Politics

More than just a pretty face

3 Mins read
BINIBINING Pilipinas candidates wearing Dia Ali swimwear by Justine Aliman.

THE 40 ladies from all over the Philippines competing for the chance to win the four international pageant crowns offered by Binibining Pilipinas: Miss International, Miss Grand International, Miss Intercontinental, and Miss Globe, have more to offer than their beauty. Alongside swimsuit and costume competitions, part of the pageant involves their participation in civic activities.

During a press presentation on July 5, the candidates wore outfits from official partner Shein and swimsuits by Justine Aliman. Candidates came from all corners of the country, from Davao del Sur to Tanjay, Negros Oriental. Among the activities lined up before the Grand Coronation Night on July 31 are a national costumes show on July 16 and the Parade of Beauties on July 23. The Grand Coronation Night will be held at the Smart Araneta Coliseum and will be broadcast live on TV5, A27, The Kapamilya Channel, Metro Channel, iWantTFC and the Bb. Pilipinas official YouTube channel.

The pageant is organized annually by the Binibining Pilipinas Charities, Inc. (BPCI), under the Araneta Group of Companies. For many years, the Bb. Pilipinas pageants determined the candidate to be sent to three of the four major beauty pageants: Miss Universe, Miss World, and Miss International (Miss Earth, by Carousel Productions, is the fourth major beauty pageant). In 2011, the franchise for Miss World changed hands and the search for Miss World in the country was rebranded as Miss World Philippines. Under new management, actress Megan Young went on to win as the country’s first Miss World in 2013. In 2019, the franchise for Miss Universe also changed hands, and Filipinas hoping to compete in Miss Universe would now be selected through Miss Universe Philippines, with 2011 Miss Universe 3rd Runner-Up Shamcey Supsup-Lee serving as National Director. BPCI still holds the franchise for Miss International, which was the pageant that BPCI Chair Stella Marquez Araneta won as Miss Colombia in 1960. Mrs. Araneta is the spouse of Araneta Group chair Jorge Araneta.

“I think what you want to know is how we are preparing the girls to be ready for those international pageants,” said BPCI Head Gines Enriquez to BusinessWorld after the press presentation in Novotel at the Araneta Center. “I think you’ve witnessed the impact of what we did today. That itself is a reflection of how relevant we still are in the pageant industry.

“What I also want to tell you is that thanks to Bb. Pilipinas, we are keeping the pageant industry alive. It’s not about the franchise, or this, or that. This is about giving that hope and happiness to the pageant fans. If we don’t upgrade, if we don’t show something nice, and if we allow ourselves to wallow in mediocrity, we will not have a nice pageant; we will not have a lot of participation or involvement with the fans, sponsors, and so many other things,” he said.

Mr. Enriquez declined to identify the judges for the Grand Coronation Night, as well as the preparations and processes the girls go through. “That’s one thing I cannot fully disclose to you. That is the Bb. Pilipinas secret sauce,” he said.

“The answer is very simple. They have to be presentable, Filipina, intelligent, beautiful. The rest: that’s our secret sauce.”

During the swimsuit runway show, the names, short profiles, and advocacies of the candidates were announced. Of the 40, some were already crowd favorites: Elda Louise Aznar of Davao del Sur, Chelsea Fernandez of Tacloban, Annalena Lakrini of Bataan, and Jashmin-Lyn Dimaculangan of Albay (among others) received loud cheers from the audience. The 40 candidates’ causes varied from autism awareness to fighting misinformation.

“The pageant industry and the pageant participants [have] evolved,” said Mr. Enriquez as he discussed the importance of promoting the candidates’ causes. “This is part of the transformative process that they all go through. To be relevant, you have to be more than just a pretty face. You have to support and believe in something, to be able for you to be interesting.” — Joseph L. Garcia

1. Stacey Daniella B. Gabriel
2. Krizzia Lynn O. Moreno
3. Diana Pinto
4. Jane Darren Genobisa
5. Karen Laurrie Mendoza
6. Elda Louise Aznar
7. Graciella Sheine Lehmann
8. Nicole Budolj
9. Natasha Ellema Jung
10.Fatima Kate Bisan
11. Esel Mae P. Pabillaran
12. Leslie B. Avila
13. Patricia Ann Tan
14. Joanna Day
15. Nyca Mae O. Bernardo
16. Jeriza B. Uy
17. Chelsea Fernandez
18. Ma. Isabela David
19. Ira Patricia Malaluan
20. Joanna Marie Rabe
21. Gracia Elizabetta Mendoza
22. Joanna Ricci Alajar
23. Nicole Borromeo
24. Patricia Samantha Go
25. Annalena Lakrini
26. Cyrille D. Payumo
27. Jessica Rose McEwen
28. Gabrielle Basiano
29. Mariella V. Esguerra
30. Jashmin-Lyn Dimaculangan
31. Yllana Marie S. Aduana
32. Anna Carres De Mesa
33. Mary Justinne Punsalang
34 Christine Juliane Opiaza
35. Diana Mackey
36. Jannine Navarro
37. Eiffel Janell Rosalita
38. Ethel Abellanosa
39. Jasmine Omay
40. Roberta Angela Tamondong