Friday, December 14, 2018

Predictions: Who Will Win Miss Universe 2018?

The coronation night of the most prestigious beauty pageant in the universe will be happening in the kingdom of Bangkok, Thailand three days from now (December 17, Monday, 8am Manila time). After the preliminary competition staged last night and considering their respective communication skills in the close-door interview, background stories, intelligence and advocacies, here are my Top 20 picks: 

20. Great Britain
19. Denmark
18. Belgium
17. Cambodia
16. Russia
15. Thailand
14. Vietnam
13. Albania
12. Kenya
11. Ecuador
10. Venezuela
9. Puerto Rico
8. India
7. Curacao
6. Namibia
5. Mexico
4. Nigeria
3. South Africa
2. Canada
1. Philippines

Catriona Gray of the Philippines is my predicted winner. She's the one to beat even before the actual pageant has started and she successfully lived up to the hype and expectations of many pageant fans. Catriona is definitely in a league of her own and she is by far the most formidable beauty candidate in any major pageants that I have seen in many years. No one comes close. 

If she will be crowned Miss Universe 2018, we can expect that she will take Miss Universe to a whole new level and with her skills and brilliance, she will be the organisation's greatest weapon not only in catapulting its status as the most revered and loved beauty pageant in the universe but also in spearheading its charitable causes and missions. I can see a very successful and productive reign as Catriona takes the helm as IMG's queen. The return of investment will be incredible!

The only thing that may prevent her from winning is when there will be internal politics as well as if the rumoured 'continental crowning' will be pushed through by IMG for the sake of distributing the crowns and victories in different continents and countries. But I hope that the MUO and IMG will crown the girl who rightfully deserves the title and the one who shines the brightest in the finale regardless of the country that she represents. Otherwise, their credibility will be put into question and they will lose a lot of following. 

Aside from the Top 20 mentioned above, other girls who might surprise us in the coronation night will be the delegates from Jamaica, Nepal, Malaysia, Japan, Brazil, Chile, Dominican Republic and Spain being the first transgender. Spain will surely make headlines if ever she makes the cut and we know how IMG craves media mileage. 

The El Tocuyo awardees might be the girls from the USA, Colombia and Australia. El Tocuyo is the term coined for those girls perceived as front-runners in the competition with strong sash factors but because of their rude 'behaviour' during the competition, they are left out in the semi-final cut and ended up clapping in the background. El Tocuyo is a city in Venezuela, represented by Mariam Habach when she competed in Miss Universe 2016. 

USA's Sarah Rose Summers is all over the news for her condescending gestures and rude remarks about Cambodia and Vietnam's inability to speak the English language fluently. And this happened during their Facebook 'Live' for their fans. You can check the instagram of diet prada, a renowned fashion site for the said video. It has also been reported in major international news outlets worldwide. 

All photos courtesy of Miss Universe. 

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Miss Earth 2018 Graces Harper's Bazaar VN

You will know that an international pageant is a major one when its queen graces the glossy cover of a world-renowned fashion magazine. Such is the case of the reigning Miss Earth 2018 Phuong Khanh who will be the featured VIP in the Christmas edition of Harper's Bazaar VN. 

The Miss Earth Organization has chosen a rightful ambassadress for its causes. Phuong Khanh is not only well-spoken and dedicated to further MEO's environmental advocacies, she also has that universal beauty and charm that can attract people and even the elite, legit sponsors who would be willing to invest for the Miss Earth brand. 

Indeed, 'beauty' is such an essential, strong component that a pageant queen should have to make the brand more successful and popular in a positive way. So aside from a year-long reign of international travels, expect an influx of endorsements and offers with an Alpha beauty queen like Phuong Khanh at the helm. 

*All photos courtesy from Harper's Bazaar VN.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Miss Universe 2018 Pre-Arrival Top 16 Favorites

Miss Universe 2018 Pre-arrival Top 16 favorites. Photos 
from Miss Universe. 

It's Miss Universe season! Let's get to know the current top favorites before their expected arrival next week in Bangkok, Thailand. 

12. Thailand. Sophida Kanchanarin. I understand why she doesn't have the kind of support from the avid Thai fans which Maria and Chalita had during their years. Sophida wasn't the favorite to win in the national finals. But considering the fact that she's well-educated in the USA with honors, she might be conversant enough to excel in the interviews and continue Thailand's placement streak since 2015.

