DEPARTURE @bbpilipinasofficial @gabriellebasiano
Bearing the fruit of labor of all Filipinos working hard in the country and across the world, reaping the success with pride as I represent the Philippines in the 50th Miss Intercontinental in Sharm El Sheik, Egypt!
Photographed by: @advanramirez
Creative Direction and Styling: @style.ken.jev @kenbatino @jevineleven
Make Up: @eugenetiongsonmakeup
Fashion: Custom @studio.myfren
Pageant Camp: @rlsangels @rlacanienta
Off to Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt our Cinderella is!
Binibining Pilipinas Intercontinental 2021 Cindy Obeñita is ready to check-in for her Philippine Airlines flight that will signal the actual start of her journey to the Miss Intercontinental 2021 crown. She won’t be traveling alone. And the support of Cagayan de Oro City and the entire Province of Misamis Oriental will see her through the entire competition.
Have a good flight and do us proud, my dear❣️😊
#labanpilipinas #LabanMisOr #labanCDO
With the recent tweet of the Miss International Organization stressing that they are not open to holding a virtual pageant, rumors are strong that the Japan-based competition might be postponed due to the pandemic. Perhaps, they have learned their lessons from the Tokyo Olympics hosting. Instead of creating problems, it won’t come as a surprise if a 2022 playdate will take over. But since no formal announcement has been made, there is still a glimmer of hope of a delay but still within the year.
As for the other Queens of Binibining Pilipinas, Cindy Obeñita is a go for Miss Intercontinental in Sharm El-Sheik, Egypt come late October and Maureen Montagne is preparing for an early November staging of The Miss Globe in Albania.
Meanwhile in Thailand, Miss Grand International is still keeping mum about details on whether to push through with the original plan of a December schedule for its 2021 edition. The civil unrest has affected the country and violence is alarming everyone that even reigning titleholder Abena Appiah (right) took to writing the United Nations to help intervene and restore peace. Interestingly, the core value of MGI will be put to test in this situation. Let’s see what happens next.
This blog entry will read like a throwback within a throwback. Just like Binibining Pilipinas, Mutya ng Pilipinas has already reached its Golden Anniversary last 2018 – fairly more recent but still full of pride and glory. For a national pageant to successfully make it through five decades is an achievement that stood the test of time. And its long list of titleholders and international winners gave their share to the country’s performance record in other beauty competitions – prime of which were Miss Asia Quest-turned- Miss Asia Pacific Quest-turned-Miss Asia Pacific International, Miss Tourism International and during selected periods – Miss World, Miss Intercontinental, Miss Tourism Queen of the Year International, Miss Tourism Metropolitan International, Queen of Clubs International and Best Model of the World.
Can you still remember the less popular, but equally beautiful theme song of Mutya ng Pilipinas? Click below so you can listen to it while looking back at fifty (50) glorious years of the second-oldest national pageant in the country.
Some of its pageant-victorious pageant alumni include:
Miss Asia Quest 1982 Carines Zaragoza
Miss Asia Quest 1983 Gloria “Bong” Dimayacyac
Miss Asia Pacific Quest 1989 Lorna Legaspi
Miss Asia Pacific Quest 1993 Michelle Aldana
Miss Asia Pacific International 2018 Sharifa Akeel
Miss Tourism International 2000 Esperanza Manzano
Miss Tourism International 2012 Rizzini Gomez
Miss Tourism International 2013 Angeli Dione Gomez
Miss Tourism International 2017 Jannie Alipoon
Miss Tourism International 2019 Cyrille Payumo
Miss Tourism Queen of the Year International 1999 Racquel Uy
Miss Tourism Queen of the Year International 2015 Leren Mae Bautista
Miss Tourism Metropolitan International 2014 Glennifer Perido
Queen of the Year 1996 Sherylle Santarin
Miss Tourism Cosmopolitan International 2010 Barbara Salvador
with notable placements in Miss World and Miss Intercontinental courtesy of Sarah Jane Areza, Sherry Rose Byrne and Koreen Medina.
