MISS EARTH 2016: AT THE HOMESTRETCH (PART 3)

GROUP 2

BELIZE – Chantal Chanice Guy.  I do think she has good looks and good communication skills to deserve some notice.

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CHILE – Tiare Fuentes.  I find her very pretty, but she is overshadowed by other ferocious Latinas out there.  She’s one of seven who didn’t have an Eco-Beauty video.

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CHINESE TAIPEI – Le Chiao Peng.  With her bobbed haircut, she exudes a modern vibe.  Most representatives to this pageant tend to be raw but this lady seems to be one of the more polished ones (especially with her unique vibe and strong communication skills).

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COLOMBIA – Michelle Gomez. She may have only garnered one medal (a bronze in the swimsuit competition), but she’s still one to watch out for making the Top Eight and perhaps beyond.

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CYPRUS – Maria Costa.  She’s good looking, but overshadowed by the stunners out there.

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DENMARK – Klaudia Parsberg.  This blonde is well regarded by many pageant fans and pundits.  She’s articulate and committed to the cause, so she can still make serious impact into the finals.  But can she duplicate Catharina Svenson’s win in the inaugural edition 15 years ago?  There will be obstacles ahead…

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DOMINICAN REPUBLIC – Nicole Jimeno.  She’s a polished contender of color with a body for sin.  She’s not as stunning as Miss Earth-Air 2005 Amell Santana, but making the cut is still in the realm of possibility–though her features are not normally what the Filipino tastes would appreciate.

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ENGLAND – Luissa Burton.  It’s jarring to watch her Eco-Beauty as a blonde as she came to our shores as a brunette, and she has been garnering raves as such–many even feel she can get an element.  I agree as she’s gorgeous as a brunette and she’s a strong communicator to boot.   She garneered a gold for her costume and bronze for talent.

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HUNGARY – Eszter Oczella.  She’s attractive but with a batch like this it’s an uphill battle for her to make inroads into the Top 16.

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IRAQ – Suzan Amer.  Unlike her Miss Grand International counterpart, this lady is a more serious competitor–sure she has faith-based restrictions that she needed to be modestly clothed when presented in swimsuit.  Still her presence is welcome here.

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ITALY – Denise Frigo.  Her Eco-Beauty video is unique as she introduced herself while on horseback.  She only won one medal (silver in long gown)but her gorgeous face and trim figure does turn heads and she may have an inside track to the finals.

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JAPAN – Ami Hachiya.  She’s a pretty lady with a tirm figure.  A worthwhile contender who garnered a silver for her lovely yello kimono.

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LEBANON – Carole Kahwagi.  She’s good looking who made an impression in resorts wear, garnering gold in that event. Lookswise a sleeper contender, but well there are stronger communicators than her out there.

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MAURITIUS – Amber Korimdun.  She’s good looking.  This country has done pretty well in this pageant in recent years, making the cut in 2013 and 2016.  It is possible for her to be a sleeper choice for the finals.

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MOLDOVA – Tatiana Ovcinicova.  She’s surprisingly very articulate in her Eco-Beauty video.  Her features remind me of a younger, ingenue version of actress Mariel Hemingway, and if the judges are in the mood for that kind of look, she can make serious inroads into the finals.

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Mariel Hemingway (image sourced from flavorwire.com)

COMING UP: 2ND HALF OF GROUP 2, from MYANMAR to ZIMBABWE

GENTLEMEN OF THE PHILIPPINES 2016: PRESS PRESENTATION

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Last Saturday at the Sulo Riviera Hotel in Diliman, Quezon City, the 30 candidates for the inaugural Gentlemen of the Philippines pageant were presented to the media.  The candidates introduced themselves in white T-shirts and jean ensembles, then paraded in white swimsuits, and then there was a fashion show showcasing three different collections by local designers.  It then ended with a n open Q&A session with the candidates, where we learn more insights on their personalities, opinions on some current events, and their advocacies.  Special awards are then given out–sponsors New Placenta, HEA watches gave sponsors’ prizes and then the top three darling of the press were given out.

 

Who among the 30 candidates made a major impression?  There were three candidates who I felt made an impact even if they didn’t win a special award that day.  First I have to cite the strong catwalk skills delivered by Gentlement 28 (Michael Mendoza of Sarangani).  Then the next two are characterized by sexy native appeal, supremely buffed physiques, and strong projection skills–Gentlemen 13 (Roland William de Dios of Cabanatuan City) and 17 (Job Abogado of Camarines Sur).

