In general the Miss World Philippines results went very much as most people expected, especially with the ladies who ended up at the top.  Needless to say, I got three of the four titleholders correct.  But what is less predictable was was those who ranked below the big favorites.  I’m pleased to say I got 12 of the Top 16 correct, but getting six of the Top 10 and three of the six-person winners’ circle means there is room for me to improve.

Two ladies who made the cut who are outside of my radar were Candidates 21 (Annalita Vizcarra) and 31 (Cleopatra Jones).  I’m not that baffled at their inclusion as they are actually worthy enough to belong here.  I think it’s just that Annalita’s looks weren’t my cup of tea in the initial photos I saw but she made a great impression onstage, while Cleopatra may have edged out other favorites as she probably nailed her interview better than the other ladies and her inclusion is a statement for diversity, not because of her heritage, but also because of her curvier frame.

I only placed Candidate 11 (Pearl Hung) in my “Bubbling Under” list, but she’s a revelation in the evening gown round as her baby blue gown was a major standout, and clinched the deal in the Top Ten interview round and hence this is why she became part of teh winners’ circle.

Though I included them in my forecast, I should’ve rated two ladies who ended up in the winners’ circle higher–Candidates 35 (Kimilei Mugford) and 39 (Chanel Morales).  I should’ve realized Chanel has a showbiz background and the organization (and judges) do tend to favor pretty faces even with slightly voluptuous figures.  In the case of Kimilei, I was assessing a bit based on looks, but she delivered on the intelligence, almost like Sophia Señoron before her, so her earning the Miss Multinational Philippines title is apt.

Now, let’s spare a little thought for Candidate 9 (Arienne Calingo).  Though she made the Top 16, considering she finished 1st runner-up previously makes this showing a relative disappointment, and it’s likely this is her final hurrah for this pageant as this pageant’s age requeirements are lower than in Bb. PIlpiinas.  But at lesat she made the cut considering she didn’t figure in any of the challenge events, including Charity and Multimedia.

Even if all the big favorites were justly rewarded, I’ll still award the Ruth Ocumarez Award to two ladies:  Candidates 25 (Crystal Freeman) and 28 (Abbyjun Dizon).  They probably missed the final cut by very little and basically I’m giving this award jointly as I thought they would’ve made the Top 10 (especially based on challenge event performances) but somehow the judges felt others were stronger.

I’m definitely pleased with Katarina Rodriguez‘s win and hope she can improve significantly over Laura Lehmann‘s showing.  Many have noted that her nickname is similar to the nickname of her Miss Universe counterpart, Catriona Gray and how they were previously titleholders in the opposing franchise.  With a “Cat” for Miss Universe and a “Kat” for Miss World, some fans are now promoting the hashtag #TeamMeow.  I’m definitely all for that and wish Katarina the very best.




The 16 candidates with Miss WOrld Philippines National Director Arnold Vegafria and Miss World Philippines General Manager Bessie Besana

For the first time since 2010, the there is a full-fledged pageant conducted to select our representative for the upcoming Mister World pageant.  During Cory Quirino’s regime, they handpicked the representative from willing top celebrities/models that they were able to contact.  But with the disappointing results delivered by renowned handsome hunks John Spainhour and Sam Adjani, along with the new organization obtaining franchises for Mister Supranational and Mister Eco-International, a national selection is needed to select who could fill those three titles.  Now, the question is, are they able to attract a quality group of gentlemen with the right stuff to represent us in the international arena?  Unlike other national male pageant franchises, they decided to keep the roster lean and small with 16 candidates.  Like in my Bb. Pilipinas and Miss World Philippines hometretch, I’ll assess their suitability for the titles at stake with the following legends:  W – World, S – Supranational, E – Eco-International.  Let’s meet the candidates starting with…

CANDIDATE 1 – Karl Louie Aragon.  Well, he’s attractive in a native, real-world sense, but he’s obviously not ready for the international arena.  W – 6, S – 6, E – 6.5.

CANDIDATE 2 – Denver Hernandez.  He already has international pageant experience as he made the Top 15 at Men Universe Model last year.  For that alone, most would presume that he should clinch one of the titles, but I’m observing he’s being overshadowed by the other standouts out there, that even finishing within the winner’s circle might not even be assured.  W – 8, S – 9.5, E – 9.

CANDIDATE 3 – Mark Jero Bagaporo.  He has a nice smile but clearly not in contention for the winner’s circle.  W – 7, S – 7.5, E – 7.5.