Below is a video made especially for Mutya Gold which featured stories of some of its past titleholders and how being a Mutya made them forever Queens.
And just to complete the throwback, allow me to share the grand opening number and crowning moments of the 50th Mutya ng Pilipinas held at the Mall of Asia Arena last September, 2018. This was a monumental effort spearheaded by then President Hemilyn Escudero-Tamayo (right photo with Joy Arguil and I) who pulled out all the stops to make the production her farewell legacy for the pageant institution.
A period of 25 years is a “generation” – the time from birth to someone having a child of their own and starting the next generation. For beauty camp Kagandahang Flores, 2020 marks the year of its Silver Jubilee. And Rodgil Flores must be beaming with pride, alongside his cousin Gio Flores, in what their initial efforts have transformed into the past two and a half decades.
It all started from humble beginnings. Back in the mid-90s, the group fielded a sole candidate – Sonia Santiago – for Bb. Pilipinas 1996. In between, more beautiful Filipinas started undergoing training and polish for bigger beauty competitions. And in the process, a good number of the ladies started winning national titles left and right, until their successes were justly rewarded when Precious Lara Quigaman was crowned Miss International 2005 – their very first claim to grand slam fame.
Below is a rundown of the KF alumni who went on to win their international pageants, either here or abroad:
Miss International 2005 Precious Lara Quigaman
Miss International 2013 Bea Rose Santiago
Miss Earth 2008 Karla Henry
Miss Earth 2014 Jamie Herrell
Miss Earth 2015 Angelia Ong
Miss Earth 2017 Karen Ibasco
Miss Intercontinental 2018 Karen Gallman
Miss Asia Pacific International 2018 Sharifa Akeel
Miss Tourism International 2012/13 Rizzini Alexis Gomez
Miss Tourism International 2013/14 Angeli Dione Gomez
Mr Gay World 2017 John Raspado
Mr Gay World 2019 Janjep Carlos
Mister Tourism Ambassador World 2018 Kerr Cruz
I won’t make a separate list of their winners in Bb. Pilipinas, Miss World Philippines, Miss Philippines Earth, Mutya ng Pilipinas/Mutya Pilipinas and even in Mr World Philippines or Misters of Filipinas anymore because this entry will get very long.
In essence, Team KF discovers and teaches potential women and men to become successful pageant titleholders. The series of training and level workshops are focused on Personality Development, Visual Poise, Fitness, Pageant Question and Answer, Pageant Hair & Make-Up styling and Pageant Catwalk and Projection – all tailored fit for the biggest national pageants for both genders in the Philippines.
KF is now established as one of two most prominent beauty camps as well as internationally sought-after pageant training groups in the country. It’s no secret that beauty queens from other countries have also given their trust to them. And I am not surprised at the progressive move. If at any, that is already expected. Just like the last two Miss Earth winners Phuong Khanh Nguyen of Vietnam and Nellys Pimentel of Puerto Rico. They were both prepared (or perfected, if you will) at KF before their respective competitions.
I can remember during one of his past interviews (watch below) for Assignment Asia of the China Global Television Network (CGTN) how Rodgil called beauty aspirants – “beauty athletes” – because all the learnings are continuously practiced in their individual lives outside the confines of the camp itself. I could not think of a more appropriate term that could better that.
Congratulations to your 25th Anniversary, Kagandahang Flores! Here’s a toast to the passion and unstinting efforts to train a generation of Beautiful Filipinas!
Yesterday at The Winehouse in Queenstown, New Zealand, former Miss Intercontinental Karen Gallman marked a milestone in her beautiful life when she finally tied the knot with the man of her dreams, Ian Garton, in an intimate wedding ceremony that saw the two of them sealing the union with a kiss. It was the culmination of a long relationship that stood the test of time in a way, as the groom patiently waited until his bride was set free from all her pageant commitments.
The two of them will now spend the rest of their lives as Mr & Mrs Ian Garton – and happily at that.
Congratulations to the both of you!