11. Mexico. Andrea Toscano. She has this Alta kind of beauty -  classic and expensive yet quite delicate. Mexico hasn't been so great in penetrating the Top 5 since their win in 2010. Can they make it this year with Andrea? 

10. Vietnam. H'Hen Nie. She has an interesting story to tell to the world being a maid to becoming a popular model and a beauty queen that she is now. What I am worried though is the preliminary interview. Is she well-spoken enough to secure a spot in the finals? 

9. Malta. Francesca Mifsud. I like her profile photo. An exotic, Mulatta beauty who exudes elegance with a dramatic flair of confidence. I am hoping she is this gorgeous in the actual competition. Francesca is currently taking a Masters in Law with the goal of becoming a Criminal Prosecutor. 

8. USA. Sarah Rose Summers. A Cum laude graduate with two separate degrees. What actually makes her a standout isn't about her physical beauty nor her excellent academic record. She has this vibrant, sunny personality which can be her edge to charm the judges.  

7. India. Nehal Chudasama. India hasn't been a major contender in the last few years in Miss Universe however with Nehal's arrival, things might be different. She might put an end with India's non-placement in the most prestigious beauty derby. 

6. Venezuela. Sthefany Gutierrez. I am not quite feeling her at the moment but we just could not be complacent in a pageant especially from a girl coming from Venezuela. I am sure her mentors had prepared her well with the necessary goods to secure Venezuela's 8th Miss Universe win. 

5. Lebanon. Maria Reaidy is a pharmacy student who can speak four languages - French, Russian, Arabic and English. She is actually the prettiest Lebanese to date being sent in the Miss Universe stage and if indeed, she is well-trained, Maria can definitely give her competitors a run for their money. 

4. Colombia. Valeria Morales. The Colombian beauties were able to figure out well in the Top 3 since 2014 and Valeria has the innate qualities to continue the feat and even succeed. Will she finally snatch their country's third MU crown? 

3. South Africa. Tamaryn Green is a medical student. She is actually stronger than her predecessor who is also the reigning Miss Universe in terms of physical beauty, stature and resume. Although it's a near-insurmountable task, who knows she might end up duplicating the Venezuelan back-to-back feat in 2008 and 2009? 

2. Canada. Marta Magdalena Stepien. A mixed-race, multilingual Canadian who is taking a degree in Biomedical Engineering Technology with a current gpa of 3.96. Aside from her impressive scholastic background, this gorgeous beauty is coming strong with her commendable stage presence. 

1. Philippines. Catriona Elisa Gray. She is presently the girl to beat in the competition. Cat as she's fondly called by her fans has all the qualities Miss Universe is looking for in a winner. A pageant genius that she is, Cat is expected to exceed expectations with tons of surprises up her sleeves in the upcoming events leading to the coronation finale. IMG and MUO could never go wrong with a Catriona Gray!

Rounding up the Top 16 spots are Angola, Ecuador, Curacao and Costa Rica. 

Let's see if these contenders can sustain the momentum in the actual competition. 

Sunday, November 11, 2018

A Homecoming Fit for a Queen

Miss Earth 2018 Phuong Khanh of Vietnam

A throng of Vietnamese supporters and media personnel welcome their
newly-crowned Queen. 

A happy Miss Earth Queen arrives in her
The newly-crowned Miss Earth 2018 Phuong Khanh was swamped with a welcoming throng of supporters and media personnel as she arrived in Vietnam earlier this afternoon, fresh from her victorious month-long stint in the successful edition of Miss Earth pageant held in Manila Philippines. 

The Vietnamese beauty queen is glowing and conspicuously unperturbed amidst the controversies that rocked the pageant these past few days. The said controversies made her win even more popular as it catches a mileage of publicity worldwide. 

Phuong is the very first Vietnamese who was able to clinch an Alpha crown from one of the three elite major pageants. She is scheduled to have her Press Conference tomorrow afternoon at 2:00 PM (VN time) at the White Palace Convention Center. 

A whole-year round of international travels and environment-related public appearances await the new Miss Earth queen. 

Friday, November 9, 2018

Miss Earth Should File a Legal Case Against its Slanderers.

