Sunday, March 18, 2018

This is not intended to be an "Ode to Catriona Gray". This is supposed to be our Fearless Forecast for Binibibing Pilipinas 2018 which I painstakingly gathered, deliberated, and scored with four of my like-minded and pageant-passionate friends...but I got distracted. 

I got into "beast mode" when I read that a popular peageantologist predicted that Cat will be sent to Tokyo to Miss International instead of Miss Universe. This got me thinking, and it also got me worried. He had good and valid points, but I still think (and most of the Internet agrees with me) that at the end of the night the Miss Universe Philippines 2018 crown is STILL for Catriona Gray to lose.

Catriona Grey

Catriona Gray has been our choice for Miss Universe Philippines 2018 since Day 1. I literally wept when Cat ended as runner-up in Miss World 2016, and I'm over the moon when I learned that she joined Binibining Pilipinas to vie for the Miss Universe crown. Aside from obvious reasons - wit, charm, confidence, grace, advocacies, experience, body & face, Cat is THE girl who is prepared. We can send her to Miss Universe tomorrow, and she will surely ace it. The only thing barring her victory is politics. 

So...let's just give it to Catriona. She is the most deserved, and she has the best chance of getting us our 4th Miss Universe crown among the 40 candidates. Nobody comes close. She is in a league of her own (even Pia might falter against her).

Michele Gumabao

Michele Gumabao is a friend. It was such a delight to see her transform from this super volleyball girl to pageant crown favorite. Michele's edge is her spontaneity and natural good looks, and we feel that she can get the Binibining Pilipinas International crown. 

The following Binibinis are our next top choices (crowns can interchange):

Karen Gallman

Karen Gallman is probably the 3rd best girl in the competition (and the Face of Binibining Pilipinas 2018), so we placed her in Binibining Pilipinas Supranational or Grand International. She is such a beauty and will probably top any international pageant assignment. 

Sandra Lemonon

Sultry, sexy and gorgeous Sandra Lemonon will probably be crowned as Binibining Pilipinas Grand International or Binibining Pilipinas Supranational. Parul Shah, Nicole Cordoves and Liz Clenci were all successful in MGI in the last three years, BUT it's about time that we win a crown on this Thailand franchise. Sandra might be the girl who will finally give us this oh-so-elusive title from Mr. Nawat.

Kayesha Chua

Kayesha Chua is the late bloomer of this year's competition. She was under the radar for weeks despite being the multi-awarded Miss Bicolandia of 2017. We noticed her (like all the other fans) just last Sunday at the Binibining Pilipinas Road To The Crown primer. Kayesha demonstrated beauty, grace, good communication skills, and a nice register. A Binibining Pilipinas Intercontinental crown will best fit her.

Aya Abesamis

We are not really fans of Aya Abesamis, but we all know that she will NOT be winless come coronation night. She has good modeling skills and a nice legacy attributed to mom Desiree Verdadero (1984 Miss Universe 3rd Runner-up), so we think that she will pull a Nichole Manalo and get the Binibining Pilipinas Globe crown. We should also note that Aya is competing for just a handful of crowns due to age limitations.

Runners-up & Alternates

Vickie Rushton  Eva Patalinjug

Vickie Rushton and Eva Patalinjug are two alternates to the crowns. We feel that they are almost there but not quite. Vickie needs to improve her communication skills and stage presence while Eva needs another year of pageant experience to get a major crown. Eva can be a shoo-in for Miss International or even Miss Universe on any other year, but there is just an over supply of great girls this year. 

Rest of Top 15
Here's our forecast for the rest of the Top 15. Some might pull a surprise and be dark horses of the competition: Wynonah Buot, Samantha Bernardo, Ahtisa Manalo, Jehza Huelar, Patricia Asturias, Patrizia Garcia, and MJ De Castro. 

Personal Notes
The above was deliberated with friends, and I mostly agree. But here are some personal notes and preferences to take into consideration before tonight's showdown:

  • I would be equally happy if Michele Gumabao will be given a runner-up position this year for greater Miss Universe Philippines glory next year or two years from now. Michele would need more pageant experience to further work her magic in the international arena. 
  • Sweet Doll Face. This has been my main beef in the last few days. I cannot choose a girl with enough power and attitude WITH a doll face that will be adored in Japan for Miss International. Some choices are Eva Patalinjug, Ahtisa Manalo and Vickie Rushton but I am not so sure if they have enough right now to pull it off. 
  • I'm not too solved on Kayesha Chua. She has a nice register and is very winnable, but there are other girls like Eva Patalinjug, Vickie Rushton, or Jehza Huelar who would be able to quickly snatch one of the crowns under her nose come finals night. 
  • I will swap Ena Velasco with MJ De Leon in the Top 15; and I would also like to place Jehza Huelar higher in the Top 8 (maybe a minor crown will do for her third try?).
  • I have a gut feeling that Binibining Pilipinas International will go to either Catriona or Michele. The Miss Universe Philippines crown is 3-way, and it will be between Catriona, Michele, or Aya (politics, fit, and legacy included in the mix of consideration).
This is the ONLY Binibining Pilipinas edition when I am praying, hoping, wishing for ONE candidate for Miss Universe Philippines. I honestly don't care about anything else. They can give the Binibining Pilipinas International crown to Edjeleyn Gamboa, and I'll be mighty fine with it as long as Catriona Gray is  Miss Universe Philippines 2018.

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  1. It is definitely Catriona's time to conquer the universe. May she be crowned tonight!


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