Miss Philippines Maxine Medina upon check-in at Conrad Manila
Inside the van before arriving
And Miss Philippines Maxine Medina has finally arrived. At Conrad Manila, that is. At around 3pm earlier, she checked in at the Official Residence accompanied by BPCI Chair Madame Stella Marquez de Araneta and Executive Gines Enriquez (who was kind enough to share the above photos with normannorman.com after my coverage partner Joy Arguil was prevented by security to take a snapshot of our bet while going inside the hotel and around the lobby
Maxine’s journey has finally started. It’s going to be a steady climb from hereon after.
Best of luck on your journey, Maxine!
Madame Stella Marquez de Araneta supervising the formation of the Binibinis onstage (Photo credit: Joy Arguil)
Before the Bb. Pilipinas Parade of Beauties started earlier, the forty (40) Binibinis – who were each assigned to a Miata topdown car – patiently waited at the basement parking of Novotel Manila Araneta Center for the time to move up and start with the drive around Araneta Center.
Meanwhile outside the hotel lobby upstairs, members of the media were pleasantly surprised to see Madame Stella Marquez de Araneta – with husband Jorge – arrived unannounced.
So you can see the delight in the faces of the Binibinis upon seeing SMA waving at them and individually checking their positions in the car. It was a welcome sight because the candidates have been missing the presence of the BPCI Head for a long time now. And early reports stated that she will only arrive from abroad a couple of days before the April 17 finals.
Bb. Pilipinas 2015 titleholders Rogelie Catacutan, Janicel Lubina and Christi Lynn McGarry during the parade (Photo credit: Joy Arguil)
And so, the Mother of all Binibinis can now resume her role. Actually, she already did. Right after the parade itself, she stood in the middle in front of the ladies and inspected their formation, fixed headdresses and gave quick instructions as to how to project themselves in front of the big crowds. And the cheers got louder even.
All in a day’s worth of parade. The individual photos are already placed in grids below. Also, be informed that there will be two “surprises” next week as intimated to us by BPCI’s Gines Enriquez himself. Of course, you already know the first which is the return of Miss Universe Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach. The second one is still under wraps and will just catch us off-guard several days from now.
Watch out for it! 😉
My favorite shoemaker Jojo Bragais and his tribute heels to Madame SMA of BPCI
When Jojo Bragais of Bragais™ brought up the idea of making tribute heels for Madame Stella Marquez de Araneta (SMA) during one of our chats last January, I immediately supported the planned effort because I know that it served as both a challenge and fulfillment for my favorite shoemaker.
And no sooner than I can scream “Binibini!”, he showed me the work in progress. We spoke about colors, accents and height of the heels. I even suggested that he should come up with a wedge-style of the design so that SMA can wear one comfortably and regularly during future Bb. Pilipinas activities.
Below is a quick vid of the pair during the time that Stella by Bragais™ was already nearing its completion.
Now that Stella by Bragais™ has already been launched and publicly viewed by many, the next step is to hopefully arrange a formal presentation to the very person after whom the pair was named. And with Jojo being the official shoe supplier of Bb. Pilipinas 2016, that shouldn’t be such a hard feat to accomplish.
I am hopeful that Madame SMA will be pleased with the tribute heels which represent everything that she is to our Binibinis and Bb. Pilipinas titleholders – the person who commands the metamorphosis of our beauty queens into world-class Filipinas. 🙂
Whoever said joining Bb. Pilipinas is a walk in the park must be crazy!
The Screening Committee is made up of Madame Stella Marquez de Araneta, Raymond Villanueva, all reigning Bb. Pilipinas titleholders except Miss Universe Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach, Angelo Mendez of Gold’s Gym, Gines Enriquez, Ms. Chit Romero of ABS-CBN plus three more.
Eighty eight (88) ladies showed up for the Bb. Pilipinas 2016 screening and you can only remove just 1/4 of the number to come up with a still competitive group of candidates. Maybe that’s the reason why the panel was having a hard time deciding on a final number of Official Candidates. I myself am in a dilemma as to who to remove from the list.
Top of my head, here are my personal standouts in no particular order:
1) Kylie Verzosa
2) Nicole Cordoves
3) Kim Ross Delos Santos
4) Nichole Manalo
5) Maria Gigante
6) Maxine Medina
7) Jehza Huelar
8) Sheena Dalo
9) Anjelica Lopez
10) Kristi Angeli Estoque
11) Jessica Gonzales
12) Tatiana Maher
13) Angelique de Leon
14) Paula Rich Bartolome
15) Jennifer Hammond
16) Jeslyn Santos
17) Jennyline Malpaya
18) Vina Openiano
19) Joanna Eden
20) Apriel Smith
21) Alexandra Faith Garcia
22) Marlan Lopez
23) Leonalyn dela Cruz
24) Candy Del Castillo
25) Mariella Castillo
26) Geisha Naganuma
27) Angela Fernando
28) Ria Rabajante
29) Maria Lina Prongoso
30) Angela Ritter Valdez
31) Daziella Gange
32) Athena Catriz
33) Vallerie Go Jereza
34) Dindi Pajares
35) Rashiela Tobias
36) Karen Ibasco
37) Jean Tumang
38) Edjelyn Gamboa
39) Riana Pangindian
40) Christianne Ramos
41) Kimberle Mae Penchon
42) Anna Conanan
43) Janel Olafson
44) Priscilla Kim Dela Cruz
45) Monique Trinidad
46) Meryl Angeline King
Let me repeat: These are not final names, just my personal choices!
There will be a cut to the Top 60 first before the 40 Official Candidates will be known next week.
My heart will definitely break for those who will not make it. 😦
Some of my early favorites
Parul Shah with her two trophies from Miss Grand International 2015
Parul Shah made her signature walk as she entered the Monet Ballroom of Novotel Manila Araneta Center during the Homecoming Press Conference yesterday afternoon. And all invited guests applauded with joy for our Miss Grand Philippines who placed 3rd Runner-Up to Miss Grand International 2015 Anea Garcia and clinched the Best in National Costume special award in the process.
Parul’s Bb. Pilipinas 2015 sisters were present to give their congratulatory messages. Bb. Pilipinas Supranational 2014 Yvethe Marie Santiago was also there. And as tradition, Madame Stella Marquez de Araneta spoke last.
It was a very happy event. And we couldn’t be more pleased for Parul who, at 27,will retire from beauty pageants with a big smile on her face. 🙂