Thursday, March 29, 2018

Catriona Gray: Miss World's Loss is Miss Universe's Gain

Miss Universe Philippines 2018 Catriona Gray wearing the iconic three-stars-and-a-sun ear cuff by Tessera Jewelry and Mak Tumang gown during the Binibining Pilipinas 2018
grand coronation night.  Photo credit to the owner.

And if indeed, Cat will win in Miss Universe, the less popular Miss World will be pushed further down the bin. Or do people still even care about Miss World at all? 

Catriona Gray crowned as Miss Universe Philippines 2018
Photo credit to the owner. 
Catriona Gray's triumph at the recently-concluded Binibining Pilipinas 2018 has elated an innumerable throng of Filipino pageant aficionados here and abroad especially those who have supported the statuesque model-turned-beauty queen the moment she dipped her toes in the pageantry pool. Cat as she's fondly called by her fans made history as the very first Filipina since the pageants' inception to have won the two elusive national titles in the country- Miss World and Miss Universe Philippines. 

Cat's victory in winning the top plum in Binibining Pilipinas is a dream come true to all her avid fans and supporters who wished and dreamed for Cat to represent the Philippines in the most celebrated beauty derby in the Universe after a dismal result in Miss World 2016. 

With Cat's win as Miss Universe Philippines 2018 the fans felt partially vindicated. With the kind of caliber that she has possessed, Cat will do extremely well in Miss Universe where we can expect a more reasonable and credible assessment of the contenders. 

I can just imagine now how exciting the Miss Universe 2018 edition will be. Perhaps, Cat's loss in Miss World was a blessing in disguise for her. The 'world' seems small for a beauty contender like her. Let's admit it. Miss World isn't that prestigious anymore especially with the manner on how the pageant is conducted. It's glitz and glamour has gone. Yes, there was 'noise' when Megan Young won but its relevance and prestige have slowly faded into oblivion especially after its 2016 edition. You couldn't see any real competition in the coronation night. The basis of selecting the finalists are just too vague which leaves the fans frustrated and bored. The national directors sitting in the judging panel are also distasteful and very unethical to say the least. A lot of pageant fans have lost interest for Miss Word, they have once revered and adored.

So it is a good thing that Cat has veered away from Julia Morley's pageant and has successfully clinched the rights to banner the sash of the Philippines in Miss Universe. She deserves nothing but the whole Universe where she can have the opportunity to shine even much brighter and can have the best possible platform for her humanitarian projects. I am certain that come Miss Universe season, Cat will fight not only for her dreams and for her country but also for her adoring fans and advocacy dearest to her heart. She will definitely make us proud once more. 

With a massive following and 'hyperactive' fans, Miss Universe 2018 will be the most talked about pageant edition  ever! Can't wait!

Photo credit to the owner. 

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Can Stella Marquez Araneta Take the Bashing if Catriona Gray Won't Win MUP 2018?

Binibini 20, Catriona Gray. 

Stella Marquez Araneta, chairperson of Binibining Pilipinas
2018 with Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach
As the chairperson of the Binibining Pilipinas Inc., Madame Stella Marquez Araneta, has the immense power to assign the crowns to the Binibinis who will emerge victorious come coronation night of Binibining Pilipinas 2018 beauty pageant. The fate of the contenders primarily lies on the hands of the panel of Judges and that includes the Colombian matriarch. They will choose who will represent the Philippines in the most prestigious Miss Universe pageant.  

It is no secret that Catriona Gray, Binibini 20 is this year's mega favourite to win the coveted crown. The former Miss World Philippines titleholder is the top choice of the pageant enthusiasts to banner the sash of the Philippines in Miss Universe. And it doesn't take a rocket Science to rationalize why an overwhelming majority of pageant aficionados are rooting for her. Catriona has it ALL. She is superior in almost all aspects - communication skills, intelligence, talent, character, personality, advocacy and her physical beauty is way miles ahead from the rest of her competitors. She'll rock the universe for sure with her superb qualities!

Fans and netizens are anticipating for Catriona being crowned Miss Universe Philippines 2018. She is a total performer on stage and she's a bomb in the make or break question and answer portion. So the possibility of not clinching the Top Plum is very nil. She is indeed The One, unless, there will be a major blunder on her part come finals. But, I am certain that she will never fail her millions of adoring fans and well-wishers and that she will give her utmost best to win and clinch The Crown. 

