'I'm here to make history': Gabby Basiano flies to Egypt for Philippines' back-to-back Miss InterContinental win

Earl D.C. Bracamonte - Philstar.com
'I'm here to make history': Gabby Basiano flies to Egypt for Philippines' back-to-back Miss InterContinental win
From left: Chelsea Lovely Fernandez (Globe), Gabrielle Camille Basiano (InterContinental), and Roberta Angela Tamondong (Grand International) at their send-off; Basiano as she leaves for Miss InterContinental 2022 in Egypt

MANILA, Philippines — Three of the four reigning Binibining Pilipinas queens - Gabrielle Camille Basiano (InterContinental), Chelsea Lovely Fernandez (Globe), and Roberta Angela Tamondong (Grand International - are all primed in preparation for their respective international pageants, all of which happens in October.

Borongan, Easter Samar's pride, Basiano, will be the first to compete at the 50th Miss InterContinental pageant in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt on October 14 (October 15, Manila time). She aims to follow the footsteps of reigning Miss InterContinental 2021 Cinderella Faye Obeñita through a back-to-back win for the Philippines.

"Nobody said it would be impossible. I am here to make history; giving me a sense of place," said the lovely Waray maiden who made history for winning the Best in Gown award for two consecutive years.

Because weather has been inclement lately, Gabby decided to depart for Egypt early to make time for any sudden changes in her flight schedule, and do away with being late for any of the pre-pageant events.

For her departure outfit, she was garbed in a duo-toned, earth-colored modern take of the baro't saya with her signature "salakot" as headgear. She said she'll be consistently presenting things "out of the box" throughout her pageant journey.

During the send-off, Gabby looked resplendent in a gossamer silvery outfit that not only shimmered but hugged her curves in the right places.

"I look at the rain as a sign of blessing. Thank you for the opportunity to join the Binibining Pilipinas again, and to represent the country in an international pageant. It lets people realize our worth as queens. My gown and costume designs will also come from Ken Batino and Kevin Salaysay, who have both been with me from the very start."

Tacloban beauty Fernandez is currently in Leyte for her long overdue homecoming prior to her departure for Tirana, Albania. She will be competing with other international delegates on October 15 (October 16, Philippine time).

"I have an optimistic mindset, that's my edge. As for the weather, I love the rain because it makes me feel relaxed and calm. My costume speaks a lot about me and its color tone is inspired (by) the colors of the Miss Globe Organization. 

"My heart is so full, witnessing all your support, and for believing in me. Let's all use social media to spread positivity. I am in a winning mindset. Now that I've been given the chance to wear a Philippine sash, 'di ko sya sasayangin. A back-to-back win is hard but, with determination, it is possible," said the Tacloban maiden.

"I've seen Chelsea's growth in the fours years that she has been training with Kagandahang Flores. And I'm so happy for the three of you." remarked KF Camp head, Rodgil Flores.

The media send-off at the Monet Ballroom of Novotel Manila was also graced by fellow Binibini sisters: Binibining Pilipinas 2nd runner-up Stacey Daniella Gabriel, Binibining Pilipinas 1st runner-up Herlene Nicole Budol, reigning Binibining Pilipinas International Nicole Borromeo, and Binibining Pilipinas International 2021 Hannah Arnold, who will be competing in Japan this December. 

"The whole Philippines is behind you, so I know you're all gonna win," said Hannah, in her message to the departing queens.

"You know how excited I am. You amaze me every day when you unleash your power more so, Chelsea. I know you'll make us all proud in Egypt, Gab! RoAn, you were born for this. You're gonna blow us all away. You'll all come home as new reigning queens," said Stacey in her well-wishing message to her Binibini sisters.

In concurrence, Herlene told her sister queens that, "Kayang kaya nyo yan at iuuwi nyo ang mga koronang 'yan sa Pilipinas."

"I'm so proud to be part of this court.and lucky to be part of this send-off. This time, the world gets to see what you all have to offer. You have our love and hearts wherever you are going," intimated Borromeo.

A message from Binibining Pilipinas Charities Inc. (BPCI) Chairperson Stella Marquez Araneta was relayed to the attendees by Uniprom chief operating officer Irene Jose: "My heart is filled with joy to see you compete on the international stage. Your BPCI family is always there to support you. Good luck, have fun, and bring home the crown."

Hailing from Laguna, Tamondong will vie with other hopefuls at the 10th Miss Grand International in Bali, Indonesia in October 25.

"As a little girl, I've always dreamt of competing in the Binibini pageant. I consider my age and personality as my edge in both national and international stages. Right now, I feel super grateful and really amazing. Words can't describe how my emotions are, especially when I'm in the company of supportive people, like you guys, all my pageant life.

"I welcome the rain, especially in times of heat. But they could bring floods to low areas, too. My priority is for the kids and that they should always be safe from the effects of bad weather. Let's always spread a grateful heart.

"I've been giving hints on my social media pages the 'pasabog' that I'll be bringing to Bali, through my collaboration with Roman Sebastian. 

"The day I got crowned as Binibining Pilipinas Grand International was the day we started working. Araneta City is known as the 'city of firsts' so I'll do my very best to win the first MGI crown for the Philippines," intoned the former Miss Eco Teen International winner.

"I wish RoAn the very best. I know there are more crowns for you to win. So when you won Binibining Pilipinas Grand International, I know you were right for it. This will be a year of firsts', like winning the country's first MGI crown in their 10th year anniversary," said Aces & Queens Director Gerry Diaz.

With Nicole Borromeo competing next year and Nicole Budol representing the country in the Miss Planet International in November, pageant fans are optimistic Stacey Daniella Gabriel will also be given a chance to compete internationally, or, if that doesn't materialize, that she continues her pageant journey in the next pageant season.

RELATED: Why Binibining Pilipinas winner Gabby Basiano cried at interview with Boy Abunda



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