To be fair, Aya Abesamis nailed both her swimsuit and evening gown turns during the Miss Universe Philippines | Bb. Pilipinas 2019 Grand Coronation Night. At that point, it was a given for her to make it past the first cut so her entry into the Top 15 was expected. When time came for the Q&A, she was picked by young actress Nadine Lustre who asked about the advice she can give to a 16 year-old to become an empowered young lady.
Her answer was short and sweet – to read more and understand life. Watch her in the clip below.
But was her take on the question too short to be substantial in the eyes (and ears) of the judges, or did it require just a wee bit more sweetness to convince everyone in the panel that she was able to wrap her head around the “advice” to make it more commanding for a teenage listener?
The way I see it, Aya looked like she wanted to expound a little further on her advice but instead, she promptly punctuated the reply with “that’s all“. Be that as it may, it was enough to include her in the deliberations after.
I may have not predicted Binibini Pasig to win one of the six titles, but I still wanted to see her up there in the final group shot of all the winners. And she was able to do so. As 1st Runner-Up, she will also train with the titleholders – especially with Dale Carnegie – and take part in all the mandatory public appearances.
But does she deserve better? Well, I won’t be shocked if her name was called as Bb. Pilipinas Supranational 2019. She could have been a major contender for that crown after what she has shown in the Top 25 and Top 15.
But with everything over and done with, I am pleased to learn that Aya is happy with what she got. After all, it is a leap from her Bb. Pilipinas 2018 performance. While this is already her one last chance to become a Binibini and vie for a good crown, she is ending her pageant dreams on a good note. Nothing that would excite her team and supporters to high heavens, but a worthwhile reward for all the efforts she has poured into becoming a Binibining Pilipinas for two consecutive years.
Unlike last year when the highest crown was a lock for Catriona Gray since Day 1, the competition for this year’s Miss Universe Philippines alone is like a tight basketball playoff among eight (8) teams wanting to win the championship trophy. I say eight (8) because it symbolizes infinity where the movement is unending. Nobody has an idea where it will stop until the buzzer (or announcement of winners for that matter) finally sounds off on the night of June 9.
Of course, the organizers of Miss Universe Philippines and Binibining Pilipinas may already have clearer choices on who they would be happy to see winning among the forty (40) Official Candidates. But those preferences remain as such. They can still be upended by the Board of Judges during deliberation. The important thing is to make it to the eight-highest spots to be part of the winning circle from where the six (6) titleholders and two (2) runners-up will emerge.
This time around, I am taking a different approach in handing out my predictions for Miss Universe Philippines | Bb. Pilipinas 2019. Instead of just one collective blog entry two days before the Coronation Night, I will share with you my individual shortlists for the six (6) crowns at stake (read: six separate blogs) before zeroing in on who should win and who could win in my humble opinion.
But before starting off with my dedicated posts on who Miss Universe Philippines, Bb. Pilipinas International, Bb. Pilipinas Intercontinental, Bb. Pilipinas Supranational, Bb. Pilipinas Grand International and Bb. Pilipinas Globe could be, allow me to list down the names of the Binibinis who made it to the upper half of my choices – the Top 20, that is.
These twenty (20) ladies will – in one way or another – be part of the #Infinity8 for each of the titles. In the order of their assigned numbers now:
1. Jessica Marasigan of Malabon
2. Martina Turner Diaz of Muntinlupa
3. Sigrid Grace Flores of Iloilo
4. Marianne Marquez of Marikina
5. Gazini Ganados of Talisay, Cebu
6. Maria Andrea Abesamis of Pasig
7. Leren Mae Bautista of Laguna
8. Maria Isabela Galeria of Sorsogon
9. Denise Omorog of Baras, Catanduanes
10. Bea Patricia Magtanong of Bataan
11. Hannah Arnold of Masbate
12. Ilene de Vera of Mandaue City, Cebu
13. Julia Saubier of Daraga, Albay
14. Nicole Guerrero of Ilocos Sur
15. Samantha Lo of Cebu City
16. Emma Tiglao of Pampanga
17. Samantha Bernardo of Palawan
18. Resham Ramirez Saeed of Maguindanao
19. Vickie Marie Rushton of Negros Occidental
20. Joanna Tolledo of Caloocan
Gut-feel is telling me that all the winners will come from the above group.
Next stop: Who could be the next Bb. Pilipinas Globe?