I am hoping that the final judging process will be fair and square. The viewers and the fans these days are already intelligent enough to be fooled. Stella Marquez should take a queue from Julia Morley of Miss World from the ruthless bashings that she and her organization got when Catriona was unfairly left out after a splendid performance. The bashing from the Filipino fans is something that Stella, in her sunset years should evade. The fans spewing mean words and hatred wouldn't be triggered if there are no valid reasons in the first place. However I believe that the elder head honcho is aware of Catriona's gargantuan fan following and that she will be extra careful and will take every precaution in selecting the winners. 

Catriona's win as MUP 2018 will be greatly beneficial to Stella and her organization. Catriona, who is already a massive hit will be attracting so many sponsors and being an independent candidate herself would mean that her victory in the universe wouldn't be credited to any beauty camps but directly to Stella and the Binibining Pilipinas organization itself. 

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Binibining Pilipinas 2018: My Ultimate Choice for the Crown

Binibining Pilipinas 2018 favorites. 

The most prestigious beauty derby in the country is kicking off with its coronation finale slated on March 18 at the Araneta Coliseum, Manila, Philippines. Forty gorgeous and accomplished Filipinas are vying for the six titles of Binibining Pilipinas 2018 (but let's be honest here, it is only the UNIVERSE that the ladies are highly interested with). But nonetheless, there can only be one who will wear the Miss Philippines Universe 2018 crown, and the other five crowns are still worth to be won for and conquer just in case, the coveted Universe crown will slip from their grasps. Anyhow, the INTERNATIONAL title is another major pageant aside from the Universe which gives prestige to the Filipina who will be victorious in it, so winning the said title is still a sought-after affair for the 40 Binibinis. 

So in this connection, I will be highlighting only the two major beauty pageant titles - Miss Universe and Miss International where two of our beautiful Binibinis will be lucky enough to experience the glamour, adoration, and the excitement of representing the Philippines in two of the Big Four elite pageants. 

Rounding up my Top 15 for the coveted titles are as follows (in no particular order):  

My Top 6 contenders for the crowns are as follows: Vicki Marie Rushton, Maria Andrea Abesamis, Jehza Huelar, Michelle Gumabao, Eva Patalinghug and Catriona Gray. Trailing behind are Karen Gallman, Muriel Orais and Sandra Lemonon.  

Now, there can only be two beauties who will earn the rights to banner the sash of the Philippines in Miss International and Miss Universe. My top choices are Eva Psychee Patalinjug for Miss International 2018 and Catriona Gray for Miss Universe 2018. That means, that the other four of the Top six contenders which I have mentioned here can win any of the remaining four crowns. 

Why Eva for Miss International and Catriona for Miss Universe?

Eva has the serene beauty and delicate Asian features which the Japanese organizers of Miss International would love. Eva's personality and form is well-fitted for the Japan-based beauty derby. Kagandahang Flores, the beauty camp where she belongs is also an expert in transforming beauties into a Miss International crown contender. 

On the other hand, Catriona Gray deserves nothing but the Universe crown. It's Miss Universe or nothing! It will be a de-service for the country if she will be assigned to lesser known pageants. She has the massive potential to win the Philippines' fourth Miss Universe crown! Aside from the physical beauty and the global pageant experience, she has the wit, intellect and confidence to tackle the nerve-racking Q&A with excellence. Communication skills wouldn't be a problem for she can discuss anything under the sun with beauty and substance. Advocacy-wise, Catriona has it in the bag. Under IMG, being Miss Universe isn't just all about glamour and physical beauty. The winner should be able to walk the talk and has the X factor which the people can easily relate to and be inspired of. 

Above all the outstanding qualities that Catriona Gray has, she has an enormous herd of fans and avid supporters among the contenders and is well-loved by many. I am hoping that she won't be 'politicized' and that the spirit of fairness would reign supreme in the coronation finale. Otherwise, Stella Marquez Araneta will surely be bashed by the netizens if indeed politics will become so obvious in choosing the winners (Stella can ask Julia Morley of Miss World from the bashings that she got from the Filipinos). However, with Stella's age and experience, I doubt if she would do something terrible that could ultimately destroy her legacy from the Filipino pageant aficionados. The fans and supporters of Catriona are too rabid and dangerous to be played for. So I hope Madame Stella will be more objective, after all, Catriona is 'campless' and that means if she wins Miss Universe 2018, a bigger chunk of credit won't go anywhere else but to Stella as Catriona's national director. And needless to say, Catriona will be a huge asset to the Binibining Pilipinas Organization (hello sponsors!). 