28 Sarangani
Gentlemen 28: Michael Mendoza of Sarangani
13 Cabanatuan City
Gentleman 13: Roland William de Dios of Cabanatuan City
17 Camarines Sur
Gentleman 17: Job Abogado of Camarines Sur

One guy got one of the Top 10 sponsor’s prize given by HEA watches, and he also stood out in the open Q&A session as he relayed about his background as a former cadet in the Philippine Military Academy and his advocacy for the environment:  Gentleman 22 (Paul Benjamin Abal, Jr. of Mandaue City).  But will his attractive looks and personality be enough to make the final cut? Observers might have reservations as he has one major obstacle with his obvious “dad bod”–it will be a major miracle if he can whip his body into competitive shape in one week.

22 Mandaue City
Gentleman 22: Paul Benjamin Abal, Jr. of Mandaue City (swimsuit image courtesy of Edmund Chua for OPMB Worldwide).

Other candidates that caught the eye of Hea watches include Gentlemen 2 (Julius Ceasar Chio of General Santos City) and 7 (Karl Mikhael Balderas of Santiago City).  In my opinion, they are okay, but I was more impressed with Gentlemen 13 and 17.

02 Gen Santos
Gentleman 2: Julius Ceasar Chio of General Santos City
07 Santiago City
Gentleman 7: Karl Mikhael Balderas of Santiago City

Garnering a 1st runner-up finish as “Darling of the Press” was Gentleman 1 (Kian Jabin Sumague of San Pablo City).  There are some pageant fans and pundits who regard him as a possible favorite for one of the six titles at stake, but I think a semifinalist finish will be enough for him.

01 San Pablo

One of the favorites for a title thanks to his pedigree as a medical doctor is Gentleman 20 (Dr. John Vincent Pua of Quezon City).  His physique may not be as defined as a number of his peers, but he does have personality, appeal and charisma to be in title contention.

20 Quezon City
Gentleman 20: Dr. John Vincent Pua of Quezon City

One guy with native features who has an inside track for one of the titles is Gentleman 3 (Christian Lumasag of Cebu City).  At this point he seems to be the native-boy most likely.

03 Cebu City
Gentleman 3: Christian Lumasag of Cebu City

Two swarthy fellows are also in the mix and are in title contention:  there’s Gentleman 30 (Sonu Singh of Nueva Vizcaya), a full-blooded Indian who was born and raised here, and Gentleman 8 (Mohammed Ali Imran Atendido of Lucena City), who not only garnered a HEA sponsor’s prize, but placed third as Darling of the Press.

30 Nueva Vizcaya
Gentleman 30: Sonu Singh of Nueva Vizcaya
08 Lucena Quezon
Gentleman 8: Mohammed Ali Imran Atendido of Lucena, Quezon

Major attention has been lavished by most of the media towards the candidates representing overseas communites, and for most part, they delivered.  I was not that initially impressed with Gentleman 21 (Paul Renzo Velo of London, UK), but after witnessing his strong catwalk skills and looking at him better, I believe his prospects for a semifinalist showing seems secure.

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Gentleman 21: Paul Renzo Velo of London, UK

Being one of the youngest at 18 years old, Gentleman 16 (Johannes Dula Rissler of Germany) looks poised to take the Mister Teen International title up for grabs.

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Gentleman 16: Johannes Dula Rissler of Germany

Winning the top HEA sponsor’s prize, Gentleman 14 (Jason del Juan Martin of Gold Coast, Australia) looks poised to secure one of the titles at stake.  There are some angles where he looks great, but some angles don’t seem to appeal to me, but his status as a front-runner seems assured.

14 Gold Coast AUS
Gentleman 14: Jason del Juan Martin of Gold Coast, Australia

The one who seems to be guaranteed a title especially with the heavy buzz he received with the media and the two big special awards as Mr. New Placenta and the Darlng of the Press winner is Gentlemen 23 (Andrea Biondo of South Italy).  He is clearly the most handsome and has the most impressive physique among the 30 candidates, not to mention undeniable charisma onstage, and he has also has a likable charm and personality.  But I do have a minor quibble about his physique, as impressive as it is–he seems to exemplify that bodybuilding meme about missing leg day as his legs are not as defined as his torso.  But as I said, it’s a minor quibble because he still is the most impressive among all the candidates anyway and it can easily be addressed as he prepares for whatever international competition he’ll be assigned to go to.

23 South Italy
Gentleman 23: Andrea Biondo of South Italy

All images courtesy of Joy Arguil unless otherwise indicated.

All told, it’s a promising beginning for the inaugual Gentlemen of the Philippines pageant.  Looking forward to seeing how the coronation night turns out.  Good luck to all the candidates and the organizers, Gentleman Charities, Inc.

JUST ME!

JOSEPH

 

MISS WORLD 2014: AT THE HOMESTRETCH (CONCLUSION)

At the Beauty with a Purpose ball.

