Sweeter the second, third time around
Sweeter the second, third time around
CONVERSATIONS - Ricky Lo (The Philippine Star) - March 22, 2015 - 12:00am

A quitter never wins; a winner never quits.

Perhaps taking a cue from that catch line popularized years ago by the “winning-est” PCSO agent Manuel Uy, beauty aspirants don’t just call it quits after the first try, they dare to try again and again until the crown lands on their pretty heads or, that’s it, they simply give up.

Four of the five 2015 Bb. Pilipinas winners were repeaters, so what’s wrong with it? If at first you don’t succeed, try again!

And they are:

  • Pia Wurtzbach, Miss Universe-Philippines; Culinary Arts graduate from the Center for Culinary Studies; Virgo/Libra (a cusp born in August at the transition between the two zodiac signs); first competed in the Bb. Pilipinas pageant in 2012, finishing first runner-up to Ariella Arida (third runner-up in that year’s Miss Universe Pageant), then last year, semi-finalist to Mary Jean “MJ” Lastimosa and finally a winner this year; was with ABS-CBN’s Star Magic (a.k.a. Pia Romero).

= Janicel Lubina, Bb. Pilipinas-International; taking up B.S. Tourism Management at STI; first contest was for Miss Scuba Philippines, second was Miss Bikini Philippines, third was 2013 Miss Philippines-World (first runner-up to Megan Young, the first Miss World from the Philippines) and the fourth was this year’s Bb. Pilipinas pageant; Aries (April 1); hails from Palawan where she used to be a kasambahay and helped her parents in the farm.

  • Rogelie Catacutan, Bb. Pilipinas-Supranational; a registered nurse from Cebu; just resigned from her job at a five-star hotel in Cebu City; Taurus (born in April); first competed in the 2011 Miss World-Philippines (won by Gwendoline Ruais who finished first runner-up in that year’s Miss World pageant).
  • Ann Lorraine Colis, Bb. Pilipinas-Tourism; a Management/Accounting graduate from UST where she’s taking up a second degree; Virgo (Sept. 15); the only first-timer in a beauty contest.
  • Christi Lynn McGarry, Bb. Pilipinas-Intercontinental; full scholar at Peace University Business School in Lower Manhattan; Pisces (Feb. 28); first competed in the Mutya ng Pilipinas Asia-Pacific contest and won the right to represent the country in the 2010 Top Model of the World and Miss Intercontinental, finishing semi-finalist in both and the Bb. Pilipinas Pageant this year. The question is: Is she qualified to join the Miss Intercontinental contest again as the country’s bet for the second time? Will she switch titles with any of the other winners? Here’s the official statement from the Bb. Pilipinas Charities, Inc. (BPCI): All the winners of the 2015 Bb. Pilipinas Pageant will keep their respective and original titles. Contrary to speculations, there will be no switching of titles, following questions about the crowning of Bb. Pilipinas-Intercontinental Christi Lynn McGarry. McGarry is eligible to compete in the Miss Intercontinental 2015 pageant. Bb. Pilipinas-Supranational Rogelie Catacutan will also compete in the Miss Supranational 2015 pageant.

Two days after they bagged their titles, the Binibinis sat down with Conversations for another round of Q&A, minus the critical attention of judges. Honestly, they made more sense than they did during the 52nd staging of the country’s most prestigious pageantry Sunday night, March 15, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, and it was understandable. At the Oasis of the Gateway Mall in Cubao, Quezon City, there were no partisan groups, no bashers, but only the interviewer and the photographer.

Let’s lend them a friendly ear.

As a beauty queen, how can you best serve the country or help in achieving peace?

Rogelie: To help promote peace, I should start with myself. You will never see a change in this world if you don’t do within yourself, or do it for yourself. Today, achieving peace is a very hot issue. Peace is harder to win than war. But if everyone of us learns to nurture love, respect and courage among each other, there will be peace and the Philippines will be a better place to live in.

Janicel: I can help influence others to respect other people’s opinion and learn from one another. If we learn how to listen to each other we can have better communication and working together towards peace can start from there.

Pia: As Miss-Universe Philippines, I can create awareness. My beauty title will hopefully make people listen to me, to what I have to say. It’s good enough that you are beautiful, that catches people’s attention, but what should interest people is what you have to say. We can make people smile, talk to them, give them something to think about so they can form their own opinion.

Christi: These titles don’t give us a right to claim that we are the most beautiful girls in the country. We should use the opportunity as a platform to spread awareness. With these titles we are able to reach the masses and people in other parts of the world. Our message is peace and that’s what we should promote.

Ann Lorraine: I agree that the way to peace starts with ourselves. We should forget our pride, be humble and learn how to forgive.

How do you deal with bashers on social media?

Rogelie: Whatever you do, there will always be some people who will criticize you. I take it positively. It can even serve as a mirror to me. Whatever they see in me I will take as a compliment and help me improve myself.

Janicel: Since I started joining beauty contests, I have had a lot of bashers about the way I speak. I’m thankful to them because they challenge me to improve myself.

