The COVID-19 pandemic may have gotten the drop on many events, competitions and pageant last year, but this 2021 it is not going to delay the search for the new ideal in Filipina beauty any longer than it already has. This past Sunday, Smart Araneta Coliseum played host to the 57th Binibining Pilipinas beauty pageant, which should have been held last year. In an event which lasted three hours, a new batch of international pageant representatives were crowned, with a new top-title lineup. In this new edition, a mestiza Filipina studying forensic sciences became the new face of Pinay elegance.
As reported by The Philippine Star, the Binibining Pilipinas pageant took place on July 11 at Smart Araneta, hosted and presented by Bb. Pilipinas-Universe/Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray and Bb. Pilipinas-Grand International 2018 (1st Runner-Up in MGI18) Nicole Cordoves. With the Miss Universe franchise branching off to its own pageant for local representation and Miss Supranational being transferred to Miss World Philippines for contention, the top title is now the bet for Bb. Pilipinas’ last “original big three” franchise: Miss International. This was won by Hannah Arnold, who was crowned by her predecessor, Bb. Pilipinas-International Bea Patricia Magtanong. Arnold also won the special awards Miss Careline and Jag Denim Queen.
While similar to Catriona Gray as a Filipina-Australian (also with father of British-Irish ancestry), the Canberra-born Arnold, representing her mother’s home province Masbate, was commented on by observers online as having a facial similarity to the Filipina-German Bb. Pilipinas-Universe/Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach. From a field of 34 contestants, introduced singing and dancing to the new Bb. Pilipinas theme, she proceeded through the top 13, wowed the audience in her long gown, and impressed the panel of judges with her answer on whether freedom of speech exists in the country.
In the new title placement, Samantha Alexandra Panililio of Cavite was crowned the new Bb. Pilipinas-Grand International, Cagayan De Oro’s Cinderella Faye Obeñita placed as Bb. Pilipinas Intercontinental, and Batangeña Maureen Ann Montagne will represent as Bb. Pilipinas-Globe. Borongan, Eastern Samar’s Gabrielle Camille Basiano and Valenzuela City’s Meiji Cruz were 1st and 2nd Runners-Up, respectively. Completing the rest of the Top 13 are Patrizia Mariah Garcia (Manila), Patricia Denise Babista (Quezon province), Karen Laurrie Mendoza (Iloilo), Jashmin Lin Dimaculangan (Albay), Maria Francesca Taruc (Angeles, Pampanga), Honey Grace Cartasano (Rizal) and Graciella Lehmann from Oriental Mindoro.
Coverage of the 57th Binibing Pilipinas (2021) pageant was done by ABS-CBN and ZOE TV via A2Z Channel 11 and Metro Channel on cable, with live-streaming made available at iWantTFC and the pageant’s YouTube channel.
Image: Philippine Entertainment Portal