BINIBINING 18 – Crissa Marie Mendiola. Her key advantage is that she’s the tallest candidate in this year’s batch. But in other aspects, she falls short compared to other contenders out there. U – 7, I – 6.5, S – 7, IC – 7.5, TQI – 6.5.
BINIBINING 19 – Christi Lynn McGarry. If there is one who could usurp Pia’s dreams for the Universe title, it would most likely going to be this lady as arguably she is the best fit for the title amongst this year’s candidates. She has the height, the dusky complexion, the outgoing personality, and the communication skills to make a major splash and probably even restore our Top Five standing there. As a bonus, she already has international pageant experience as she won Mutya ng Pilipinas five years ago and actually made the Top 15 in Miss Intercontinental (with a Continental Queen title for Asia & Pacific to boot). So she’s ineligible for the Intercontinental title since she already competed there, but prospects of her garnering a creamier prize is definitely within reach. U – 10, I – 9.5, S – 9.5, TQI – 9.5.
BINIBINING 20 – Tanya Angelina Hyde. Face-wise, she may not be much, but she has a buffed figure and she knows how to talk about matters of fitness especially since she’s a yoga instructor. If there is not much weight on facial beauty she can make serious inroads. U – 8.5, I – 7.5, S – 7.5, IC – 8.5, TQI – 7.
BINIBINING 21 – Alaiza Flor Malinao. I think she’s reasonably attractive and exotic enough to appeal in the international arena. There are pageant fans and pundits raving about her and rating her as having an inside track into the finals. Me, I’m more rating her as a semifinalist contender, but then again, that’s what I thought about Ara Arida two years ago and look where she ended up. U – 8.5, I – 8, S – 8.5, IC – 9, TQI – 8.
BINIBINING 22 – Anja-Vanessa Peter. There are certain angles where she reminds me of Gwendoline Ruais when she competed in this pageant five years ago (before moving on the following year to become Miss World 2011 1st runner-up) albeit not as sharp and prominent as Gwen’s facial features could be.. Being half-German, she does have European pedigree like Gwendoline, but lacking her presence. U – 8, I – 8.5, S – 8, IC – 8.5, TQI – 8.5.
BINIBINING 23 – Justine Beatrice Felizarta. There is something about the features of this Vancouver-raised lady that I like that I regard her as a possible sleeper possibility for the finals. Remember that Miss International 2013 Bea Rose Santiago has a similar background and attributes as this lady so she could be one to consider… U – 9, I – 9.5, S – 9, IC – 9, TQI – 9.5.
BINIBINING 24 – Ann Lorraine Colis. There are a lot of pageant fans and pundits rallying around her corner, but oddly enough though I find her good looking, I don’t quite respond as well to her as much as say, the less-heralded Justine Felizarta. Anyway, she’ll be someone I’ll also be watching out for. U – 8.5, I – 8.5, S – 8.5, IC – 8.5, TQI – 8.5.
BINIBINING 25 – Rogelie Catacutan. This well regarded Miss World Philippines 2011 semifinalist looks poised to be a possible usurper for one of the titles over some perceived favorites. She has all the qualities to garner one of the titles, but there are other highly heralded bets in contention. Will her turn come this time, or in another time? U – 9, I – 9.5, S – 9, IC – 9, TQI – 9.5.
BINIBINING 26 – Anabel Christine Tia. She seems more polished than when she competed int his pageant last year, but still it will be an uphill batle for her to make the final cut. U – 7, S – 7, IC – 7, TQI – 7.
BINIBINING 27 – Ina Dominica Guerrero. This Miss World Philippines 2014 semifinalist looks poised to make a similar showing in this pageant, as the same qualities that made her successful in that pageant–trim figure, strong stage presence, and appealingly exotic looks–are at play here. U – 9, I – 8.5, S – 9.5, IC – 9.5, TQI – 8.5.
BINIBINING 28 – Hannah Ruth Sison. What I’m noticing more and more about her is her gift of gab, and this could be a quality that could help her garner a title this time. U – 9, S – 8.5, IC – 8.5, TQI – 8.5.
BINIBINING 29 – Nancy Lee Leonard. She competed with Kimverlyn Suiza at Miss Philippines-Earth two years ago and garnered Miss Philippines – Water to Kimverlyn’s Miss Philippines-Air. When Kimverlyn decided to compete at this pageant last year before relinquishing her title., this lady was then promoted to Kimverlyn’s position. As much as Kimverlyn is owed a semifinal slot from last year’s shut-out, I have a feeling this lady will have a more successful shot at it than Kimverlyn this time around. U – 8.5, I – 9, S – 9, IC – 8.5, TQI – 9.
BINIBINING 30 – Patricia Lae Ejercitado. She is always a well regarded contender, having competed in this pageant in 2010 and 2012 (placing in the semifinals in the latter year) and at Miss World Philippines in 2013 (with a semifinals placement). She is likely to again place in the semifinals, though it’s a challenge for her to garner a title as there are more highly heralded ones who are likely to clinch them. U – 8.5, S – 9, IC – 9, TQI – 8.5.
BINIBINING 31 – Mia Allyson Howell. She is one of those ladies who is not being buzzed about but I think she has the looks to be an underrated gem. U – 8, I – 8, S – 8, IC – 8, TQI – 8.
BINIBINING 32 – Danita Joan Ruazol. Her native features may be deemed beautiful in the real-world sense, and adequately attractive in the pageant sense, but she is also not garnering buzz so it’s an uphill battle for her to make the final cut. U – 7, I – 7, S – 7, IC – 7, TQI – 7.
BINIBINING 33 – Namrata Neesha Murjani. There are some flattering angles, but this lady doesn’t have the spark of, say, Bb. Pilipinas Tourism 2014 Parul Shah. Still, she is a worthwhile candidate. U – 7, I – 7, S – 7, IC – 7, TQI – 7.
BINIBINING 34 – Teresita Ssen “Win-Wyn” Marquez. This lady possessed showbiz pedigree as she’s the daughter of actor-politicians Alma Moreno and Joey Marquez, making her the niece of Miss International 1979 Melanie Marquez. With that kind of pedigree she is hyped to high heavens as one of the front-runners for one of the titles, most likely Miss International (just like her legendary aunt). In the likely scenario that she wins the Miss International title, will she bring forth our sixth crown in that pageant? One thing I have to note that unlike her statuesque aunt, she is officially declared as 5’6″ tall, generally on the short side in today’s pageant standards. She does have the good looks and presence, and, well, a relatively short height did not deter Precious Lara Quigaman from winning 10 years ago. But for her to duplicate Lara’s feat there are a particular set of circumstances that need to be met for that feat to be realized, and it’s far from guaranteed that those particular set of conditions would be repeated. Still, she can restore our semifinals standing in that pageant. U – 8.5, I – 9.5, S – 9, IC – 9, TQI – 9.
Now that all 34 candidates are accounted for here’s my “fearful” forecast on how it will all be played out:
TITLE-HOLDERS: 10, 11, 19, 28, 34
RUNNERS-UP/POSSIBLE USURPERS: 12, 25
SEMIFINALISTS: 6, 17, 21, 23, 24, 27, 29, 30
BUBBLING UNDER: 3, 4, 8, 13, 14, 20, 22, 31
With this year being a battle of the seasoned veterans, I can see that some will savor and achieve much deserved vindication, while others will inevitably taste painfully bitter defeat. I’m bracing myself for upsets in the offing. There is going to be serious drama this coming coronation night, which could be exciting but could also generate outrage. Let’s see what fate has behold on Sunday night.