Catch us in today’s #BawalJudgmental segment of Eat Bulaga! Show starts at 12noon.
As a prelude to the start of #MUPHsaEB, our guesting revolved around Pageant Coaching/Mentoring. Together with #PageantCoach Shandy Montecarlo Lim, #PasarelaExpert Ian Mendajar and former Bb. Pilipinas titleholder Marina Benipayo (now TV actress), we each went through the usual drill of telling about our special skills and life experiences.
Starting tomorrow, the Miss Universe Philippines 2023 candidates will have their scheduled appearances on the country’s longest-running noontime variety show. Perhaps, this could be part of their challenges.
We all had fun doing the live taping at the APT Studios that it turned out to be informative and humor-filled at the same time.
Thank you, Direk Rod and the entire EB Team for the opportunity!
Left to right: Shandy Lim, yours truly, Ian Mendajar and Marina Benipayo
#Introducing: Manhunt Philippines Male Supermodel Joshua de Sequera
This 25 year-old Property Specialist and Volleyball player stands 6’4” and will represent the Philippines in Manhunt International 2022 which will be held in the country from September 24-October 1. He is the father of Jacob- a one year old and a half toddler who is his main source of joy. For the uninitiated, he is the son of supermodel and TV actress Marina Benipayo.
Joshua is preparing hard for the international modeling competition and promises to give it his best, knowing fully well how consistently successful the country performs in pageants and like-natured contests.
The son and daughter of two former Bb. Pilipinas titleholders grabbed two of the six titles at stake in the finals of GLobal Asian Model Philippines 2019.
Joshua de Sequera, son of former Miss Maja Pilipinas (but who went on to Miss World) Marina Benipayo was adjudged Male Winner of GLobal Asian Model Philippines 2019. Ashley Subijano Montenegro, daughter of Miss World 1994 Top 10 Finisher Caroline Subijano, was named as the very first Miss Charm Philippines and will represent the country in the inaugural edition of Miss Charm International in Vietnam next month.
Cebu-based model Daina Nelson partnered with De Sequera as Female Winner of GLobal Asian Model Philippines 2019.
Los Angeles Fil-Am import Daumier Corilla grabbed the Manhunt Philippines honor and will be host delegate in Manhunt International that will be held in Manila come February, 2020.
Meanwhile, Davao bet Mico Teng was proclaimed Mister Global Philippines and will be Thailand-bound for Mister Global 2020. Finally, Karen Laurrie Mendoza was chosen as representative of the country in next year’s Supermodel International which will also take place in the Land of Smiles.
In the same event, the key individuals behind Miss Universe Philippines Organization were formally presented as a prelude to next month’s Press Conference. But more about this on a separate blog.
Left to right: Miss Maja Pilipinas 1992 Marina Benipayo, Bb. Pilipinas Universe 1992 Elizabeth Berroya, Bb. Pilipinas World 1992 Marilen Espino, Bb. Pilipinas International 1992 Jo-Anne Alivio and 1st Runner-up Hazel Huelves (Photo credit: Tony Paat)
Marina is a model's model, no doubt
With a name like Marina Pura Abad Santos Benipayo, one would think that the lady is a throwback to the Carnival Queens of long ago. But not this Marina. She is every inch a modern Filipina who, in her pageant time, held the title of Miss Maja Pilipinas 1992 but ended up representing the country in Miss World instead. That’s the twist of fate that favored her. And the lost opportunity of the original Bb. Pilipinas World 1992 Marilen Espino who contracted chicken pox just when she was ready to experience the once-in-a-lifetime experience of going to Sun City in South Africa. Marina-to-the-Rescue mode.
Marina Benipayo, the model
After fulfilling all her obligations to BPCI, Marina went back to modeling and her star on the runway soared higher than ever before. After all, she was already a beauty titleholder and her constant appearances in fashion shows were enough to interest a lot of people, especially the uninitiated who never knew that she was already at the top of her game before joining Bb. Pilipinas 1992.
Marina walking the runway with her loving partner, actor Ricardo Cepeda
Through the years, she was on an eternal quest to reinvent herself as a career person, while maintaining her status as one of the country’s top runway divas and a driving force behind the Professional Models Association of the Philippines (PMAP). She became a writer for Philippine Daily Inquirer with her own column – ‘Bylines‘ – where she always unleashes her penned thoughts and opinions on an assortment of subject matters. And wanting to impart her knowledge and inspire the young ones, she took on teaching/training stints at the School for the Fashion and the Arts (SoFA).
Marina, the Teleserye actress
But what really hooked her up to the masses are recurring acting stints in some of ABS-CBN’s Primetime Teleseryes like “Mirabella” and “Bukas Na Lang Kita Mamahalin” (I Will Just Love You Tomorrow). She is now part of the network’s stable of character actresses who will never run out of projects if she chooses to sign up for all the offers.
