Two Miss Universes, two Miss Internationals, one Miss Supranational, one Miss Intercontinental, one Miss Globe and numerous runner-ups and semifinalists. That’s an astonishing record established by Binibining Pilipinas Charities Inc. in a span of 9 years, headed by its chairperson Stella Marquez Araneta. Many are wondering for how long can this streak of victory continue. Will the supply of confidently beautiful Filipinas run out?
Judging from this year’s batch, it certainly hasn’t.
Many pageant observers thought that Binibini aspirants would skip the 2019 edition after the victories of Catriona Gray and Karen Gallman. But the 40 official candidates are undeterred by the thought of the back to back feat and with good reason.
After the the victories of the half-Filipinas like Pia Wurtzbach and Catriona Gray, there are some who are clamoring for a "pure" Filipina to be crowned this year. But sadly, people’s idea of a pure Filipina is simply a morena beauty. Even worse, is the implied notion that having the mixed race is what automatically makes them winners. There is a subconscious form of discrimination with statements like this. Each and every Filipina who enters the competition deserves the right to represent the country regardless of her ethnic mix, for as long as she deeply values and recognizes her being a Filipina.
It is baffling why these deceivingly racist comments are overlooked in our country. Imagine the uproar if racial preferences were made for Miss USA.
The Philippines has a very rich interracial history that needs to be accepted simply for what it is. It is important to preface this year’s Bb. Pilipinas pageant with this statement because there is a very diverse group of Filipina beauties vying for this year’s title and it is important that each and every one of them is accorded the same respect and opportunity to represent the Filipina in their hearts.
Last April 4, the press presentation of the 2019 Bb. Pilipinas Candidates was held at the Novotel Manila Araneta Center to invited media, sponsors, and the general public. The event is also a reunion for many past Bb. Pilipinas titleholders who grace the event to welcome the new binibinis. This year, they wore a shirt with the saying, “Once a Binibini, always a Binibini.” That’s something they hold close to their hearts.
All 40 candidates came out draped in a purple sarong as they performed a dance number. The weeks leading up to this was all warm up. This is the start of the competition. There was an entire panel of judges in front of them watching their every move on stage. (IN PHOTOS: The press presentation of the Bb Pilipinas 2019 candidates)
Perhaps one of the most noticeable changes in this year’s format is the shift from “Official Numbers” to "Cities/Provinces." For years, the Binibinis always had that round number identifying her. Now, they have a sash which bears the name of their hometown.
The ladies were given a chance to walk out on stage individually and reveal their DR Swim two piece along with their sashes for the first time. With this batch, it is quite an even playing field. The game will be about consistency and peaking at the right time. Unlike other editions of Binibini, this year, it is truly any Binibinis crown to win.
However, there were some standouts at this point of the competition:
Gazini Ganados, 23, Talisay City, Cebu
Hannah Arnold, 23, Masbate
Bea Patricia Magtanong, 24, Bataan
Maria Isabela Galeria, 20, Sorsogon
Denise Omorog, 24, Baras, Catanduanes
Maria Andrea Abesamis, 27, Pasig City
Julia Saubier, 24, Legazpi City
Jessica Marasigan, 25, Malabon City
Marianne Marquez, 26, Marikina CIty
Leren Mae Bautista, 26, Laguna
Jessarie Dumaguing, 23, Puerto Princesa
Emma Tiglao, 24, Pampanga
Samantha Mae Bernardo, 26, Palawan
Vickie Rushton 26, Negros Occidental
Marie Sherry Ann Tormes, 27 Polangui, Albay
The rest of the candidates can easily be finalists on June 9. The competition is really that close and that good.
Denielle Joie Magno, 25, Pangasinan
Martina Turner Diaz, 22 Muntinlupa CIty
Malka Shaver, 23, Zamboanga Sibugay
Sigrid Grace Flores, 26, Iloilo
Jane Darren Genobisa, 22 Davao del Sur
Honey Grace Cartasano, 25, Province of Rizal
Joahna Carla Saad, 26, Dumaguete City
Melba Ann Macasaet,25 Negros Oriental
Ilene de Vera 23, Mandaue City, Cebu
Anne Barker, 26, Isabela Province
April Short, 24, Zamboanga City
Larah Grace Lacap, 25, Quezon City
Jean Nicole Guerrero, 25, Ilocos Sur
Samantha Ashley Lo, 26, Cebu City
Rubee Marie Faustino, 23, Province of Bulacan
Cassandra Colleen Chan, 24, Bacolod City
Resham Saeed, 25, Maguindanao
Danielle Isabelle Dolk, 18, San Pablo City, Laguna
Mary Faye Cunanan, 22, Tarlac
Alannis Reign Binoya, 22, Batangas
Kimberly Mae Penchon, 26, La Union
Francia Layderos, 26, Libon, Albay
Samantha Poblete, 22, Cavite
Dia Nicole Magno, 24, Butuan, Caraga Region
Joanna Rose Tolledo, 25, Caloocan City
It is going to be two more months of activities for the ladies before the grand coronation night. The next big activity will be on May 25 where they will be going around the Araneta Center, the Home of the Queens and recently declared as a Tourism District by the Quezon City Government, in the Grand Parade of Beauties.
On May 29, the ladies will be part of a fashion show at the New Frontier Theater. – Rappler.com
Voltaire has 10 years experience in the fashion industry. He previously worked with a luxury clothing and accessories brand in Los Angeles, CA. He graduated magna cum laude from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, major in Fashion Design. He also holds a BS in Applied Economics and BS in Marketing from DLSU. He is now doing real estate but finds ample spare time to pursue his passions.