Celeste Cortesi Wins Miss Earth Philippines 2018


Silvia Celeste Cortesi, a 20-year-old half-Italian model from the Filipino Community of Rome, captured the Miss Earth Philippines 2018 title in SM Mall of Asia Arena on May 19. She was crowned by the reigning Miss Earth, Karen Ibasco, and will now shoot for another back-to-back win (and fifth crown) for the country later this year. This is the first edition of the pageant under its altered moniker. It was previously known as “Miss Philippines Earth” and even simply “Miss Philippines” in its earlier years.

As per recent tradition, the elemental titles are of equal bearing, which means the winners are considered co-titleholders and not mere runners-up. Crowned Miss Philippines Air 2018 was Las Piñas City‘s Zahra Bianca Saldua, whom most may remember as Megan Young‘s 2nd Runner-Up in Miss World Philippines 2013. A practicing Muslim, Zahra once again went for a modest swimsuit presentation just like in her previous stint. She wore a robe over her one-piece.  Miss Philippines Water 2018 is Berjayneth Chee representing Balingasag, Misamis Oriental and Miss Philippines Fire 2018 is Jean Nicole de Jesus representing San Rafael, Bulacan. Rounding up the elemental court is half-Ghanian Halimatu Yushawu, representing Titay, Zamboanga Sibugay. An aspiring singer, Halimatu was also briefly a contestant in Showtime‘s Tawag ng Tanghalan segment late last year.


Heavy favorite Marla Alforque from Cebu City had to settle for a Top 10 placement, together with Nathalie Louise Reyes of Dumaguete City, Lovely Lamptey of Taguig City, Theressa Mariano from the Filipino Community of Queensland, Australia, and Brazzirie Yanson from the Filipino Community of Vienna, Austria.

Rounding up the Top 18, the largest placement roster in the history of this pageant so far, were: Trixie Dadula of Tagum City, Ma. Divine Angela Veranga of Parañaque City, We’am R. Ahmed of Davao City, Gabrielle Camille Basiano of Tacloban City, Naomie Hannah White from the Filipino Community of Sydney, Australia, Noelle Uy-Tuazon (another Miss World Philippines alum) of Tangalan, Aklan, Marra Cristy Dianne Silvosa of Cateel, Davao Oriental, and Joanna Krystel Cabrezos of Zamboanga City.

Additionally, three more “diyosas” appear to have been close shots, based on their placements in various preliminary categories. Princess Faye Fernandez of Laak, Compostella Valley placed in the Top 10 of the Beauty of Face and Poise category, while Liz Mabao of Mandaluyong City and Lea Macapagal of Dinalupihan, Bataan placed in Beauty of Figure and Form. Another non-placer who earned significant recognition for  receiving multiple awards was Leandra Gabrielle Batingan of San Jose del Monte City who won Darling of the Press and Miss Hannah’s Beach Resort.

It’s been ten years since this pageant began identifying its entrants by geographic location and not just by contestant number, a move that seemed to be a positive omen for the country, since it started winning the international tilt since then. Curiously, these four Filipina winners either represented Cebu City or the City of Manila in their respective local stints. Celeste is now the first winner from an overseas community.

Congratulations to all the winners and good luck, Celeste! 




Kansas wins Miss Teen USA 2018


The Sunflower State takes two. Hailey Colborn, a 17-year-old ballet dancer from Wichita bested 50 other young ladies from around the United States at the Hirsch Memorial Coliseum in Shreveport, Louisiana on May 18. She is now Kansas‘ second Miss Teen USA titleholder after 1995’s Keeley Sue Sanders.

Colborn is an incoming freshman in Princeton University who one day hopes to venture into politics. She is also the proponent behind SelfPosi, a mentorship group which promotes self love and conducts lectures in various schools. At 5’4, she will now go down in the pageant’s history as one of its more petite titleholders. She was crowned by last year’s winner, Sophie Dominguez-Heitoff of Missouri, who now earns the distinction of having had the second shortest full reign.

Finishing 1st Runner-Up was South Carolina‘s Kirby Elizabeth Self, 2nd Runner-Up was Colorado‘s Chloe Zambrano, 3rd Runner-Up was IllinoisSyndi-Dion Bennett, while 4th Runner-Up was North Carolina‘s Kaaviya Sambasivam. It’s interesting to note that this the second consecutive year that a delegate of Indian descent captured the latter position.

For the first time since 2007, a second cut was made before the Final Five. Placing in the Top 10 were Florida‘s Lou Scheiffelin, Georgia‘s Savannah Miles, Louisiana‘s Lindsay Conque, Tennessee‘s Sofie Rovenstine, and Utah‘s Madilen Kellogg.

