ABQ’s Bb. Pilipinas 2013 Post-Pageant Thoughts

Out of all the Bb. Pilipinas pageants, the 50th Anniversary offering (also known as Bb. Pilipinas Gold) – has got to be the most fabulous one! BPCI whipped out it’s most powerful weapon – it’s rich history of beauty queens and international winners starting with Gloria Diaz (Miss Universe 1969) and ending with Janine Tugonon (Miss Universe 2012 First Runner-up).

Many of my blog readers had said that they were more thrilled about the Parade of Queens rather than the contest itself. The Parade of Queens was the opening number that featured some 70 past queens with host Martin Nievera singing the Binibining Pilipinas theme song. For old school pageant fans, it was a dream come true to see their favorite Queens all together on stage; for the younger ones, it was an elegant lesson in history.

Now, there are 5 new winners added to the rich history of Bb. Pilipinas – Ariella Arida (Universe), Bea Santiago (International), Joanna Miranda (Tourism), Mutya Datul (Supranational) and Pia Wurtzbach (1st Runner-up). But before I share my thoughts on the Top 5, let me just say that adding a Supranational crown is an excellent development. More crowns means more girls get that once-in-a-lifetime chance to compete on the international level!


Bb. Pilipinas 2013 winners – L-R Pia Wurtzback (Runner-up), Cindy Miranda (Tourism), Ariella Arida (Universe), Bea Santiago (International) and Mutya Datul (Supranational)

Ariella Arida. Miss Philippines Universe 2013.

The winner of the Miss Universe Philippines 2013 title was not in my original list of favorites, however, this Chemistry grad landed on my list of best answers given during the Q&A portion. When PNP Director General Gen. Allan Purisima asked her what lesson about life could a woman teach a man she answered – being sensitive. She explained herself in a simple and straightforward way. Most importantly, she made sense.

Although not a favorite to win the crown, Ariella Arida was able to capture the hearts of the judges with her elegant bearing and piercing eyes. But I believe it was her simple but solid answer that gave her the edge above the favored ones.

How will she do in Miss Universe? Well, Janine Tugonon will be a tough act to follow. But Ariella Arida has a way of growing on you. Plus, her Asian vibe with Latina undertones should easily get her noticed by the judges. Did I mention that I love her body which is well-toned from all the marathon running she does?

Bea Santiago. Bb. Pilipinas International 2013.

Bea, from the very start of the pageant was a stand out in terms of stage presence and performance. Most pageant fans agree that this Canadian-based Pinay was clearly earmarked by fate for the Bb. Pilipinas International crown. Bea is really just a simple girl who loves the freedom of backpacking across the countryside but when you put her on stilettos on a stage, she morphs into a catwalk wonder.

Her chances in the Miss International beauty pageant I’d say are very good. Semi-finalist, runner-up or maybe even the crown! I’m confident because of two things: Bea Santiago has already been tried and tested on the international level having entered the Top 10 in the Miss Tourism Queen of the Year International 2012. Second – the Japanese contingent from Miss International seemed to be very impressed by our Bea. In fact the judge who asked her her question was Hirofumi Hashimoto, the Chairman of Miss International himself!

Joanna Cindy Miranda. Bb. Pilipinas Tourism 2013.

One of the prettiest faces in this batch of beauties, Cindy Miranda edged her way into the Top 5 with an ‘unstoppable’ answer. The Pinoy Big Brother housemate and ex-Wiltime Good Time host described herself as unstoppable when judge Liliana Marquez Zawadsky asked her what was one personal quality that most people remember about her. While Cindy had a strong start, unfortunately, she ended her answer weak. Fortunately, Cindy wasn’t lying when she said she was unstoppable so even her weak ending answer did not stop her from landing one of the 4 crowns.

So what are the chances of Cindy in the Miss Tourism Queen International 2013?

Well… it really depends on wheter there will be a pageant this year. Last year the franchise cancelled the pageant due to not-so-clear circumstances. Now if they DO have a pageant this year, it will most likely be held in China since all past MTQI pageants have been held there. Our territorial dispute with China will most likely taint the chances of any candidate we send. However, we have two strengths: the Philippines already has one MTQI winner – Justine Gabionza in 2006 (that gives us a good sash-factor) and Cindy Miranda is just so darned pretty and unstoppable!

Mutya Datul. Bb. Pilipinas Supranational 2013.

Mutya Datul’s victory is sweet vindication. After a disappointing loss in the Mutya ng Pilipinas beauty pageant last year, Mutya has boomeranged back winning one of the prized crowns in Bb. Pilipinas 2013. She deserves it! When she’s out on stage, you can’t see anybody else beyond her gracious smile. And she moves like a dancer too.

But what on earth is the Miss Supranational? Good question. It’s a very young pageant (on it’s 5th year) with about 50 countries competing. Their slogan is “Unite Our World with Beauty” and the pageant venue is normally Poland, but this year they migrate to Belarus.

Mutya Datul has a good shot at winning the title. At the very least, I can see  her in the semi-finals. The Philippines has a strong sash-factor with last year’s representative, Elaine Kay Moll, placing 3rd Runner-up. The interesting thing is that  Miss Supranational doesn’t really have a Q&A portion. According to Elain, she only had to go through a casual interview. That takes a lot of pressure off Mutya who can now focus on the physical aspect of competing. But, my advice, is to STILL train for Q&A. The best communicators always shine!

Pia Wurtzbach. Runner-up.

Many pageant fans thought she deserved a crown. But I think landing the Runner-up spot is still a sweet deal for the former Kapamilya actress. Why? Pia will be getting the same training that the 4 crowned winners get. Then, while she’s at it, she has one year to decide if she is going to join Bb. Pilipinas again. If she does join again, I believe there’s a big chance she’ll land a crown!

Why Didn’t They Win?

13. Charmaine Elima

13. Charmaine Elima

Charmaine Elima, Candidate #13 was a strong favorite for any of the crowns but I think the judges found her beauty a bit too angular. She also struggled through the Q&A portion and I believe that that shaved off major points for her.

33. Parul Shah

33. Parul Shah

Parul Shah, Candidate #33.  I still am trying to figure out why this top-notch beauty didn’t make it into the Top 5. The only thing I can think of is this: she’s not yet quite there yet in terms of confidence. Personally, I think she should try again – if not Bb. Pilipinas, perhaps another beauty contest.

31. Maria Angelica  de Leon

31. Maria Angelica de Leon

Mariel de Leon #31 had the crowd roaring every time she set foot on stage. I had high hopes for this one but perhaps the judges did not appreciate her type of beauty? She has a strong jawline that some might not like. What made me sadder was seeing her parents, actors Christopher de Leon and Sandy Andolong, in a melancholy hug backstage.


In spite of the disappointments (there are actually more, I just wanted to spare you the details) this is still the best ever Bb. Pilipinas beauty pageant that I have ever attended…  after the one I won. (LOL!) Bringing in the past Queens gave the pageant depth and a feeling of royalty. I hope and pray that BPCI will come up with new ways to involve all of the Queens in future pageants so that the young girls coming into the world of Binibining Pilipinas will have mentors to look up to and examples to follow. Old school meets new school.

As for the winners, I am satisfied over-all and believe that we will see some wonderful honors coming from these girls in 2013. Mabuhay ang Pilipinas!