Catriona and MUO President Paula Shugart
I wanted so much to end 2018 with a big bang. If only clarity on the issue of whether the Miss Universe franchise remains with BPCI or crosses over to LCS has been settled in the last few days, then it would make for an explosive year-end blog entry. But then again, that would be asking for way too much confirmation during the uber busy Holiday Season.
Pageants fans and followers are divided on the matter. But I reckon that – if we play by percentages – there would be a lot more who are in favor of the franchise staying put with Bb. Pilipinas to maintain the prestige of the country’s biggest national pageant as well as to preserve its glorious place on top of the pedestal in full hierarchial view of the entire Philippines. Besides, the record of the leadership of Madame Stella Marquez de Araneta is something that other National Directors can only hope to achieve in their lifetime.
On the other side of the coin, there is this side of business that doesn’t give much premium on sentimentality or loyalty or time-honored tradition. As the line goes, “…the only thing constant is change.” And with the ties that bind the Miss Universe Organization (MUO) and the LCS Group of Companies, the partnership could only move to a logical next step of having the franchise be placed under the latter’s care. That way, both MUO and IMG will have a more direct hand in controlling/advising how the brand is managed and sustained with progressive exclusivity.
This is me in the middle. Having grown up with Bb. Pilipinas, I would love to see MU stay with BPCI. But I’d also like to see how MU will grow nationally as a stand-alone pageant. I won’t take sides now. I will just let destiny speak for itself. Because with what I have been hearing, it could be a done deal – unless some kind of a unique arrangement can be finalized in the coming month or two.
Artwork by Henry Nicholson Labajo
Since the issue has not been settled yet, let me end 2018 with lyrics from the song written/composed by Prince and made more famous by Sinéad O’Connor because I personally feel that some of the lines simply fit:
Nothing Compares 2 U
It’s been seven hours and fifteen days
Since you took your love away
I go out every night and sleep all day
Since you took your love away
Since you been gone I can do whatever I want
I can see whomever I choose
I can eat my dinner in a fancy restaurant
I said nothing can take away these blues
‘Cause nothing compares
Nothing compares to you
It’s been so lonely without you here
Like a bird without a song
Nothing can stop these lonely tears from falling
Tell me baby where did I go wrong…
The four winning pillars of pageantry in 2018:
Catriona Gray – Miss Universe
Vanessa Ponce de León – Miss World
Mariem Claret Velazco – Miss International
Nguyễn Phương Khánh – Miss Earth
Indeed, this is the year split between Asians and Latinas in international beauty competitions. If you consider the rest of the other pageants like Miss Supranational (Puerto Rico), Miss Grand International(Paraguay), Miss Tourism International (Indonesia), Miss Asia Pacific International (Philippines), Miss Eco International (Philippines), The Miss Globe (China), Reina Hispanoamericana (Venezuela), Miss United Continents (México) and more, you’ll see what I mean.
As 2018 comes to a close, let us look forward to an even more exciting 2019 with the opening salvo being the 47th Miss Intercontinental next month.
Happy New Year to all of you, my dear readers!
Click above to sign the petition
No to LCS: Miss Universe Philippines to retain in BPCI
BPCI: The true gateway for Filipinas to make a difference in the world.
This is one thing that many pageant fans do not realize. BINIBINING PILIPINAS CHARITIES is a reputable organization and one way for BPCI to perform their community advocacy is through donations/honorariums received from private corporations/governments when the beauty queens are invited to do their jobs such as Public Speaking about an advocacy, judge a pageant, endorse …a product, etc. If BPCI will lose the top plum, it will mean the demise of MANY communities that they support both in Metro Manila and the provinces. BPCI has been supporting the ccommunities since the 1960s and it’s hard to think that the support will be divided. BPCI donates ALL OF ITS EARNINGS (Honorarium and payment of these private organizations/governments) to orphanages, daycare centers, calamaty centers (when it happens), hospitals such as PGH and AFP hospital and bringing of indigent children by hosting Disney on Ice.
I’m sure LCS will promote an advocacy of its own too. But let us not forget that the TRUE RELEVANCE of Binibining Pilipinas lies in more than just the quest for the True Filipina Beauty and not on thinking about who can be sent to Miss Universe/International from its roster of crowned queens.