CANDIDATE 4 – Robin Hanrath.  Many local pageant fans and pundits buzz about him as we definitely prize the Caucasian features that this half-Dutch fellow possess.  He seems to exhibit strong communication skills that he has an inside track of being part of the winners’ circle, possibly even clinching one of the titles.  W – 8.5, S – 9, E – 9.

CANDIDATE 5 – Mark Comiso.  He has similar eyebrows as two of the big frontrunners but otherwise he doesn’t look ready for international competition.  W – 7, S – 6.5, E – 6.5.

CANDIDATE 6 – Joy Jerome Evangelista.  For many Filipinos’ tastes, his native features may make him the homeliest of this batch.  But I beg to differ–he actually registers very well in the official photos released.  If this were run by BPCI and wit the caliber of contestants that organization attracted then, he would’ve easily be in the winners’ circle or perhaps even win it all.  The caliber or contestants under new management has ratcheted up significantly, but he can still be can still pull off a wildcard surprise for the following reasons:  1) his background as an educator*1; 2) his talent performance, where he declaimed a self-written autobiographical versse piece in the Balagtasan style*2 which deserves to earn him the Talent award.; and 3) in the distant event that the board of judges are composed of Westerners, they may have an appreciation of his native looks to score him high.  W – 8; S – 6.5; E – 6.5.

*1 Yes, Filipino society may tend to sneer that he’s a public school educator as public school tend to be viewed as “substandard” but still we have to respect educators regardless of the type of school.

*2 Balagtasan is a famous stentorian declamation style that used to be considered the hallmark of vernacular eloquence.  It’s the closest thing we have to performing a classical Shakespearean piece.

CANDIDATE 7 – Abdullah Cheng.  His Muslim given name and Chinese surname potentially makes for an intriguing mix but for me he’s just registering as a forgettably cute guy-next-door.  W – 7, S – 7, E – 7.

CANDIDATE 8 – Marco Poli.  It dawned on me with the success of Crazy Rich Asians, we now have a new modern gentleman ideal to aspire for with breakout leading man Henry Golding.  His effortless charisma, superb articulation, and outgoing, likeable personality looks something that would be a perfect fit for Mister World (though you may need to tack in athleticism to that).  Marco as a lot of Henry Golding’s physical features mixed with another Filipino heartthrob, actor/ost Xian Lim.  He does have the athleticism in check as he has a background playing semi-professional soccer*3.  The jury is out regarding how he measures up to the Henry Golding ideal in terms of personality but he does look like the frontrunner to win Mister World Philippines.  If he does clinch it, I would suggest that besides the expected athletic bootcamp, he should subject himself to intense voice lessons if he wants to use singing as his performing talent as what he exhibited in the Talent competition was kinda sub-par.  W – 9.5, S – 10, E – 10.

*3 The Philippines typically follow American parlance so I’ll call the sport soccer instead of football.

Henry Golding (image courtesy of Vulture) and Xian Lim (image courtesy of Manila Bulletin)

CANDIDATE 9 – Ameen Sardouk.  This half-Lebanese guy is the last candidate to be confirmed and he arguably possesses the handsomest face and the buffest bod   For most Filipino pageant fans and pundits, he is the favorite to win, being of the same mold as John Spainhour and Sam Adjani.  But considering the non-placement of those hunks, the question would be does this guy have that added spark of personality that the other two lacked?  Well, from what little video I saw there is a bit of spark that could be developed, but I also have a couple of quibbles.  First, what I noticed from the video I saw is that he has a high-pitched speaking voice–it’s not a turnoff per se, as Magnum P.I. and Blue Bloods star Tom Selleck has proven, but a little modulation would do him wonders.  Second is he needs to work out his sense of style as it seems he doesn’t quite have tat all together yet, as we could see from the official business casual wear portrait.  I think it’s a cinch he’ll snag a title but some finetuning will be needed before he[s ready to shine in the international arena–and yes, he has the potential to shine brightly,  W – 9, S – 9.5, E – 10.

CANDIDATE 10 – Ricardo de Jesus.  See CANDIDATE 7 above, bit without the name intrigue and possibliy a height advantage.  W – 7, S – 7, E – 7.

CANDIDATE 11 – Wilfred Placencia.  Now take Henry Golding again and add huge doses of ABS-CBN actor/singer Piolo Pascual, and you get this guy.  Like Denver Hernandez, he has previous international pageant experience as he competed at the inaugural edition of Mister Globe four years ago, deliveing our best showing in that pageant yet with a fourth runner-up finish.  He seems to have an inside track for one of the titles–the question would be, would it be Supranational or Eco-International?  Though he can still be a wildcard for the plum title, and in case that happens, like Marco I would also recommend him hiring a vocal coach to improve his singing, but he doesn’t really need as much work as Marco would’ve as he managed to stay on pitch a bit better when he sang Joshua Kadison‘s “Beautiful In My Eyes“.  W – 9, S – 9.5, E – 9.5

Henry Golding and Piolo Pascual (images sourced from IMDb).