Miss Earth Canada 2018 Jaime Yvonne Vandenburg and Miss Earth England 2018
Abbey Anne-Gyles Brown. Photo courtesy from Miss Earth. 

With the recent rants of Miss Earth Canada Jaime Yvonne Vandenberg and England's Abbey Anne-Gyles Brown in social media with their allegations of sexual harassment, it seems that they're putting all the blame on Miss Earth Organization and Carousel for all the unfortunate situations that they had allegedly experienced while in the competition of the recently-concluded Miss Earth 2018. 

It was very unfair for the Miss Earth Organization to receive all the bashing and the blame when in fact it should have been Amado Cruz, the alleged function sponsor who should be made to answer and be grilled for his purported indecent proposals, allegedly asking sexual favours from Misses Canada, England and Guam. 

The Miss Earth Organization has clearly stated (read Miss Earth's Official Statement) that they are ready to support the two in any action they may have wished to take against the individual who offended them. But instead of coordinating with the Miss Earth Organization for legal actions, Jamie Vandenberg and Abbey Brown had chosen to rant in the social media and worst disparage the organization who have taken care of them and the other 86 delegates for their month-long stay in the Philippines. It appears that they're bitter with the fact that they are pageant losers and clappers and had opted to deprecate the pageant to cover up their losses. With their libellous claims, it also appears that those ladies who made it as finalists and eventually won had accepted sexual favours from sponsors in exchange for the crown. 

The Miss Earth Organization should file legal charges against the slanderers Jaime Vandenberg and Abbey Brown for defaming them. Along with the alleged sexual predator, the two should also be made liable for all their claims and allegations. This is important so the organization can finally make and set things straight and clear out their name. If the organization will let this thing pass, more and more girls like them could easily tarnish the organization's hard-earned reputation in the next Miss Earth editions. People can just easily make stories against the organization to discredit and destroy what they have built in decades. Emotionally-weak girls joining the Miss Earth pageant in the future who don't have the capacity and the ability to hurdle the pageant's energy-depleting challenges and mentally-straining obstacles could easily throw mud and dirt against the organizers when the results seem not to favor them.

While sexual harassment in any form shouldn't be condoned and tolerated, it is important to tell only the 'truths'. It is downright disrespectful to spread rumors about other people and the organization especially when the apparent 'facts' claimed are indeed very far from the actual truth. 

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Vietnam Wins Miss Earth 2018

Phuong Khanh Nguyen of Vietnam is Miss Earth 2018 

And we have a new set of Earth Warriors who will continue the legacy of spreading environmental awareness. 

Phuong Khanh Nguyen of Vietnam has just been proclaimed a couple of minutes ago as Miss Earth 2018. She is 23 years old and a marketing student who bested a bevy of 86 international delegates in this year's goddess-themed edition of Miss Earth. She was crowned by last year's winner Karen Ibasco of the Philippines. It is interesting to note that Phuong is the very first Vietnamese major pageant titleholder from her country.

Completing the Elemental Court were Melanie Mader of Austria (Air), Valeria Ayos of Colombia (Water), and Melissa Flores of Mexico (Fire). 

This year's edition had been participated by 87 delegates from around the world. The coronation night was staged at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, Philippines, broadcasted 'live' by 9 broadcast partners including Foxlife Asia and was seen by millions of people worldwide. There is also a delayed telecast by GMA network. 

Congratulations Vietnam! A well-deserved victory! 

Outgoing titleholder Karen Ibasco crowns her successor Phuong Khanh Nguyen as Miss Earth 2018. Photo credit: Norman's blog. 

Saturday, October 27, 2018

5 Reasons Why BPCI Should Only Have Two Crowned Winners

I am hoping that Madame Stella Marquez Araneta, the reigning head honcho of the country's most prestigious Binibining Pilipinas Charities Inc. (BPCI) will only crown two main winners for the next Binibini editions. The bets for the minor pageants should not and should never be crowned as winners. It will be a great idea if BPCI can just handpick from the roster of finalists the reps for those minor pageants in which they are currently affiliated with. 

As of the moment, the BPCI is the country's franchise holder which sends yearly delegates to Miss Universe and Miss International, two of the renowned Big Four major pageants together with Miss World and Miss Earth which are handled by different organisations and are not under BPCI's supervision. 

