The first quarter of a new year is usually the launching period for national beauty contests in the country like Bb. Pilipinas and Miss Earth Philippines. And in the US, the search has likewise started for their annual Miss Philippines US – the most prestigious Filipino-American pageant in the USA – which seeks to crown the lady who will both epitomize a woman of substance and prove that she is beyond beautiful.
Miss Philippines US 2018 Janet Lyn Hammond
The mission of the organizers is to develop the finest Ambassadors of Goodwill and role models for the Filipino-American community. Just like reigning titleholder Janet Lyn Hammond (sister of Bb. Pilipinas Intercontinental 2016 Jennifer Hammond
) who continues to be primed for the task of advocating for its several causes like the Breast Cancer Walk, Historic Filipinotown Festival & 5K Run and ABS-CBN Foundation among others.
I encourage you, young and beautiful Fil-Ams to step up and go for this experience of a lifetime. Previous winners Nicole Guerrero (left photo, who has been staying here in the Philippines to fulfill her residency requirements for our nationals) and Jazlynn Dizon have only the best things to say about their respective turns and how life-changing the entire journey can become.
Visit the pageant’s website to download the application form or click HERE.
You will learn more about Miss Philippines US soon, and how this year’s edition (which is scheduled to have its finals on July 19) promises to be its biggest one yet!
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…
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.
Could this be the last complete photo of Bb. Pilipinas winners?
I reckon that the atmosphere at the BPCI Offices is anything but cheerful. While no official statement has yet been released by the LCS Group of Companies about their takeover of the Miss Universe franchise in the Philippines, the matter has already spread like wildfire in the hearts and minds of those in the know around Araneta Center. From this point onwards, it should be just a short wait till everything gets finalized.
While gut-feel already made me sense that something big is going to happen in the Philippines with the inclusion of Richelle Singson-Michael in the all-female panel of judges that selected Catriona Gray as the successor of Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, I was initially anticipating more of another Philippine hosting in the works. But no, it is turning out to be so much more of a shocker than anything else.
With Miss Universe Philippines as the lead title at stake for Bb. Pilipinas, its pending removal from the roster is going to give a mighty blow to the organization. I simply can’t imagine our favorite national pageant without the honor. What’s even more disconcerting is the (serious) buzz that the Philippine franchise for Miss International is also being negotiated with a potential new owner and National Director. This one is going to hammer another painful realization to BPCI that when big businesses reel its interest on a particular matter, then all they can do is to either match/better the offer or give up completely even if its going to badly hurt where it matters most. For one, Madame Stella Marquez de Araneta is the very first Miss International.
Are they all jumping ship before the end of 2018 or early 2019?
Sadly, it doesn’t stop there. Negotiations for the Philippine franchise of Miss Supranational is also being privately discussed. I will not name names anymore so as not to spoil the Holiday Spirit brought about by Catriona’s victory in Bangkok. And just today, I was also sounded off that the Miss Intercontinental franchise for the Philippines is being offered for a possible changing of guards. You all know that the 47th Edition of the said pageant will be hosted here in Manila next month. You try to connect the dots for now.
So let me repeat the title of this entry. Can you imagine a near-future without Bb. Pilipinas? I can clearly remember the statement I gave to ABS-CBN News field reporter Ganiel Krishnan when she interviewed me about what will be the implication of Catriona winning Miss Universe. Without any knowledge whatsoever then of the new developments happening in the national pageant scene today, I told her that it will establish a new order in Philippine pageantry. I was coming from an angle where independents will now be more confident of vying for Bb. Pilipinas without the support of either A&Q and KF. I didn’t think it would be this big, though.
Dear readers, please share your thoughts after watching the nostalgia-inducing videos below.
She originally planned to become a Bb. Pilipinas Queen first. But who would have thought that fate would bring her halfway around the world to Bolivia in South America as Reina Hispanoamericana Filipinas 2017 and eventually establish pageant history as the first Filipina (and first Asian) to win the crown of Reina Hispanoamericana 2017.
