Before I begin my reaction to the results, let me start by sharing my feelings along with the multitude of pageant fans out there about the choice of winner for Miss Universe Philippines:

This is one of those few occasions where the powers-that-be seemed to heed the public’s clamor and crowned Catriona Gray as Miss Universe Philippines.  The other ladies who garnered titles have been highly buzzed about and worthy, so my elation also extends to their worthy selection.  The choice of winners are almost unimpeachable and unquestionable.   I’ll discuss about them in my full-fledged review.

I got 19 out of the Top 25, with two in my “Bubbling Under” list.  Actually it was a challenge for me to limit by “Bubbling Under” list to five as there are other worthy choices out there–two who were actually in my radar were Binibining 8 (Sherry Ann Tormes), 9 (Agatha Lei Romero) and 13 (Kristie Rose Cequeña).  Their presence in the Top 25 were not that surprising.

Worthy in the Top 25: Binibining 8 (Sherry Ann Tormes), 9 (Agatha Lei Romero), and 13 (Kristie Rose Cequena)

A little bit outside of my radar was Binibining 21 (Anjame Magbitang).  Yes, she has a big edge that she is the tallest girl in this year’s batch, even towering over the Divine Miss Gray, and she has a trim figure, but to my eyes she’s overrated, especially in the evening gown round–I’ll discuss that further in my full-fledged review.

Semi-headscratcher: Binibining 21 (Anjame Magbitang)

Now, for my Ruth Ocumarez award:  Since all the big favorites actually made the Top 25 at the very least, I’ll give this award to someone who I feel was way underrated and missed the cut:  Binibining 33 (Stephanie Joy Abellanida).  I thought she had the looks and communication skills to make the Top 25 at least, but well, to the eyes of the judges and powers-that-be, she probably needs a bit more polishing.  I’m rooting for her to succeed in the future.

Ruth Ocumarez Awardee: Binibining 33 (Stephanie Joy Abellanida)

Everyone expected Binibining 23 (Ena Velasco) to figure within the winners’ circle, but she failed to advance beyond the Top 25.  We’ll dissect what might have caused her to be shut out of the Top 15.

Held back to Top 25: Binibining 23 (Ena Velasco)

Meanwhile  it was expected that Binibining 35 (Sandra Lemonon) and most especially Binibining 11 (Aya Abesamis) were supposed to be guaranteed spots in the winners’ circle, but both fell short.  In the case of Sandra, it was the case of a question that she was not prepared for, while in teh case of Aya, though she answered decently, it wasn’t enough as others gave stronger answers.  Again we’ll dissect these further in my full-fledged review.

Out of the winners’ circle: Binibining 35 (Sandra Lemonon) and 11 (Aya Abesamis)

I’m very bullish at our prospects in the international pageant arena this year with this year’s set of winners.  Most of them are now the prohibitive favorites to win or at least place high in their respective pageants.  Kudos for BPCI and the judges for choosing excellently, and congratulations to all the winners!



The winners’ circle, from L-R: 2nd runner-up Bb. 14 (Samantha Bernardo), Bb. Pilipinas- Globe Bb. 19 (Michele Gumabao), Bb. Pilipinas – Grand International Bb. 32 (Eva Psychee Patalinjug), Miss Universe Philippines Bb. 20 (Catriona Gray), Bb. Pilipinas – International Bb. 17 (Maria Ahtisa Manalo), Bb. Pilipinas – Supranational Bb. 31 (Jehza Huelar), Bb. Pilipinas – Intercontinental Bb. 38 (Karen Gallman), and 1st runner-up Bb. 1 (Vickie Marie Rushton)



    1. Unfortunately this could be her last. She’s 26. Unless she can stretch it and join again and the only pageant she’ll qualify is Miss Universe and nothing else. It will be a big risk if she tries again next year because it’s Miss Universe or nothing.

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