Bb. Pilipinas 2017 1st Runner-Up Charmaine Elima promoting Skinny Juicery PH on her IG account
Ever since Charmaine Elima was named Bb. Pilipinas 2017 1st Runner-Up last April and got temporarily stressed days after when the whole controversy behind Katarina Rodriguez allegedly dilly-dallying with her commitment to the Bb. Pilipinas Intercontinental crown dragged on for a bit with her name being tagged as potential alternate, the next time she became “slightly” visible was when she had her long tresses cut off. Since then, it was only last night when she uploaded two new photos on her IG account promoting The Skinny Juicery PH.
Now I am not one to pry into private details about Maine’s current whereabouts. If she wants to keep her personal life from a safe distance, then I respect that choice. It’s just that she has not yet joined the titleholders in any of our covered public appearances and inquisitive individuals never stopped asking me. It’s good that 2nd Runner-Up Kristel Guelos already did during the victory lunch hosted by David’s Salon. But I am really missing her a lot.
I am keeping my fingers crossed that she accompanies the Queens during the scheduled visit to the wounded soldiers from the Marawi City crisis this week. That would be a good opportunity to show up – short hair and all – for everyone at BPCI so that the cast will be complete. 🙂
This was how Maine looked like during Bb. Pilipinas 2017
The caption on her latest Facebook update says it all: “when was the last time you did something for the first time? 😎💇🏻👌🏻“.
Bb. Pilipinas 2017 1st Runner-Up Charmaine “Maine” Elima now sports a significantly shorter hair that begs the question: Is this her way of telling everyone how she really feels about not getting a title last April? Or is she just going for a totally “wash-and-wear” look to give her long hair a rest from all the constant stylings during the competition?
We know that our reigning Queens (including the two runners-up) have long tresses to frame their faces in a more feminine way. And with Maine’s new cut, her public appearances will be the talk of everyone. Not that BPCI will reprimand her for doing so. After all, she won’t be prepped up for any international pageant as 1st Runner-Up.
The winners of Bb. Pilipinas 2017 after they were crowned at half past 1am earlier
We now have the winners of Bb. Pilipinas 2017 who were crowned at exactly half past 1am earlier. And everyone is still talking about the results which came out agreeable to a whole lot of pageant watchers and followers. All in all, it was a production that turned out better than the last, save for some minor details that dragged the procceedings inside the Big Dome (like the audience having to watch the entire primer all over again while the deliberations were ongoing and – more importantly – in order to hook up the live announcement of winners to the TV telecast which started more than 30 minutes late from the original 10pm start of airing).
All the six new titleholders deserved their crowns. Rachel Peters was in her finest elements all throughout that when she was named Best in Swimsuit, she was practically on the right track for the Miss Universe Philippines title. She handled her Q&A very well and that sealed the deal.
courtest of WhatsUp Pinoys
Maria Angelica de Leon was neck-to-neck with Rachel. And the flag-bearers of the two beauty camps really proved their pole positions prior to the finals. She also acquitted herself more than satisfactorily during the Q&A. It must have been during the judges’ deliberations when the proper assignments fell into place. Age factor must have been a consideration in terms of the specifications of both Miss Universe and Miss International, but that is not an issue anymore.
courtesy of WhatsUpPinoys
And when was the last time a Miss Friendship actually won a Bb. Pilipinas crown? I am so pleased seeing Chanel Olive Thomas getting the Supranational sash. She has this very easy and spontaneous vibe that was clearly appreciated by the judges. She is no cookie cutter beauty as shown by how she handled both her swimsuit and evening gown presentations.
Elizabeth Clenci was a dark horse. Her inclusion in the Top 15 was no longer a surprise, especially after coming out in one of the most resplendent evening gowns of the night. And during the Q&A, she was just being herself, relaxed and thinking on her feet. Nawatt Itsaragrisil (who was in the audience) must have given his thumbs up to this lady from Mandaue.
Katarina Rodriguez proved that a beautiful face can always go along with innate smarts. A title was already in store for her right after giving a convincing reply to the question asked of her by the judge. She may still need more polishing, but that’s something that can be managed within the next 4-5 months.
courtedy of Hot Picks
Truthfully, Nelda Ibe was destined for a title higher than Globe. She is really a favorite by both BPCI and ABS-CBN. But nerves prevented her from fluidly expressing thoughts during the Q&A. She was able to cross over though. But that served to pave the way for both Clenci and Rodriguez to catch up and nose her out in the final rankings.
Charmaine Elima’s 1st Runner-Up placement did not sit well with her supporters. But the Q&A was proof that she can still go for a third try in the nationals by further improving on the way she expresses herself to the public. I bet she will do just that after processing her entire performance last night.
