Imelda Bautista Schweighart – or simply Imee Schweighart – will be recalled as a Binibini of Bb. Pilipinas 2013 where she entered the Top 15 in such a tough (Golden) edition of the nationals. She was a favorite that time, but lady luck wasn’t on her side just yet. Last year, she was reported to have joined Miss World Philippines, but backed out at the last minute just before the announcement of candidates during the Press Presentation. For 2016, she made good with the promise to make a pageant comeback and is now the representative of Puerto Princesa City in Miss Philippines Earth 2016.
So far, 21 year-old Imee is considered to be one of the favorites among the more-than-50 contenders for the crown being held by Angelia Ong (who is also Miss Earth 2015).
Could the environment-focused competition be just what her KF camp ordered for a potential victory come Independence Day? Very likely. Let’s hear what she has to say about her reasons for wanting to nail this title.
I am the next Philippines Earth because I want the best welfare for my fellow Filipinos. Through Spirit I am an energy of hope in bringing your dreams to life. I believe the Miss Earth Organization should finally have their own discovery of a new breed of talent to blast off for the world to be inspired. So that the young, will continuously blossom into our next generation of inspirations. I am a Mystique. The fuel that drives me to aim for the crown is my special connection to the people and Land’s cry for help.
During the pageant’s summer wear competition, Imee scooped both Miss Lady Grace and Miss Aquaboy Sponsor Awards (Photo credit: Edmund Chua for Fabmanilaph)
One of the 8 ladies above could spring a surprise on Sunday night.
Every year, a surprise or two in the official results of Bb. Pilipinas (even Miss Universe) make us look closer at the TV screen (or the stage if watching live) more intently. It’s as if we missed this one girl who is suddenly performing beyond everybody’s expectations.
Last year, a petite and less regarded – albeit photogenic – Ali Forbes stunned amused watchers when she placed 2nd Runner-Up which translated to a year-long Top 5 appearance with Janine, Nicole, Katrina and Elaine. The year before that, the surprise was relatively minor when the likes of less popular Sarah Nicole Clenci and Wendy Lucas made it to the Top 15. And the year before that, Czarina Gatbonton floored everyone by becoming the last Filipina to wear the Bb. Pilipinas World sash.
For 2013, who will provide us with that eyebrow-raising moment? For your consideration, I short-listed eight candidates who just might sneak into the magic circle of Top 15 or Top 10 or even Top 5 when nobody’s looking (or taking a restroom break in between commercial gaps).
Cebuanas Angeli Dione Gomez and Herlie Kim Artugue head the group. Their excellent communication skills – and acceptable facial attractiveness – might not be lost on the judges’ scorecards. Same goes with Law student Ivy Kristel Gonzales and UK-raised Zandra Flores. And how about the youthful beauty of 17 year-old Imee Schweighart? She could turn on the charm that we have been ignoring for so long.
And then there is also Best National Costume winner (and Mutya Datul deadringer) Ma. Teresita ‘Mateane’ Baccay plus sexy Abby Monderin who may possibly complicate the field even more. Finally, let’s not forget the statuesque Valiry Vispo whose 5’10” frame can be hard to ignore in a less competitive year.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, there is likely to be one shocking contender for this year. Her identity remains a mystery, though. After all, what’s Bb. Pilipinas without one? 😉
After a grand total of 167,035 votes casted, we have finally arrived at this juncture where the Top 15 ladies with the highest numbers have been determined from our near-month long Pick 15 Poll. In this order, they are:
Instead of the four-way poll I originally planned, a second Final 15 poll will be introduced starting today and will run until the midnight of April 10. You can only vote for four (4) delegates who you feel deserve to win the crowns at stake. In the end, the top placer will be pegged for Miss Universe Philippines, the 2nd placer for Bb. Pilipinas International, the 3rd placer for Bb. Pilipinas Tourism and the 4th placer for Miss Supranational Philippines. As an added token, the 2nd Runner-Up position will be assigned to whoever finishes 5th.
I encourage everyone to be discerning with your choices. Even if your favorites did not make it to the Final 15, I’m pretty sure you will find one among the selection who comes closest to your preferred winner. And might I add that we’re back to square one today, so the 15th placer will have just as much chance to zoom to the top.
Note: Angel May Villafuerte is actually #16, but moved up to #15 following the resignation of Theresa Fenger.
The ladies having a workout session with John Cuay (Photo credit: Boyet Blas)
Sweaty but beautiful (Photo credit: Boyet Blas)
Here's Charmaine getting her groove. (Photo credit: Boyet Blas)
In continuation of our Work It Out post featuring the photographs of Boyet Blas shot during the Bb. Pilipinas 2013 Official Candidates’ day at Gold’s Gym, we can see ‘Fitness Trainer to the Beauty Queens’ John Cuay taking charge of the workout. The ladies got a taste of his training style and the eventual winners will definitely get more one-on-one sessions with him.
