CANDIDATE NO. 21 – Michelle Dee.  Everyone’s eyes are on her to clinch the plum title, especially because of her pedigree–she’s the daughter of the legendary Miss International 1979 Melanie Marquez.  She did inherit her mom’s model frame and strong modeling skills.  Her facility in English and interview skills proved to be very strong (albeit a tad subdued), which is a contrast to her mother’s legendary malapropisms.  She also figured in three fast-track shortlists–Sports, Beach Beauty, and Top Model.  It’s a lock she’ll win one of the titles–the question now is, which one?  Yes, she’s the favorite for the plum prize but there are a couple of pretty fair-skinned mestizas who are getting strong buzz for the title.  It’s also possible she can get the Reina Hispanoamericana title to join other showbiz progeny who garnered this title–including her cousin, Winwyn Marquez, who won that pageant two years ago.  W – 9.5; RH – 10; EI – 10; M – 10.

CANDIDATE NO. 22 – Gerlaine Silva.  She’s a pretty mestiza ingenue who is obviously a tad raw as shown by her shy demeanor.  With a bit more polish she could generate charisma and probably make more serious inroads in a future national pageant..  W – 7.5; RH – 7.5; EI – 7.5; M – 8.

CANDIDATE NO. 23 – Vanessa Walters.  She has these thick Ann Curtis lips that I find overpower her face sometimes.  She is notable for her Australian accent, and being 19 years old, she can make a play for the Miss Teen Eco-International title.  She made the shortlist in Beach Beauty and Multimedia.  Wonder if they’ll prize Hanna’s intelligence or this girl’s model looks and Aussie charm?  W – 8; RH – 7.5; EI – 8.5; M – 8.5; TE – 9.

CANDIDATE NO. 24 – Kelley Day.  She has one of the most gorgeous faces in this year’s competition.  She exudes a luminous presence with her dewy fair complexion–to the point that she gets compared to model/celebrity Kendall Jenner.  She also has this human interest story as she’s battling alopecia (yes, the hair loss disease) and she is making that her advocacy, and her communication skills are superb.  It looks like she and Michelle Dee are the closest rivals for the plum title, as both of them logged three fast-track shortlists–in her case, she made it in Sports, Beach Beauty and Multimedia.  W – 10; RH – 9.5; EI – 10; M – 10.

Kendall Jenner (image sourced from Cosmopolitan.com)

CANDIDATE NO. 25 – Rose Ignacio.  She’s one of the “native’ contenders in this pageant, and she’s generally solid, but it seems she’s not making much impact.  W – 7.5; RH – 6.5; EI – 7.5; M – 8.


CANDIDATE NO. 26 – Michelle Thorlund.  She reminds me of Lalaine Edson, our representative to Miss World 20 years ago.  There are people hyping that she could be the one to win the plum prize.  It’s still possible, especially since besides good looks she has strong interview skills (since she’s one of the Overseas representatives, it’s almost a given).  She made the shortlist in Top Model, and this fast=track is usually a good predictor in this pageant on who will fare well, so prospects of her gaining one of the titles is strong:  W – 9; RH – 8.5; EI – 9.5; M – 9.5

Lalaine Edson at Miss World 1999

CANDIDATE NO. 27 – Patrixia Santos.  I like her features, and she’s an intelligent communicator.  It’s very interesting how her name it’s spelled, as instead of a “c” it’s with an “x”.  She could be a sleeper choice for the Top 16.  W – 8.5; RH – 8; EI – 8.5; M – 8.5.

CANDIDATE NO. 28 – Mary Resurreccion.  She doesn’t have a “fun shoot” photo as she was felled with dengue.  We have to salute her for being a trooper when she was a late arrival to the Facebook Live interval as people wondered if she could or could not make it.  She opted to make it, even if she’s late.  She’s the youngest in this year’s batch, so she’s eligible for the Miss Teen Eco-International title, but I have a feeling three other ladies have an edge over her.  W – 7.5; RH – 6.5; EI – 7.5; M – 7.5; TE – 7.5.

CANDIDATE NO. 29 – Asha Gutierrrez.  She may not figure in any fast-track shortlist, but she has a spark about her that she can be a sleeper choice for the Top 16.  W – 8; RH – 7.5; EI – 8.5; M – 8.5.

CANDIDATE NO. 30 – Katrina Llegado.  She has the great looks that it’s not that surprising she’s shortlisted for Top Model.  She made a good enough impression in the Facebook Live interview that she can be a Top 16 possibility.  W – 8.5; RH – 8; EI – 8.5; M – 8.5



CANDIDATE NO. 11 – Kayesha Chua.  She made the shortlist in Top Model, but she is also a great communicator that she seems to be a Top 16 shoo-in and maybe even make a play for one of the titles.  W – 9, RH – 9, EI – 9.5, M – 9.5.


