Tuesday, March 19, 2019


The Philippine pageant scene probably has never been in a more powerful or favored position than right now. Filipinos need look no further than Pia Wurtzbach and Catriona Gray, the Miss Universe titleholders for 2015 and 2018 respectively, only three years apart. And they have other winners for other international pageants both major and otherwise over the same timeframe, but Miss Universe perhaps is the most important. These triumphs, so close to one another, brings hope that perhaps this year might see it happen again in this pageant and that. In that spirit, a new batch of hopefuls is assembled.
CNN Philippines tells us that the candidates for the 2019 Binibining Pilipinas pageant have been announced. The word came Monday, March 18, from the Bb. Pilipinas Charities Inc. on the pageant’s official Facebook page. The announcement detailed that 80 prospective candidates were considered for competition, but a final selection trimmed the number down to 40. In true fashion for more recent Bb. Pilipinas pageants the candidate list contains several returnees from past contents. These particular two were runners-up for the 2018 Bb. Pilipinas, and they are back to try their luck for the titles, and the chance to represent the country internationally, one more time.
Below is the list of 40 candidates for this year:
  1. Maria Andrea Abesamis
  2. Louisielle Denise Amorog
  3. Hannah Arnold
  4. Leren Mae Bautista
  5. Samantha Mae Bernardo – 2018 runner-up
  6. Alanis Reign Binoya
  7. Honey Grace Cartasano
  8. Cassandra Chan
  9. Pauline Anne Cordero
  10. Ilene Astrid de Vera
  11. Martina Faustina Diaz
  12. Danielle Isabelle Dolk
  13. Jessarie Dumaguing
  14. Rubee Marie Faustino
  15. Sigrid Grace Flores
  16. Maria Isabela Galeria
  17. Gazini Christiana Ganadis
  18. Jane Darren Genobisa
  19. Jean Nicole Guerrero
  20. Larah Grace Lacap
  21. Francia Layderos
  22. Samantha Ashley Lo
  23. Melba Ann Macasaet
  24. Danielle Joi Magno
  25. Dia Nicole Magno
  26. Bea Patricia Magtanong
  27. Jessica Marasigan
  28. Marianne Marquez
  29. Mary Faye Murphy
  30. Kimberly Penchon
  31. Samantha Poblete
  32. Vickie Marie Milagrosa Rushton – 2018 runner-up
  33. Joahnna Carla Saad
  34. Rosham Ramirez Saeed
  35. Julia Eugene Saubier
  36. Malka Shaver
  37. April May Short
  38. Emma Mary Tiglao
  39. Joanna Rose Tolledo
  40. Marie Sherry Anne Tormes
There are six international titles for which the Bb. Pilipinas pageant sends representatives to, all assigned from their annual winners. Two titles belong to the “Big Four” pageants Miss Universe and Miss International. The others are “minor” but notable competitions such as Miss Intercontinental, Miss Globe, Miss Supranational and Miss Grand International. The remaining two from the Big Four, Miss World and Miss Earth, have their own local pageants selecting Philippine representatives.
The Philippines’ pageant performances last year were thus: Bb. Pilipinas Universe Catriona Gray obviously won Miss Universe 2018; Bb. Pilipinas International Maria Ahtisa Manalo was a runner-up; and Bb. Pilipinas Intercontinental Karen Gallman won the title on that pageant’s debut.
Image: Bb. Pilipinas Official Website


