After being postponed for a week, the 2017 Binibining Pilipinas 2017 Press Presentation finally happened at the Monet Ballroom 2 of Novotel Araneta Center yesterday. All stunning 39 Binibini ladies showcased their beauty, poise, and confidence in swimwear designed by Jeffrey Rogrador and shoes provided by Jojo Bragais.
It was a star-studded affair as it was graced by no less than Madame Stella Marquez de Araneta and Conchita Bernardino, chairwomen of the BPCI screening committee and former Binibining Pilipinas titleholders like Ara Arida, Mafae Belasco, MJ Lastimosa, Elaine Moll and Christy McGarry. The star wattage of the affair soared higher when Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach showed up on stage towards the end of the Presentation. Outgoing queens Jennifer Hammond, Angelica Alita, Nichole Manalo and Joanna Eden hosted the proceedings.
Over the years, the Press Presentation is a very crucial part of the Binibini competition as this is where the final top 15 girls are usually being selected by the panel of judges. I don’t know if this will still be true starting this year considering the organization’s prior announcement that they will put a meatier component on the communication skills of these ladies.
So without further ado, these are the fifteen girls and their 5 alternates who stood out for me, in my humble opinion, yesterday.
- Binibini 2 Arianne Calingo – The hair extension made her look taller. I like the fact she didn’t go heavy with her makeup as it made me appreciate her exotic facial features on the runway.
- Binibini 3 Maria Gail Tobes – Her sweet and demure presentation caught my eye. When she smiles, she captures our attention. Though she eerily looks like a fair version of Maxine Medina in some angles, I have faith she will gain more traction as the pageant heats up.
- Binibini 10 Jehza Huelar – Her presentation was spot-on and fluid. The girl has the right curves in the right places. Talk about consistency, she is it!
- Binibini 12 Angelique de Leon – It is obvious she is quite relaxed with her overall presentation this year. No more “gigil.” Her stage presence is no doubt her biggest asset and I am glad she is toning it down with her catwalk and gestures. One of the ladies who also have a strong and amiable personality, a crown is long overdue for this beautiful lady. I hope the stars will align in her favor come coronation night.
- Binibini 13 Sirene Sutton – It’s becoming crystal clear to me that she is one to watch out for in this year’s batch. Every turn she did on stage was flawless for me. This statuesque model just looked so heavenly and immaculate for me. Either Universe or Supranational title for this lady.
- Binibini 15 Angelica de Leon – It is noticeable that she is slowly shedding off the pounds and she just did everything right for me yesterday. She really has one of the most gorgeous faces in this year’s batch and I cannot help staring at her beautiful face all throughout her turn. She really reminds me of Bianca Manalo’s turn back in 2009. Definitely a top contender.
- Binibini 18 Nelda Ibe – Her previous Miss World Philippines exposure is helping her gain the momentum she needs as the pageant progresses. This licensed pilot has an unexplainable charm and I can’t resist. However, she needs to slim down more if she wants to snag one of the crowns from the top contenders.
- Binibini 19 Rachel Peters – An angular Solenn Heussaff for me! She is killing it, no doubt! With that captivating beauty, banging body and spectacular communication skills, she is the most well-rounded candidate for me this year. Definitely a lock for the Universe title.
- Binibini 21 – Jamaica Ambal – The tallest exotic girl of this batch. She registered very strong for me yesterday. She really has a huge potential to be the major spoiler of this year. She could be a Charmaine Elima in another year should she go empty handed this year.
- Binibini 22 Chanel Olive Thomas – She just zoomed up on everyone’s list yesterday. I can see she is doing her homework day by day. She has softened her strong facial features and she is just a delight to watch on stage and press interviews. If she plays her cards well, she could end up like Carlene Aguilar and be a celebrated crossover beauty queen of this decade.
- Binibini 24 Dindi Pajares – No doubt she really wants to snag one of the major crowns this year (with her luminous facial features and knockout body) but one thing that is preventing her from doing that, in my opinion, is her hair styling. The bangs is really aging her as compared to the long jet black straight hair she sported last year. I noticed that her catwalk was subdued too yesterday. I prefer my old Dindi last year. Please bring that back again.
- Binibini 30 – Liezl Ramos – Her previous forays in Binibini have helped her gained the confidence that she needs this time around. Her exotic features and catwalk can’t be denied yesterday. The girl is really in it to win it! I hope third time’s a charm for her.
- Binibini 31 – Katarina Rodriguez – No doubt, just like Mariel, she has one of the most beautiful faces of this year’s competition but for someone who came from Asia’s NextTop Model, she left me wanting for more yesterday. The head spin was also distracting. Nevertheless, she is still a heavy contender. She and Mariel will really square it off for the International title, in my opinion.
- Binibini 32 – Charmaine Elima –i felt like she was coming out from a Miss Universe Press Presentation instead with her dusky exotic facial features and catwalk yesterday. She is slowly getting her body in fighting form as the competition heats up as well. The girl is really peaking at the right time. Universe or bust for this lady.
- Binibini 39 Elizabeth Clenci – Oh my Eva Longoria! That face alone is enough to send me shivers down to my spine. If she will just be styled hip and modern on coronation night, she could be the Joanna Eden of this year. There is a potential.
Sammie Ann Legaspi, Ana Patricia Asturias, Christagale Borja, Gabriela Ortega and Thoreen Halvosen round up my list.
Six titles will be up for grabs at this year’s Binibining Pilipinas coronation night on April 30. The six titles are Miss Universe Philippines, Binibining Pilipinas International, Binibining Pilipinas Supranational, Binibining Pilipinas Intercontinental, Binibining Pilipinas Globe and Binibining Pilipinas Grand International titles
Incidentally, BPCI has opened up the online voting to the public for the Miss Photogenic award this year. Pageant fans and aficionados may go to their website to vote (bbpilipinas.com/vote or download the Binibining Pilipinas mobile app on your smartphones. The public vote will be added to the media vote cast during the press presentation yesterday in determining this year’s Miss Photogenic winner.