There’s an ongoing stereotype that beauty pageants are all about looks, not smarts. All thanks to Miss Congeniality starring Sandra Bullock, I must admit that I was one of those people who never understood the existence of them. The fictional “Miss United States” pageant showcased extravagant set designs, enchanting music and pretty girls in bikinis and evening gowns. Although the movie replicates what is seen on the surface, the true meaning of beauty pageants isn’t explained. My experience at Binibining Pilipinas 2016 taught me that there’s so much more to a nice body and a pretty face. Thank you to Tita Mafae Belasco of Mafae Management and Nico Belasco of Nico Belasco Photography for taking me to this event 🙂
To no surprise, Binibining Pilipinas is one of the most awaited beauty pageants in the whole world. Why? Filipinos are the greatest fans ever. With that said, many former beauty queens have come to watch the coronation night (Tita Mafae and my mentor, Tita Patty Betita included). Nico knew everyone at the back of his head. Whenever a new person arrived, he told me their name, their title and even the year they won it.
MJ Lastimosa – Bb Pilipinas Universe 2014
Ann Umali – Bb. Pilipinas World 2009
L-R: (Mafae Belasco – Bb Pilipinas World 2003, Karen Agustin-Ostrea – Bb Universe 2002 )
Bb. Pilipinas International Pat Fernandez being interviewed by MJ Lastimosa
Hanna Ruth-Sison – 1st Runner Up
Jonas Gaffud – Beauty Queen Maker and Trainer of Pia
L-R: (Venus Raj – Bb Pilipinas Universe 2010, Arielle Arida – Bb Pilipinas Universe 2013, Ann Colis – Bb Pilipinas Miss Globe)
L-R: (Miss Universe Myanmar 2015, Miss Universe Malaysia 2015)
Olivia Jordan – Miss Universe USA 2015, First Runner Up
So here’s how it works. There are three sections: (1) Swimsuits, (2), Evening gowns and (3) Question and Answer. The top fifteen are selected to go through the final round and six winners are chosen as well as first and second runner up. In my opinion, the most entertaining was the question and answer portion. It was then I realized that beauty pageants celebrate peace and confidence. These contestants have been helping the community by visiting various organizations that try to put an end to poverty. They are also role models for the youth, following Pia Wurtzbach’s advocacy: “Confidently Beautiful with a Heart”.
And here are the winners:
Miss Universe Philippines 2016 – Maxine Medina
Bb Pilipinas International 2016 – Kylie Verzosa
Bb Pilipinas Supranational 2016 – Joanna Eden
Bb Pilipinas Intercontinental 2016 – Jennifer Hammond
Bb Pilipinas Globe 2016 – Nichole Manalo
Bb Pilipinas Grand International 2016 – Nicole Cordoves
Pia Wurtzbach – Miss Universe 2015
Filipinas dominate the beauty pageant world. Either big or small, pageants in this country come left, right and center. I just never paid attention to them because I didn’t feel the need to. To some extent, there’s no reason for me to continue following the events in this industry. I can’t even wrap my head around the purpose of pageants and the role of a beauty queen. What’s the job of each Bb Winner? What do they do during their reign? How do they inspire others? These unanswered questions leave me hanging on the edge of my seat. Each of the six people are chosen for a reason, and I’m curious to know what they plan to do and if they will deliver. Who knows? Beauty queens may possibly change the world for the better, solving one global crisis at a time. This is why, in the months to come, I’ll be rooting for Maxine Medina in this year’s Miss Universe. Binibining Pilipinas is another prime example that taught me to never judge a book by it’s cover. Underneath all the sparkle are hard-working and inspiring young ladies who train for countless hours leading up to this annual event. I have no idea how they do it – and i’m left speechless.