In general  the results of this year’s Binibining Pilipinas was satisfying.  But still there was room for surprises and shockers.  From my “Fearful” forecast, I got 10 out of 15 of the eventual semifinalists, and three “bubbling under” choices.  Two that I didn’t get were Binibining 5 (Riana Agatha Pangilinan) and Binibining 9 (Roshiela Tobias).   One proved to be a refreshing choice and the other remained to be a headscratcher–which is which, more on that on my full-fledged review.

Surprises (L-R): Bb. 5 Riana Pangindian and Bb. 9 Roshiela Tobias

There are six standout candidates that frustratingly failed to make the cut.  First, the third attempt is unfortunately not the charm for Binibining 39 (Sissel Ria Rabajante)–and this is already her final hurrah in the pageant realm.  Then there was one who previously made the cut six years ago, but in her next attempt since that feat, was not able to duplicate it–Binibining 35 (Mariela Santiago)–it is observed the contributing to her missing the cut was her less-than-buffed figure and, as Nick Verreos observed, her otherwise decent simple blue satin gown didn’t really fit and the adjustments made were obvious.  Being hyped to make the cut because of her background as a medical doctor, Binibining 3 (Angela Lauren Fernando) at least had the consolation of winning a special award; but I did expect that she might fall short if we examine her facial features and figure.

Ruth Ocumarez finalists: Bb. 39 Sissel Ria Rabajante, Bb. 3 Angela Lauren Fernando, and Bb. 35 Mariella Castillo

Many pageant fans and pundits were betting on Binibining 14 (Paula Rich Bartolome) and Binibining 36 (Maria Gigante) to make it, but both were shock boots.  It’s still a bit mystifying why they fell short, but it’s not without trying.  Paula was more of a choice by several pageant bloggers and experts, while Maria has a significantly vocal fanbase clamoring for her.

Ruth Ocumarez runners-up (L-R): 1st runner-up Bb. 36 (Maria Gigante) and Bb. 14 (Paula Rich Bartolome)

But the winner of the Ruth Ocumarez Award is Binibining 7 (Angelique de Leon).  Many pageant fans and pundits (including myself) were enamored with her native exoticism and sex appeal and sincerely believed she could be a title shoo-in, and her performance seemed to be faultless.  But unfortunately just like her stint two years ago, she missed the final cut.  I did have some concerns that perhaps she was projecting a bit too sexily (like in her bootylicious talent performance), but I thought she was restrained and classy enough to overcome those potential objections.  It’s such a tough break for her…

07 Ruth Ocumarez winner
Ruth Ocumarez Awardee: Bb. 7 Angelique de Leon

I’ll discuss more about the Royal Court in my full-fledged review but I have to say I’m generally optimistic that we can keep up with the lofty standards set by last year’s queens–I don’t foresee a steep dip like what happened two years ago.  Congratulations to the winners!



The Royal Court (L-R): 1st runner-up Bb. 38 Angelica Alita, Bb. Pilipinas – Globe Bb. 28 Nichole Manalo, Bb. Pilipinas – Supranational Bb. 13 Joanna Eden, Miss Universe Philippines Bb. 29 Maxine Medina, Bb. Pilipinas – International Bb. 31 Kylie Versoza, Bb. Pilipinas – Intercontinental Bb. 26 Jennifer Hammond, Bb. Pilipinas – Grand International Bb. 11 Nicole Cordoves, and 2nd runner-up Bb. 37 Jehza Huelar