Let’s consolidate all the leaderboards for the four teams and here’s how I think the 121 delegates stack up:

TOP CONTENDERS:  MEXICO, INDIA, SOUTH AFRICA

SHOO-INS: ENGLAND, GUYANA, HUNGARY, FINLAND, KENYA, NETHERLANDS, AUSTRALIA, RUSSIA, SCOTLAND, SWEDEN, UNITED STATES

LIKELIEST:  AUSTRIA, BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA, BRAZIL, CHINA P R, COLOMBIA, CROATIA, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, INDONESIA, JAMAICA, LITHUANIA, MARTINIQUE, MONGOLIA, MONTENEGRO, PANAMA, SERBIA, SOUTH SUDAN, VIETNAM, CZECH REPUBLIC, FRANCE, HAITI, PHILIPPINES, SPAIN, NAMIBIA, NORTHERN IRELAND, NORWAY, PARAGUAY, PUERTO RICO, SEYCHELLES, TANZANIA, THAILAND, TRINIDAD & TOBAGO, TURKEY, ZIMBABWE

CHALLENGE EVENT FACTOR:  BOLIVIA, CANADA, COSTA RICA, GIBRALTAR, WALES, MALAYSIA, COTE D’IVOIRE, CURACAO, ECUADOR, EL SALVADOR, FIJI, GERMANY, LESOTHO

POPULAR VOTE FACTOR: BARBADOS, CHAD, NEPAL

EXCELLENT:  ARGENTINA, ARUBA, BELGIUM, BELIZE, CAMEROON, KOSOVO, BELARUS, GUATEMALA, ICELAND, IRELAND, KYRGYZSTAN, MOLDOVA, UKRAINE, CYPRUS, EGYPT, ETHIOPIA, GABON, GREECE, GUAM, LEBANON, MYANMAR, PERU, POLAND, SLOVAKIA, VENEZUELA

VERY STRONG:  ALBANIA, HONG KONG CHINA, ROMANIA, ITALY, JAPAN, MALTA, GUADELOUPE, LATVIA, TUNISIA, NEW ZEALAND

STRONG:  DENMARK, ISRAEL, SINGAPORE, SWITZERLAND, EQUATORIAL GUINEA, GEORGIA, GHANA, SRI LANKA, UGANDA

VERY GOOD:  BAHAMAS, BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS, MAURITIUS, U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS

GOOD:  BERMUDA, NICARAGUA, PORTUGAL, LUXEMBOURG, GUINEA

FAIR:  SAO TOME & PRINCIPE, KOREA, NIGERIA, SLOVENIA, URUGUAY

Here is then my “Fearful” Forecast:

TOP FIVE:  AUSTRALIA, INDIA, MEXICO, SOUTH AFRICA, UNITED STATES

TOP TEN:  ENGLAND, GUYANA, NETHERLANDS, SCOTLAND, SWEDEN

TOP 20:  BRAZIL, CHINA PR, CZECH REPUBLIC, HAITI, HUNGARY, INDONESIA, KENYA, PHILIPPINES,  RUSSIA, TURKEY

TOP 30:  BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA, COLOMBIA, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, FINLAND, FRANCE, MALAYSIA, PUERTO RICO, SERBIA, SOUTH SUDAN, SPAIN,

BUBBLING UNDER:  AUSTRIA, COLOMBIA, CROATIA, JAMAICA, LITHUANIA, MARTINIQUE, MONGOLIA, MONTENEGRO, NAMIBIA, NORTHERN IRELAND, NORWAY, PANAMA, SEYCHELLES, TANZANIA, THAILAND, TRINIDAD & TOBAGO, VIETNAM, ZIMBABWE

STRIKING DISTANCE:  BARBADOS, BELGIUM, BOLIVIA, CANADA, CHAD, COSTA RICA, COTE D’IVOIRE, CURACAO, ECUADOR, EL SALVADOR, FIJI, GERMANY,GIBRALTAR, LESOTHO, WALES

“HOLLY CARPENTER” NOMINEES:   ARGENTINA, ARUBA, BELARUS, BELIZE, CAMEROON, CYPRUS, EGYPT, ETHIOPIA, GABON, GREECE, GUAM, GUATEMALA, ICELAND, IRELAND, KOSOVO, KYRGYZSTAN, LEBANON MOLDOVA, MYANMAR, PERU, POLAND, SLOVAKIA, UKRAINE, VENEZUELA

Two ladies seem to be the clear front-runners for the crown, India (Koyal Rana) and South Africa (Rolene Strauss).  India seems to have the upper hand in terms of placement in challenges, but that is no guarantee that being the one who garnered the most points in challenges will get the ultimate crown.  There is still possibility for an upset, though.  All I hope is that the results would be convincing and transparent.

JUST ME!

JOSEPH

Will Megan crown one of these ladies?  Left photo: with India (Koyal Rana); Right photo: with South Africa (Rolene Strauss)
Will Megan crown one of these ladies? Left photo: with India (Koyal Rana); Right photo: with South Africa (Rolene Strauss)