Controversial candidates join Miss Universe Philippines 2020
Deni Rose M. Afinidad-Bernardo ( - February 17, 2020 - 12:56pm

MANILA, Philippines — Miss Universe Philippines has presented its first batch of candidates since the Miss Universe brand separated from Binibining Pilipinas beauty pageant.

Fifty-two candidates will compete for the crown on May 3 at the Mall of Asia Arena and SMX Convention Center. They are the following:

Christelle Abello from Aklan
Paula Madarieta Ortega from Albay
Christine Nicole Silvernale from Angeles City
Joecel Marie Robenta from Antique
Princess Marquez from Aurora
Bea Theresa Maynigo from Baguio City
Jan Alexis Elcano for Batanes
Nathalia Urcia from Batangas
Skelly Ivy Florida from Biliran
Pauline Amelinckx from Bohol
Dianella Louise Loya from Bulacan
Vincy Vacalares from Cagayan de Oro
Mari Danica Reynes from Cagayan Province
Krizzia Lynn Moreno from Camarines Sur
Mariam Lara Hamid from Capiz
Sigrid Grace Flores from Catanduanes
Kimberly Hakenson from Cavite
Tracy Maureen Perez from Cebu City
Apriel Smith from Cebu Province
Alaiza Malinao from Davao City
We'am Ahmed from Davao del Norte
Mariel Joyce Pascua from General Santos City
Maria Regina Malana from Isabela
Adelma Benicta from Ilocos Su
Rabiya Mateo from Iloilo City
Kim Chi Crizaldo from Iloilo Province
Noreen Mangawit from Kalinga
Trizha Ocampo from La Union
Jo-Ann Flores from Laguna
Chiara Lyn Markwalder from Leyte
Ivanna Kamil Pacis from Makati
Lou Dominique Piczon from Mandaue
Alexandra Abdon from Manila
Maria Lianina Macalino from Marinduque
Caroline Joy Veronilla from Misamis Oriental
Maricres Castro from Muntinlupa
Angela Aninang from Negros Occidental
Adee Hitomi Ariate Akiyama from Oriental Mindoro
Jennifer Linda from Palawan
Patricia Mae Santos from Pampanga
Maira Ysabella Ysmael from Paranaque
Maria Nina Soriano from Pangasinan
Zandra Nicole Sta. Maria from Pasay
Riana Pangindian from Pasig City
Michele Theresa Gumabao from Quezon City
Faye Deveza from Quezon Province
Ericka Evangelista from Rizal
Marie Fee Tajaran from Romblon
Maria Isabela Galeria from Sorsogon
Carissa Rozil from Surigao del Norte
Sandra Lemonon from Taguig City
Perlyn Cayona from Zamboanga del Sur

This roster includes Lemonon, who competed against Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray at the 2018 Binibining Pilipinas pageant. She became known for her honesty of not knowing much about the government's "Build, Build, Build" program when asked about it in the question and answer portion.

"The insights of the government's 'Build, Build, Build' program. Actually, I studied so much for this Q&A, but suddenly that's something that I really don't know much about. But, at least I'm here trying to answer a good question. Thank you!" Lemonon said.

Related: DoTr thanks Binibining Pilipinas bet for prompt to promote 'Build, Build, Build'

Also among the candidates to watch for is volleyball star and Miss Globe 2018 top 15 finalist Michele Theresa Gumabao, who was also Catriona's Binibini batchmate.

Related: Michele Gumabao returns to pageantry, joins Miss Universe Philippines 2020

Last Valentine’s Day, the Maynila Ballroom of historic The Manila Hotel became the center of the Universe as Miss Universe Philippines presented the candidates this year vying for the most coveted title in pageantry.

As the Philippine franchise makes the search for that one Queen, it is only fitting that the lovely ladies be publicly introduced via the glamor and much-deserved royal treatment of a red carpet affair in the hotel that truly represents Filipino history and tradition, The Manila Hotel, the true heart of the Philippines. In keeping with the theme, the ladies donned amazing modern Ternos, some made of indigenous fabrics, to highlight not just Filipino artistry but local culture and creations as well.

Present at the glitzy affair was Miss Universe Philippines National Director Shamcey Supsup and other luminaries, including host Christi McGary (Miss Intercontinental 2015 1st Runner-up). 

During the coronation night, reigning Miss Universe Philippines Gazini Ganados will pass on her crown. — Video by Erwin Cagadas Jr. and Gabriell Fajardo

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