With the influx of world-class stunners that comprise the golden batch of Binibining Pilipinas, (thanks to the three-peat, consecutive top five victory of Venus Raj, Shamcey Supsup, & Janine Tugonon in Miss Universe) coming up with my own set of prediction list a night prior to the forthcoming grand finale seemed to be a near-insurmountable task to accomplish. These top-notch beauties converging from the different walks of life would definitely spice up the competition and give our judges some intense throbbing headache trimming down the list of fifty gorgeous binibinis down to the elite circle of four, who would be worthier enough to succeed our reigning queens and hopefully surpass what they had achieved as they represent the archipelago in four international beauty quests - Miss Tourism Queen International, Miss Supranational, Miss International and finally Miss Universe. Whom do you think will be luckier enough to wear the four crowns at stake on April 14? Whose stars would shine the brightest come finals?
With all modesty aside, I would like to share with you my final predictions on what may likely to occur on the coronation night. This is just primarily based on my personal assessment and 'gut feel', so there's no reason to fret or be vexed with disappointment should your bets couldn't be found in my honor list.
So without further ado, here they are:
Mutya Johanna Datul
Considering the recent victors of Miss Universe, the organizers seemed to put more emphasis on girls with 'marketable' physical qualities rather than on its intellectual abilities alone. Based on its previous editions, the girl who emerged the wittiest in answering the final question didn't end up with the crown but the ones with the prettiest face with a not-so-impressive answer nailed it. Well, think about business. The MU org owned by the American business magnate Donald Trump needs someone who is 'universally appealing' to promote and widen their business ventures, whilst expanding their charitable causes. For me, Mutya perfectly fits the role. She is undeniably the 'face' of the competition. Call her a goddess if you like. She can be effortlessly fierce and gorgeously sweet at the same time. Performance wise, she got the most fascinating catwalk skills of the bunch, something that would instantly hold you in a complete ensorcelling state while gazing her vibrant sensual strides on the runway. Her rugs-to-stardom quest coupled with her determination to help her ailing parents is such an inspiration in which press people would be interested to delve in with. Although she lags way behind the communication department, virtually devoid with the ability to use the English language proficiently, I firmly believe that this wouldn't be a major downfall for her since she vocally expressed her thoughts on her preference to speak the language she's most comfortable with. As what the reigning Miss Universe First Runner-Up, Janine Tugonon said during the final Q&A, "Miss Universe is not about being able to speak a particular language, it's about being able to influence and inspire other people. No matter what language you have as long as you have the heart, you can be Miss Universe."
The Philippines is currently considered as the powerhouse in Asia and even in the world at large concerning Miss International. Since its inception, four Filipina beauties were able to clinch the international titles, with Miss Lara Quigaman as the latest victor. With its five consecutive semifinal placements during the last five years, it appears that the Philippines is once again poised to capture its fifth Miss International crown. The impressive track record of the Philippines in this pageant is not surprising at all in the sense that its very first winner, Madame Stella Marquez de Araneta of Colombia is the current BPCI's big gun who scrutinizes Filipina beauties to be sent for the annual Miss International pageant. Contenders with mestiza features and doll-faced stance is BPCI's signature prototype and Pia Wurtzbach fits well in this category. Her classic Eurasian qualities and seemingly endearing personality even at first glance would certainly make her even more pleasantly conspicuous among the watchful eyes of the Japanese organizers.
Maine's excellent styling is highly commendable. She deserves the hype from her avid followers and supporters even before the pageant had started and personally I fell in love with her from the start. She's actually my ultimate bet for the Universe from the very beginning until Mutya who came from nowhere swiftly stole the thunder from her. Her outstanding scholastic achievements (being a Summa Cum Laude awardee) paired with her effervescent dusky packaging convinced me well to seal her fate for the Universe crown, however performance-wise, she seemed to be ephemeral and her catwalk skills were just fleeting in a glimpse. Even her performances in the long-stretched pageant activities seemed to be lacking with vibrancy. I've vividly recalled what Janine said in an exclusive interview that Miss Universe is a 'personality pageant' and not just all about beauty, grace or intelligence. Her shortcomings in this area made me to settle her down to Supranational crown where her comely exotic stance would be greatly appreciated by the Europeans.
With the ongoing maritime territorial disputes between the Philippines and China , the chances of winning the crown are quite very slim should the pageant be held in the Chinese turf. However if its indeed true that real beauty transcends beyond the impossible, then Ara could give a strong fight clinching the top plum and would leave no stone unturned. That seemingly subtle yet beauteous oriental look matched with her bewitching charm would surely be a stand out, beyond question.
Bea Rose Santiago
Binibining Pilipinas 2013 First Runner-Up
Bea's sophisticated aura coupled with those entrancing latina vibes written all over her commands attention. How I would like her to walk away with the crown but at the moment she's slightly underneath the four ladies above. Yes her professional photos are just impeccably stunning (I don't have qualms about it) however I find her less physically enticing in 'some' of her candids. Nonetheless, despite of those nearly-imperceptible foibles she's undeniably in the league of this year's elite stunners to watch out for come coronation night who could possibly snatch one of the crowns at stake.
Hannah Ruth Sison
Binibining Pilipinas 2013 Second Runner-Up
The golden batch is indeed filled with creme de la creme beauties armed with great potentials to shine in the international arena and Hannah is one of those stunners gifted with such captivating countenance. She's an epitome of a modern Filipina blessed with unsullied beige skin tone, elegant forehead and winsome, megawatt smile that could effortlessly lit up an entire coliseum. Should the front-runners would recklessly let their guards down even by just one fleeting chance, she could undoubtedly jolt down a smashing knock-out punch.