The year was 1993. And it had one of the most intrigue-laden candidates’ screenings in the pageant’s history ever after everyone waited for then upcoming actress Sharmaine Ruffa Gutierrez until very late to show up and be counted as an aspirant for the year’s batch of Binibinis. She eventually did and became the hot favorite to win the Bb. Pilipinas Universe crown. However, the less popular but equally competitive Dindi Gallardo was not to be denied the chance to gun for the highest title as well. The two of them were like the two frontrunners by a mile. Everyone else had to be happy competing for the Bb. Pilipinas International or Tourism crown which eventually went to the late Sheela Mae Santarin and Jenette Fernando. This was also the edition when the Bb. Pilipinas Look of the Year title was handed out to Ana Maria Gonzales.
Come April 10’s coronation night of Bb. Pilipinas 2011, three beautiful Filipinas – all of whom made their marks in their international pageant participations – will host the national finals. First of the troika is Bb. Pilipinas-Universe 1994 Charlene Gonzalez who represented us when the Philippines hosted Miss Universe 1994 (won by Sushmita Sen of India) and placed in the Top 6. And then there is Bb. Pilipinas-Universe 1999 Miriam Quiambao who almost made history when she landed 1st Runner-Up to Miss Universe 1999 Mpule Kwelagobe of Botswana in Trinidad & Tobago. Completing the list is the most victorious of Bb. Pilipinas winners in recent years, i.e., Miss International 2005 Precious Lara Quigaman, who has already made peace with BPCI Head Stella Marquez de Araneta after putting up a separate competition (Miss Turismo Pilipina) which produced only one winner (Sherilyn Sustiguer) and folded afterwards.
This early, many people are saying that this year’s edition will be the grandest of all – not only because ABS-CBN is the new home of Bb. Pilipinas but to further strengthen its hold as the premier beauty pageant of the country after losing the Miss World franchise which will hold a Miss World Philippines 2011 finals come August over at GMA-7 which, according to rumors, might be hosted by Miss World 1993 2nd Princess Ruffa Gutierrez.