Elite Pageants with reputable auditing firms and broadcast partners: Miss Universe, Miss Earth and Miss International. 

Here are 5 reasons why it will be very beneficial for BPCI and the country as a whole if they would only have two crowned Binibini titleholders in its yearly edition :

1. More money will be saved by the organization. 

If there are only two main winners instead of six, the BPCI wouldn't have to shell out large amount of cash as its reward for the other four crowned minor pageant titleholders. The money saved, will be used instead for other worthwhile charitable purposes. This way, the organization will be a huge channel of blessing especially to the less fortunate ones who will be the beneficiary. 

2. High-caliber Filipina beauties won't be wasted.

Let's get real. The Binibini candidates only join the pageant because they want to be Miss Universe or perhaps Miss International. They would never aspire for lesser known pageants with dubious credibility. Unfortunately, if the girl will be crowned as a delegate to some minor pageants, she would lose that chance to compete again in the next edition of Binibining Pilipinas, thereby losing the opportunity to have that once in a lifetime experience to be the country's representative for Miss Universe and win it.

Come to think of it. If Pia Wurtzbach and Kylie Verzosa were crowned (and relegated for minor pageants) in their first and second attempts in Binibining Pilipinas, the Philippines would not have seen its third Miss Universe and sixth Miss International winners. 

3. BPCI can focus more on legit pageants that matter.

The minor pageants which have no clear advocacy and social relevance are just simply distractions and a waste of time and money. With only two main winners, the organization would be able to give more attention on our bets who will be competing for the major pageants that are worthy of our time and energy. 

4. Having 6 crowned Binibini winners are too crowded on stage. 

It is indeed an undesirable sight to behold having too many winners on stage. The viewers who are not into pageants will be utterly confused who is the real winner. Having these irrelevant minor titles side by side with the real ones somehow lessen the prestige of the organization. 

5. Binibinis won't be trapped 'forever' in the useless minor pageants and irrelevant beauty titles. 

It is every Binibini's dream to represent the country in the world's most prestigious Miss Universe. Pinay beauties with so much potential to win in Miss Universe in the near future but just relegated to the minor pageants which they never aspired for, would ultimately lose their chance to live their dreams. 

Minor pageants are just merely for entertainment purposes with no worthwhile advocacies that could benefit society. We can still participate but it will be good if the BPCI can just handpick the Binibini. It will definitely be a win-win situation for the girls and the organization considering the reasons mentioned above. 

Only Big 4: Miss Universe, Miss Earth, Miss International and Miss World. 

Friday, October 5, 2018

Philippines Wins its 5th Miss Asia Pacific International Crown

Francielly Ouriques of Brazil crowns her successor Sharifa Areef Mohammad Omar Akeel of the Philippines, Miss Asia Pacific International 2018. Photo credit: Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News. 

Photo credit:

After 25 years, the Philippines had finally won again another Miss Asia Pacific International crown. 

Sharifa Areef Mohammad Omar Akeel, a Muslim Filipina beauty from Sultan Kudarat outshined 49 beauties from around the world and emerged as the winner of Miss Asia Pacific International 2018 during a four-hour coronation finale staged at the Newport Performing Arts Theatre in Pasay City. 

Rounding up Sharifa's court were as follows: Gabriel Palma of Brazil (1st Runner-Up), Melania Gonzales of Costa Rica (2nd Runner-Up), Misheelt Narmandakh of Mongolia (3rd Runner-Up) and Mariani Nataly Chacon Angarita of Venezuela (4th Runner-Up). 

In its 5oth edition, Sharifa joins the roster of other Filipinas who won the said title. She is the fifth Filipina winner after Michelle Aldana (1993), Lorna Legaspi (1989), Gloria Dimayacyac (1983) and Ines Zaragoza (1982) won in their respective years. 

Click the video below to watch Sharifa's full performance. 

                                               Video credit: El Rińcon De La Belleza

Philippines' 5 wins in Miss Asia Pacific International since its inception in 1968.
Photo credit to the owner. 

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Catriona Gray for Sherri Hill

Miss Universe Philippines 2018 Catriona Gray for Sherri Hill. 

