‘Sexiest’ batch of Binibining Pilipinas hopefuls yet
The country can expect another strong showing in international beauty contests with this year’s batch of Binibining Pilipinas hopefuls, according to two local beauties who made waves in the Miss Universe pageant.
For 2010 Miss Universe fourth runner-up Venus Raj and 2013 Miss Universe third runner-up Ariella Arida, a good number of the aspirants for the 2015 national pageant are ready for the big league.
“A lot of them are beautiful and tall,” Raj told the Inquirer on the media presentation day, Feb. 17, at Hotel Sofitel’s Sunset Pavilion. “This batch is gorgeous,” said Arida, a judging panel member alongside Raj, several Bb. Pilipinas Charities Inc. (BPCI) officials and other personalities. For fashion director Raymond Villanueva, it’s the “sexiest” batch.
The Sofitel event was one of many where the 34 contestants will be placed under scrutiny prior to the selection of the Top 15.
Raj explained: “We were instructed to choose our best 15. These aren’t the 15 for coronation night, just those who stood out today.”
Familiar faces and seasoned contestants are among the hopefuls vying for the titles Miss Universe Philippines, Bb. Pilipinas-International, Bb. Pilipinas-Intercontinental, Bb. Pilipinas-Supranational and Bb. Pilipinas-Tourism.
Former runners-up Pia Wurtzbach and Hannah Ruth Sison are on their third attempt at snagging a crown. Former semifinalists Toni Alyessa Hipolito, Patricia Lae Ejercitado and Mae Liezel Ramos are also chasing their dreams again, along with returnees Ria Rabajante and Anabel Christine Tia.
Christi Lynn McGarry—2010 Mutya ng Pilipinas-Asia Pacific International, 2012 Top Model of the World semifinalist and Queen of Asia and Oceania at the 2010 Miss Intercontinental—is also in the race, along with former Miss Philippines-Air titleholders Kimverlyn Suiza and Nancy Lee Leonard. This is Suiza’s second attempt.
Some other “crossover beauties” (from other national pageants): 2013 Miss Bikini Philippines Janicel Lubina, 2013 Miss World Megan Young’s runner-up in the national search; Brenna Cassandra Gamboa, 2012 Miss World Philippines fourth runner-up and 2011 Miss Philippines-Earth semifinalist; Renee Soraya Hassani, 2014 Miss Diversity Culture International first runner-up and 2011 Miss Philippines-Earth contestant; Ina Dominica Guerrero, 2014 Miss World Philippines semifinalist and 2012 Miss Philippines-Earth contestant; 2011 Miss World Philippines semifinalist Rogelie Catacutan; 2012 Miss World Philippines contestant Paula Rich Bartolome; 2013 Miss Philippines-Earth contestant Caneille Faith Santos; and 2014 Century Tuna Superbods first runner-up Alaiza Malinao.
Reigning Miss Iriga City and Miss Camarines Sur Marvi Ann de Lima is also making her national pageant debut.
The rookies: professional models Ann Lorraine Colis and Kylie Verzosa, national athletes Anja-Vanessa Peters and Mia Allyson Howell, and television personality Teresita Ssen “Wynwyn”Marquez, niece of 1979 Miss International Melanie Marquez.
The prepageant TV special, “The Road to the Crown,” airs Sunday night on ABS-CBN’s “Sunday’s Best” block. The 2015 Bb. Pilipinas coronation night will be staged at Smart Araneta Coliseum on March 15, and telecast on ABS-CBN on the same evening.
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