Rachel Peters leads 2017 Binibining Pilipinas Roster of Winners
Report: Arvin Matuguinas Cabachete, Media Correspondent
Managing Editor: Raymund Thom Golez
Photos: JR Noses | Chief Photojournalist & Photo Editor
SAVANNAH, Georgia – The much-awaited coronation night of Binibining Pilipinas 2017 last Sunday, April 30, 2017 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum was considered a blast. Twenty-five years old half-Filipino, half-British lass, Rachel Peters won the Miss Universe Philippines 2017 crown. Rachel, who represented the Province of Camarines Sur has the task of continuing the seven (7) year consecutive placements of the Philippines in the Miss Universe pageant, wherein the Philippines recently bagged it’s third Miss Universe crown in 2015 courtesy of Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach.
Rachel completed her International Baccalaureate at the British School in Phuket, Thailand, and graduated with a Bachelors degree in Business, Tourism and Events from La Trobe University in Australia
During the nerve-wracking question-and-answer round, Rachel was asked about her message to the world leaders who visited the recent ASEAN Summit held over the weekend in Manila, Philippines. She answered: “I believe that one of the biggest problems that our country faces today is divisiveness – in politics, in religion, and also in culture. And I believe that it’s something that is the same across the world. And so that is something I would want to address. I believe that when people can learn to tolerate each other’s differences and respect each other’s opinions, then we will be a stronger nation and world.”
Her response to the question cemented her as a top favorite to win by most pageant aficionados and even former beauty queens who were at the live event that night. Apart from the crown, she also bagged the Face of Binibini (Most Photogenic), Best in Swimsuit and JAG Denim Queen special awards.
Pageant repeater Maria Angelica “Mariel” De Leon of Las Pinas City won the Binibining Pilipinas International 2017 crown. She first joined the Golden batch of Bb. Pilipinas in 2013 where she was included among the Top 15 finalists. She will represent the Philippines in the upcoming Miss International pageant in Japan and has the goal to win the back to back victory for the first time, if ever, in the pageant’s 57th year of staging, wherein the reigning Miss International is Kylie Verzosa from the Philippines.
Mariel is the daughter of renowned seasoned actors Christopher De Leon and Sandy Andolong. The judges was impressed by the Cary Santiago gown she wore during the coronation, thus earning her the Best in Evening gown award.
Four other queens were also crowned in the pageant’s 5-hour run. And they were as follows: Binibining Pilipinas Supranational 2017 is the 26-year old Chanel Olive Thomas of Nueva Ecija. She will compete in the 2016 Miss Supranational pageant to be held in Europe later this year. Binibining Pilipinas Grand International 2017 is Elizabeth Durado Clenci of Mandaue City, Cebu. Clenci will be challenged to surpass the first runner up placement of Nicole Cordoves in the Thai-based pageant, Miss Grand International. Binibining Pilipinas Intercontinental 2017 is Katarina Rodriguez of Davao. Her task is to win the first Miss Intercontinental crown that many Filipinos have waiting for. Binibining Pilipinas Globe 2017 is the Tarlaquena beauty, Nelda Ibe, who also works as a cadet pilot. She is set to compete in The Miss Globe 2017 pageant.
Flight attendant, Charmaine Elima of Binangonan, Rizal and Dentist, Kristel Guelos of Tanauan City, Batangas were adjudged First and Second Runners Up, respectively.
Completing the Top 15 finalists were Jehza Huelar, Sirene Sutton, Larah Grace Lacap, Camille Manalo, Christagale Borja, Gabriela Ortega, and Juliana Kapeundl who won the People’s Choice Award.
The complete list of special awards winners were as follows:
Miss Friendship, Chanel Olive Thomas
Face of Binibini (Miss Photogenic), Rachel Peters
Miss Talent, Dane Felisse Marasigan
Best in National Costume, Chanel Olive Thomas (designed by Edwin Uy)
Manila Bulletin Reader’s Choice, Christagale Borja
Jag Denim Queen, Rachel Peters
Miss Philippine Airlines, Katarina Rodriguez
Miss Creamsilk, Maria Angelica De Leon
This year’s pageant marks a number of firsts in its 54-year history. From the 40 contestants, the semifinalists was narrowed to 25 semifinalists and the winner of the fan votes via text will receive the People’s Choice Award that will make her the last to be called in the Top 15. The pageant was themed “Game of Crowns” which depicts the toughness of the competition not to mention the new format selection of finalists that the pageant adopted for the first time.
The coronation night was hosted by actor Xian Lim and Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach, along with Venus Raj. The presence of R&B singer Jay-R and The Voice finalists Jason Dy and Daryl made the swimsuit round even hotter. Teen idol Daniel Padilla also serenaded the girls in the evening gown competition.