Let’s see who will be privileged enough to be shaped and sculpted by John after April 14. Aces & Queens winner or otherwise, he will give the titleholders the best fitness training possible. 😉
The final update before the 50 ladies become 15 next week.
This is the final update for our Pick 15 Poll with a running total of 143,350 votes casted.
By April 1, only the 15 ladies with the highest number of votes will be further subjected to a four-way poll where readers, fans and supporters can select their specific favorites for the Bb. Pilipinas 2013 titles at stake.
And here’s an important note. Should the resigned OC Theresa Fenger (currently at #15) end up in the Final 15 by Monday, the 16th placer will automatically take her position.
The period between now and midnight of March 31 is most important because it will determine the final composition of our Top 15 for the second round of voting.
In the game of beauty, poise and grace under pressure, one interesting element that can possibly muddle the equation is a candidate’s celebrity status (or two degrees of separation from showbiz circles if you will). Familiar names that have used their established familiarity (or relative popularity) to the public include Sharmaine Ruffa Gutierrez of 1993, Richell Angalot (aka Rich Asuncion) of 2009, Krista Kleiner of 2010 and Charlene Gonzalez Bonnin of 1994. Even the late Ma. Rosario ‘Chat’ Silayan of 1980 benefitted from being the daughter of the late great actor Vic Silayan.
And who’s to say that these ladies who were pre-loved by TV and/or the movies cannot capitalize on whatever little or big gains they have made in showbusiness? Certainly not to the current quintet of Bb. Pilipinas 2013 Official Candidates who have just that and more.
Consider Mariel de Leon for one. She may be the least-exposed among the five, but she clearly has the weightiest link. Her celebrity parents continue to be two of the most active in the industry, with film and TV projects coming in one after another. Christopher de Leon and Sandy Andolong may not be stagey enough to herald their daughter’s candidacy, but the association alone is too strong to ignore.
On the other hand, TV5 beauties Cindy Miranda, Imee Schweighart and (former GMA-7 talent) Rhea Nakpil are not necessarily just eye candies in the biz. Still, I wouldn’t categorize them as starlets, but TV personalities who may or may not register quick recall to non-watchers of Willie Revillame’s show or any of the network’s programs.
And finally, Pia Wurtzbach is the pageant’s home network’s pride. While not a major contract artist, she has been the most visible due to the substantial reach of her drama projects and the like.
So to answer the question posed by the title of this feature, I think it’s quite obvious whose showbiz star factor is the most useful and reliable. No aria needed to sound others off. 😉
How do you love your Filipina beauty? Let us count the ways…
Do you like your Filipina with the light chocolate skin texture exuding an allure – at once exotic – and inevitably enviable to Westerners and pale Caucasians alike?
The Brown-Skinned Beauties
Or do you prefer them mixed blend enough to highlight the best of both worlds – or in some cases, the best of three worlds? Fil-German? Fil-Polish/Ukrainian? Fil-Indian? Take your pick.
The Mixed-Race Beauties
Or you might want to go for Filipinas with verifiably (read: on bare feet) statuesque height and hard-to-miss presence?
The Towering Beauties
Or better yet, your preference could be the girl-next-door Filipina – pretty face and pretty reachable – not the kind of neighbor who locks a homely appearance inside the confines of a bedroom.
The Girl-Next-Door Beauties
Whichever direction you find yourself headed to, one thing remains clear. The Filipina is diversely beautiful.
The mix of cultures may not be peculiar to our shores, but our lovelies will always have the edge over other types. The warmth? The sunny disposition? The wholesome sensuality? The fearless confidence? I say, it’s all that and more! 😉
Ellore, Imee and Leona: underdogs or just waiting for their time to shine? (Photo credit: OPMB Worldwide)
If we look at pinned numbers alone, it’s easy to tell that #22 Ellore Punzalan and #23 Leona Santicruz are two of the taller contenders in this year’s batch. However, being part of the middle group (which includes the likes of #26 Anna Buquid, #24 Cassy Naidas and #25 Merry Joyce Respicio) is not the easiest because the tendency is to be always towered upon even if one’s height is already playing in the 5’8″-5’9″ range. And while I want to give this duo a fair shot at hitting paydirt, the top favorites have began scoring points that make it even harder to surpass their leads. Still, we are looking at a good one month grace period for all ladies, and they had better start pulling out all the stops to at least leave a dent in the pre-final selection process.
And as for Imee Schweighart, I say that there has never been a more difficult year to pull one’s showbiz weight than now. There’s Mariel. There’s Pia. There’s Rhea. There’s Cindy. And then there’s Imee. I can’t say if she is giving her darndest best in the contest, but with what she has been displaying so far, chances of getting outshadowed are pretty high. There is a defined level of cuteness in her face, but she seems to be stuck in that comfort zone. It could be her gameplan. It could be her setback as well.
So where do we go from here, ladies? Back to square one for reassessment or onwards to the higher tier where the challenge is anything but a walk in the park? 😉
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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