CANDIDATE NO. 41 – Ariella Arida.  Ara is actually one of the more attractive faces in this batch, though there are some angles where her features may seem angular.  She could be a possible semifinalist.  U – 8; I – 8.5; T – 8.5; S – 8

CANDIDATE NO. 42 – Jacqueline Alexandra Mayoralgo.  Jam could’ve made more serious inroads if the year was, say, 2006.  But with a host of stronger options out there, she is likely to be overlooked.  But she’s attractive enough and articulate enough to make a positive impression.  U – 7; I – 7; S – 7; T – 7

CANDIDATE NO. 43 – Rhea Nakpil.  Here is also another underrated gem who deserves more buzz than she is currently receiving.  She tried her luck in the GMA 7 reality show Starstruck and it shows with how polished she sounded in her video profile.  There might be some angles that are not as flattering, but she could be a sleeper possibility into the finals.  U – 8; I – 8.5; T – 8.5; S – 8.

CANDIDATE NO. 44 – Gabrielle Monique Runnstrom.  If the composition of the panel of judges are predominantly non-Filipino, they might gravitate to this girl especially with those almond shaped eyes.  Just like Yvette Mildenberger and Sofia Mustonen, there is a European inflection in the way she speaks.  U – 7.5; I – 8; T – 7.5; W – 7.5

CANDIDATE NO. 45 – Imelda Schweighart.  Her half-German heritage gave her classically pretty Caucasian features with a luminous white complexion that is prized in these shores.  She is one of the prettiest faces in this competition, and so she could potentially be a good fit for International.  Sure, her 5’6″ height might be a bit of a caveat, but then again, remember that Miss International 2005 Precious Lara Quigaman is also of that height, too.  U – 7.5; I – 9; T – 8; S – 8.

CANDIDATE NO. 46 – Amanda Noelle Navasero.  She exudes the vibe of a Cosmopolitan Lady, except that her English diction is surprisingly very Filipino (unlike the flawless diction of the four previous members of the Cosmopolitan Ladies Club).  She could be another sleeper possibility for the semifinals.  U – 8; I – 7.5; T – 7.5; S – 8

CANDIDATE NO. 47 – Aiyanna Camille Mikiewicz.   With her flawless English, she is another member of the Cosmopolitan Ladies Club.  She is very pretty, but I think her figure is not as toned as most candidates out there, so it would be an uphill battle for her to make the final cut.  U – 7; I – 8; T – 7.5; S – 7

CANDIDATE NO. 48 – Angeli Dione Gomez.  This Cebuana is another Cosmopolitan Lady who is an excellent communicator judging from her video profile.  Could she parlay her interview skills to edge out other favorites out there?  U – 7; I – 7; T – 7; S – 7.

CANDIDATE NO. 49 – Herlie Kim Artugue.  She is an interesting mix of exotic with great gift of gab, and there is a bit of drama in her video profile as she emotionally related the tale of how she had to skip a year of college due to family hardship, but she went back and graduated cum laude.  There are pageant fans and pundits who would peg her as a sleeper choice for the semifinals.  U – 7.5; I – 7; T – 7; S – 7.5

CANDIDATE NO. 50 – Maria Cristina Ann Pascual.  Just like Imee Schweighart and Aiyanna Mikiewicz, she is blessed with very fair complexion and pretty features.  There are pageant fans and pundits who have a high regard for her so she could end up becoming one of the semifinalists.  U – 7.5; I – 8.5; T – 8; S – 8

All images courtesy of Raymond Saldana and Owen Reyes for Bb. Pilipinas, and Edmund Chua and Jory Rivera for OPMB Worldwide unless otherwise indicated.

Now that all 50 candidates are all accounted for, here is my “fearful” forecast on who will make the final cut:

TOP 5:  1, 15, 20, 33, 34

TOP 15:  13, 16, 19, 27, 28, 31, 36, 39, 45, 50

BUBBLING UNDER:  2, 3, 5, 8, 12, 24, 26, 37, 41, 43, 46, 48, 49

I have to say whoever will be crowned Miss Universe Philippines would have an extremely heavy load to carry on her shoulders–the pressure is on to continue the upward trajectory set by the triumvirate of Venus, Shamcey, and Janine, to finally win that long awaited third Miss Universe crown.  To be blunt I’m not that confident that we will finally win that Miss Universe crown this year based on what I observed about this year’s batch, but I’ll be satisfied as long as we make the semifinals.  Whatever the case, best of luck to this year’s candidates!



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