CANDIDATE 12 – Joshua Banatin..  He has a cute boy-next-door vibe and surprisingly has a confident communication style judging from how he conducted himself in his talent performance.  If they are to whittle this group to a Top Ten, he’s a shoo-in, with a possible wildcard possibility to make the winner’s circle.  W – 8.5, S – 8, E – 8.

CANDIDATE 13 – Miguel de Castro.  This guy has appeal and chirsma, along with the derring-do to wear a bahag authentically (i.e., without briefs) as he performed an Igorot dance during the Talent competititon.  He is apossibility for teh winners’ circle.  W – 8.5, S – 9, E – 9.

CANDIDATE 14 – JB Saliba.  There are some significant fan buzz for this guy, and he does has his appeal, but clearly attention is towards the big favorites Marco, Ameen and Wilfred.  W – 8, S – 8, E – 8.

CANDIDATE 15 – Reyman Regis.  There are some Filipino fans who would find his chinito features cute and appealing but for me he’s the plainiest looking of the bunch.  He also registers as raw, albeit likeable.  W – 6.5, S – 6, E – 6.

CANDIDATE 16 – Emir Abbo.  He has a swarhy handsomeness based on his headshot, but it seems he’s not really projecting is ful full pottential.  I still will include im in my Top 10 list but it’s  possible other guys wo I regard less may take over his slot.  W – 8, S – 8, E – 8.

Wit all te contestants accounted for, ere is “Fearful” Forecast assuming tey will be calling out a Top 10:o

TITLEHOLDERS:  8 (Marco P.), 9 (Ameen S.), 11 (Wilfred P.)

RUNNERS-UP:  4 (Robin H.), 13 (Miguel D.C.)

SEMIFINALISTS:  2 (Denver H.), 6 (Joy Jerome E>), 12 (Josua B.), 14 (JB S.), 16 (Emir A.)

BUBBLING UNDER:  5 (Mark C.), 7 (Abdullah C.), 10 (Ricardo D.J.)

This pageant was originally scheduled to be eld three weeks ago on 15 September, but concerns about an impending supertyphoon*4 made them decide to postpone the pageant to a later date.  Initially it was assumed it will become a pre-program to the Miss World Philippines finals but eventually it was finally decided to still be an event in its own right, held on a weekday.

*4 Yes, Ompong did major damage to NOthern Luzon, but its impact was surprisingly barely felt in Metro Manila, so they could’ve proceeded with the program as scheduled.  THey had staged a pageant under such conditions before–remember Megan Young?  But I understand it is better ot err on the side of caution.

The title of Mister World Philippines seems to be a showdown between Marco Poli and Ameen Sardouk.  I wonder if they’ll go for the new ideal or stick to wat tey are accustomed to.  Anyway, either would make anexcellent choice.  Best of luck to all the candidates!



Wo will be te ultimate victory? Marco Poli or Ameen Sardouk.



CANDIDATE 31 – Cleopatra Jones.  She is described as morena but I’ve noticed there are other contestants who are darker complexioned than her.  And it’s not certain if her “dark” skin is due to an African-American heritage or her Filipina heritage.  Nevertheless, it looks like her name was inspired by a 1970s blaxpoitation movie and lead character that bears her name.  The highlight of her stint is being shortlisted in Sports.  W – 8, RH – 7.5, EI – 7.5, M – 7.5.

CANDIDATE 32 – Kylah Sanchez..  She made the shortlist in Beach Beauty, so based on looks she may have an inside track for the finals.  Much remains to be seen if she can impress the judges in interview to secure a semifinalist slot.  W – 8, RH – 8, EI – 8, M – 8.5.

