With the recent tweet of the Miss International Organization stressing that they are not open to holding a virtual pageant, rumors are strong that the Japan-based competition might be postponed due to the pandemic. Perhaps, they have learned their lessons from the Tokyo Olympics hosting. Instead of creating problems, it won’t come as a surprise if a 2022 playdate will take over. But since no formal announcement has been made, there is still a glimmer of hope of a delay but still within the year.
As for the other Queens of Binibining Pilipinas, Cindy Obeñita is a go for Miss Intercontinental in Sharm El-Sheik, Egypt come late October and Maureen Montagne is preparing for an early November staging of The Miss Globe in Albania.
Meanwhile in Thailand, Miss Grand International is still keeping mum about details on whether to push through with the original plan of a December schedule for its 2021 edition. The civil unrest has affected the country and violence is alarming everyone that even reigning titleholder Abena Appiah (right) took to writing the United Nations to help intervene and restore peace. Interestingly, the core value of MGI will be put to test in this situation. Let’s see what happens next.
I have a feeling they will.
In the coming week or two, the latest photoshoot with Raymond Saldaña will be uploaded in the Bb. Pilipinas pages on Facebook and IG. And if my gut-feel is right, that is when you will know if the remaining Binibinis in contention have new assigned numbers.
First of all, it doesn’t require a lot of sleuthing to conclude that the once #Binibini2 Rowee Lucero is no longer part of the roster after competing in The Miss Globe 2020, as is the once #Binibini13 Samantha Bernardo who is now doing us proud in the different challenges of Miss Grand International. So with the two of them out, the number is down to 38.
But pageant whispers have already turned into talks. More Binibinis have allegedly withdrawn from competition by now. I cannot say who among them opted to take the exit – mostly for reasons that are understandable. The pandemic has affected a number of them – either financially or the need to find sources of income. And this is something not peculiar to pageantry. It is a global concern.
So whatever the new assigned numbers are – or if they do get new numbers – let’s just take things as it is. I just hope that the ladies I still want to see competing are still around.
I corresponded with a representative of The Miss Globe Beauty Pageant regarding their announcement that Rowena Lucero (or #Binibini2 Rowena Sasuluya, if you will) will represent the Philippines in The Miss Globe 2020 scheduled next month in Albania.
Here are the essential points:
1) BPCI informed The Miss Globe that they will not be able to send an official candidate due to the pandemic situation.
2) The Miss Globe – with the help of Rodgil Flores and Gio Flores of Kagandahang Flores – checked out potential ladies to fill in the representation. They selected #Binibini2 Rowee Lucero as the one who can meet the last-minute requirements needed. Let me reiterate this: BPCI had no hand in the choice.
3) BPCI will still keep the franchise of The Miss Globe for 2021.
Now for the question if Rowee can still compete in the postponed edition of Bb. Pilipinas, only BPCI can answer that.
I hope this clears everything up.
Mark the date: November 12, 2020
The MISS GLOBE Beauty Pageant 2020 will have its World Final Show in Tirana, Albania 🇦🇱.
Now the big question is: who will represent the Philippines in the competition?
Will BPCI send Aya Abesamis or will the country skip participation this year?
Last year, I remember a buzz that silently floated in pageant circles allegedly stating that Vickie Marie Rushton was the preferred winner of an unnamed Miss International rep for Bb. Pilipinas International 2019. We all know that the “preference” was not granted.
This year, I am posting about The Miss Globe and the sole Binibini on their wish-list for Bb. Pilipinas Globe 2020. Earlier this week, I privately greeted Mias Sta. Ana Pilar of MCGP and TMG “Happy Birthday” and segued into asking her who she wants to be the next Philippine representative to The Miss Globe 2020. That is, if she had a say on the selection.
Without hesitation, she immediately replied:
Will the wish of Mias come true?
Consider this the Christmas and Year-End Report of normannorman.com for pageantry in 2019.
2019 will go down modern pageant history as the year the Filipinas were clearly shut out of a win or top placement (read: Top 5 at least) in all the important international pageants worldwide. Sure, there were pinches of happiness when Leren Mae Bautista grabbed 2nd Runner-Up honors during The Miss Globe or Cyrille Payumo being crowned – albeit under less excitable circumstances – as Miss Tourism International or Gabrielle Basiano getting proclaimed as 1st Runner-Up in Miss Friendship International or Liz Mabao’s 2nd Runner-Up ranking in Miss Scuba International 2019 or Kayesha Chua topping Miss Asia Awards 2019 or even Daena Resurreccion making Top 5 in Miss Eco Teen. But ask any Pinoy pageant fan and they would instantly snap back and say that these are not enough to compensate for the tough time we had in winning any of the more highly-regarded “Alpha” crowns.