Lastly, the surprise performer of the night – Kristel Guelos – may not have figured out on most everyone’s list. But it clearly appears that she was also favored by BPCI. I believe that her 2nd Runner-Up position could have been given to Christa Borja who was so good during the Q&A, but that’s how the panel of judges see it fit to pan out in the end.
Congratulations to our new Queens! May you have the most wonderful and success-filled reigns! 🙂
During yesterday afternoon’s formal opening of the Ice N Cream by Novotel | Carmen’s Best at the Ground Floor of Novotel Manila Araneta Center, I was able to corner the popular photographer who always shoots the Binibinis in their official pictorials and will definitely be the one in-charge of the photoshoot of the Bb. Pilipinas 2017 winners a day or two after April 30.
From a lensman’s point of view, he singled out five (5) names among the forty (40) ladies after asking him who his favorite subjects are. Without the need to think long, he immediately mentioned the names of Sirene Sutton (just as I had expected) and Mariel de Leon, followed in succession by Charmaine Elima, Larah Grace Lacap and Jehza Huelar. He also included Rachel Peters and Elizabeth Clenci. Except for your #Binibini16 and #Binibini39, the rest are all expected to do well on Coronation Night.
Let us see if Raymond’s preferences will go well with the actual winners. Who knows, he might have found something special in Larah’s and Elizabeth’s photographic faces that we still haven’t seen through his lens. 🙂
Raymond Saldaña (foreground) accidentally shot by your blogger during yesterday’s Ice N Cream opening at Novotel
Above are my Top 20 Binibinis of Bb. Pilipinas 2017 before I let go of Dane Felisse, Maria Benjieleen, Ruffa and Sammie Anne to trim down the choices to a manageable field of 16
Late last month, it finally dawned on me how the Philippine pageant sphere has sharply polarized into several competing combinations for the new Bb. Pilipinas 2017 titleholders. Just when I thought that I have assembled an almost perfect batch of titleholders and runners-up, small but significant factors topple what I have already set my mind into using as the strong foundation for my fearless forecast. Thing is, whoever I put on top and in succeeding placements will not necessarily jibe with the differing ideas and opinions of the reading public. So in order to lessen the load of stress bogging down my mind of late, I covered my ears, focused on my personal notes/assessments and came up with what I believe could be my best possible final winning configuration.
Your blogger with independent Binibinis (left to right): Arah, Camille, Clarice and Istie
One factor that I uniquely enjoy as your blogger is the friendship I have established with all of the Binibinis – something that is neither deep nor superficial but enough to give me precious hints as to which six contenders deserve to be glorified in the end. At first, camp affiliations threatened to sway me back and forth. Believe it or not, I consciously distanced myself from both so as to keep my eyes transfixed on the personal merits of each one of them and not be influenced by who handles who or whose clout could be more widespread than the other. I also moved away from the “independent” angle because it only tends to muddle the whole process.
Dear readers, it took me a long time to build the Binibinis included in the first cut of my predictions. Here now are my Top 16 (I couldn’t go lower than this number anymore) for Bb. Pilipinas 2017 arranged according to their assigned numbers first:
My Top 16 in their National Costumes
#Binibini2 Arienne Louise Calingo
#Binibini10 Jehza Huelar
#Binibini12 Angelique Celine de Leon
#Binibini13 Sirene Sutton
#Binibini15 Maria Angelica de Leon
#Binibini17 Maria Camille Manalo
#Binibini18 Nelda Ibe
#Binibini19 Rachel Peters
#Binibini20 Christagale Borja
#Binibini21 Jamaica Elysse Ambal
#Binibini22 Chanel Olive Thomas
#Binibini24 Dindi Pajares
#Binibini31 Katarina Rodriguez
#Binibini32 Charmaine Elima
#Binibini38 Ana Patricia Asturias
#Binibini39 Elizabeth Clenci
You know too well that nobody can make instant guesses on who are guaranteed to ace the Q&A. But if your main basis is the ABS-CBN Primer shown last Sunday night (watch sample videos below), then it would be safe to speculate that a good majority of the sixteen Binibinis above will acquit themselves very well; unless, the unexpected happens and those deemed to easily deliver will buckle under extreme pressure. videos courtesy of Pageanthologist Network
There is that one crucial minute where anything can happen. It may depend on which judge will ask the question or what question will be asked of a particular candidate. However at this juncture, the favored ones are already starting to shape up as the eventual winners and they simply need to give a decent job of answering. One or two may surprise the judges and the audience, but if they don’t belong to the “initially chosen” (keep in mind that the closed door panel interviews conducted yesterday were of utmost importance), then the anticipated judges’ deliberations (in the presence of key BPCI Officials) afterwards seal (or unseal) whatever their placements will be once and for all.