CANDIDATE 33 – Alyssa Muhlach Alvarez.  Just like the reigning Reina Hispanoamericana Wynwyn Marquez, this lady has showbiz/celebrity pedigree, being the daughter of famous basketball player (and occasional actor) Bong Alvarez and Almira Muhlach, sister of famous actor Aga Muhlach of the illustrious Muhlach showbiz clan.  Her parents’ genes obviously are reflected on her pretty ingenue featuers.  She is already a recognized professional singer/actress under the name Yssa Alvarez so she has a heads-up in Talent, and that professional sheen is very much showcased as she performed a medley of song from The Greatest Showman, namely, “Never Enough, “This Is Me“, and “A Million Dreams“.  Even if her performance isn’t 100% pitch perfect, it still remains the most impactful performance that it’s a cinch she’ll win the Talent challenge.  She also figured in both Beach Beauty, tying with fellow front-runner Katarina Rodriguez for the most challenge event placements thus far.  Though many pageant fans and pundits are clamoring for a Katarina win, I’ve observed Yssa’s demeanor on a few videos and I observed that she also exudes a girlish ingenue demeanor with a hint of spunk, and I realize this type of personality is the sort that the Miss World Organization tends to favor. Since not only the reigning Miss World is present but also her predecessor, Stephanie del Valle, I have a feeling if Stephanie is invited to become one of the judges, she will latch on to this lady and will most likely lobby to hand the plum title to her over Katarina.  To be honest, I’m rooting for a Katarina win, but it’s starting to dawn on me that this lady could pull off an upset.  W – 10, RH – 9, EI – 10, M – 10.

Parents Bong Alvarez and Almira Muhlach (image courtesy of Pep.PH)

CANDIDATE 34 – Denielle Joie Magno.  She made the cut at Top Model and her dusky complexion and pretty features seem to give her an inside track to the finals.  I also found it interesting she also seems to have a darker complexion than Cleopatra Jones.  W – 9, RH – 9, EI – 9, M – 9.

CANDIDATE 35 – Kimilei Mugford.  Here’s another candidate who grew up overseas, this time in Canada.  Like Rose Marie Murphy, she made the cut in the “homely” challenge events of Sports and Talent.   She sange Adele‘s “One and Only“–it’s a decent performance, but two other singers have more impact. Though many pageant fans and pundits may think others are prettier, her Canadian background may giver her an edge in interview so she may be able to impress the jduges enough to make the final cut.  @ – 8.5, RH – 7.5, EI – 8, M – 8.5.

CANDIDATE 36 – Crissia del Atienza.  She’s good-looking with a buffed, shapely figure, but so far her highlight was a Sports shortlist.  Does she have what it takes to impress the judges and make the final cut?  W – 8.5, RH – 8.5, EI – 8.5, M – 9.

CANDIDATE 37 – Gianna Llanes.  She’s actually attractive enough, but not making any impact.  W – 7.5, RH – 7, EI – 7.5, M – 7.5.

CANDIDATE 38 – Katrina Acaylar.  Her fire-engine red evening gown during gala night may have helped her clinch the deal to make the shortlist in Top Model.  She is a semifinals possibility.  W – 8.5, RH – 8.5, EI – 8.5, M – 8.5.

CANDIDATE 39 – Chanel Morales.  Her Lolita-like prettiness that makes her seem younger than her 22 years of age is most likely key for her to make the shortlist in Beach Beauty.  That prettiness might be her ticket to have an inside track to the semifinals and perhaps beyond.  W – 9, RH – 8, EI – 8.5, M – 9.

CANDIDATE 40 – Tamara Caballero.  Her features are not conventionally pretty but there are some pockets of society who might find her appealing.  In general, a solid contender.  W – 7.5, RH – 7, EI – 7, M – 7.5.

With all 40 candidates accounted for, here’s my “Fearful” Forecast of the final outcome:

TITLEHOLDERS:  9 (Arienne C.), 16 (Maureen M.), 27 (Katarina R.), 33 (Alyssa A.).

RUNNERS-UP:  14 (Monique T.), 34 (Danielle Joie M.)

TOP 10:  10 (Pauline C.), 23 (Marianne M.), 25 (Crystal F.), 28 (Abbyjun D.),

TOP 15:  5 (Kim D.G.), , 18 (Kathryn Jade C.), 32 (Kylah S.), 35 (Kimlei M.), 39 (Chanel M.)

BUBBLING UNDER:  6 (Marie Danica R.), 7 (Angeline S.), 8 (Pauline D.), 11 (Pearl) H., 13 (Michelle O.),  19 (Jerelleen R.), 20 (Angelica E.), 22 (Elaiza A.), 36 (Crissia D.A.), 38 (Katrina A.)

It looks like it will be a tight tossup among three ladies for the plum title of Miss WOrld Philippines:  two experienced beauty queens, Maureen Montagne and Katarina Rodriguez, then a showbiz wildcard with Yssa Alvarez.  It looks like a tight, exciting battle ahead.  Good luck to all the ladies!