CANDIDATE NO. 12 – Patrisha Gutierrez.  She sang this inspirational charity ballad that made her make the shortlist in Talent–it was a gorgeous sight watching her in her ballgown singing her song but my quibble is that she didn’t quite make maximum impact with her singing.  She’s also a slim, pretty mestiza lass.  A Top 16 finish is a possibility.   W – 8; RH – 8; EI – 8.5; M – 8.5.

CANDIDATE NO. 13 – Hanna Therese Cruz.  To be blunt I find her face one of the plainest.  But she’s a great communicator, and being under 20 years old, she could make a play for the Miss Teen Eco-International title.  She reminds me of Miss Multinational 2017 winner Sophia Señoron so it makes one wonder if this girl could pull off a surprise the way Sophia did.  Well, let’s see how the two other teenaged contestants stack up.  W – 7; RH – 6; EI – 7; M – 8; TE – 8.

CANDIDATE NO. 14 – Kimberly “Billie” Hakenson.  She’s a slim, pretty mestiza who got a shortlist in Beach Beauty.  She’s also a solid communicator so she has an inside track to the Top 16.  W – 8; RH – 8; EI – 8; M – 8.5

CANDIDATE NO. 15 – Alyssa Reyes.  Her Filipina features are highly appealing.  She’s a solid communicator, even if some Filipino pageant fans might ding her for her diction.  But she articulates just fine, so even if she didn’t figure in any fast-track even, she remains a Top 16 possibility.  In the Facebook Live interview she revealed she survived dengue when she was a teen–interestingly this disease befell one of the contestants during the competition…  W – 8; RH – 8; EI – 8; M – 8.


CANDIDATE NO. 16 – Sharmane Galisanan.  There are people who can find her Asian features highly appealing but the issue is her communication skills are not as strong so that may hamper her chances making the Top 16.  W – 7.5; RH – 7.5; EI – 7.5; M – 7.5.

CANDIDATE NO. 17 – Joanna Mercado.  I like her features, but she has not figured in any fast-track event, and I have a feeling she’s not making that much of an impact in interview even if she’s a solid communicator.  Still, I hope there are those who like her looks enough to put her through the Top 16.  W – 8; RH – 8; EI – 8.5; M – 8.5.

CANDIDATE NO. 18 – Ruffa Nava.  She previously competed in this pageant five years ago but didn’t make the cut.  She was more successful in Binibining Pilipinas two years ago as she made the Top 25 then.  She could be more successful this time and may have a chance of making the cut this time.  It’s interesting that though she got to sing in the Facebook Live interview, she wasn’t shorlisted in Talent.  W – 8; RH – 7.5; EI – 8.5; M – 8.5.

CANDIDATE NO. 19 – Jeane Tumang.  Her features are also as “unconventional” as Hanna, as it veers towards “exotic”.  Her main advantage is that she’s the tallest in this year’s batch at 5’11”.  W – 7.5; RH – 6; EI – 7; M – 7.

CANDIDATE NO. 20 – Ilene de Vera.  I hope she gets vindication after being surprisingly shut out at this year’s Binibining Pilipinas, as she’s solid all throughout, even if she didn’t figure in any fast-track event.  W – 8; RH – 8; EI – 8.5; M – 8.5.




After 2017’s bonanza of wins, the outcome for last year’s titleholders of Miss World Philippines turned out to be a mixed bag–our seven-year streak at Miss World was unfortunately broken, and we also missed the cut overall at Reina Hispanoamericana.  At least we made the cut at Miss Multinational and Maureen Montagne proved to be such a gem that she came close to a back-to-back at Miss Eco-International, finishing 1st runner-up.  After a minor shakeup in the Miss World Philippines Organization, it still aims to ramp up as there are two additional titles at stake this year:  Miss Tourism Philippines, and Miss Teen Eco-International.  So, we have some ground to recover for this year, and the question is, would this batch of 40 ladies deliver?  Some international pageant fans and pundits took a cursory look at these ladies and noted that there seem to be more pretty faces in this batch and there were some who argued this batch might even be better than this year’s Binibining Pilipinas.  Such high praise, but are they worthy of this?  I’ll provide my ratings of each candidate’s prospects if she were chosen to represent us in the original four titles, and for the three candidates under 20 years of age, at Miss Teen Eco.  Read on…