Before moving on, let me make mention of the 9th and 10th placers on my list who nearly entered the winners’ circle but were still edged out due to the high level of competitiveness and consistency in this batch. They are Katarina Rodriguez and Arienne Louise Calingo, respectively.
My Top 8 in reverse order I placed Sirene Sutton and Dindi Pajares as my 1st and 2nd Runners-Up, respectively. I need not explain the importance of these two positions. With no titles – save for the status of being ladies-in-waiting – to show off, they can immediately rejoin the following year and capitalize on their inclusion in the winners’ circle for around 10 months. Both ladies are crown-worthy, but given the company of Binibinis they are stuck with in this edition, I wouldn’t mind seeing them compete again in 2018. Sirene still needs to comfortably get out of the professional model look and mold that sticks to her skin like an ultra-adhesive glue. Dindi, on the other hand, has stayed the same way as last year – brightly competitive but still missing that one note to fully break into the game of crowns.
For the six titles, I have narrowed down the selection to an equal number – Maria Angelica de Leon, Charmaine Elima, Rachel Peters, Nelda Ibe, Chanel Olive Thomas and Jehza Huelar.
I can see #Binibini10 getting the Miss Globe Philippines crown from Nichole Manalo. Jehza Huelar has proven that – inspite of having such a strong lineup to deal with – she can still rise to the occasion and pocket a victory. She has really leveled up from 2016. I may have pinned her to the least aspired sash among the most victorious, but it is an achievement that will stay in her credentials forever. What’s more, her easy-to-work-with attitude is a trait that needs no further proof to the organization.
Chanel Olive Thomas is my pick for Grand International. This one is the result of a very close tussle between her and Arienne Louise Calingo (whose fluency in Thai is an edge nobody else can claim to. It is her biggest ace to get on the good side of Nawatt Itsaragrisil in the bigger mission up ahead). But Chanel has a playful charm and cheerful disposition that she can use to her advantage. Given that both ladies can express themselves better than most, this is what the Fil-Aussie displayed to nose out the multi-lingual Kapampangan.
Supranational-wise, Nelda Ibe is the lady I can see taking the spot soon-to-be-vacated by Joanna Eden. It’s no secret among some near-insiders that this gorgeous natural beauty (she can proudly state her enhancement-free status if need be) is one of those wearing a halo (since Day 1 almost) of admiration from those who matter. She could easily upset the stronger favorites if getting into auto-pilot mode (pun intended) can be avoided. I can honestly see her making waves in Poland or any other European country where Miss Supranational 2017 will be hosted. She has always mesmerized me during our encounters, and relying only on photographs to size up her chances will be doing a great disservice to what she is capable of delivering up close and personal.
I have placed Rachel Peters for the Intercontinental assignment for more than two weeks now. The competition abroad remains unpredictable in terms of their choice for a big winner. And I still believe that Jennifer Hammond was unfairly upended in Sri Lanka last year. So sending your #Binibini19 to whichever part of the globe the next edition of Miss Intercontinental will take place in should be a good risk to take since she has the qualities that could make the organizers sit up and take notice, the same way they did when Christi McGarry competed and placed 1st Runner-Up. Who knows, she could just really be what the Doctor ordered in the game – a woman of racial mix with the right amount of saucy allure.
And now we’re down to the two highest titles of the Bb. Pilipinas season – Universe and International. Two beautiful ladies stand before me, each with their distinct pluses to make it as the last two Binibinis standing – Maria Angelica de Leon and Charmaine Elima. Anyone of the two would make an excellent representative to the 66th Miss Universe, the same way that either one of them can go fast and furious for a still impossible back-to-back win in Japan for Miss International. So who stays longer and be kept in suspense as to where Iris Mittenaere will crown her successor? And who goes with Kylie Verzosa to Tokyo and be constantly pressured in competing for a title that her compatriot is currently holding?
Maxine Medina moves forward and stops on the side of your #Binibini15 and leaves Charmaine Elima in the arms of Miss International 2016. Except for the unstinting focus and dedication to win, Maine is like the antithesis of Kylie Verzosa in more ways than one. And I’m all for taking the risk of sending a safe opposite of the reigning winner to Japan.
Photo credit: Erwin Totanes Oning
Maria Angelica de Leon, you are the new Miss Universe Philippines for me! It is you who I can see being dramatically transformed for the Universe. That is where I am pulling out all my defense in your favor. And the achievable vision is starting to excite me. This much I can say – your detractors ain’t seen nothing yet.