Marina with her two sons Joshua (left) and Mark
On the personal side, she continues to sustain a healthy and loving relationship with Richard Go (actor Ricardo Cepda to you) and is able to build a strong bond with the latter’s teenaged kids and vice versa. She has two sons – Mark and Joshua – from her marriage with César Vincenzo de Sequera.
Good luck in all your future endeavors, Marina! And may my style of writing for your Senti Sunday Special merit a passing grade. 😉
The 25th Anniversary Show of Cary Santiago at the Isla Ballroom of EDSA Shangri-la was a big success. (Photo credit: Bruce Casanova)
The 25th Anniversary Fashion Show of Metrowear Icon and Cebu-based Designer Cary Santiago yesterday night was a huge success, to say the least. The Isla Ballroom of EDSA Shangrila was packed with familiar faces in high society, showbusiness and media. And no one can’t deny the kind of adoration many ladies have for the talented star of the night. His creations are divinely elegant. Look at some of the pieces in his silver collection and get ready to be amazed even more with the complete photo set – as prepared by Kai Magsanoc for Yahoo Southeast Asia – you can access HERE.
#PinoyPride at its finest!
All images are courtesy of my good friend Bruce Casanova.
Miss World 2011 1st Runner-up Gwen Ruais
TV and Film Actress Sarah Lahbati
Asia's Next Top Model Season 2 Runner-up Jodilly Pendre
Calling all interested good-looking guys and girls who want to jumpstart a modelling career. Here’s the potential chance to shine in this year’s edition of Bodyshots. Organized by the Fashion Designers Association of the Philippines (FDAP), screening dates will be on April 14-15 to be held at the Sky Dome of SM City North Edsa. There will be another one on April 21 at Solaire Resort & Casino, a day before the final screening on April 22 in the same venue. Give it a try!
As the website notes, “Bodyshots is truly considered to be your passport to the industry. Some of the alumni of the competition include Eric Quizon, Marina Benipayo, Wilma Doesnt, Zanjoe Marudo, John Estrada, Hayden Kho, Joan Bitagcol, Rachel Soriano, Lucia Santiago, and Francine Prieto.”
Supermodel Charo Ronquillo in her latest editorial for Cosmopolitan Philippines.
Back in the 90s, the annual Bb. Pilipinas was the stepping stone used by professional fashion models to cross over from the ramp to either showbiz or celebrity social status. Actually, there are still some who take a gamble and use their good height and catwalk skills to make their presence felt in the national beauty pageant up to now. But not as strong as the consecutive joinings (and eventual victories) of the likes of Patty Betita (BPI1992), Marilen Espino (BPW1991), Cara Subijano (BPW1994), Gem Padilla (BPU1990), Rachel Soriano (BPW1998), Marina Benipayo (MissMaja1992 and MW rep), Sara Jane Paez (BPU1989) and Abbygale Arenas (BPU1997).
Allow me to pitch in Cabuyao-born Charo Ronquillo, erstwhile Supermodel of the Philippines who went on to win 2nd Runner-Up in the international edition of 2006. Along with it came a US$100,000 modeling contract with Ford Models that gave her the opportunity to invade the runway for famous designers like Lela Rose, Nanette Lapore, Zero Maria Cornejo, Tory Burch, Antonio Berardi, Kenneth Cole, Mac Cosmetics Barbie Collection, Zaldy by Gwen Stefani, BCBG, Sisley, Benetton New York, Elie Tahari, Julien Fournié and Eric Tibusch. She also landed commercial shoots/advertisements for the catalogues of Target, Macy’s, Saks Fifth Avenues and Old Navy, while landing the glossy pages of Spanish Vogue, Indian Vogue, Teen Vogue, Marie Claire Paris and US, ELLE Vietnam, Cosmopolitan US and Glamour.
Watch Charo in her Tropicana Coco Quench TVC which started to air on Philippine TV networks a few months back.
Courtesy of Tropicana Coco Quench
Now 24, the 5’10” Charo – who measures 32-25-35 – is being co-managed by Ford Models, D1 Models London, Calcarrie’s International Models Philippines, Angels and Demons Model Management Paris and Franicina Models Barcelona. While she may have done a couple of daring albeit tasteful editorials in the past, the Filipina has maintained a pretty good image in her profession. Communication-wise, her fluency in English has already gone from limited to conversationally adept. And need I add that her stance on the runway is masterful and not pageant-defined at all?
Charo Ronquillo (right) in an ad/endorsement for local clothing brand Unica Hija, together with singer Sarah Geronimo.
I really wouldn’t mind seeing her take an attempt at the Miss Universe Philippines crown of 2013. By April of next year, she will already turn 25 – an age that would dedicate her for Miss Universe alone. I’d say that she is ripe for the picking. Tall, graceful and very Pinay-looking – all the right qualities we are looking for in a Janine Tugonon successor if ever. 🙂
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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