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.
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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. 🙂
This is it! The offer may not be sealed in fire and ice yet, but this could herald the beginning of a beautiful collabiration between Bb. Pilipinas Charities Inc. and our local designers on the National Costumes of our Bb. Pilipinas Queens. Baby steps for now, toddler gaits in a few. The creativity of our local talents is immense to say the least. And to actually have their creations displayed internationally is an opportunity that is very likely to reap substantial rewards in the long run.
Grab the chance and prove to BPCI and Madame Stella Marquez de Araneta that you have what it takes to impress with your skills.
Just follow the drill and detailed instructions shown above. 😉
Madame Stella Marquez de Araneta during the Presscon for Parul Shah and Ann Colis (Photo credit: Bruce Casanova)
When Madame Stella Marquez de Araneta presided over the Special Announcement of Bb. Pilipinas Charities Inc. last Thursday about the sending of Bb. Pilipinas Tourism winners Parul Shah and Ann Lorraine Colis to their respective international pageant assignments, her popularity stock soared. And regardless of whatever mixed or unpleasant remarks she might have received in the past regarding the wasted reigns of the two, it only goes to show that she is doing everything she can for the Queens. Never mind if her old school methods are being criticized left and right, the fact remains that she is and will always be a mother to all our Bb. Pilipinas titleholders.
And if she needs to be at the receiving end of potshots, Madame will not mind. She always has the best interest of the Queens in mind, not only in terms of giving them pageant assignments, but also in protecting their interests all throughout their reigns. It is not an easy position to be in for sure. And if we try to see through the small details of how the organization looks after the ladies, then you will understand better why she remains on top of the game.
Let us now watch a video of the crowning moments of Miss International. You won’t miss Miss International 1960 Stella Marquez because she is right at the start. Click now. 😉
courtesy of seng12900
Parul Shah (left) and Ann Colis can't contain their happiness during today's Special Announcement (Photo credit: Bruce Casanova)
This is indeed a Happy Parul and Ann Day! These photos by Bruce Casanova show how excited the two ladies are.
For starters, Parul was just waiting for her 18-month contract with BPCI to expire before finally going to Dubai to accept a job offer. But when she got a serendipitous call from Madam Stella Marquez de Araneta herself, the lovely lass from Baguio City was filled with so much joy that she set aside all her pending plans to jump at the opportunity to represent the Philippines in Miss Grand International 2015.
Ann, on the other hand, has a different story. She admits to not having been out of the country yet. And the right to compete in Toronto, Canada for Miss Globe 2015 is more than what she could ask for. She was actually teary-eyed talking about the chance, particularly that her best friend has already migrated there and will now be looking forward to a reunion.
Indeed, happiness was in the air earlier. And their fellow Binibini sisters gladly shared their well-wishes for both ladies. Below are more photos from the Presscon.
Left to right: Yvethe, Kris, Parul, SMA, CSB, Ann and Hannah (Photo credit: Bruce Casanova)
Photo credit: Bruce Casanova