Sharing with you the vlog episode started by two of our former Miss Universe Philippines titleholders MJ Lastimosa and Janine Tugonon titled “After the After Party.
Pleased to share with you the QUEENtuhan episode of Pia Wurtzbach, Bianca Guidotti-Santos and Carla Lizardo with Miss Universe Philippines 2014 MJ Lastimosa.
It’s no secret by now that Miss Universe 2012 1st Runner-Up Janine Tugonon will be coming home to the Philippines. The last time she visited was back in 2018. And according to the IG account of Aces & Queens, she will be watching the finals of the national pageant in person. Well, it doesn’t take a genius to conclude that she will possibly be one of the judges because there are no spectators allowed in the event except for the candidates, the organization, the production team, the judges and perhaps, a small representation from the host city. So where does she classify among those groups?
Anyway, I would really love to see an all-Filipina lineup of phenomenal judges for the finals – namely, Venus Raj, Janine Tugonon, Ara Arida, Maxine Medina and Pia Wurtzbach as Chairman of the Board. And why don’t we include National Director Shamcey Supsup-Lee for good measure? It will even be a show of unity if Bianca Manalo, MJ Lastimosa and Rachel Peters are to be invited. But I guess that would be asking too much.
What do you think, dear readers?
If the Philippines waited for more than four decades to win its 3rd Miss Universe crown, then consider Colombia more patient because it took the country more than five and a half decades before its second win in the annual competition. But let us talk about the location of the 63rd edition first.
Back in 2014, Miss Universe was held in an unlikely host city which no pageant fan would instinctively guess as the venue for our favorite beauty pageant – Doral, a city in Miami-Dade Country, Florida known for a lot of parks, educational institutions and a good-sized Latin American population – save for big-time pageantry. Here’s a bit of trivia, did you know where the name “Doral” originated from?
2014 was the time when I thought that: 1) Nia Sanchez would do an Olivia Culpo and become the next Miss USA winner of Miss Universe or 2) a short-haired beauty from Jamaica named Kaci Fennell would take it all the way or 3) Ukrainian bet Diana Harkusha will be favored by Trump. But no, the Colombian beauty Paulina Vega will not be denied this much-awaited win. And she claimed victory at the Florida International University last January 25, 2015. Our bet, MJ Lastimosa, pushed her presence till the Top 10. She bowed out after the evening gown competition. There were inside stories back then – less than pleasant mostly – that surrounded her bid for the crown. From the laughed-at National Costume to the (rumored) ambushed evening gown she wore for the first official photoshoot to the alleged backstage reprimand she got from Madame Stella Marquez de Araneta to the crazy buzz that went around in pageant circles about the white evening gown she wore during Finals Night. I was told that there were more juicy talks, but it’d be best to digress at this point. Back to Paulina, she took full advantage of her reign as Miss Universe which lasted for a little over a month short of one full year. She became a TV host in her native country and continued work as a commercial model. Her public appearances in the US are also updated, with the photo below taken just middle of last month in New York (before the Coronavirus pandemic lockdown) when she attended the launch of The Connected Watch by Tag Heuer at the Caldwell Factory.
” In the late 1950s, real estate pioneers Alfred and Doris Kaskel purchased 2,400 acres of swampland between Northwest 36 Street and Northwest 74 Street and from Northwest 79 Avenue to Northwest 117 Avenue for about $49,000, intending to build a golf course and hotel. In 1962, the Doral Country Club opened in western Dade County, featuring the blue, red and par-3 golf courses, along with a hotel on Miami Beach. The “Doral” name combined Doris and Alfred. As Doral’s very first structure, the Doral Hotel and Country Club became the area’s hot spot: guests were transported from the beach to the country club for a day on the golf course.
Now at 27, she still remains single and with no potential boyfriend waiting in the sidelines. Yet.
Eight of the Philippines’ finest in Miss Universe during last night’s Tribute Concert. No wonder the country is the envy of every pageant-loving country in the Universe:
Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray
Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach
Miss Universe 2013 3rd Runner-Up Ara Arida
Miss Universe 2011 3rd Runner-Up Shamcey Supsup-Lee
Miss Universe 2010 4th Runner-Up Venus Raj
Miss Universe 2016 Top 6 Maxine Medina
Miss Universe 2017 Top 10 Rachel Peters and
Miss Universe 2014 Top 10 MJ Lastimosa
How I wish Miss Universe 2012 1st Runner-Up Janine Tugonon flew in from the US to join the eight others.
Here are photos of the reuniting Miss Universe 2014 beauties when they stayed at the vacation-worthy paradise in Panglao, Alona Tropical Beach Resort. The ladies were extended the warmest welcome and hospitality led by its ever-reliable Deo Guden who really prepared for their much-anticipated visit.