Putting it all together, my winners for Bb. Pilipinas 2017
P.S. This is such a long narrative of predictions. If only I possessed the power of reading minds, I would immediately look at Madame Stella Marquez de Araneta and make this exercise short and sweet. But thank you for staying up with me. The finals this Sunday will definitely be a nail-biter. After all, media is not allowed to post any kind of live updates in whatever form in deference to the exclusive rights of ABS-CBN to broadcast the finals on TV. If at any, it will give your blogger the chance to watch without constantly grabbing the iPhone or tablet to post sashay-by-sashay happenings inside the Araneta Coliseum. First report on the winners should be posted by 2am of May 1 the earliest. 🙂
David Charlton of David’s Salon posed with the Binibinis and their precious loot bags
Team normannorman.com was all accounted for!
The whole of Monday was literally spent by team normannorman.com at the David’s Salon Academy in Makati City where Joy Arguil, Joseph Gerard Jose and I bonded and took photos with the Binibinis of Bb. Pilipinas 2017 upon the exclusive invitation of Marketing Manager Lotte Villarosa-Agraviador. The event started with a short lecture on the role of the salon company in the nationals, followed by delightful games that were gleefully participated in by the ladies and the stylists. Right about lunchtime, everyone was treated to a simple but yummy buffet before the pampering sessions started. Everyone was treated to relaxing back massages, mani/pedi and foot spas that were accompanied by cool loot bags that contained products that will help them maintain healthy hair and nails.
Hair and Make-Up consultations were also made with the assigned stylists for each Binibini and were given experimental approaches as to what facial applications best suit them. And to cap everything off, David’s Salon owner David Charlton dropped by to have group photos with the ladies and even brought them easter egg chocolates which came all the way from London.
The Binibinis had HMU consultations with their assigned stylists
There were also fun games that set the mood right for the day
The Binibinis were also given pampering back massages, foot spas and mani/pedi
It was fun all throughout, especially for your blogger who really took the opportunity to spend quality time talking to almost everyone. I can now safely say that this is a 99% cool batch of ladies who have the right attitude and personalities to compete for the crowns at stake. Why did I say 99%? Well, you do the math. No batch is uber perfect since there will always be an odd one out in terms of chemistry with everyone. I won’t name a name anymore since she is just one different apple in terms of character and disposition. Who knows, she might still improve her ways and turn out good in less than two weeks’ time.
Allow me also to point out the quality bonding I spent with random Binibinis. I say random because I caught them by their lonesome at given moments and the initial pleasantries turned into more meaningful chats in the process. Big shoutout to #Binibini2 Arienne Calingo, #Binibini19 Rachel Peters, #Binibini20 Christa Borja, #Binibini21 Jamaica Ambal, #Binibini23 Arah Salientes, #Binibini31 Katarina Rodriguez, #Binibini32 Charmaine Elima, #Binibini33 Istie Cequeña, #Binibini37 Sammie Anne Legaspi and #Binibini39 Elizabeth Clenci. I loved practically all of them, though!
David Charlton with the Binibinis and the stylists assigned to the ladies
Your #Binibini32 in her latest photoshoot with Ahleks Fusilero
With the April 30 Coronation Night of Bb. Pilipinas 2017 just under two weeks away, the question in most pageant watchers’ minds right now is “Who among them is starting to peak in the competition?“. Might I suggest your #Binibini32 Charmaine Elima as having one of the carefully-planned strategies for the nationals? Even if some people are saying that she is not soaring high enough right after the Press Presentation last March 22, I can say that she is steadily moving up the ranks and with essential noise-making turns defining her moves so far. The “La Reina Emperatriz” National Costume (created by Pablo Mendez III) that wowed everyone during the photo exhibit is one such moment. She actually amazed even Madame Stella Marquez de Araneta and her “saintly” face registered well on the BPCI Chair. Trust her that the NatCos Competition this week will see her come out with such awe-inspiring presence.
And now this Ahleks Fusilero photoshoot which brought together the group of Stylist Patrick Henry of Ton Lao Styling Team, Make-Up Artist Mary Letim and Hair Expert Marky Buenaobra with Designer Rian Fernandez, Accessories Designer Christopher Munar and shoemaker Jojo Bragais. She is visibly inspired in the shots and is more than ready to slay the onslaught of opponents coming her way.
What is Charmaine Elima’s standing on your scoresheets, dear readers?
