nationals with the former gaining the edge after making it to the Top 15.
How will their respective destinies unfold in Binibining Cebu 2017? The finals won’t be until October 28 at the Waterfront Hotel, but it should be pure viewing pleasure seeing both ladies goes head-to-head in the Queen City of the South.
Of course, the 52 other competitors are not handing the Top 2 slots to Apriel and Maria that easily. So we’ll see how everything pans out in the weeks to come. 🙂
Team normannorman.com with the beautiful Jehza Huelar
Andrew Wolff joined us as well
During last Sunday night’s finals of Miss Tourism Philippines 2017, Bb. Pilipinas 2016 2nd Runner-Up Jehza Huelar was in the audience. My coverage partner Joy Arguil quickly pulled her aside to the sidelines where I was stationed. And boy oh boy, I didn’t recognize her at first with those full bangs and all. Slimmer and with a more stress-free aura nowadays, she and I had a very happy talk where she gave me updates on the latest about the things she is preoccupied with and just a tiny bit about her lovelife. Here’s a short video for all of you to watch.
Jehza with her inspiration, TJ Simon
And who is keeping Jehza more inspired at the moment? PBA Basketball player TJ Simon of Star Margarine Hotshots that’s who. The two are presently on an exclusively-dating status, and definitely in a happy place in terms of a progressing relationship.
I’m proud of how this beautiful Dabawenya has moved on from her life in pageantry. She definitely gave it a good go, and is pleased that she has improved for the better as a person overall. 🙂
Angelica Alita’s look during the Mega Millennial Ball courtesy of Carissa Cielo Medved
When photos of Bb. Pilipinas 2016 1st Runner-Up Angelica Alita before and during the recently-concluded Mega Millennial Ball came out, I just had to stop and think of a blog entry dedicated to her. She is, quite simply, blooming in all aspects. Her face is always radiant whenever we see each other, just as her public appearances always elicit oohs and aahs from curious individuals who can’t help but gaze at her glowing presence.
And this leads me to the heart of this post – Angel’s planned 2nd foray into the nationals by way of Bb. Pilipinas 2018. She intentionally skipped the recent edition in order to fulfill all her responsibilities to BPCI and complete the 18-month contract before finally jockeying up for position in next year’s beauty derby. And the timing couldn’t be more perfect. She is ready to shine and finally own up a title lock, stock and barrel. The risks will always be there, but she has calculated her next moves to make sure that the future will be perfect. 😉
Angel wearing Rau Uson Ablaza during the Mega Millennial Ball
Watch out for this beauty in 2018!