The girl who had just been body-shamed last week for being 'fat' is now slaying the runways in New York, USA. Catriona Gray is by far the only Miss Universe candidate this year (apart from Miss USA of course) who was invited to walk for Sherri Hill, a renowned brand of designer gowns and a major sponsor of Miss Universe. 

You can't blame Sherri Hill for inviting her. The girl is simply MARKETABLE and gorgeous. No amount of bashing can put her down.

She will be gracing the event together with the reigning Miss Universe 2017 Demi Leigh Peters and Miss USA 2018 Sarah Rose Summers.  

Keep slayin' Catriona! Good Karma is working on your favor. 

Friday, August 31, 2018

What I Would Like To See in Miss Earth 2018?

Photo credit: gettyimages 

Photo credit: Miss Earth
We knew what happened last year. The Miss Earth 2017 pageant started off with a bang - a month-long preliminary activities which no other major or minor pageant so to speak could easily duplicate in a yearly basis, a classy coronation venue in the Mall of Asia Arena, a warrior-themed opening number which had mesmerised the fans, an awesome, energetic host, and a diverse selection of semi-finalists with a twist. Everyone was awed and seemingly enamoured by how the events had turned up in its first few segments however quite unfortunately, it ended up in a rather disappointing scene that has upset the international pageant community, even up to the present days. Carousel and MEO had crowned once again its own girl in its own turf for the third time in its 17-year history, whose win was not accepted by the majority, whose victory has divided the pageant's followers and fans, whose triumph has caused a massive outburst of negativity and cursing online and whose unconventional beauty has become the constant source of mockery and ridicule among the pageant's perennial bashers and non-believers. As what you have noticed, I have not shared here any photos of the winner's actual coronation since I couldn't find even a single one that is actually pleasing before the eyes of the 'beauty-conscious' international pageant aficionados. The same is true in this year's Miss Earth trailer in which the photos or even a video of the winner's actual coronation has not been included in the ad. And you know the reason why. 
Photo credit: Miss Earth 
We're hoping that this year would be different. We're hoping that the end result of Miss Earth 2018, the debut edition of the pageant will not be that stressful for both the fans and the bashers whose endless bickering online had somehow ripped some part of their humanity and had failed to realize that a pageant was meant for international camaraderie and unity and not just for plain 'business' or profit. We're hoping that soon the Carousel and the Miss Earth Organization, like the legendary Phoenix could somehow rise gorgeously from the ashes of uncertainty and despair brought about by last year's controversial fiasco. 

So from the fan's point of view, here are my Top 5 Wish-list which I would like to see in the stretch of the most relevant, environment-focused pageant in the universe, the earth rather. 

1. Nature-themed Glamshots. Seriously. This has been the never-ending request of the pageant fans which has not been consistently granted by the organisation. Given the pool of talents we have in the Philippines, I bet there are a lot of interested and masterful photographers out there who can efficiently deliver the 'goods' with world-class quality. Quality glamshots are actually beneficial for the pageant itself since fans and even the bashers can't wait to share and spread the message in the Social Media. It will definitely add to the popularity of the pageant especially if the 'marketing team' of the organisation knows how to use them. 

2. A better venue for the preliminaries. It doesn't have to be glamorous and expensive. But please, hold it in a place where it is not crowded and where there is more space for the delegates to move around and strutt their respective performances which they have been arduously preparing for months just to impress the judges. You can make the venue simple yet 'presentable'. 

3. Superb Coronation Night production. Last year was by far the best. It was at par with the world's best. Just remind the camera man though to focus on the delegates. The rest was impressive! Keep it up!

4. International jury of well-experienced judges. The judges should have a reputable background in the entertainment and fashion industry because they know exactly how to choose someone who has a 'superstar' quality who could not only further the causes of the organisation but also has the natural ability and the charm to attract more people towards the organisation. Please enough of those ambassadors and politicians who knew nothing about pageantry! More often than not, they choose the wrong girl for the crown. As much as possible get rid of Filipino judges as well to avoid accusations of being biased towards the Pinay delegate. You know, reputation and integrity are incredibly important and priceless!

