MANILA, Philippines - Aside from four titles at stake — Universe, International, Supranational and Tourism — the current 40 hopefuls in the Bb. Pilipinas pageant will have a new title to compete for, Bb. Pilipinas-Intercontinental, the winner of which will join the contest somewhere in Europe.
This was announced by Madame Stella Marquez de Araneta, head of Bb. Pilipinas Charities, Inc. (BPCI), who has high hopes that the country will bag its third Miss Universe title (after Gloria Diaz in 1969 and Margie Moran in 1973). So far, the Philippines has already won five Miss International crowns (Gemma Cruz in 1965, Aurora Pijuan in 1970, Melanie Marquez in 1979, Precious Lara Quigaman in 2005 and Bea Rose Santiago in 2013).
The lucky streak held for the country in the past four years, with our bets finishing finalists (Venus Raj fourth runner-up in 2010, Shamcey Supsup third runner-up in 2011, Janine Tugonon first runner-up in 2012 and Ariella Arida third runner-up in 2013).
Meanwhile, JAG has joined as a gold sponsor in this year’s search, showcasing the 40 candidates in its recent show at the Smart Araneta Coliseum where the grand coronation night will be held next Sunday, March 30 (aired live by ABS-CBN).
Films by Brillante, Lana finalists in 12th HAFFF
The Hong Kong Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF) unveiled its finalists for its 12th edition to be held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center on March 24 to 26.
Brillante Mendoza’s The Embroiderer and Gay Messiah, and Jun Robles Lana’s Our Father are among the 25 films that will vie for the seven awards at stake: HAF Awards, HAF/Fox Chinese Film Development Award, HAF Script Development Fund, Fushan Documentary Award, Wouter Barendrecht Award and Network of Asian Fantastic Films Award. In addition, other films are competing for the HAF/Fox Chinese Film Development Award in the three-day forum. For the record, Nick Deocampo was the first Filipino filmmaker to make it as a finalist in 2000.
The Embroiderer of Centerstage Productions (produced by Teeda Pascual) is a drama set during the Japanese Occupation about 83-year-old Anik who weaves the pattern of her love story into her traditional dress and shows history as it shapes the pattern of how Filipinos weave a nation under colonization. Gay Messiah (also of Centerstage Productions, produced by Larry Castillo) is a docu-drama about 47-year-old Ferdinand Santos, commonly known as Pia, a bubbly gay who shares his kindness and positivity with his neighbors and plays Jesus Christ in the Lenten play for 22 consecutive years in his barangay.
Our Father of Octobertrain Films (produced by Ferdinand Lapuz and Perci Intalan) is the story of 14-year-old boy forced to choose between holding true to his principles and holding on to the only family he has left.
HAF is Asia’s premier project market to connect Asian filmmakers’ upcoming film projects with internationally prominent financiers, producers, bankers, distributors, buyers and funders for co-production ventures. It had helped its alumni including several Filipino film projects attain critical acclaim and recognition at major film festivals worldwide. — Reported by CELSO DE GUZMAN CAPARAS