Let us count the rough moments one by one:
Miss Universe 2019
This could be considered a deep cut. For starters, the Philippines has consistently placed in the Top 10 from 2010-2018, with a Top 6 entry in one, runner-up positions in four editions and the crown itself in two. It was a collection of achievements that upgraded the Filipinos’ sense of pride. Along with it, the level of expectations shot through the roof year after year. Last December 8, we had to be contented with the inclusion of Gazini Ganados in the Top 20 and the Best National Costume award (which was even announced during the telecast with both a stage and backstage hiccup when host Steve Harvey called the right country winner and the production pulling in the wrong candidate – Miss Malaysia – to stand beside him).
Miss World 2019
This did not bruise as much compared to our placements the past two years. Michelle Marquez Dee made it to the Top 12 semifinalists before bowing out of the competition. Her telecast exposure gave us considerable time of excitement in watching the proceedings. The victory of Jamaica did draw mixed reactions from many, but it wasn’t hard taking in the results after Zozibini Tunzi’s Miss Universe accomplishment a week earlier.
Miss International 2019
Now what happened in Tokyo, Japan was something else. When Atty. Bea Patricia Magtanong reached the Final 8, she was in the company of three other ASEAN delegates (Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam) which undeniably gave all the Pinoys watching automatic anticipation that entering the magic circle of 5 was in the bag, if not clinching the Mikimoto crown itself. But after the dust settled, Sireethorn Leearamwat of Thailand nosed out the three remaining contenders (including our own). It was the kind of result that made us question whether the speech of our bet came on too strong for the taste of the predominantly Japanese panel or the judges (and organization) were simply charmed by the Thai delegate from start to finish.
Were we feeling extra superior here? You bet we are. Patch deserved a better recognition than what she was left to console herself with.
Miss Earth 2019
For our homegrown international pageant, it wasn’t difficult to accept the fact that Janelle Tee placed below the Top 10. While she would have been a shoo-in to make it far up the ladder, the judges felt otherwise. But it should not be a big letdown in my opinion. After all, Miss Earth is the one Big 4 crown that saved us from a shutout last 2014 – on top of getting an almost guaranteed inclusion among the four winners year after year. 2019, sadly, is not one of those editions when some kind of glory was within arm’s reach.
Miss Supranational 2019
The Poland-based contest is one where the country’s “halo effect” started its unsteady swings after Mutya Datul was named big winner last 2013. Except for the Top 10 finishes of Chanel Olive Thomas in 2017 and Jehza Huelar last 2018, the best placements we received were either Top 20 or Top 25. And Resham Saeed’s turn last December 7 added up to the unwritten mandate of “making-the-first-cut-at-least” for a Miss Philippines. What was more stinging, though, was Thailand winning another recognizable crown after Miss International 2019 that continued their dominance in the global pageant arena this year.
Miss Intercontinental 2019
The freshest of all rough outcomes took place just earlier this week in Egypt. And while our bet was going for a back-to-back win in Miss Intercontinental 2019, it wasn’t a blow to the moon to expect that Emma Tiglao had all the makings of a potential successor to Karen Gallman. Unfortunately, things just didn’t go our way when Thailand was favored once again to get the Top 5 nod for Asia-Oceania. This effectively dashed the hopes of the Kapampangan beauty to enter the winners’ circle.
Someone reliable whispered to my ears that Emma should have been the rightful Asia-Oceania pick (and this person was surprised when someone else got the Top 5 spot instead). But everything is finished and the irrevocable decision was already in place. Move on, we must.
Miss Grand International 2019
Don’t get me started with Miss Grand International 2019. It was simply the most controversy-laden as far as our representative is concerned. It was a mission that read like a lost cause for Samantha Lo from the time that she departed from the Philippines, got detained at Charles de Gaulle Airport, deported back to the Philippines and then flew back abroad to reach Venezuela using a “safer” flight route.
Pageant owner Nawatt Itsaragrisil may not be a favorite of many, but the circumstances that surrounded the journey of Miss Philippines just to make it to Caracas gave him at least one good score of goodwill when he welcomed the latter with open arms after everything she went through. It may be all for show, but a positive deed nonetheless.
Aside from the cited pageants above, the performance of Klyza Castro during Miss Asia-Pacific International 2019 added the proverbial salt to the wounds. But I will stop here because the one-two punches have gotten too many that they can rival the famous nonstop jabs of the late FPJ in all of his action movies.