Binibini 20 Catriona Gray is my ultimate pick for the Miss Universe Philippines 2018 crown. 

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Philippines Wins Miss Multinational 2017-2018

Sophia Senoron, Miss Multinational 2017-2018

"Back home in my country, I am already a co-founder of a social organization called "Ang Pagbabagong Mithi". In rough English, it translates the idea of change.'

"Here I advocate for the rights of women and children, because in my country we have the saying that children are the future of the world. And Secondly, I believe that we women as you can see how spectacular... how much potential we have, we definitely deserve more than what you have, and when I go back home to my country, I wish that I will have the social capital to be able to extend my reach not only in the borders of the Philippines but in the entire world because I believe that is what makes us multinational. 
Thank you!"

Credit to the owner of the video. 

Never let a well-educated and accomplished Filipina hold the microphone in the international beauty pageant stage, otherwise, she will annihilate all her competitors with her wit and ultimately charm the judges with her eloquence in the final interview. 

And this is what exactly happened during last night's inaugural edition of Miss Multinational 2017-2018 in India.

The petite debater Sophia Senoron of the Philippines walked away with the crown and became the first ever titleholder of Miss Multinational. Trailing behind her for the title were Saskia Kuban of Germany (1st runner-up) and Shefali Sharma of India (2nd runner-up). 

Sophia's articulateness is quite reminiscent of Miss Earth 2017 Karen Ibasco. Their brilliance and eloquence are fatal enough to topple the heavy favorites and steal the limelight in the competition. The judges couldn't help but give the crown to the contender with the most impressive answer to the dreaded Q and A. 

Again, Congratulations Sophia for bringing another beauty crown for the Philippines!


The year 2017 alone saw the crowning of several Filipinas in the Alpha and second to third-tier pageants. (1) Sarah Bona was proclaimed the inaugural winner of Miss Nature Intercontinental 2017, (2) Teresita Ssen Marquez was the first Asian to win the ReinaHispanoAmericana 2017, (3) Jannie Alipo-on became the fourth Filipina to win the Miss Tourism International pageant in Malaysia and the last but the least, Karen Ibasco was crowned the fourth Filipina Miss Earth. 

Mabuhay and ganda at talinong Filipino! (Long live the beauty and intelligence of the Filipinos!)

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Miss Earth 2017 Karen Ibasco Sizzles in Vietnam

Miss Earth 2017 Karen Ibasco
Photographed by Gideon Estella
Make up by Terence Buenaventura
Hair by Pau Garcia
Styled by John Sherwynn Chan
Accessories by Christopher Munar

After Karen Ibasco's Japan and Cambodian trip with her elemental queens, the 'most talked-about' pageant queen on Earth is now in Vietnam gracing the Tuyët Lê Fashion Boutique as the event's 'VIP' guest. 

And there's one thing which the pageant aficionados have noticed, the Scientist-turned-beauty queen is glowing and blooming - only the perennial haters and bitter gourd losers would blindly deny such positive aura from the reigning Miss Earth titleholder. She remains unfazed despite the hoard of bashers trolling every photo published, spewing their bitterness and wallowing in their disgusts which were born out of grave insecurities, jealousy and desperation. And this is where my admiration of Karen is rooted upon. Aside from her unquestionable intelligence and eloquence, she has the nerves of steel that could weather the storms of life and emerge victorious in the end. 

After her Vietnam trip, Karen will travel all the way to Mexico in South America to spearhead some environmental awareness campaigns as part of her duty as Miss Earth 2017. 

It will definitely be a busy whole-year reign for Karen. She is blessed, no doubt, and she is rising amidst the bashing. 

Friday, December 22, 2017

The Philippines in World's Major Pageants

Philippines' Big 5 Queens: Pia Wurtzbach (Miss Universe 2015), Angelia One (Miss Earth 2015), Kylie Verzosa (Miss International 2016), Megan Young (Miss World 2013) and Mutya Datul (Miss Supranational 2013). Photo credit to the rightful owner. 

The Philippines made history as the first and the only country so far which won all five crowns of the biggest and widely-recognized international beauty pageants in the world namely, Miss Universe, Miss Earth, Miss International, Miss World and Miss Supranational. It has completed winning all the 5 major pageant titles in just a span of 3 years and was able to clinch 8 major crowns in the last 5 years! 