Consider this the Christmas and Year-End Report of normannorman.com for pageantry in 2019.
2019 will go down modern pageant history as the year the Filipinas were clearly shut out of a win or top placement (read: Top 5 at least) in all the important international pageants worldwide. Sure, there were pinches of happiness when Leren Mae Bautista grabbed 2nd Runner-Up honors during The Miss Globe or Cyrille Payumo being crowned – albeit under less excitable circumstances – as Miss Tourism International or Gabrielle Basiano getting proclaimed as 1st Runner-Up in Miss Friendship International or Liz Mabao’s 2nd Runner-Up ranking in Miss Scuba International 2019 or Kayesha Chua topping Miss Asia Awards 2019 or even Daena Resurreccion making Top 5 in Miss Eco Teen. But ask any Pinoy pageant fan and they would instantly snap back and say that these are not enough to compensate for the tough time we had in winning any of the more highly-regarded “Alpha” crowns.
Let us count the rough moments one by one:
Miss Universe 2019
This could be considered a deep cut. For starters, the Philippines has consistently placed in the Top 10 from 2010-2018, with a Top 6 entry in one, runner-up positions in four editions and the crown itself in two. It was a collection of achievements that upgraded the Filipinos’ sense of pride. Along with it, the level of expectations shot through the roof year after year. Last December 8, we had to be contented with the inclusion of Gazini Ganados in the Top 20 and the Best National Costume award (which was even announced during the telecast with both a stage and backstage hiccup when host Steve Harvey called the right country winner and the production pulling in the wrong candidate – Miss Malaysia – to stand beside him).
Miss World 2019
This did not bruise as much compared to our placements the past two years. Michelle Marquez Dee made it to the Top 12 semifinalists before bowing out of the competition. Her telecast exposure gave us considerable time of excitement in watching the proceedings. The victory of Jamaica did draw mixed reactions from many, but it wasn’t hard taking in the results after Zozibini Tunzi’s Miss Universe accomplishment a week earlier.
Miss International 2019
Now what happened in Tokyo, Japan was something else. When Atty. Bea Patricia Magtanong reached the Final 8, she was in the company of three other ASEAN delegates (Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam) which undeniably gave all the Pinoys watching automatic anticipation that entering the magic circle of 5 was in the bag, if not clinching the Mikimoto crown itself. But after the dust settled, Sireethorn Leearamwat of Thailand nosed out the three remaining contenders (including our own). It was the kind of result that made us question whether the speech of our bet came on too strong for the taste of the predominantly Japanese panel or the judges (and organization) were simply charmed by the Thai delegate from start to finish.
Were we feeling extra superior here? You bet we are. Patch deserved a better recognition than what she was left to console herself with.
Miss Earth 2019
For our homegrown international pageant, it wasn’t difficult to accept the fact that Janelle Tee placed below the Top 10. While she would have been a shoo-in to make it far up the ladder, the judges felt otherwise. But it should not be a big letdown in my opinion. After all, Miss Earth is the one Big 4 crown that saved us from a shutout last 2014 – on top of getting an almost guaranteed inclusion among the four winners year after year. 2019, sadly, is not one of those editions when some kind of glory was within arm’s reach.
Miss Supranational 2019
The Poland-based contest is one where the country’s “halo effect” started its unsteady swings after Mutya Datul was named big winner last 2013. Except for the Top 10 finishes of Chanel Olive Thomas in 2017 and Jehza Huelar last 2018, the best placements we received were either Top 20 or Top 25. And Resham Saeed’s turn last December 7 added up to the unwritten mandate of “making-the-first-cut-at-least” for a Miss Philippines. What was more stinging, though, was Thailand winning another recognizable crown after Miss International 2019 that continued their dominance in the global pageant arena this year.
Miss Intercontinental 2019
The freshest of all rough outcomes took place just earlier this week in Egypt. And while our bet was going for a back-to-back win in Miss Intercontinental 2019, it wasn’t a blow to the moon to expect that Emma Tiglao had all the makings of a potential successor to Karen Gallman. Unfortunately, things just didn’t go our way when Thailand was favored once again to get the Top 5 nod for Asia-Oceania. This effectively dashed the hopes of the Kapampangan beauty to enter the winners’ circle.