Has the Philippines become a “feeling-entitled” participant in all the major international pageants? Perhaps to a certain extent, yes. And not just because we have been performing wonderfully left and right from 2010-2018. But our representatives come fully prepared to fight for the country. They start their respective outings provided with all the “required armaments” to win or achieve a good finish.
But is it in our destiny to win crowns year after year? Are we fated to secure at least a runner-up spot year after year? I say no. When a soldier goes to battle, he/she should always be prepared for the worst, regardless of tactics and preparations. And 2019 is when the Year of Losing Dangerously came into play. Is it a wake-up call to Filipino pageant fans? Not entirely. Because if all of us can move on from defeat and rise stronger the next, then we should be on our way towards maturity in this industry we have grown to love (and follow) for many decades now.
There is definitely hope in 2020. With a clearer vision and disposition in mind and heart, we should be more than watchers and critics. We can manage our losses better and be more acceptant of whatever results come our way.
Pageant watchers – both inside the Smart Araneta Coliseum and the TV telecast over ABS-CBN – were messaging me as to why newly-crowned Bb. Pilipinas Globe 2019 Leren Mae Bautista appeared to be low-spirited when her name was called to centerstage as one of the six titleholders. Instant conclusions followed, saying that she was not pleased with the honor she got and the like. Re-watch the video below, if you will.
So off I went to the target of such talks, knowing that she will definitely not sugar-coat anything. We had a serious chat. Contrary to what others may think, she is grateful for the honor of being named one of our new Queens.
“I’ve been reading those comments too, Tito Norman. 😔 I was really happy that I got in Top 15 itself and was able to answer the Q&A portion. That was the goal I wanted to successfully accomplish that night because it will determine the six big winners. The people who are close to me know how nervous I get with the Q&A because I do not want to mess it up. There were so many things running inside my head during the time of announcement Tito, and I do not even know what to feel to be honest. But when Laguna was the first to be called as Bb. Pilipinas winner, it was a big relief. The happiness inside of me was real even if some people took it to mean something else.
Until now, it hasn’t really sunk in yet, Tito.. that I am FINALLY a Binibining Pilipinas winner 😭😭😭 Tito a winner!!! 😭😭😭 After 3 long years!!!”😭😭😭
There you go.
Our Bb. Pilipinas Globe 2019 has spoken. She is the new owner of the title. And it will stay with her until she wins “The Miss Globe” crown for the Philippines later this year. She had already bagged one international beauty in the past (Miss Tourism Queen of the Year International 2015-2016). Getting a second is now her top priority.
I am no statistics whiz, but this is how I computed the average performance average of our Bb. Pilipinas 2018 titleholders based on placements/non-placement during their respective pageant missions:
1) Winning the crown in their assignments is equivalent to 100% so we have both Miss Universe Catriona Gray and Miss Intercontinental Karen Gallman contributing perfect scores in the final tally.
2) Placing 1st Runner-Up in Miss International is equivalent to a percentage of 97.5% – that is 2 (the rank) divide it by the number of candidates (77) resulting to 0.025 and converted accordingly to the said percent. This is the contribution of Ahtisa Manalo.
3) As for Jehza Huelar and Michele Gumabao, they placed Top 10 and Top 15 respectively. Using the formula in #2 and the number of candidates for Miss Supranational (72) and The Miss Globe (45), we arrive at converted percentages. Jehza added 86% to the tally, while Michele came up with 67%.
4) Lastly, Eva Patalinjug was unplaced in Miss Grand International. I definitely cannot give her a zero because she participated in the competition from Day 1. Since the first cut of was set at Top 20, I pegged her default placement at 30 (assuming that she is in the next ten candidates from 21-30). Using the same formula as above, she has a share of 61% based on a total number of 76 ladies who participated in the entire pageant.
If we are to assign a letter grade to the overall performance of our 2018 titleholders, they would collectively get an “A”. Our winning performances in both Miss Universe and Miss Intercontinental – plus a 1st Runner-Up placement in Miss International – are responsible for pulling up the final average to this level. Of course, we all want an “A+”. That would be a tall order for the next batch of winners – but not an impossible objective, nonetheless.
In closing, allow me to give my heartfelt thanks to Catriona, Karen, Ahtisa, Jehza, Michele and Eva for the accomplishments during their reign. We are proud of you!
You’ve waited long for this!
The search is finally on for Bb. Pilipinas 2019 – Universe, International, Intercontinental, Supranational, Globe and Grand International.
Download the application form at http://www.bbpilipinas.com
Deadline for submission: March 15, 2019
Pageant Finals: June, 2019