5. A GODDESS winner in every sense of the word. The winner is the face of the pageant organisation so it is just fitting and logical that she should be BEAUTIFUL in and out. Not just a mere beauty who is only appreciated by a certain group of people but rather one who is 'universally' appealing, one who is liked and has the support of the majority, one who has the 'charm' that by just 'seeing' her, people are already convinced and mesmerised. So that by the time that she opens her mouth and speaks, people are interested to listen to her. Because as a beauty queen, how can you attract people to pay attention to your advocacies if you don't have the charisma? How can you convince people if they don't want to listen to you in the first place? 

So this is very crucial. The organisation needs to step in and crown the right girl fitted for the crown. 

In this connection, I would like to present some gorgeous nominees for the Miss Earth 2018 crown, who I believe that with their God-given gift of beauty and wisdom, they would be able to do the job of a Miss Earth titleholder exceedingly well. These are my early favorites and the list can change especially that other countries have not announced their bets yet. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Special Feature: The Asian Miss Universe Winners (1959 - 2015)

The Asian Miss Universe winners (19

*This blogpost was published last June 7, 2016.

Since the birth of Miss Universe in 1952, only a few Asians have managed to win and wear its most prestigious crown. Now let's take a look at some of the best women in Asia who were able to conquer and were once named, the most beautiful  in the universe. Let's start with Akiko Kujima of Japan. 

Note: I have excluded Israel and Lebanon in the group. 

Akiko Kujima - Miss Universe 1959

1. Miss Universe 1959 - Akiko Kojima of Japan - She is legendary for being the first Japanese and the first Asian to win the title of Miss Universe in 1959. Standing at 5'7'' tall, Akiko who was 22 years-old that time, bested 33 other contestants during the 8th edition of Miss Universe staged in Long Beach, California, USA. She was crowned by the outgoing titleholder, Luz Marina Zuluaga of Colombia. Akiko settled into a quiet married life after her reign. She is now 80 years old and presently lives in Tokyo, Japan. 

Apasra Hongsakula - Miss Universe 1965 

2. Miss Universe 1965 - Apasra Hongsakula of Thailand - She is the first Thai national who won the coveted Miss Universe crown contested in Miami Beach, Florida, USA. Apasra outshined 56 other delegates from around the world and succeeded Corinna Tsopei of Greece. 

She was raised in Bangkok, but was sent to learn English at a girls' secondary school in Penang, Malaysia. After her reign as Miss Universe, Apasra married a first cousin of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit by whom she has a son. The marriage ended long ago in divorce, but she remains a revered social figure in the country. 

Apasra is now 69 years old, and currently manages her own spa - Apasra Beauty and Slimming Spa. 

Gloria Diaz - Miss Universe 1969 

3. Miss Universe 1969 - Gloria Diaz of Philippines - She is the first titleholder of the three Filipino Miss Universe winners to date. She is legendary for her wit and natural humor especially in answering nerve-racking questions, which many believed to be her edge in winning the Miss Universe crown in 1969 defeating 50 other international beauty delegates in Miami Beach, Florida, USA. 

Shortly after her reign as Miss Universe ended, Diaz pursued an acting career in the Philippines, and for several decades now, she's been considered a brilliant actress within the world of Philippine cinema and television. She has starred in numerous movies as well as soap operas and has won quite a number of prestigious acting awards.

Diaz is now 65 years old and is happily residing in the Philippines. 

Margarita Moran - Miss Universe 1973 

4. Miss Universe 1973 - Margarita Moran of Philippines - Four years after the Philippines won its first Miss Universe crown, the country has captured its second win when Margarita Moran (the grand daughter of the Philippines' former President Manuel Roxas) was hailed as the winner during the 22nd edition of Miss Universe held in Athens, Greece. 

Two years after her reign, she married and managed to finish her Business Administration degree at Maryknoll College and Boston University, and took her masters at the University of London. Moran is also notable for her social and civic works especially for promoting peace and livelihood projects as part of the Mindanao Commission on Women Organization and recently as an ambassador-trustee of Habitat for Humanity Philippines. 

Her passion and experience as a dancer at the age of 18, prompt her to promote arts and culture with Southern Philippines Foundation for Arts, Culture and Ecology. She is now busy running the over-all operations of Ballet Philippines. 