Teresita Ssen “Win-Wyn” Marquez grew up in the world of local showbusiness and politics. Her parents – actor/comedian/former City Mayor Joey Marquez and actress Alma Moreno – eventually rubbed off the excitement of being in front of the camera to this exotic beauty whose dancing prowess and love for acting were put to good use when she became a TV celebrity with GMA-7.
But the performer in Win-Wyn wanted more than just the klieg lights and endless hours on the set. So when she finally decided to go the pageant route, it was just a matter of time before she would win a national title.
Sta. Cruz, Bolivia was an entirely unique experience for our Reina. Along with brother Yeoj, she withstood the city’s tropical savanna climate where “surazos” or the cold winds from the Argentine pampas make the temperature drop considerably.
She aggressively continued with her mission and unleashed the fiery performer in her to outclass all the Latinas in her way to be crowned as the best last year.
Win-wyn is now classified as a movie actress as well. She has also become a leading lady of comedian Vhong Navarro in the movie “Unli Life” and has just finished another one where she plays the prime character opposite actor Enzo Pineda.
Tonight (or tomorrow morning in Manila), she will crown her Reina Hispanoamericana successor and will return to Manila soon after to face more showbiz commitments. I offer now a toast to the woman who has helped in making the pageant brand become more popular in this part of the world and elsewhere. You have already started building your legacy, although I know there will be more to the current purpose in life that you are planning for yourself to achieve. Politics in a few years or so, perhaps?
Salud, Teresita Ssen!
Miss Supranational 2017 Jenny Kim
I was in a close huddle with Mario Dumaual of ABS-CBN and Lhar Santiago of GMA-7 during the Press Presentation of the Mr. & Ms. Republic of the Philippines 2017/2018 Official Candidates earlier. The Kapamilya correspondent was quick in telling me that he has already been calling me twice but no answer. I was busy covering the event so my iPhone was on silent mode. His question came in fast.
“Is it true that the Miss Supranational franchise is moving to another organization? And I heard its going to be both Miss and Mister Supranational?”
I fell silent.
I have been sounded off more than a few times in the past few weeks about the rumor. And I am not confirming anything right now. I don’t want to preempt any kind of formal announcements from either parties – where the franchise will depart from and where it will make a landing soon after.
By now, some of you – dear readers – are already well aware of the details of the alleged transfer. And I am certain that you most likely know more than what is stored inside my head.
What I clearly can say is that a Press Conference is being scheduled within the coming weeks. By the alleged new owner/s, that is. I cannot push the envelope any further and divulge more specific infos.
P.S. This topic should keep you busy till my next “In the Spotlight” entry tomorrow morning.
This year, Mutya ng Pilipinas celebrates a major milestone with its continued presence in the country’s pageant history as it turns 50. Golden. And the 2018 edition promises to be record-breaking, as in more exciting – with fifty (50) Official Candidates – and far-reaching – with more Regional and Overseas Competitions to complement its biggest assembly of beautiful Filipinas ever. The gathering of all past titleholders and even joiners who did very well in other competitions will be something to look forward to.
Here is a teaser of “The Road to 50th”.
Your blogger spoke to Mutya ng Pilipinas President Hemilyn Escudero-Tamayo (right photo with Joy & I) who is doubly enthusiastic about what’s in store for pageant fans and followers for 2018. She also shared thoughts about her inspirations in making the beauty pageant bigger than ever before.
“Madame Stella Marquez de Araneta of BPCI and Ms. Lorraine Schuck of Carousel Productions are my idols and I consider them pillars of the pageant industry. We should really be thanking them for keeping this industry alive as well as producing excellent winners. They deserve to be honored and looked up to after having earned many achievements inside and outside the country, while bringing Philippine pageantry to the highest level.”
Watch out for the 50th Edition of Mutya ng Pilipinas!