Binibining Pilipinas 2019: Who are the frontrunners?
I had the privilege to cover some of the most anticipated events of Binibining Pilipinas 2019. I went there thinking that I should be able to capture the best angles of each and every candidate this year. True enough, there are a lot of beautiful girls competing for the 6 titles at stake. However, being with the girls in their 2 consecutive events made me realize something. On their press presentation held last April 4, I was able to see a glimpse of what they can do on stage. The next day, I was also invited to be with the girls in their visit at the Art In Island Museum. Then I wonder, what if I stop taking photos for a while and try to connect? What if I go beyond what I see? I am a long time pageant fan myself. I got used to observing and commenting on girls based on what I see on photos and videos. Being with them in person, seeing them in an actual activity without any filters made me look at them in a different light. Having said that, here are some girls who stood out for me, for so many interesting reasons.
Denielle Joie Magno, 25 Pangasinan
She is not one of the tallest girls in this batch. Nevertheless, her face is the textbook definition of a FILIPINA BEAUTY . Her charm reminds me of Gloria Diaz, our first Miss Universe. What makes her more beautiful is her humble personality. I was able to talk to her for a while and it felt like you were just talking to a long time friend. There’s this very relatable vibe coming from her.
2. Ilene De Vera 23, Mandaue City, Cebu
She is not a pageant newbie that is why I already knew that she’ll do good during the press presentation. But during their Art In Island visit, I had a good chance to sit beside her which allowed me to talk to her. It was very casual. A part of me expected that she’ll still respond to me in a pageant manner. She didn’t! She can carry a conversation. What’s good about her is that she listens which made our convo free flowing. She just made me want to visit Cebu anytime soon. Good thing!!!
3. Samantha Mae Bernardo, 26 Palawan
She is one of those girls gifted with strong PR skills. Part of it is maybe because of her experience last year when she became a runner-up. I wasn’t able to talk much to her but based on how I see her interact with others, you would sense that she’s very engaged with every small talk she’s part of.
4. Hannah Arnold, 23 Masbate
She is a living,breathing,walking doll in person. It is her friendly aura that makes her more Filipina. She is one of those girls who would always smile and say thank you. She also has this childlike charm that made her less pageant patty. And I say that as a complement.
5. April Short, 24 Zamboanga City
She is one of the biggest surprises during the press presentation. Her stage aura was just so strong, you’ll just end up looking at her speechless. During the Art In Island visit, her face was so pretty, I just wanted to take a picture of her. You can really feel April’s presence but you can also sense that she’s shy and sometimes a bit timid. I know she can rock the stage come coronation night, though.
6. Patricia Magtanong 24, Bataan
Pageant fans waited for her to join Binibining Pilipinas and it finally happened. I initially thought that she’s gonna be intimidating because of her background but surprisingly, she’s far from being one. She has this effervescent personality that would make you want to know more about her. There’s a certain lightness in her aura that makes her relatable. She's magnetic. Side note: There's a bunch of museum visitors who wanted to take photo with her. I would assume that they are not really pageant fans but for some reason, they all gravitated towards her.
7. Maria Andrea Abesamis 27, Pasig City
She finally knows how to play the game. I also followed her journey last year and I can say that this year, she came ready. Her confidence is a notch higher than her previous Binibini campaign.
Girls I wished I was able to interact more.
Maria Isabela Galeria 20, Sorsogon
She has this silent confidence in her. You know there’s fire and passion in her eyes. I think she is one of the underrated girls of this batch.
Marianne Marquez, 26, Marikina City
She has one of the prettiest faces this year. She has this ethereal beauty in her that glows even in silence.
Cassandra Colleen Chan 24, Bacolod City
She is one of those girls who are less popular in social media but I must say, she is one, if not the most graceful performer on stage during the press presentation.
Jessarie Dumaguing 23, Puerto Princesa
She is one of those strong stage performers during the press presentation but for some reason, I had a hard time looking for her during the museum visit.
Leren Mae Bautista, 26 Laguna
She is also one of the most awaited girls to join Binibining Pilipinas. She can command attention yet also one of the low key girls during the event.
Time and time again, Binibining Pilipinas continuously discovers globally competitive Filipinas not just in pageants but also in their chosen field of endeavor off stage. This batch would definitely continue the legacy. People would often judge them based on their styling, based on their make-up, based on how they answer pageant questions. That is ok; pageants are still a competition after all. But I hope we all see things beyond the glitz and glamor of pageantry. These girls are strong enough to face judgement and pressure at the same time. I might be lucky enough to spot a winner from those girls I mentioned above. But it does not mean that the girls I missed to mention are not deserving. On June 9, 2019 a new set of Binibini Queens shall be crowned. Their Binibini journey is far from over. At the end of the day, I knew that I got the chance to be part of their journey not just to take their photos and follow them during events. I was there to see a different layer of being a True Binibini. It made me admire these girls even more not just as candidates but as a modern Filipina women who are ready to go #BeyondBeauty!