Pia: That’s why during the Q&A, I said, “Think before you click.” Right? If I can’t take the bashing, I can always shut off my computer or my phone. What I was trying to say during the Q&A is to practice self-censorship. There are things that you can control. I can choose what to read and what to see. If the criticism is constructive, fine. Otherwise, forget it. Bashing is now part of the culture. So whatever you guys want to throw at us, right on! We are ready for the challenge.

Christi: I’ve been a victim of bashing but very little, and I just didn’t pay any attention to it. It’s my parents who get upset. I tell them, “Hush up, it doesn’t bother me.” My brother said that you should focus on only one thing at a time. You can either be positive or negative. I choose to remain positive.

Ann Lorraine: Naging victim na rin ako ng bashing. You can’t please everyone, sabi nga. If you know yourself, why mind what other people say about you?

Do you think women are now on equal footing with men?  

Rogelie: Gender shouldn’t be a factor in social equality. There will always be advantages and disadvantages on both sexes. What we should do is make your husband or your wife do better. Relationships should be mutually beneficial. God created us equally. There’s no such thing as the better sex.

Janicel: Women are almost there. They are in business, in politics, in any field. They can do what men can do. But I admire men pa rin especially when making decisions, kasi women are very emotional when they make decisions.  

Pia: Yes, women today are at par with men. Look everywhere and you can see women empowerment. Women are being hired for more jobs that used to be exclusive for men. One gender shouldn’t be considered more superior than the other. The trend now is gender equality, not just among men and women but also including gays. (Note: Women are among the Top 10 in this year’s batch of PMA graduates.)

Christi: I agree with the ladies. Women are not only on equal footing with men; women are given the opportunity to surpass men. Women are now able to be the breadwinner of the family.

Ann Lorraine: Today, women can do what men can do. I think what has to be changed is the way people think…that men are superior to women.

If ever you joined showbiz, which three actors would you want as leading men?

Rogelie: Jericho Rosales, Paulo Avelino and John Lloyd Cruz. They are very good-looking, good actors and they embody the New Filipino, matitipuno. And yummy!

Janicel: John Lloyd Cruz, Derek Ramsay and Luis Manzano.



Pia: Piolo Pascual, John Lloyd Cruz and Sam Milby. I’ve worked with them separately, with Piolo in the ABS-CBN sitcom Bora and with John Lloyd and Bea (Alonzo) in It Might Be You. They tried to make me the third party but they just couldn’t destroy the John Lloyd-Bea love team, so I became a beauty queen instead, hehehehe! I‘ve worked with Sam in a variety show; he’s kalog so I think I would get along with him. But I would love to work with all three of them in one movie, ‘yung parang pag-aagawan nila ako, hehehehe!!!

Christi:  Jericho Rosales, Piolo Pascual and…I couldn’t think of somebody as tall as or taller than I am. So, why not Brad Pitt? Hehehehe!!!

Ann Lorraine: Zanjoe Marudo, who is a good friend of my friend; Jericho Rosales; and Luis Manzano.

You all know that Pres. Noynoy Aquino is a confirmed bachelor. How would you react if he invited you to a dinner date (any conditions such as no bodyguards, etc.)?

Rogelie: I would definitely say yes. He’s confronted with so many issues so I would like to ask him how he copes with stress and how many hours of sleep he gets per night?

Janicel: No, kasi gusto ko pangalagaan ang pangalan na mayroon ako. Hindi naman masama na i-meet ang presidente natin for one night but then, huwag na lang.

Pia: I don’t think it’s possible to go on a date with the president without his bodyguards. (Did the president have bodyguards when you were reported to have gone on a date with him?) Yes, because it wasn’t a date for two. I was with a group. You see, I’m a contributing writer for the Inquirer and we had a group dinner, led by our editor Thelma San Juan, with the President and that’s how I met him. Yes, the bodyguards were with him. I don’t know why people are making it such a big deal. What did he eat? I don’t remember. What did I eat? Nothing, because I was on a diet. If ever he invited me (again), hindi puedeng hindi kasama ang crown ko. My crown is my boyfriend; ang tagal kong niligawan ito, hehehehe!

Christi: I would accept it as a form of flattery But I would also make sure that it’s not a personal date but an opportunity to speak about more political issues. Not everyone is given a chance to go on a date with a president. (Would you ask him if he’s choosy with women and that’s why he hasn’t gotten married up to now?) No, I wouldn’t ask him personal questions.

Ann Lorraine: Of course, why not? Not every girl is given the opportunity to have dinner with a president. But I don’t think that’s gonna happen.  

Okay, do you have a boyfriend?

Rogelie: I know I am loved…by so many people! (Laughs)

Janicel: I had before, two years ago, pero ngayon wala na.

Pia: No boyfriend. Although may niligawan ako ng matagal, almost two years. (Touching her crown) Ito, nakuha ko na! I’m a very complicated person, no wonder I’m still single. (Adding in jest) I will remain single for two more years because mananalo pa akong Miss Universe and that’s another one-year reign, so medyo matagal pa.

Christi: I’m single.

Ann Lorraine: Happily single.

(E-mail reactions at entphilstar@yahoo.com. You may also send your questions to askrickylo@gmail.com. For more updates, photos and videos visit www.philstar.com/funfare or follow me on www.twitter/therealrickylo.)

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