On April, ten years of interconnected cinematic storytelling will come to an end of sorts when “Avengers: Endgame” premieres on cinemas worldwide. This movie is the last installment of the “Phase 3” batch of films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and will conclude the tragic cliffhanger from last year’s “Avengers: Infinity War.” “Endgame” brings together a titanic cast from across many past MCU “chapters,” and it was reflected in a recent film poster showing so many different characters. Sharp observers however noticed a missing cast credit and complained to Marvel Studios, leading to a quick edit of the poster.
CBS News reports that fans of the MCU franchise took exception to the latest promotional poster for “Avengers: Endgame” when they noticed that one of the characters on it did not have her name listed in the accompanying credits. In the poster’s massive character group art, to the left of the faces (observer’s right) is Okoye, head of the Dora Milaje royal guard for the King of Wakanda in “Black Panther,” as portrayed by Zimbabwean-American actress Danai Gurira. But unlike the other actors and actress in the group shot, her name was not printed in the top cast billing, instead grouped in the lower billing, the only actress in the image not to be included.
Fans of the MCU and Gurira herself, who is also well know via her regular casting on AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” were upset at they perceived to be a snub that singled her out from getting top billing. African-American commenters on social media were especially vocal in calling Marvel Studios out on this misstep, and demanding that the poster be edited or a new one issued. These actions bore fruit less than a day from the original poster release last week on Thursday, March 14.
An edited “Avengers: Endgame” poster was rolled out before the day was out, with Marvel Studios adding a comment of responsibility for the earlier flub. “She should have been up there all this time,” read the Twitter comment, with the accompanying poster image now having Danai Gurira’s name finally on top billing, between Karen Gillan (Nebula) and Bradley Cooper (voice of Rocket), both from the “Guardians of the Galaxy” films.
Gurira’s character Okoye serves as chief bodyguard to Chadwick Boseman’s King T’Challa of Wakanda, the titular “Black Panther” on the 2018 MCU blockbuster. She reprises the role in the follow-up “Avengers: Infinity War,” where she is witness to T’Challa becoming one of the countless victims of the life-ending powers of Thanos, played by Josh Brolin. “Avengers: Endgame” picks up from where that left off, on its premiere this April 26.
Image courtesy of Entertainment Weekly


Upon her victory in the 2018 Miss Universe pageant in Thailand last year, it is understandable that Catriona Gray will have a heaping serving of activities on her plate for this year. There are media appearances on the one hand, and international travels to act on various charities of the Miss Universe Organization (MUO) on the other. Still, Catriona has managed to make time to return to the Philippines every now and then, such as to do a charming commercial endorsement for the country’s biggest fast-food chain. The new ad also makes reference to the current Miss Universe’s trademark motion.
CNN Philippines has it that a new advertising was released last Friday, March 15, by Jollibee. It features Miss Universe Catriona Gray doing her signature slow-motion catwalk turn to promote a new reformulation of the fast-food’s Jolly Twirl sundae. Dubbed “Our Best Twirl Ever,” the ad features Catriona repeatedly performing her slow twirl that enchanted not just the pageant judges last December but also a number of runway models plus fashion publications and experts the world over. Resplendent in a long white gown with leg slit, the effect of Catriona’s twirls is superimposed on the new Jolly Twirl for emphasis.
The new recipe for the Jolly Twirl sundae by Jollibee Foods is said to be thicker and creamier than the former formulation. Catriona’s voiceover expounds that the reformulation makes the new Twirl retain its form, as well as keep from melting for much longer. These factors are going to be much helpful if the Jolly Twirl is ordered in a cone (to keep from dripping onto the hands), although it can also be enjoyed in a tumbler with the usual delicious chocolate topping. The new and improved Twirl still has the beloved vanilla flavor that has made it a hit with Jollibee’s numerous regular patrons.
When Jollibee goes and compares their Twirl sundae reformulation to Catriona Gray’s slow-motion twirl, they are certainly gunning for a high mark of quality. The “turn” along with the “lava walk” have been positively reviewed by “Vogue” magazine and supermodel Tyra Banks, two names that certainly know what they would be talking about. Jollibee regulars can try the new Jolly Twirl now, at P10 for the Cone Twirl and P30 for the chocolate-topped Twirl Sundae. They are the best twirl ever, as Catriona and mascot Twirlie demonstrate at the end.
Image courtesy of Starmometer