Now I ask you, dear readers. Where is #Binibini32 Charmaine Elima standing on your personal scoresheets right now? How are you assessing her gameplan so far? And what title do you think she deserves to win the most?
The Plot: Your blogger is the Easter Egg Master who decided to set off all forty (40) Binibinis on an Egg Hunt unlike any other – all eggs are less than soft-boiled and can easily crack into half if they fall off the small wicker basket.
The ladies were given important tasks to accomplish before they can get clues as to where the expertly-hidden eggs can be found. First, they have to be at their most beautiful on the outside. Second, they need to slip into their two-piece swimwear and show how much their shapes have improved ever since becoming Binibinis. Third, they will be asked to wear the most awe-inspiring National Costumes that will make each one of them inspiring enough to show off to the world. Fourth, they have to put forth personalities that can blend well with practically anyone, while proving that they can talk the talk. And lastly, they should pass the eagle-eyed scrutiny of the Easter Egg Master as to who possesses a regal quality that will qualify them to become the new Bb. Pilipinas titleholders at this juncture – just two weeks away from the finals.
Practically half of the forty were able to hunt for five glistening Easter Eggs – the perfect number. However, only five were able to race to the Easter Egg Master’s booth without breaking any. Another five almost made it to the booth intact, but one egg got pressed inside the basket and cracked in two. That’s good for just four and a half Easter Eggs. Five more almost got everything right, but one egg fell from the basket and only four were submitted for scoring.
As for the remaining twenty five (25), they got an assortment of Three and a Half, Three and Two and a Half to finish the Easter Egg Hunt on time.
These are the five who presented the basket with five solid Easter Eggs:
1. Jehza Huelar
2. Charmaine Elima
3. Sirene Sutton
4. Maria Angelica de Leon
5. Rachel Peters
These are the five who completed the activity with four and a half Easter Eggs:
1. Elizabeth Clenci
2. Christagale Borja
3. Dindi Pajares
4. Nelda Ibe
5. Katarina Rodriguez
And here are the five with four Easter Eggs per Binibini:
1. Arienne Louise Calingo
2. Mae Liezel Ramos
3. Chanel Olive Thomas
4. Ruffa Nava
5. Ma. Camille Manalo
Next week, a string of new real-life and non-fantasy challenges will face the Binibinis – the National Costume Competition, the Preliminary Judging and the Parade of Beauties. There are those who will move up and some who will slide down. I am certain that those who didn’t figure out well in your blogger’s Fantasy Egg Hunt above will step up their gameplan more strongly and hopefully shake up the rankings.
Team normannorman.com will see who’s really in it for the crowns.
As for now, I’m back to the kitchen to prepare my favorite midnight snack – Spicy Tomato and Mushroom Omelette with a slice of baguette on the side.
With the photo exhibit of Bb. Pilipinas 2017 at the Gateway Mall (featuring the Binibinis in their swimsuit and national costume photos), it is quite easy for me to pick the Best National Costume among the 39 shown, and I believe practically everyone agrees with this choice.
Kudos to Designer Pablo Mendez for creating the jaw-dropping masterpiece he did for your #Binibini32 Charmaine Elima. Absolutely breathless in my opinion, it is one that was inspired by the Nuestra Señora La Naval de Manila.
Your #Binibini32 in the Pablo Mendez creation inspired by the Nuestra Señora La Naval de Manila
Now, dear readers, I give you the floor to discuss on which one you favor the most among the different creations. 🙂
It is way too premature to make early predictions on Bb. Pilipinas 2017. After all, the Press Presentation won’t happen until Wednesday, March 22, next week. But from my end, I have fine-tuned my pageant radar to pick up signs from everywhere. And when I say everywhere, I mean from even the unlikeliest of places to pick up clues from. It’s like small stones strategically thrown along a clear path. Problem is, these stones take the color of the pavement so I need to wear my trusty eyeglasses to see clearly and pick them up right away.
So do I sense Binibinis 15, 10, 24, 19, 32 and 13 as front-runners? And do I see the numbers 31, 18, 22, 28, 39 and 38 following the trail? Hey, don’t think of these early picks as definitive. The dozen is a result of inquisitiveness and a keen observance of goings-on from all corners. The signs could still be shaken in the weeks to come. But be happy that most of the ones you like are slowly shaping up to be potential leaders of the pack.
In the meantime, here are video greetings from some of the Binibinis as they do their shoutouts for normannorman.com. 🙂
Hi! Norman here. When I'm not working, I spend most of my free time planning on daily blogs. If you will notice, I always make sure that a fresh topic comes out everyday - not an easy thing to do but it's all good. Thanks for dropping by and enjoy the visit!
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