Report by Arvin Cabachete
Photos by JR Noses
Forty contestants from all over the Philippines are vying to be the next Bb. Pilipinas queens. The candidates are formally presented to the members of the press, sponsors and past beauty queens yesterday, April 4, at Novotel Manila Araneta Center.
The Binibinis paraded themselves wearing a two-piece swimsuit creation by Domz Ramos and shoes by Jojo Bragais. Instead of calling them by numbers, Bb. Pilipinas Charities Inc. (BPCI) decided to use a sash indicating their hometown or place of origin. This is a first time in Binibini history.
This year’s pageant theme is “Beyond Beauty:” According to Annie Alejo (PR Manager of BPCI), the Binibinis are not just a typical beauty queens. They have the capabilities and talents that can inspire others. Some of the contestants are models, flight attendants and performers who have their own stories to tell and advocacies to promote.
Same with the past years, the ladies will have the chance to win these crowns: Miss Universe Philippines, Bb. Pilipinas International, Bb. Pilipinas Intercontinental, Bb. Pilipinas Supranational, Bb. Pilipinas Globe and Bb. Pilipinas Grand International.
Last year’s winners produced two international crowns. Catriona Gray won the Philippines’ 4th Miss Universe and Karen Gallmann snatched our first ever Miss Intercontinental crown.
Present at the event are some of the reigning queens of Bb. Pilipinas such as Jehza Huelar (Bb. Pilipinas Supranational), Ahtisa Manalo (Bb. Pilipinas International) and Michelle Gumabao (Bb. Pilipinas Globe).
Huelar was impressed by the transformation of this year’s contestants from the date of screening.
“Talagang na appreciate ko ang transformation nila. Ang daming magaganda. Marami pang activities ang mga Binibini at malalaman natin along the way kung sino ang deserving. Kasi hindi ito one-time event or one-day event na basta basta mo lang pipiliin ang winner. Kelangan talaga dumaan sa proseso para makilala natin ang mga Binibini at deserving sa spot nila,” Huelar addressed to the press.
Manalo is eyeing for five contestants who might get the Bb. Pilipinas International crown.
“At least five ata silang na pedeng maging Miss International and if even you put them ngayon on international stage, they would do well. It’s very hard. This batch ang pinakamahirap piliin is Miss International,” Manalo said during the interview.
Here are the 40 contestants who have the chance to fill Catriona Gray’s shoes:
You can catch these Binibini on May 25 during the Parade of Beauties around Araneta Center and on May 29 for the fashion show that will be held at New Frontier Theater. Coronation night will be on June 9 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.