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).

Sunday, December 10, 2017

The House on Sathorn Afternoon Tea Heritage

There is an afternoon tea heritage package offered at The House on Sathorn that you should try. The 128 year-old colonial mansion is home to one of the world's 50 best restaurants (ranked at no.9 in 2017). 

The afternoon tea includes the sweetest pastries and mouth-watering scones complemented by the branded TWG Teas. 

It is served daily from 2:30PM to 5:30PM. Each set is priced at THB 1,350++ including a selection of TWG teas. In addition to the set, guests can enjoy a glass of Chandon Sparkling Wine at THB 420++ and a one Mini Moët & Chandon (20 cl bottle) at THB 1,350++. 

Monday, November 27, 2017

Beauty in Focus: Miss Universe South Africa 2017 Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters

Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, Miss Universe South Africa 2017
Photo credit to the owner. 

"One day she discovered that she is fierce and strong and full of fire. And that not even she can hold herself back because her passion burned brighter than her fears. " ~ Mark Anthony

This article was first published last September 7, 2017 by Edgar Petallo

Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters
Miss Universe South Africa 2017
Photo Credit to the owner. 
She is Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters and she is South Africa's bet in the upcoming Miss Universe 2017. 

It's almost been 40 years since a beauty from South Africa had emerged triumphant in the most prestigious beauty battle in the universe, courtesy of Margaret Gardiner who was crowned Miss Universe in 1978 and won South Africa's first Miss Universe crown. 

Now here comes a gorgeous beauty in the person of Ms. Peters. My gut feel is so strong that she will win Miss Universe 2017! If not, a runner-up finish. 

I know it's still too early to tell but you can't just deny the 'winning vibes' written all over her persona. 

She is very Miss Universe even without trying. 

And I believe, she will soar higher in the Miss Universe finals. 

According to her biography, Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters is from Sedgefield and is a student of business management and entrepreneurship. She manages her studies with part-time modelling at Boss Models and Vision Management. Peters imbibes strength from her disabled sister and feels she is her motivation. 

Do you also think she'll be South Africa's second Miss Universe winner? 

Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, Miss Universe South Africa 2017
Photo credit to the owner. 

Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, Miss Universe South Africa 2017
Photo credit to the owner. 

South Africa Wins Miss Universe 2017

Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters of South Africa is Miss
Universe 2017

Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters of South Africa is the 66th Miss Universe!

Peters bested a bevy of 91 beauties and was crowned Miss Universe 2017 during a hotly-contested finale at The Axis Theatre in Planet Hollywood, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.  Laura Gonzalez of Colombia and Davina Bennett of Jamaica settled as her first and second runners-up. Completing the Top Five were Thailand and Venezuela. 

Philippines, USA, Spain, Canada, and Brazil rounded up the Top Ten. While Great Britain, Sri Lanka, Ghana, Ireland, Croatia and China made it in the Top 16.


Here's the complete list of winners:

Top 16

2. Sri Lanka
3. Ghana
4. South Africa
5. Spain
6. Ireland
7. Croatia
8. Great Britain
9. Colombia
10. USA
11. Brazil
12. Canada
13. Philippines
14. Venezuela
15. Jamaica
16. China

Top 10

1. Venezuela
2. USA
3. Philippines
4. Canada
5. South Africa
6. Spain
7. Brazil
8. Colombia
9. Thailand
10. Jamaica

Top 5

1. South Africa
2. Venezuela
3. Thailand
4. Jamaica
5. Colombia

Top 3

1. Jamaica
2. Colombia
3. South Africa

Winner: South Africa
First Runner-Up: Colombia
Second Runner-Up: Jamaica 

Friday, November 24, 2017

Who Will Be Crowned Miss Universe 2017?

Since IMG took over the Miss Universe Organization from
now US President Donald Trump, predicting the main winner became a lot harder since unlike the Trump Era, the new management does not only focus on the physical attributes of the delegates and on how perfect the pasarela or the stage presence could be. Based from the two previous editions, the girls who made it in the final rounds were not the prettiest nor the sexiest of the bunch, but had the inspiring back stories to tell to the world. In addition, they were also smart, highly accomplished and well-rounded in almost all aspects. It's noteworthy mentioning that last year,  we have seen a plus-size delegate and black beauties advancing to the Top 9. So we might as well expect a varied mix of interesting girls in the finals.

From the 90 plus girls competing, I have narrowed them down to Top 16, girls whom I think will have the greatest chances of penetrating the winning circle based on their preliminary performances, communication skills and background. I have excluded one popular delegate from the Top 16 since it has been reported that the MUO was not happy with how her supporters had sabotaged the online votes of the other popular delegate who is a strong contender for the crown. Her preliminary swimsuit presentation was also weak so a semi-final spot can be far-fetched. I hope I am wrong. Let’s see how things will turn out on the finale night.

Without further ado, my Top 16 are as follows: Angola (Lauriela Martins), Australia (Olivia Rogers), Brazil (Monalysa Alcantara), France (Alicia Aylies), Germany (Sophia Koch), Great Britain (Anna Burdzy), Iceland (Arna Yr Jonsdottir), India (Shradda Shashidhar), Malaysia (Samantha James), Mexico (Denise Franco), Philippines (Rachel Peters), Russia (Ksenia Alexandrova), South Africa (Demi Leigh Nel Peters) Spain (Sofia del Prado), USA (Kara McCullough) and Venezuela (Keysi Sayago). 

Among the contenders, USA, Venezuela, Spain, Mexico and Philippines may figure out strongly in the top five. I think the winner is either between USA and the Philippines, a déjà vu of the 2012 edition where in Janine Tugonon (Philippines) and Olivia Culpo (USA) ended up as the last two women standing with the latter crowned as the winner. However, this time around, a Philippine win over USA might be highly plausible considering the overall topnotch qualities Rachel has. On the other hand, an American victory can't also be ignored especially this time that America is still mourning with the recent terroristic attack in Las Vegas. An American winning Miss Universe would somehow give them a reason to celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas season just like what happened back in 2012. And with a delegate like Kara who has an impressive resume to back her up, things would be made more feasible. 

Kara who is a scientist and a woman of color is also newsworthy should she win than any other delegates.  Pageants have evolved these days, and just like in the recently-concluded Miss Earth, a not-so-pretty scientist but with a towering intelligence won over the beautiful glamazons and gorgeous goddesses. It'll be a bloody fight indeed, should Philippines and USA enter the Top 3 since both of them are eloquent speakers and could really give a sensible answer to the final question. 

In a nutshell, there are many possibilities that may happen on the coronation night. I might be wrong with my predictions and you might be right. Who knows other girls not mentioned here could win the top plum? So take my list with a grain of salt. Keep calm and may the best girl win the coveted crown of Miss Universe 2017! 

Miss Universe 2017: USA, Philippines, Mexico, Venezuela and Spain. 

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Special Feature: 6 Reasons Why Rachel Peters Can Make it Big in MissUniverse 2017

Rachel Peters. Miss Universe Philippines 2017 

*This article was first published last May 4, 2017 by Edgar Petallo.

Miss Universe Philippines 2017 Rachel Peters has bigger shoes to fill in and that is to continue for the 8th winning streak of the Philippines in Miss Universe. No other country has achieved such honor of having an uninterrupted finalist placement for almost a decade in the Miss Universe history except the Philippines. Will Rachel Peters continue the streak? Well, I have enumerated 6 reasons why Rachel can make it big in the most prestigious beauty pageant in the universe. 

Rachel Peters during the Q&A of Binibining Pilipinas 2017.
Photo Courtesy of Sino-Fil-Fab.
1. Excellent English Communication Skills. - Rachel is half British, so it's no wonder why she can speak the language perfectly. She graduated from La Trobe University in Australia with a degree in Business, Tourism and Events. The Miss Universe titleholder is the spokesperson of the organization and it is just imperative that she has a clear command of the universal language. Being able to express oneself in English fluently will give her the edge over the other contenders especially during the nerve-racking question-and-answer portion of the pageant where quick thinking skills and the ability to put ones thoughts into words which everyone can understand is a must to breeze to the top.

2. Smart and Witty. - At this rate, based on her Q&A performance, I think that Rachel has already overcome her stage fright especially in answering the final question before a huge audience. If you have watched the Miss World Philippines 2014 edition, Rachel suddenly lost her train of thoughts during the make or break final interview which cost her the crown. Good thing, Rachel had learnt from that experience and had managed to come back stronger, smarter and wittier. Her ability to outsmart the other contenders with her eloquence in delivering her thoughts makes her a stronger contender for the Miss Universe crown.

Rachel Peters' swimsuit performance in Binibining Pilipinas 2017. Photo courtesy of Sino-Fil-Lab.
3. Killer Body. - What sets her apart from her predecessors is her gorgeous, slender body and longer legs that seem to stretch endlessly. Unlike the past Misses Philippines, Rachel doesn't need to break a leg in the gym just to achieve the Miss Universe look. All she has to do is to maintain her natural figure. She has the same body structure with former
Photo Courtesy of Sino-Fil-Fab. 
Miss Universe winners Gabriela Isler of Venezuela (Miss Universe 2013) and Paulina Vega of Colombia (Miss Universe 2014). She can literally stand side by side with the beautiful Latinas and towering Europeans.  And knowing how she was trained by the Kagandahang Flores beauty camp, she could easily stand out in the Swimsuit segment of Miss Universe.

4. Pageant Experience and Training. - Binibing Pilipinas wasn't her first national pageant. Rachel had already competed in Miss World Philippines 2014 where she placed as 4th Princess to the eventual winner Valerie Weigmann who succeeded Miss World 2013 Megan Young. And her pageant experience has contributed a lot to where
Photo Courtesy of Sino-Fil-Fab. 
she is at the moment. In addition to that, she is continuously training with some of the country's elite mentors in pageantry. From where I stand, what Rachel needs is polishing and achieving the right look for the upcoming Miss Universe season.

5. Good Work Ethics with Pleasant Personality. - A Miss Universe will be working with a lot of people from its management owners, down to its sponsors around the world, and other VIPs for its existence and mission. So it is just logical that the organization will still be looking for someone with a pleasant work ethics. Someone who is easy to work with and who understands the business. This is where the likes of Rachel Peters can shine through. Knowing that Rachel has worked professionally as an event organizer for their business and has successfully organized international concert events for Katy Perry and Christina Aguilera, the job as a Miss Universe won't be an uphill task for her. 

6. Great Stage Presence with Outstanding Pasarela Skills. - To stand out in the sea of beauties in Miss Universe pageant, a stronger stage presence is a must. And the contender should be able to pull off a flawless performance on stage with solid runway skills. Rachel has a towering height and she moves like a gazelle, gliding perfectly on stage (courtesy from Kagandahang Flores beauty camp) who trained her how to walk effortlessly. 

I know that at this rate, it is still premature to judge her chances in Miss Universe. Although at this point, we can see massive potentials for Rachel Peters to clinch the crown back to the Philippine shores. Peters has 6 or more months to prepare for the beauty battle. Let's see how far she can go. I can only hope for the best.