Here now are three of the girls of Bb. Pilipinas 2014 who, in the opinion of some, are neither here nor there at the moment. They are the ones who are considered in good contention but not placed by the rest as title-worthy enough to spring a surprise on finals night. In short, they are regarded as potential semifinalists – no more, no less.
Binibini 2 Mary Ainjely Manalo during the Bb. Pilipinas 2014 Press Presentation (Photo credit: Emerson Cebanico for OPMB Worldwide)
First stop, Mary Ainjely Manalo. The Pasay City bet with classic good looks is being promoted by her supporters as a cinch for the Bb. Pilipinas International crown, owing to the belief that she is the complete package likely to come through in the eyes of the Japanese organizers in Tokyo. But is she really ready to take on the mounting pressure of going for a back-to-back win? Iron-clad will and determination are musts for whoever will be sent to the Land of the Rising Sun. If she can prove in the coming weeks that there is more to her beautiful face and hourglass figure than what most followers are seeing so far, then maybe – just maybe – she can join the wildcard queue for the same.
So what’s your take on Ainjely?
Underlying? Overwhelmed? Both?
Binibini 9 Joy Antonette Diaz during the Bb. Pilipinas 2014 Press Presentation (Photo credit: Emerson Cebanico for OPMB Worldwide)
Next on the list is Joy Antonette Diaz. Beyond the popular aunt and surname constantly attached to this Fil-Am wonder wherever she goes, are there more convincing reasons to bet on her for one of the titles? I have said at least twice in the past that she exudes a more disarming presence in person, aside from looking 5x lovelier in the midst of a face-to-face encounter. Nevertheless, she could be particularly brandished by comments like “she looks shorter than the rest” or “she’s just okay in my assessment“. And we all know that “good” and “okay” won’t cut it in this group where the degree of competition has risen so high following 2013’s glorious record.
In my opinion, Joy is simply underlying. Overwhelmed she definitely is not because of the built-in confidence to keep her gameface on despite the onslaught of far more serious fellow aspirants.
Binibini 26 Hannah Sheena Manuel during the Bb. Pilipinas 2014 Press Presentation (Photo credit: Emerson Cebanico for OPMB Worldwide)
And then there’s Hannah Sheena Manuel from Isabela. This 5’9″ ingénue (considering that this is her first big national pageant straight from anonymity beyond the confines of Santiago) is showing promise despite standing with and taking her stage turns with the pageant pros. During last Wednesday’s Press Presentation, it’s some kind of amazing how she was still able to hold up her own stand when pitted against the likes of Binibini 25 MJ Lastimosa and Binibini 27 Hannah Ruth Sison who sandwich her in line-ups and numbered stage calling.
Question is, how much further can she take the increasingly stressful days and weeks ahead? This edition is definitely not for the weak-hearted and easy-to-distract.
For now, I would apply the phrase ‘overwhelmed to a certain extent‘ to Sheena. Kudos to her for not being intimidated just yet. I am hoping that she will give the full weight of her competitiveness without the need to make long pauses while regaining her composure.
So now, dear readers, time to pitch in your views on the trio of Ainjely, Joy and Sheena. 😉