What's next for the Bb Pilipinas 2016 queens

MANILA, Philippines –What's a Binibining Pilipinas finals without post-pageant thoughts on all the winners? So I made the extra effort to dig just a little deeper into each of the 6 new titleholders and their two runners-up.

2016 BATCH. The 6 Bb Pilipinas 2016 queens pose for the media after the coronation. Photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

2016 BATCH. The 6 Bb Pilipinas 2016 queens pose for the media after the coronation.

Photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

No earthshaking revelations here, just good old post-victory assessment and well-wishes to our new Queens.

Maria Mika Maxine Medina, Miss Universe Philippines 2016

Maxine Medina is crowned by Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach. Photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

Maxine Medina is crowned by Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach.

Photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

Maria Mika Maxine Medina, 25, is Miss Universe Philippines 2016. And she won the title at Bb Pilipinas 2016 in such a hotly contested competition that reflected a see-saw battle for the grandest crown among the other titleholders in the Top 6 spots.

Going into the announcement of winners, people at the Smart Araneta Coliseum were relatively silenced except for the supporters of Kylie Verzosa who were convinced that their idol had the #1 position already in the bag. But when she was named the new Bb. Pilipinas International, it was already clear at that point that Maxine would get Universe. (READ:Miss Universe PH 2016 Maxine Medina on the challenge of a back-to-back win)

True, Maxine did okay with her Q&A but all my colleagues agreed that Kylie answered in a far more confident and winning style. Methinks, though, that the judges – which included Miss USA Olivia Jordan – must have already been eyeing the former right from the start. My personal take on the whole pre-final scenario was already circling around the one candidate who ticks all the required boxes of the bigger competition.

I love Kylie Verzosa dearly. But my passionate heart was saying that Maxine Medina is the one with the MU Peg all conveniently sorted out for the decision-makers. And that is also the reason why I really went out on a limb for this lady who will face an uphill battle for a back-to-back win in Miss Universe 2016.

For now, let us give Maxine and all the other ladies the chance to rest from all the demands and pressures of Bb. Pilipinas.

Will Kylie win the 6th Miss International crown for the Philippines? Photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

Allow me to start this blog feature with an appropriate quote from bestselling author Paulo Coelho which reads:

I can control my destiny, but not my fate. Destiny means there are opportunities to turn right or left, but fate is a one-way street. I believe we all have the choice as to whether we fulfil our destiny, but our fate is sealed.” – Paulo Coelho

Kylie Verzosa is destined to be a beauty queen – and to take momentous circumstances one event at a time- a national titleholder at that. The only question is when she will make it happen. Hers came last Sunday night when she was crowned Bb. Pilipinas International 2016. It might not be the honor she is determined to win, but no matter how you look at it, a victory will always be a victory. And this is where fate enters the picture.

Kylie Verzosa is destined to become a Binibining Pilipinas. And her fate is to represent the country in the next edition of Miss International scheduled to take place in Japan around the last quarter of 2016. It is a mission which – I definitely believe – this smart and beautiful lass from Baguio City will take with the utmost level of commitment.

Sure, it would have been a lot more fulfilling to be the Binibini crowned by Miss Universe Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach. But in a competition where the factors involved in selecting who gets what could be as complex as finding golden needles deeply embedded in a haystack, being one of 6 to actually see through the pile and locate one is an achievement other candidates can only dream of.

I have always made an effort to write about things positively. As much as possible. And to read the comments of some individuals across social media saying that Kylie lost in her Bb. Pilipinas bid after not getting the Miss Universe Philippines 2016 sash is like saying that she practically went home empty-handed. She did not. After all, she ended up as one of the best.

And the title she now holds is a responsibility that commands continued diligence to prove that, as the song goes, “she’s the perfect symbol of the people, rich in heritage and love. What lovely, pretty, captivating, so exciting, girl will surely win your heart. Binibining Pilipinas.”

You are our Bb. Pilipinas International 2016, Kylie, and potentially the 6th Miss International of the country in a matter of six months or so.

Accomplish it!

Bb. Pilipinas Supranational 2016 Joanna Eden: Best in Swimsuit too

Can Joanna give the country its second Supranational crown? Photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

No one is more pleasantly surprised in winning the Best in Swimsuit award during last Sunday night’s finals than the recipient herself, Joanna Eden, who also bagged the Bb. Pilipinas Supranational 2016 crown. And what’s more, she is the youngest titleholder this year at the age of 19.

 In her latest Facebook update, Joanna stated the following:

"The award that I think was more surprising than me getting an actual crown… Best in Swimsuit 2016! Thank you Benchy and Sir Angelo! #strongerwithgolds

The award that I think was more surprising than me getting an actual crown... Best in Swimsuit 2016! #strongerwithgolds #BbSupranationalPH A photo posted by Joanna (@joannaeden_) on Apr 18, 2016 at 8:59pm PDT

 

 
Right after getting the coveted special award (which almost always guaranteed one of the major titles at stake), Joanna presented herself in an elegant emerald green Mark Bumgarner evening gown that made everyone focus on her even more. At that point, it was already clear that she had indeed become a certified front-runner. 

The chances of winning increased even more when Joanna was only one of two (2) KF entries who entered the Top 15 along with Nichole Manalo (Aces & Queens grabbed the 13 other spots). I already concluded – even before the actual Q&A – that both of them are sealed for victories, short of knowing which crowns they will get assigned to.

Joanna will only improve before setting her sights for the mission towards year’s end – getting the country’s 2nd Miss Supranational win. And I bet the organizers of the Europe-based competition are quite happy seeing who will represent the Philippines this year.

