Madame Stella Marquez de Araneta and I
During the contract signing of BPCI and Smart/Voyager earlier in the day, I was able to get pictures taken with Madame Stella Marquez de Araneta herself who was gracious enough to pose with all the media representatives in attendance. And she was such in high spirits after the event with the first-of-its-kind fan votes being implemented in a Bb. Pilipinas finals to automatically fast-track one Binibini to the Top 15 – a first in the pageant’s 54 year history.
Before the start of the busier days leading to the finals at Araneta Coliseum this coming Sunday, April 30, let me take this opportunity to publicly thank Madame SMA and Bb. Pilipinas Charities Inc. (Gines Enriquez and company) for the trust given to normannorman.com. Our formal accreditation papers will be handed over on Friday along with our official IDs as media partners. This makes my coverage partner and I filled with glee. It will be like our badge for all BPCI events from now on. 🙂
MCPI and Empire East President and CEO Atty Anthony Charlemagne Yu welcomed the Binibinis
Arienne Calingo and Benjieleen Nama
Joselle Mariano and Maria Gail Tobes
Dane Felisse Marasigan and Leitz Camyll Ang
Camille Manalo, Angelique de Leon and Benjieleen Nama
Jamaica Ambal and Rachel Peters
Juliana Kapeundl and Kristel Guelos
Maria Angelica de Leon
See if you can identify all of them around the circle
Dindi Pajares for Manhattan Garden City
This is one of the more important sponsor visits of the Binibinis every year as Manhattan Garden City at The Araneta Center always plays a major part in the holding of the pageant each year. MCPI & Empire East President and CEO Atty. Anthony Charlemagne Yu welcomed all forty ladies to the high-rise property that has significantly changed the skyline of the Cubao commercial area.
All ladies had fun doing the “Best Selfie” contest that the hosts started plus a raffle of some juicy loot bags won by five of them.
As for the next confirmed pre-pageant event this year, mark the date for April 8 as the Talent Competition will be held either at Gateway or Farmers Plaza. After that, there will be a Santacruzan-like parade around Araneta Coliseum on April 22. 🙂
Jojo Bragais of Bragais™ and the matte nude heels he made for the Binibinis during the Press Presentation
#Binibini17 Camille Manalo wearing the heels
If Jojo Bragais had it his way, he would make shoes for the Binibinis that follow his own dream style (I cannot really spill the details because that wouldn’t be good for business
) and color. But being the shoe sponsor of Bb. Pilipinas stipulates that he should have designs pass through several layers of approval before the final thumbs of Madame Stella Marquez de Araneta herself. So inspite of the potshots thrown his way regarding the underwhelming style of the matte-nude heels worn during the Press Presentation, he kept his cool and tried to take things evenly.
“I always listen to criticisms though at times it hurts. I weigh them and use the suggestions to my advantage. I never had any formal lessons with shoe making but I am sure which looks good and which doesn’t. One big no-no is having the toes of the feet slipping out of the shoes. The footwear may only contribute a small part of the total look of the girls but having that no-no can always make her look unsexy. No matter how beautiful the materials are, if fitting ain’t good then that is a complete eyesore.”
#Binibini13 Sirene Sutton showing off her Bragais™ heels as well
“I don’t want my shoes to be overpowering but I want them to be complementing. The girls are always stressed out with what to wear – trying to look their best and I don’t wanna add to the burden of creating pairs which will give them a hard time pairing it with the right outfit. Aside from that, it will always be comfort over form.
How about the matte nude heels, Jojo?
“Matte nude is friendly to both mestizas and morenas. I want to give both chances of looking good unlike glossy types that only go well with the fair-skinned wearer.
And during the final delivery of the pairs, Madame Stella actually fitted my shoes along with the girls. It made me want to scream with happiness. She’s really hard to please. Whenever she keeps on telling me that my shoes are nice and of good quality over and over again makes me feel like I am successful enough doing what I want and learning from the experience.”
Jojo Bragais as photographed by Joy Arguil after the Press Presentation
“Not all will appreciate how I do shoes but hearing most of the girls thanking me for making it easier for them makes those sleepless nights and rushing pairs for them worth it. And I will never be tired of doing it all over again even others are size 11 or 11.5 just so I can see them walk with ease.