CANDIDATE NO. 1 – Isabelle de Leon.  She’s a singer and was short-listed for talent for that.  But she also showcased that she can play electric guitar, drums, and shimmy alongside her singing talent during the Gala night as she performed the Ike & Tina Turner version of the Creedence Clearwater Revival classic, “Proud Mary“.  It’s not a perfect performance but the degree of difficulty doing all those things made it very impactful that she’s the front-runner to win the fast track in this event.  She also figured in the Multimedia challenge and is a strong communicator.  W – 8; RH – 7.5; EI – 8; M – 8.5

CANDIDATE NO. 2 – Julia Mendoza.  She has these patrician features, and she has this soft-spoken yet quiet strength about her.  She has not figured in any fast-track even thus far, and it makes me wonder if her soft-spokenness may be read as a lack of drive/assertiveness.  Hope not.  W – 8; RH – 7.5; EI – 8; M – 7.5.

CANDIDATE NO. 3 – Sharielle Yanson.  She has this pretty Oriental-mestiza features, and she seems to be a favorite of the staff photographer, Dion Besa.  But her interview skills seem to need more work as she had to make effort piecing her thoughts together, and knowing how picky many Filipino fans are about this, it might put her at a disadvantage here.  W – 8, RH – 7.5, EI – 8, M – 8.

CANDIDATE NO. 4 – Glyssa Perez.  She was 1st runner-up in this pageant two years ago, so no doubt she’s gunning for one of the titles.  I find it interesting that on video she projects like a very sympathetic sweetheart, but her photos, especially her closeup headshot she projects this haughty contravida (villainess) vibe, as if she’s primed to wreak havoc in a telenovela.  I’m fascinated with this contrast.  I think she’ll make the Top 16 easily, even if thus far she earned a shortlist only in Multimedia.  It’s also possible she can garner a title but there are some contenders who seem to have a more inside track.  W – 9; RH – 9; EI – 9; M – 9.

CANDIDATE NO. 5 – Julie Ann Forbes.  Her prettiness reminds me of someone familiar.  It turns out she’s Ali Forbes*1‘ sister.  She’s a newbie in this milieu and the rawness shows a bit, but still she is making a great impression and could make a play for the Top 16.  W – 8.5; RH – 8; EI – 8; M – 8.5.

*1 Ali had competed in Bb. Pilipinas 2012 and made 2nd runner-up then, and through a different franchise then was handpicked to represent us at Miss Grand International the following year and became 3rd runner-up.


CANDIDATE NO. 6 – Michelle Arceo.  She figured in the shortlist in two fast-track events, Sports and Talent.  Her headshot exudes a slightly more mature vibe than her nubile 21 years of age, and I have a feeling she needs to win one of those fast tracks to make the Top 16.  Most likely her best prospect is sports, as though she did her best singing Ariana Grande‘s “Dangerous Woman” during Gala Night in this feathery-leather get-up, it was not as impressive as other talent finalists out there.  It would’ve been nice to hear her perform something like Fleetwood Mac’s “Rhiannon” or some old some R&B jazz classic by Etta James as she declared that she actually likes classic rock.  W – 7.5; RH – 7; EI – 7.5; M – 8.

CANDIDATE NO. 7 – Patricia Navea Tan.  I find her native features pretty.  She made the shortlist in sports.  Her communication skills are a tad subdued and that may make it a challenge for her to make the Top 16–will her looks make a strong-enough impression to pull her through?  W – 8, RH – 8, EI – 8, M – 8.

CANDIDATE NO. 8 – Kalea Rivero Pitel.  Her eyes reads more Chinese than her Indian-sounding surname would suggest.  She’s one of the three overseas contestants in this batch, so her gab is a given, and this could be her ticket to make the Top 16, alongside making the sports shortlist.  W – 8.5. RH – 7.5, EI – 8, M – 9.

CANDIDATE NO. 9 – Tracey Maureen Perez.  She made the shortlist in Beach Beauty so her looks are highly regarded.  Now, she is a solid communicator and her being an industrial engineer means she has brains, but her communication skills are not as fluid as, say, Kalea or Jacqueline.  Still, she could make a play for the Top 16.  W – 8.5; RH – 8; EI – 8.5; M – 8.5.

CANDIDATE NO. 10 – Jacqueline Diamzon Hammoude.  She’s not conventionally pretty and her figure is a bit on the fuller side, but she works it well because of her dancing prowess–she made the shortlist with her Tahitian dancing (though she can do a lot of other dance styles).  She could also rank high in interview as she has a strong gift of gab.  Let’s see what the judges prioritize.  W – 8.5; RH – 7; EI – 7.5; M – 8.5.