BINIBINING PILIPINAS IS AN ADVOCACY IN ITSELF. Losing a crown may impede donations given to this advocacy but BPCI has been a legacy since the 1960s. Our support should be given not only to the glitz, fame and representatives but to the mother organization who also fights to helo these young Filipinas to be a torch-bearer of community advocacies that they and BPCI jointly supports.
As what BPCI have said in their official website, “Binibining Pilipinas is the TRUE GATEWAY to many meaningful opportunities to be able to make a difference in the world, with its enduring commitment to various humanitarian causes.”
Sign the petition HERE if you are willing (or not) to show your support.
Could this be the last complete photo of Bb. Pilipinas winners?
I reckon that the atmosphere at the BPCI Offices is anything but cheerful. While no official statement has yet been released by the LCS Group of Companies about their takeover of the Miss Universe franchise in the Philippines, the matter has already spread like wildfire in the hearts and minds of those in the know around Araneta Center. From this point onwards, it should be just a short wait till everything gets finalized.
While gut-feel already made me sense that something big is going to happen in the Philippines with the inclusion of Richelle Singson-Michael in the all-female panel of judges that selected Catriona Gray as the successor of Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, I was initially anticipating more of another Philippine hosting in the works. But no, it is turning out to be so much more of a shocker than anything else.
With Miss Universe Philippines as the lead title at stake for Bb. Pilipinas, its pending removal from the roster is going to give a mighty blow to the organization. I simply can’t imagine our favorite national pageant without the honor. What’s even more disconcerting is the (serious) buzz that the Philippine franchise for Miss International is also being negotiated with a potential new owner and National Director. This one is going to hammer another painful realization to BPCI that when big businesses reel its interest on a particular matter, then all they can do is to either match/better the offer or give up completely even if its going to badly hurt where it matters most. For one, Madame Stella Marquez de Araneta is the very first Miss International.
Are they all jumping ship before the end of 2018 or early 2019?
Sadly, it doesn’t stop there. Negotiations for the Philippine franchise of Miss Supranational is also being privately discussed. I will not name names anymore so as not to spoil the Holiday Spirit brought about by Catriona’s victory in Bangkok. And just today, I was also sounded off that the Miss Intercontinental franchise for the Philippines is being offered for a possible changing of guards. You all know that the 47th Edition of the said pageant will be hosted here in Manila next month. You try to connect the dots for now.
So let me repeat the title of this entry. Can you imagine a near-future without Bb. Pilipinas? I can clearly remember the statement I gave to ABS-CBN News field reporter Ganiel Krishnan when she interviewed me about what will be the implication of Catriona winning Miss Universe. Without any knowledge whatsoever then of the new developments happening in the national pageant scene today, I told her that it will establish a new order in Philippine pageantry. I was coming from an angle where independents will now be more confident of vying for Bb. Pilipinas without the support of either A&Q and KF. I didn’t think it would be this big, though.
Dear readers, please share your thoughts after watching the nostalgia-inducing videos below.
Until we get an Official Statement, it will all remain a rumor. But a strong rumor, I must add.
There are talks that the ownership of the Miss Universe franchise for the Philippines will allegedly change hands very soon. And part of the loud whispers is that Richelle Singson-Michael of the LCS Group could be the new owner. I feel sad for BPCI should that happen.
I will keep you posted on this shocking development. If ever.
Richelle Singson-Michael and Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray
PS Don’t be surprised if you hear rumors as well that the owners of Miss International and Miss Supranational are shopping around for new owners.
Photos from the Grit+Glam event at Cove Manila featuring Miss Universe titleholders Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, Iris Mittenaere and Pia Wurtzbach plus Miss Universe Philippines 2018 Catriona Gray.
This event was made possible by Frontrow International.
Special Credit: Glenn Palacio for normannorman.com
And the three Miss Universe titleholders – the reigning Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, Iris Mittenaere and our very own Pia Wurtzbach will reunite once more on May 8, 2018, Tuesday at The Cove Manila for a fashion show and summer party with The World’s Strongest Men.
Frontrow International is making this event possible once more.
#Frontrow #MissUniverse #HopeforChange #EmpirePh
Queen P as shot by Dookie Ducay using a camera phone – the P20Pro