May you have the most wonderful journey as Bb. Pilipinas, Joanna!

Jennifer Hammond being crowned by last year's winner Christi Lynn McGarry. Photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

Jennifer Hammond being crowned by last year's winner Christi Lynn McGarry.

Photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

I remember asking Jennifer Hammond once which among the 6 crowns she wanted to snatch during one of our chats. She initially wanted to get International where she felt most suited to. But as it turned out, BPCI and the Board of Judges had something else in mind for her. Now, the proud representative from Laguna is our Bb. Pilipinas Intercontinental 2016.

With her predecessor, Christi Lynn McGarry, placing 1st Runner-Up during Miss Intercontinental 2015, some people are predicting this early that we could finally win our first in the said competition this coming December. And I also have a good feeling that this tall professional model just might be the one to do it.

But that’s getting far ahead of Jennifer’s fate. Let us celebrate her victory first, on top of nailing the Best in Evening Gown award after flawlessly wearing and giving justice to the red Nat Manilag number that elicited a lot of positive reactions at the Smart Araneta Coliseum last Sunday night.

Consider this Bb. Pilipinas lucky. Aside from being a national titleholder, she also enjoys a loving relationship with boyfriend Ryan Sy (a Century Tuna Superbods Nat10n finalist). And by the looks of it, she will have the best of both worlds all throughout her reign.

Congratulations, Jennifer!

LAS VEGAS READY. Nicole Cordoves hopes to duplicate the success of Parul Shah in this year's Miss Grand International. Photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

LAS VEGAS READY. Nicole Cordoves hopes to duplicate the success of Parul Shah in this year's Miss Grand International.

Photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

Many pageant observers expected Nicole Cordoves to land a crown more “highly ranked” than what she actually got. While BPCI usually clarifies that all titles are of equal importance, bear in mind that the ones for Grand International and Globe are newly acquired so their status in the competition is almost tantamount to a probationary period of franchise acquisition. 

Be that as it may, Nicole is already Bb. Pilipinas Grand International 2016 and will be the first Filipina representative to actually experience the mission in Las Vegas instead of the usual Bangkok where the Thai-owned pageant and organization (led by Nawatt Itsaragrisil) have their headquarters.

Miss Grand International puts a premium on the anti-war speeches and platforms of its candidates (at least the ones who make the cut), and I believe that this is the part where our representative’s skills will come in handy.

And knowing how BPCI will prepare our new wueens for international battle, Nicole will definitely be polished even more as the latter period of the 3rd Quarter approaches.

Expect this former Miss Chinatown Philippines to give it her best. While she quips in jest that the assigned crown makes her feel 8 feet tall, there is nothing she will relish more than proudly saying “Nicole Cordoves, 24, Philippines!”

Bb. Pilipinas Globe 2016 Nichole Manalo: One more crown for the Manalo Sisters

Nichole Manalo is hoping for a back-to-back crown in Miss Globe. Photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

Nichole Manalo is hoping for a back-to-back crown in Miss Globe.

Photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

Everyone already expected Nichole Marie Manalo to win a Bb. Pilipinas 2016 crown. The only question was which among the 6 titles at stake would be assigned to her. As it turned out, she will be one of two (the other one being Miss Universe Philippines 2016 Maxine Medina) scheduled to go for back-to-back victories in their international pageant assignments. She is looking now at duplicating the rank of Ann Colis who claimed the country’s first Miss Globe honor in Toronto last year.

But let’s get back to the heart of this post. Nichole now completes the record of achievements for the most successful set of sisters in the pageant’s long history. With Bb. Pilipinas World 2002 Katherine Manalo and Bb. Pilipinas Universe 2009 Bianca Manalo, she just added a new feather to their already sparkling caps. And it is amusing to note that she nailed one which wasn’t yet being offered during the respective years of her elder siblings. (READ: Beauty queens Bianca, Kate Manalo support younger sister's 2nd Bb Pilipinas bid)

Here now is what Nichole posted on her Facebook account after being named Bb. Pilipinas Globe 2016:

Have a wonderful reign, Nichole. And shine at your brightest once you start competing for Miss Globe 2016!

 

Angelica Alita and Jehza Huelar: The future looks bright for these Bb. Pilipinas 2016 Runners-Up

Angelica Alita with last year's 1st runner-up Hannah Sison. Photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

I have always been open about my fondness for Angelica Alita and Jehza Huelar throughout the entire Bb. Pilipinas 2016 competition. While I thought that their individual bids for two of the crowns were not fully ripe yet, I knew that there had to be something in store for them in the final tally. True enough, they got rewarded with the two runner-up positions which can be looked at as particularly special because it will allow both to continue in their involvement with BPCI, get deeper into training along with the titleholders and hopefully become more solid contenders for the next edition or two. 

Jehza Huelar with last year's 2nd runner-up Kimverlyn Suiza. Photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

Jehza Huelar with last year's 2nd runner-up Kimverlyn Suiza.

Photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

Alita, 19 and Huelar, 21 hold a lot of promise for their future pageant encounters. They have very positive and grounded personalities that will be appreciated by Madame Stella Marquez de Araneta and the whole team behind Bb. Pilipinas. But for now, they need to diligently serve their placements first before thinking a year or two ahead of time. 

Know that I am so happy for both of you, Angel and Jehza. I love both of you dearly! – Rappler.com

More Binibining Pilipinas 2016 on Rappler:

Coronation night:

Predictions and live blog:

Leading up to coronation night:

Get to know the ladies:

Pia Wurtzbach:

Read more: