I was excited when I received an invite for the coronation night of this year’s Binibining Pilipinas at the Smart Araneta Coliseum last night. I’ve been a fan of beauty pageants since Riyo Mori of Japan won the title crown of Miss Universe in 2007. That day, I wore a red and white shirt to symbolize my other country’s victory in the world of beauty. Since then, I’ve tuned in every year, wondering if Japan or my home country would take the crown again. Alas, Venezuela would take the crown three times since then.
Hosts Anne Curtis and Xian Lim making their entrance. Curtis was an amazing host, even breaking out into song during breaks
Miss Universe contestants Shamcey Supsup and Venus Raj providing additional reporting
Russian singer Emin serenading the ladies
This year’s Binibining Pilipinas was a far better production compared to last year. The girls are also prettier, and they had better answers. It’s either they were trained harder, or Stella Marquez Araneta imposed more stringent measures in selecting girls. Maybe she felt challenged that we’ve been placing for the past four competitions, with no wins.
There were some flubs during the competition. No one tripped (thank God), but most of the misses were in the QA portion. Of course, I completely understand. I think my mind would also go blank if I knew a million Filipinos are watching me at the most crucial 30 seconds of my pageant career.
Emin provided musical entertainment. He performed at last year’s Miss Universe pageant in Russia and doesn’t seem to be famous, except his father is a Russian billionaire and his wife is the Azerbaijan First Daughter. Oh well, Lady Gaga was a nobody when she sang Just Dance in Miss Universe 2008.
2nd runner-up Hannah Sison, Bb Pilipinas Tourism Parul Shah, Bb Pilipinas Intercontinental Kris Janson, Bb Pilipinas Universe Mary Jean Lastimosa, Bb Pilipinas International Mary Anne Guidotti, Bb Pilipinas Supranational Yvethe Santiago, and 1st runner-up Laura Lehmann. Photo by Mark Cristino of Rappler
All my bets have placed in the awards. The winners of this year’s Binibining Pilipinas are:
- Bb Pilipinas – Universe: Bb 25 Mary Jean Lastimosa
- Bb Pilipinas – Intercontinental: Bb 13 Kris Tiffany Janson
- Bb Pilipinas – Supranational: Bb 35 Yvethe Marie Santiago
- Bb Pilipinas – Tourism: Bb 4 Parul Shah
- Bb Pilipinas – International: Bb 22 Mary Anne Guidotti
- 1st runner up: Bb 11 Laura Lehmann
- 2nd-runner up: Bb 27 Hannah Sison
I liked Sison’s gown, a flowing white dress that stood out amongst the red, which seemed to be the standard choice for the long gown competition. I also liked Guidotti and Santiago’s smile. Lastimosa looks a bit like Supsup, except with a fuller face.
The Binibining Pilipinas swimsuit competition
The Binibining Pilipinas long gown competition
I’ve been hopeful for the Philippines. The country has placed a title since 2010, with Venus Raj placing 4th, Shamcey Supsup placing 3rd, Janine Tugonon placing 1st, and Ariella Arida placing 3rd. Arida’s 3rd runner up win was controversial because she looked flawless and her answer during the QA was better than we expected. Twitter was ablaze with fury that morning, with the gay community staying up until 4AM to watch Arida win.
Of course, there was also the hope that our meteoric rise from 4th to 3rd to 1st would finally yield a Miss Universe crown.
Miss International Bea Santiago taking her final walk at the 2014 Binibining Pilipinas
The year 2013 was a good year for the Philippines in the pageant scene. Aside from Arida’s 3rd runner up win, Megan Young won the Miss World Crown, Bea Santiago won Miss International, Angeli Dione Gomez won Miss Tourism International, and Mutya Johanna Datul won Miss Supranational. Angelee delos Reyes was also a finalist for Miss Earth.
Binibining Pilipinas – Universe Mary Jean Lastimosa during her QA
Maybe we could finally win the Miss Universe title? Lastimosa has the kind of beauty foreign judges seem to love, and her answer to the QA is good. When she was asked by reigning Miss Universe Gabriela Isler what the greatest advantage of being a woman is, she said, “The greatest advantage of being a woman is being able to compose herself. Just like here, we’re standing in front of thousands of people, not knowing if you’re going to cheer for us or boo us. But we try to compose ourselves. We keep the emotions and show the beauty that is in us and tonight, thousands of people are standing here, celebrating the beauty of women.”
Thank you, PLDT Home DSL, for the tickets!