Porntip Nakhirunkanok - Miss Universe 1988 

5. Miss Universe 1988 - Porntip Nakhirunkanok of Thailand - Porntip is the second and so far the last Thai woman to have won the Miss Universe crown in 1988. The 1988 pageant was notable for the fact that four of the top 5 finalists were Asians with Porntip as the winner, followed Korea, Mexico, Japan and Hongkong. Raised and educated in the USA, Porntip is fluent in the English language and her communication skills were commendable. She impressed the judges so much during the interview portion that she swept the competition, becoming the clear winner of the evening. 

Porntip is well known in Thailand for her charity work, especially her effort to help the victims of the 2004 Tsunami where she built 100 new homes, a fleet of boats and new schools. Her Charity is known as Angels Wings Foundation which aims to build and fund schools and orphanages as well as supply healthcare and other support for the underprivileged children in Thailand.

Sushmita Sen - Miss Universe 1994 

6. Miss Universe 1994 - Sushmita Sen of India - She made history as the first Indian woman who won Miss Universe since the pageant's inception. She wasn't the early favorite to win during her time, however when the final's night came, she impressed the judges with her elegant grace and stature and eventually outshone all her competitors with her wit and intelligence during the nerve-racking question-and-answer portion. She edged out 76 other delegates from around the world and was rightfully crowned the winner during the 1994 edition of Miss Universe held in Manila, Philippines. That same year, her fellow beauty queen Aishwarya Rai won Miss World 1994.

After she completed her reign, Sush as she's fondly called, went to pursue Bollywood and rose to stardom. 

Miss Universe 2000 - Lara Dutta 

7. Miss Universe 2000 - Lara Dutta of India - Barely 6 years after the victory of Sushmita Sen, another Indian beauty conquered the universe in the person of Lara Dutta and has only been the delegate from India to win the crown since. Before competing Miss Universe in 2000, Lara had her first taste of triumph in the world of pageantry overseas when she clinched the title of Miss Intercontinental in 1997, a minor international beauty pageant held annually. 

At Miss Universe 2000 in Cyprus, Lara achieved the highest score in the swimsuit competition and her finalist interview score was the highest individual score in any category in the history of the Miss Universe contest, as her interview saw a majority of the judges giving her the maximum 9.99 mark. In the same year, Priyanka Chopra and Dia Mirza won their respective Miss World and Miss Asia-Pacific titles which gave India a rare triple victory in beauty pageants. 

Riyo Mori - Miss Universe 2007 

8. Miss Universe 2007 - Riyo Mori of Japan - She is the second Japanese to win the title of Miss Universe after Akiko Kujima first clinched the title in 1959. In the last round during the competition, Riyo was asked by Elle magazine fashion director and Project Runway judge Nina Garcia to speak about the one lesson she learned as a child that still affects her life. Mori said that since childhood she has been dancing and hence she was constantly surrounded by students and teachers. Due to the interactions with them, she has learned to become always happy, patient and positive in her life. She also expressed her desire to teach these principles to the next generation. 

Riyo was the third Japanese to place in the top five at Miss Universe in the past decade. Miyako Miyazaki placed fourth runner-up at Miss Universe 2003 and Riyo's predecessor Kurara Chibana was first runner-up in 2006. Riyo aims to use her success and popularity as a springboard into humanitarian causes. "I think I have a samurai soul, I'm very patient, and I can serve others." 

Pia Wurtzbach - Miss Universe 2015 

9. Miss Universe 2015 - Pia Wurtzback of Philippines - She is the reigning Miss Universe and currently the third Filipina to be named Miss Universe, after a four-year consecutive top five finish of her predecessors since 2010. Her unconventional win became a world-wide trend when the host Steve Harvey mistakenly announced Pia's first runner-up as the winner.

It was also that same year when three other Filipinas have also won their respective beauty pageants overseas which give the Philippines the rarest multiple victory in pageantry. Angelia Ong became the third Filipina to be crowned Miss Earth during the Miss Earth 2015 edition in Vienna Austria. Ann Colis bagged the Miss Globe 2015 crown in Canada while Leren Mae Bautista won the main title of Miss Tourism Queen of the Year 2015 in Malaysia. 

Pia is set to relinquish her crown in Manila, Philippines where the 65th edition of Miss Universe beauty pageant will be contested on January 29, 2017 (January 30 in Manila). Will there be an Asian domination again this time? Well, let's see. 

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.