Pleased to share with you Episode 5 of Pageantry Norms Season 3 which happens to be Part 3 of our Christmas Episodes and the last one for 2020. Miss Globe 2020 Lorinda Kolgeci was unable to join due to connection issues in Kosovo. But I am happy spending online time with Miss Earth 2018 Phuong Khanh Nguyen, Miss Universe Singapore 2020 Belle Ong and Miss Globe Philippines 2020 Rowee Lucero.
The program will have a one week mid-season break, but we will be back on January 10 for Episode 6 titled “Happy Pageant New Year 2021” featuring some of my favorite pageant personalities – one from BPCI, one from MWPO and one from Mutya Pilipinas plus one former Miss Universe Philippines titleholder.
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.
Rodgil during one of his training sessions with Miss Universe Philippines 2019 Gazini Ganados
Some of the core members of Team KF
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.
Rodgil and his 28 Binibinis for Bb. Pilipinas 2020
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!
Many of you may not be aware that Phuong Khanh Nguyen of Vietnam is back in the country to pursue possible career opportunities that await her after serving one full year as Miss Earth 2018. She crowned her successor – Nellys Pimentel of Puerto Rico – earlier this month.
Earlier today, I had an intimate lunch with this beautiful 24 year-old at No.8 China House inside Grand Hyatt Manila. We spoke about several topics, including her future plans in the Philippines which she considers her second home and a current project to promote the upcoming Miss Bikini Philippines which focuses on both beauty & brains and the health and fitness factors of the pageant.
As a teenager, Phuong Khan had significant body weight issues and it took a lot of struggles both personally and socially to get herself out of what she considers the lowest points in her life so far. Credit goes to her older brother who did everything to raise her self-esteem and direct her attention towards having a healthier lifestyle en route to achieving the best physical version of herself. It took her more than five years (in which period she also took up business studies in Singapore where she was able to polish her facility in English) to achieve a plan that led to her joining the one and only national beauty pageant she ever took part in, got a 2nd Runner-Up placement and was eventually led to the Miss Earth Vietnam 2018 casting where she was selected to represent her country in the Philippines last year. The rest is history as she became the first Vietnamese to win a Grand Slam title in international pageantry.
Watch my exclusive one-on-one with Phuong Khanh:
Right now, Phuong Khanh is ready to face the challenge of new projects and engagements that will further attest to her health and fitness advocacy. Add to that an enviable 22-inch waistline and an expressive self that can easily convince anyone to make her a spokesperson for related endorsements, she is open to the idea of making Manila as her second home base.
With Promedia giving her the privilege of becoming an Ambassador for Miss Bikini Philippines (as well as a judge for the Finals Night on November 28), it won’t be long till she finds herself doing more projects in the country and perhaps, the ASEAN Region.
Best of luck to you, my dear Phuong Khanh!
Phuong Khanh Nguyen (Center) with Paul Reyes of Promedia (right) and yours truly
And another Vietnamese does it again in the Philippines!
Congratulations to Trinh Bao for winning the 13th Edition of Mister International at the just-concluded finals held at One Esplanade in Pasay. His court includes 1st Runner-Up Francesco Piscitelli of Venezuela and 2nd Runner-Up Waikin Kwan of Hong Kong.
You will remember that Phuong Khanh Nguyen won Miss Earth 2018, while Cao Xuan Tai was named Man of the World 2018 – both held here in the Philippines – last year.
The Top 3 (left to right): Venezuela, Hong Kong and Vietnam (Photo credit Joy Arguil)
I will do my Miss Earth 2018 Predictions in a top-to-bottom order for a change. Starting off with my big winner and elemental court, I can see two Latinas – Melissa Flores of Mexico and Diana Silva of Venezuela – fighting close to become the successor of Karen Ibasco. I am giving the edge to the Mexican beauty because she is the more consistent all-around. It also helps that the Miss Earth Mexico Organization that sent her has been making great efforts in sustaining and making the brand more popular in the Americas. Now if the final decision would come down to a Q&A answer, then it wouldn’t surprise me as well if the judges would lean on Melissa. But if she falters – even marginally along the way – then Diana is likely to benefit from the lapse and could give Venezuela its 3rd Miss Earth crown. I would be happier with the former finishing on top, though.
As for Water and Fire, it could be interchangeable between Priya Sigdel of Nepal and Telma Madeira of Portugal. Anyone among the two would be good choices for the elemental court. The Nepalese, however, has the upper hand should she ace the interview round. She could even spoil the two Latinas. But for now, I am sticking to the final lineup I made.
The Portuguese Telma would have made a refreshing Miss Earth winner. Her relative youth might be a concern when the going gets tough, though.
Hence, above is a photo grid of my Top 8, with the 5th to 8th places occupied by Danijela Burjan of Slovenia, Margaretha de Jong of Netherlands, Celeste Cortesi of the Philippines and Melanie Mader of Austria (the one who might benefit from an upper push if the organizers find it beneficial to have an elemental Queen whose attitude and work ethics they are already accustomed to after reigning as Miss Philippines Earth-Water back in 2016).
Just to complete a Top 16, my 9th to 16th Goddesses in ranking are: Phuong Khanh Nguyen of Vietnam, Yashvi Aware of the USA, Maristella Okpala of Nigeria, Antonia Figueroa of Chile, Nerada Chitsadapriyakun of Thailand, Lisa Hayet of Guatemala, Jessica Russo of Peru and Margo Faith Fargo of South Africa.
Let’s see how the actual results will compare tomorrow night at the Mall of Asia Arena.
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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