The country has currently 15 major crowns eclipsing USA which has a total of 14. The Philippines is trailing behind Venezuela which has a massive Big 5 crown collection of 22 as of this writing! These numbers do not include the numerous placements and runners-up  the three countries have achieved since the pageants' inception. Although Venezuela has the most number of win, it has yet to clinch the Miss Supranational title and complete its set of Big 5 Queens. The same is true with USA who has yet to nab a Miss Earth and Miss Supranational crowns. 

The Philippines so far has 3 Miss Universe, 4 Miss Earth, 6 Miss International, 1 Miss World and 1 Miss Supranational titleholders. 

Philippines' Miss Universe winners: Gloria Diaz (Miss Universe 1969), Margie Moran (Miss Universe 1973) and Pia Wurtzbach (Miss Universe 2015) 
Philippines' Miss Earth winners: Karla Henry (Miss Earth 2008), Jamie Herrell (Miss Earth 2014), Angelia Ong (Miss Earth 2015) and Karen Ibasco (Miss Earth 2017) 

Philippines' Miss International winners: Gemma Cruz (Miss International 1964), Auora Pijuan (Miss International 1970), Melanie Marquez (Miss International 1979), Lara Quigaman (Miss International 2005), Bea Rose Santiago (Miss International 2013) and Kylie Verzosa (Miss International 2016). Photo credit to the rightful owner. 

Megan Young (Miss World 2013)Photo credit to the rightful owner. 
Mutya Datul (Miss Supranational 2013)Photo credit to the rightful owner. 

Will the next Misses Philippines be able to pull off another historic victories? Will destiny summon them to join the ranks of these beautiful and triumphant Filipinas who have won their respective pageant assignments here and abroad? 

Time can only reveal what is written in their stars. Your blogger is sincerely hoping that the Pearl of the Orient Seas will continue to shine forth not just in beauty pageants but also in other areas of life's pageantries (be it in economy, sports, entertainments, and scientific discoveries) and be a beacon of light and inspiration to the world. 




*Philippines is now the fastest growing economy in Asia. Source: PHL Now Among Asia's Fastest Growing Economies - Business Mirror

*Philippines is the 10th Fastest Growing Economy in the World. Source: Duterte's Philippines is the 10th Fastest Growing Economy in the Region - Forbes

*Philippines will remain the fastest growing economy in the region. Source:  Philippine Economy to Remain Fastest Growing in the Region - IMF


*Filipino student bested 11,000 young learners from 178 countries in a Global Science Competition. Source: Leyte Student Wins Global Science Competition - Sun Star


*World-famous Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao is the highest-paid athlete next to Floyd Mayweather. Source: Forbes' 10 Highest-Paid Athletes

Beauty Pageants:

*Philippines wins its 4th Miss Earth crown. Source: Philippines Wins Miss Earth 2017-PhilStar

*Philippines wins its first Reina Hispano-Americana title. Source: Philippines Wins Reina Hispano-Americana 2017

*Philippines wins its 4th Miss Tourism International title. Source: Philippines Wins Miss Tourism International 2017

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Saturday, December 16, 2017

Palio Khao Yai : Thailand's Little Italy

*This blog post was written and published last August 20, 2012 by Edgar Petallo. 

If you haven't gone to Italy yet and couldn't wait to indulge yourself in a romantic Italian setting not too far from the city of Bangkok, then you might be interested visiting Palio in the country side of Khao Yai.

Perfectly stationed in the heart of Thailand's wine country, Palio offers a fantastic atmosphere and brings the feeling of meandering in a real Tuscan villas complete with the picturesque architectural designs in the likes of the well known Piazza clock tower, pastel colored shops, and other Renaissance-styled embellishments adorned with the meticulously manicured gardens.

The Italian-themed shopping center blends practically well with its environment as it is situated in the midst of other European-inspired establishments and resorts, lush green valleys, and seemingly endless vineyards. It contains more than a hundred eye-candy colored shops offering a wide variety of exquisite accessories and apparels, winery, cafes, and many more. What a delight to shop or just wander aimlessly in a laidback countryside milieu!

So why not leave the mundane city life behind even just for a while and completely immerse yourself with the simplicity of a fine Tuscan ambiance? Visit Palio now and plunge in such eclectic affinity.

Palio is located just near Khao Yai National Park approximately 3 hours away from Bangkok (barring traffic jam).