My Favorite Non-Winners at Mutya ng Pilipinas 2013

While I’m quite happy with our two winners – Koreen Medina who got the Mutya Asia Pacific 2013 title and Angeli Dione Gomez who won Mutya Tourism 2013, there were a few non-winning girls that that stood out for me in the Mutya ng Pilipinas 2013 pageant. Here they are:

Zandra Flores (left), Vina Openiana (Top Right), Catherine Denise 'Kat' Trivino (Bottom Right)

Zandra Flores (left), Vina Openiana (Top Right), Catherine Denise ‘Cat’ Trivino (Bottom Right)

Photos from Rappler and from Cat Trivino’s blog

Let me start with #9 Zandra Flores who made it up to Top 10 and was Press Favorite and Photogenic winner:

I had the pleasure of sitting on the board of judges during the 3-day Metro Manila screening when she showed up to apply. Out of all the girls whom we screened one Day 1, she stood out with the most polished smile and catwalk. And that’s exactly what I think her downfall was. She’s just too polished.

During the Q&A on coronation night, I felt she answered too fast and gave too many details. Her question was about what she would want to get involved in, aside from tourism, if she won. Zandra Flores enumerated five things – security, cleanliness, better transportation services, currency exchange and to promote her home province of Pangasinan (but isn’t that last point a tourism thing?). 

Anywhoo… I believe she would have scored better if she were more relaxed and focused on just one and not five things. If she had a more dynamic answer, I believe she could have won the Tourism crown or a Runner-up slot. With that said, I still want to see more of this fascinating girl in another pageant.  With training and practice, it would be easy to dial down her exuberance.

My next favorite was #29 Vina Openiano who was in the Top 10 and won Best in Simwsuit:

What an amazingly pretty Pinay beauty she is! Vina Openiano has a bright, pretty face and long sinewy body that spell: W-I-N-N-E-R!!! So what went wrong?

I think her waterloo is communicating her thoughts. During the Q&A she was asked about who among the current crop of women achievers would be the best role model for Filipinas, In a sweet and halting voice she said Bb. Pilipinas Universe Janine Tugonon for winning in Miss Universe. It was good answer but… in my humble opinion, it’s not nice to talk about Bb. Pilipinas when you’re on the Mutya ng Pilipinas stage.

But even if the judges were to turn a blind eye to that, she still lacks confidence when answering. If Vina Openiano wants to continue her pageant journey I recommend speech classes and special training in answering questions.

One other contestant I liked was #20 Catherine Denise ‘Cat’ Trivino who entered the Top 10.

Kat Trivino was one of the prettiest faces in Day 1 of the Metro Manila screening. I warmed up to her fast when I found out that she was an online editor for a magazine. A smart girl, I thought. And Kat proved to be a good communicator although I think I made her really nervous at one point when I threw a tough question at her.

During the Q&A on pageant night, the question she got was about laws for the protection of women. Did we need more of them? She said yes we did. Then she went on to talk about the RH Bill and how, in her opinion, it was important for women. Her answer was good. What I think lessened her chances of winning wasn’t the Q&A but her newness. Kat has never really modeled before, much less joined a pageant. If she could just put her nose to the grindstone and train harder for the catwalk, I think she would make a great ramp model and maybe even a tough pageant competitor. Would love to see her try again.