Binibini23 Arah Salientes in her Jeffrey Rogador swimsuit and Jojo Bragais heels
Designer Jeffrey Rogador is in-charge of the Swimsuits for Bb. Pilipinas 2017
#Binibini20 Christa Borja
BPCI continues with its promise of promoting local designers in the nationals. For the swimsuit requirements of Bb. Pilipinas 2017, Designer Jeffrey Rogador was selected to provide the colorful two-piece creations worn by the Binibinis during yesterday’s Press Presentation.
What inspired Jeffrey to come up with the design and all?
“The inspiration is summer.
They (BPCI) requested bright and happy colors….
I have to mix my DNA as a Designer which is Urban Wear…..young and modern. I used color blockins, fabric blockins and cutout detailing…
There will be more designs coming up as I was asked to do 5-6 sets of swimsuits for all the candidates this year.”
Watch out for more of Jeffrey Rogador’s work in this edition
I actually asked media people around for their feedback regarding the swimwear and all of them agreed that it had excellent fit on the body of the Binibinis and highlighted their shapely curves even more.
As you can see, Jeffrey is holding on to his commitment to the organization. Don’t you agree, dear readers?
The Binibinis during the judging with the panel
Bb. Pilipinas Intercontinental 2016 Jennifer Hammond and Designer Nat Manilag
When Bb. Pilipinas Intercontinental 2016 Jennifer Hammond departs for Miss Intercontinental 2016 in Colombo, Sri Lanka by late next month, she will have inside her luggage the National Costume and Evening Gown that Designer Nat Manilag will create exclusively for his dear friend.
The photo above shows the two discussing the color choices and designs that will be finalized. This is subject for the approval of BPCI, but I know that they are already aware of the specifications to be followed.
As we all know by now that Jen is like a muse for the said designer, the decision was mutual in having each other’s back for the pageant mission abroad. I love the aesthetics of Nat so we should be ready to see two exciting masterpieces that our Queen will effortlessly showcase in the Sri Lankan capital.
Jennifer in Nat Manilag (take note that this is NOT the gown she will be wearing in Colombo)
Can’t wait to see the end results! 😉
My favorite shoemaker Jojo Bragais and his tribute heels to Madame SMA of BPCI
When Jojo Bragais of Bragais™ brought up the idea of making tribute heels for Madame Stella Marquez de Araneta (SMA) during one of our chats last January, I immediately supported the planned effort because I know that it served as both a challenge and fulfillment for my favorite shoemaker.
And no sooner than I can scream “Binibini!”, he showed me the work in progress. We spoke about colors, accents and height of the heels. I even suggested that he should come up with a wedge-style of the design so that SMA can wear one comfortably and regularly during future Bb. Pilipinas activities.
Below is a quick vid of the pair during the time that Stella by Bragais™ was already nearing its completion.
Now that Stella by Bragais™ has already been launched and publicly viewed by many, the next step is to hopefully arrange a formal presentation to the very person after whom the pair was named. And with Jojo being the official shoe supplier of Bb. Pilipinas 2016, that shouldn’t be such a hard feat to accomplish.
I am hopeful that Madame SMA will be pleased with the tribute heels which represent everything that she is to our Binibinis and Bb. Pilipinas titleholders – the person who commands the metamorphosis of our beauty queens into world-class Filipinas. 🙂
MTQI2015 will happen starting this week in Wenzhou, China
The tagline is pregnant with interpretations – “We Just Decided To”. You complete the sentence. Let me give it a few tries.
“We Just Decided To” – resurrect Miss Tourism Queen International just for this year.
“We Just Decided To” – hold the pageant for 2015 because the organization has the funds to bring MTQI back to life.
“We Just Decided To” – simply because Bb. Pilipinas has already removed the Tourism title in their website.
So many possibilities. And the PR handlers of the pageant are definitely making pageant followers curious. Just what do they really mean with that tagline?
Let me give it one more go.
“We Just Decided To” – surprise everyone. We are back for good.
Consider me doubtful. That last one is a weak option in my opinion. 😉
P.S. I’m not even sure who the Philippine bet is!