Brace yourselves for a âbeauty- lessâ year
The reign of 2019 Binibini beauties is extended, from left: Bb. Pilipinas Supranational Resham Saeed, Miss Universe Philippines Gazini Ganados, Bb. Pilipinas International Patricia Magtanong, Bb. Pilipinas Intercontinental Emma Tiglao and Bb. Pilipinas Globe Leren Mae Bautista.
Brace yourselves for a ‘beauty- less’ year
FUNFARE - Ricky Lo (The Philippine Star) - August 28, 2020 - 12:00am

Let’s start with the good news: The reign of the 2019 queens has been extended to next year, no thanks to the invisible enemy that has rudely disrupted life as we knew it, including the staging of beauty contests. They are: Bb. Pilipinas-International Patricia Magtanong, Bb. Pilipinas-Globe Leren Mae Bautista, Bb. Pilipinas-Supranational Resham Saeed, Bb. Pilipinas-Intercontinental Emma Mary Tiglao, Miss World Philippines Michelle Dee, Miss Universe Philippines Gazini Ganados and Mutya Pilipinas Asia Pacific Klyza Castro.

Except for the 2020 Miss Earth Philippines which held its pageant online (hosted by Paolo Bediones and won by Roxie Baeyens) several weeks ago and the 2020 Miss Universe Philippines (to be staged by the new team led by Shamcey Supsup and Jonas Gaffud; until last year, it was the Bb. Pilipinas Charities, Inc./BPCI that picked the country’s Miss U bet) will be pushed through maybe in October, the other pageants have been postponed to next year, including Mutya Pilipinas Asia Pacific, Miss International, Miss Supranational, Miss America and presumably Bb. Pilipinas (no announcement so far).

2019 Mutya Pilipinas Asia Pacifi c Klyza Castro.

“It will be a relatively ‘beauty-less’ year,” rued Arnold Vegafria, franchise-holder of the Miss World Philippines pageant. “We are not holding it this year. The Miss World pageant where our winner competes has been moved to next year.” (According to Gaffud, there’s no announcement yet if the Miss Universe pageant will still be held or postponed and, if ever, it will be the first time since its founding in 1952.)

But don’t despair, beauty-contest lovers. There’s a consolation according to BDO executive and Aces & Queens member Gerry Diaz (Funfare’s other “beauty expert”).

“They can watch many ‘beauty-ful’ shows,” he assured. “Nice alternatives.”

Pia Wurtzbach hosts Queentuhan and other online shows

“Being a so-called powerhouse country on the world stage of beauty, a lot of online talk shows have sprouted and devoted to pageants and beauty queens,” said Gerry. “I think it is because of the pandemic which has limited the activities of pageants, public appearances of beauty queens and even the cancellation of pageants, that these online talks have gained immense popularity.”

2019 Miss World Philippines Michelle Dee.

Pia teams up with former beauty queens Bianca Guidotti and Carla Lizardo in Queentuhan which was launched last June 2, aired live every Tuesday at 8 p.m. on the Trypod Network FB page. If you missed the episodes, they are uploaded on Pia’s YouTube and on Spotify the day after.

Ashtie Nights with the Korona Group

Ashtie Nights with the Korona Group is an online talk show composed of five close friends from different backgrounds that have bonded over their common love for pageantry.

The Ashties are composed of the following: Bessie Besana is a fashion designer who was a founding member of Aces & Queens camp and was instrumental in the pageant careers of Pia, Megan Young and Kylie Versoza. He was also general manager of Miss World Philippines for two years. Moks Gonzales is a senior officer in the Global Banking division of one of Southeast Asia’s largest financial institutions. Candy Drilon-Dalman is a Functional and Integrative Wellness doctor. Miguel Naranjilla is an expat in Bangkok, working as a Human Resource director in one of the top FMCG companies. Nigel Cornel has nearly a decade of experience in digital advertising and integrated marketing, working on top global brands.

Ashtie Nights can be viewed every Sunday 9 p.m. at the Sash Factor Facebook page and the YouTube channel of Bessie Besana.

Pageantry Norms

“One of the country’s most respected pageant bloggers, Norman Tinio, hosts this weekly online show that started last June 28. Season 1 will wind up end of August,” said Gerry, “with Season 2 premiering around mid-September. Online discussion about different topics that affect or concern Philippine pageantry. First part is a one-on-one with the different guests. Second part is a group discussion. Third part is answering interactive questions from viewers. The running time is 90 minutes.”

Gerry pointed out that as an indication of the current popularity of the online talk shows focusing on pageants and beauty queens, there are at least 10 other shows now running on the Internet.

“Try watching them,” he advised. “(These shows) promise to be fun and informative as well.”

Postscript: As Jonas Gaffud told The STAR last Tuesday, there will be 50 contestants in the 2020 Miss Universe Philippines pageant to be held strictly observing safety protocols, with a health officer to ensure compliance.

“All pageant segments will be retained. Judges will also be subject to swab tests and be isolated pending results,” he said. “The changes we already foresee are — pageants can be more forward thinking and not only for photo ops, we have a clear guide on how to help more people and make it relevant. We aim for more substance for better impact.”

(E-mail reactions at rickylophilstar@gmail.com. For more updates, photos and videos, visit www.philstar.com/funfare or follow me on Instagram @therealrickylo.)

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