Someone reliable whispered to my ears that Emma should have been the rightful Asia-Oceania pick (and this person was surprised when someone else got the Top 5 spot instead). But everything is finished and the irrevocable decision was already in place. Move on, we must.
Miss Grand International 2019
Don’t get me started with Miss Grand International 2019. It was simply the most controversy-laden as far as our representative is concerned. It was a mission that read like a lost cause for Samantha Lo from the time that she departed from the Philippines, got detained at Charles de Gaulle Airport, deported back to the Philippines and then flew back abroad to reach Venezuela using a “safer” flight route.
Pageant owner Nawatt Itsaragrisil may not be a favorite of many, but the circumstances that surrounded the journey of Miss Philippines just to make it to Caracas gave him at least one good score of goodwill when he welcomed the latter with open arms after everything she went through. It may be all for show, but a positive deed nonetheless.
Aside from the cited pageants above, the performance of Klyza Castro during Miss Asia-Pacific International 2019 added the proverbial salt to the wounds. But I will stop here because the one-two punches have gotten too many that they can rival the famous nonstop jabs of the late FPJ in all of his action movies.
Has the Philippines become a “feeling-entitled” participant in all the major international pageants? Perhaps to a certain extent, yes. And not just because we have been performing wonderfully left and right from 2010-2018. But our representatives come fully prepared to fight for the country. They start their respective outings provided with all the “required armaments” to win or achieve a good finish.
But is it in our destiny to win crowns year after year? Are we fated to secure at least a runner-up spot year after year? I say no. When a soldier goes to battle, he/she should always be prepared for the worst, regardless of tactics and preparations. And 2019 is when the Year of Losing Dangerously came into play. Is it a wake-up call to Filipino pageant fans? Not entirely. Because if all of us can move on from defeat and rise stronger the next, then we should be on our way towards maturity in this industry we have grown to love (and follow) for many decades now.
There is definitely hope in 2020. With a clearer vision and disposition in mind and heart, we should be more than watchers and critics. We can manage our losses better and be more acceptant of whatever results come our way.
I am no statistics whiz, but this is how I computed the average performance average of our Bb. Pilipinas 2018 titleholders based on placements/non-placement during their respective pageant missions:
1) Winning the crown in their assignments is equivalent to 100% so we have both Miss Universe Catriona Gray and Miss Intercontinental Karen Gallman contributing perfect scores in the final tally.
2) Placing 1st Runner-Up in Miss International is equivalent to a percentage of 97.5% – that is 2 (the rank) divide it by the number of candidates (77) resulting to 0.025 and converted accordingly to the said percent. This is the contribution of Ahtisa Manalo.
3) As for Jehza Huelar and Michele Gumabao, they placed Top 10 and Top 15 respectively. Using the formula in #2 and the number of candidates for Miss Supranational (72) and The Miss Globe (45), we arrive at converted percentages. Jehza added 86% to the tally, while Michele came up with 67%.
4) Lastly, Eva Patalinjug was unplaced in Miss Grand International. I definitely cannot give her a zero because she participated in the competition from Day 1. Since the first cut of was set at Top 20, I pegged her default placement at 30 (assuming that she is in the next ten candidates from 21-30). Using the same formula as above, she has a share of 61% based on a total number of 76 ladies who participated in the entire pageant.
If we are to assign a letter grade to the overall performance of our 2018 titleholders, they would collectively get an “A”. Our winning performances in both Miss Universe and Miss Intercontinental – plus a 1st Runner-Up placement in Miss International – are responsible for pulling up the final average to this level. Of course, we all want an “A+”. That would be a tall order for the next batch of winners – but not an impossible objective, nonetheless.
In closing, allow me to give my heartfelt thanks to Catriona, Karen, Ahtisa, Jehza, Michele and Eva for the accomplishments during their reign. We are proud of you!