Rounding up the Top 15 (eliminated after the Sportswear Round) were California‘s Janeice Love, Maryland‘s Caleigh Shade, Michigan‘s Anane Loveday, Nevada‘s Britney Barnhart, and West Virginia‘s Trinity Tiffany. Prior to the pageant, Michigan’s delegate became an instant sentimental favorite as she was actually an orphan who grew up in the streets of Ethiopia before being adopted by Americans when she was eight.

Winning the Congeniality award before the actual crowning was Alabama‘s Kennedy Croomens. No Photogenic award was given out.

This year marked the pageant’s 10th anniversary as a livestream-only event, as made clear from the near-absence of production value. Erin Lim served as host for the second year in a row. This time, she was joined by fellow Fil-Am, Slay Model Management owner Cecilio AsuncionIt was for the first time since its inception that the pageant was held concurrently with Miss USA, set to happen in the same venue on the 21st. This was further emphasized by the clumping of both pageants’ social media updates in Miss USA‘s accounts. Given those conditions, one can only surmise what this could imply for the future of the pageant.



Catriona Gray is Miss Universe Philippines 2018


In what can easily qualify as a no-brainer to Filipino pageant fans, former Miss World Philippines titleholder Catriona Gray (Bb#20) was crowned Miss Universe Philippines 2018 at the 55th edition of the Bb. Pilipinas pageant, held on March 18 at the Araneta Coliseum. The 24-year-old Ms. Gray also won the lion’s share of special awards, including Best in Swimsuit, Best in Long Gown, the Pitoy Moreno Best in National Costume Award, JAG Denim Queen, and Miss Ever Bilena.

The Fil-Aussie beauty is best known for placing 4th in Miss World 2016, much to the dismay of fans who believed she should have won the title. With her victory, she will now have a second shot at international glory. Moreover, she will now be the first Filipina to have competed in both Miss World and Miss Universe.

Crowned Bb. Pilipinas-International was 20-year-old Maria Ahtisa Manalo (Bb#17), who will compete in the 56th Miss International Pageant in Tokyo, Japan. Third-timer Jehza Mae Huelar (Bb#31) was crowned Bb. Pilipinas-Supranational and will compete in the 10th Miss Supranational pageant in Poland. Former Mutya ng Pilipinas titleholder Eva Psychee Patalinjug (Bb#32) was crowned Bb. Pilipinas-Grand International and will now have a shot at competing internationally. Karen Gallman (Bb#38) was crowned Bb. Pilipinas-Intercontinental, while former DLSU Lady Spiker Michelle Gumabao (Bb#19) was crowned Bb. Pilipinas-Globe.

For the first time ever, both runners-up also earned tiaras. Completing the winners circle are actress Vickie Rushton (Bb#1), who was crowned 1st Runner-Up and Samantha Bernardo (Bb#14), who was crowned 2nd Runner-Up.

Early favorites, past placers, and one dark horse comprised the remainder of the Top 15. They were: Murielle Orais (Bb#3), Aya Abesamis (Bb#11), Juliana Kapuendl (Bb#15), Anjame Magtibang (Bb#21), Edjelyn Joy Gamboa (Bb#24), Wynonah Buot (Bb#26), and Sandra Lemonon (Bb#35).

Making the Top 25 were: Ana Patricia Asturias (Bb#4), Sigrid Grace Flores (Bb#7), Shane Tormes (Bb#8), Agatha Lei Romero (Bb#9), Kayesha Chua (Bb#10), Kristie Rose Cequeña (Bb#13), Ena Louis Velasco (Bb#23), Mary Joy de Castro (Bb#34), Patrizia Garcia (Bb#37), and Trixia Marie Maraña (Bb#39).



Congratulations to all winners and finalists! More on the results in our full review! 

Miss World 2017: Dominican Republic wins Sports Challenge, Enters Top 40


Island nations reigned supreme at the Miss World 2017 Sports challenge held yesterday at the Sanya Ocean Sonic Banling Resort.

Dominican Republic‘s 22-year-old Aletxa Mueses is now the first contestant to enter Miss World 2017‘s Top 40, after winning the first of five Fast Track events that guarantee placements for its winners. She is now the second woman from her nation to win the event since Marianly Burgos in 2011.

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A WinWyn Situation: Philippines Wins Reina Hispanoamericana 2017!

Teresita Ssen “Winwyn” Marquez made history in more ways than one on November 4 (Morning of November 5 in Manila time) for being the first Filipina and Asian to win Reina Hispanoamericana 2017.  The 22-year-old showbiz personality bested 26 other candidates from both Latin countries and/or of Latin lineage in the pageant held in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. Winwyn was crowned by incumbent titleholder Maria Camila Soleibe of Colombia.

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