Photo credit: TJ Medrana Photography
The strong friendship started during Miss Universe 2014 held in Doral, Florida, U.S.A. when a large group of candidates forged a sisterhood that has stood the test of time even if we are just talking of an edition held more than three years ago. They’ve had reunions held in recent years, the last one being in Costa Rica around this time last year.
This year, and based on the latest IG post of Miss Universe Philippines 2014 MJ Lastimosa, thirty (30) of the ladies who participated in the Doral edition will be coming over to the country for their annual reunion around middle of next month. MJ, obviously, will be hosting them.
And with the fresh confirmation I received today from a good friend, Bohol Province will be one of the several pit stops in their vacation along with Cebu, Palawan and more. According to him, the visiting beauties will be accomodated at Alona Beach Resort, Amorita, Henann and Bellevue from August 19-21. The other details outside of Bohol are still unconfirmed, but the 3D/2N stay in Panglao alone is a guarantee of their arrival.
So expect ladies like Nia Sanchez of the U.S.A., Migbelis Castellanos of Venezuela and Kaci Fennell of Jamaica to be Philippine-bound soon!
Six of the Miss Universe Philippines titleholders were gathered together during the Charity Fashion Gala at the Grand Ballroom of Solaire Resort and Casino last Thursday night. From the photo above, they are (left to right): MJ Lastimosa (2014), Maxine Medina (2016), Ara Arida (2013), Bianca Manalo (2009), Shamcey Supsup (2011) and Venus Raj (2010). If only Janine Tugonon (2012) was here in Manila, the ensemble would have been complete.
And in the photo below, the group got bigger when Miss Universe Philippines 2017 Rachel Peters joined them in a selfie taken by Maxine.
Thanks to Sein Gonatice for the topmost and upper left photos.
Last night at the Grand Ballroom of Solaire Resort and Casino, the Miss Universe Charity Fashion Gala was held in cooperation with Frontrow Cares and Hope for Change Foundation. Our visiting Miss Universe titleholders Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters and Iris Mittenaere – along with our very own Pia Wurtzbach walked the runway for a good cause. Wearing creations by our top designers like Francis Libiran and Rajo Laurel, they were joined by the Miss Universe 2017 national winners who also displayed their taste and elegance in gowns made by the likes of Mark Bumgarner, Frederick Peralta, Edwin Uy, Val Taguba, Rocky Gathercole, Cherry Samuya Veric, Ofelia Simpao and more.
What added special glitter to the event was the presence of six of our Miss Universe Philippines winners – Bianca Manalo, Venus Raj, Shamcey Supsup, Ara Arida, MJ Lastimosa and Maxine Medina – who also participated in the fashion show and presented onstage in chronological order of their years in competition.
Here are some video clips from the show itself.
Last night, I was the only member of the recognizable pageant media who attended the surprise 50th Birthday Bash of Rodgil Flores – the well-loved man behind Kagandahang Flores – which was held at Club One 690 in Quezon City. There was a visible outpouring of love from everyone who became part of his life as a beauty queen-maker, friend and loved one. The core team behind the event – led by Georgette Garrido, Kristine Caballero-Aplal, Gelbert Aplal and David Isaac Buenaventura – made sure that everything was kept in utmost secrecy up until the final reveal when the celebrant showed up at the venue unaware of what he will witness upon arrival (he was made to know that it was an important client meeting instead). He could not hold back the tears especially when an emotionally-made three-part video (which included Janicel Lubina who is currently in Brisbane for a project and Karen Agustin-Ostrea who is tied up with commitments as well) was shown detailing some of the individuals who have benefitted from his love, generosity and unconditional care.
Beauty queens spotted last night included Bea Rose Santiago, Angelia Ong, MJ Lastimosa, Parul Shah, Maggie Wilson-Consunji, Angelee Delos Reyes, Patricia Fernandez, Precious Lara Quigaman, Karla Henry, Kris Tiffany Janson, Athena Imperial, Camille Hirro, Janela Joy Cuaton, Ganiel Krishnan, Jaya San Jose, Mia Howell, Rachel Peters, Julian Flores, Abigail Cruz, Alexandra Faith Garcia, Gail Ventic, Kristine Estoque, Karen Ibasco, Brenna Gamboa and more. Mr. Gay World Philippines Organization Head Wilbert Tolentino (who was there with John Raspado and Bench Ortiz) was his usually generous self as he added a big amount to the already raised funds (whole-heartedly contributed upon by all previous titleholders and sponsors) for the future training of all KF beauty queen-aspirants. I won’t mention the exact amounts anymore but it’s definitely worth a lot.
Here are more photos from the event.
Keep on helping and training and loving our beautiful Filipinas! You are really well-loved by everyone.