Freeman Cebu Entertainment

‘Mabuhay! We are your BINIbinis!’

Kassandra Venice Broca - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — P-Pop girl group BINI, formerly known as SHA Girls (Star Hunt Academy), launched their “Karera’” in 2019 and debuted in 2022 with their first single “Born To Win.” Its eight talented and versatile girls – Jhoanna, Aiah, Colet, Gwen, Maloi, Mikha, Sheena and Stacey – started from having only 30 Blooms (their fandom’s name) during their first anniversary to now having thousands in their third year as the “nation’s girl group.”

BINI, derived from the word “binibini” (young lady), is a group that aims to inspire the youth. These young women, who began their journey at the ages of 15 and 16, have made waves in the entertainment industry with their dedication, resilience, and irresistible energy.

As their fame rose, people have begun to know more about them. BINI’s training and practice videos have gone viral, with fans eagerly comparing the members’ personalities, revealing different aspects of them that made them ideal for the taste of Filipinos. Jhoanna is the patient leader. Gwen, Colet, and Mikha stand out as the “nonchalants’’, while Maloi, Stacy, Sheena, and Aiah are the OAs. Get to know them more under their categories before the Biniverse-Cebu event happening this July 14:

First is the patient leader, an only child and the second youngest in the group. Despite her young age, she possesses maturity and organizational skills that make her the ideal leader. Her bright, optimistic demeanor lifts the entire group, earning respect from her peers.

Jhoanna the “Chicken Little”

Blooms characterize Jhoanna as Chicken Little because they have similar eyes and smile. Jhoanna Christine Burgos Robles, 20, not only serves as the group’s lead vocalist and rapper, but also its backbone. Her background in acting, notably in “Kadenang Ginto,” and her aspiration to become a broadcast journalist have endowed her with a unique blend of confidence and empathy.

Jhoanna’s positive outlook and thoughtful nature make her the group’s happy pill, always finding the silver lining and ensuring the well-being of her teammates. Despite doubts about leading older members, Jhoanna has proven herself more than capable, embodying the spirit of resilience and positivity that BINI stands for. She remains close to her family and cousins, despite being an only child, and draws strength from observing the challenges faced by her fellow BINI members.

Now come the “nonchalants”, the relaxed, calm, and often unbothered by what’s happening around them. These chill individuals are not easily worried. Still, they bring the spotlight to their group.

Colet “Margalo”

Blooms compare Colet to Margalo from Stuart Little because they have comparable facial features, such as chubby cheeks and cute eyes. Just like Margalo, Colet is kind and free-spirited.

A 22-year-old whose real name is Ma. Nicolette Vergara, she is from Tagbilaran City, Bohol. She comes from a musically-inclined family and has blossomed from a shy girl to a confident performer. Colet is the main vocalist, lead dancer, and lead rapper.

Her natural talent for music and songwriting, combined with her humble yet determined character, makes her a standout performer.  She is also the primary breadwinner of her family, supporting her siblings with their education and building their home.

Mikha the “Red-Haired Cat”

Mikha is characterized by Blooms as a red-haired cat because of her iconic red hair and adorable eyes. People admired her so much that they have even dyed their hair red to match hers.

Mikhaela Janna Lim, a Cebuana, was born in Cebu on November 8, 2003. She then lived in Sta. Rosa, Laguna for two years, and then in Silang, Cavite for six years. Her family currently lives in San Juan City, Metro Manila. She brings a unique charm and striking appeal as BINI’s main rapper, lead dancer, and visuals.

Despite her youth, she is insightful and possesses a duality in character that captivates the audience. From a sporty background in volleyball and cheerleading to overcoming insecurities about singing and dancing, Mikha’s journey is one of continuous self-improvement and toughness.

Gwen “Tennyson”

Blooms liken Gwen to Gwen Tennyson from Ben 10 because of their identical hairstyle and hair color. Like Gwen Tennyson, Gwen is intelligent and eager to explore the world, which has shaped who she is today.

Gweneth L. Apuli, 21, of Daraga, Albay, is versatile and can adapt to any situation. She is a lead vocalist and lead rapper of the group. She appeared on “Pinoy Big Brother” and began modeling and joining singing competitions at the age of 13.

While studying, she took on side jobs, including selling food in school, such as graham balls. When she was only four years old, her father passed away, instilling in her a strong sense of responsibility to help her family. She never gave up and remained hardworking and dedicated. At one point, she considered quitting because she was confused and overwhelmed, but she chose to trust in the journey and continued pushing forward.

Introducing the “OA” line, referred to by Blooms as the “over-acting” or most dramatic ones in the group. They are fun, playful and silly, making the other girls laugh until their stomachs hurt. They carry out exaggerated dance moves and reactions, and utter funny remarks and terminologies.

Aiah the “Blue-Capped Retriever”

Blooms associate Aiah to a golden retriever with a blue cap, because it matches her personality, aura and style.

Maraiah Queen Arceta, 23, was born and raised in Cebu. She is the group’s eldest member, a visual, sub-rapper and sub-vocalist. Aside from participating in pageants, this Cebuana is a smart cookie who competed in school scrabble tournaments.

Other interests include running, boxing, hiking and motoring, making her live a physically active lifestyle – proof that she is more than just demure and classy.

She had no prior experience in dancing or singing when she started training for BINI, so she needed to double her efforts. She is also the last trainee to enter the camp, testing her determination and perseverance in order to catch up with the group.

Aiah’s elegance and modesty are captivating, making fans’ hearts flutter. However, behind her angelic face is a jolly girl who will gladly make silly TikTok videos together with the other members, showing a side of her that no one expects. One may think that she is all prim and proper, but she has a playful personality underneath.

Maloi the “Coquette with Bangs Kitty”

A cat with bangs is what Blooms compare Maloi with, because of her kitty-cuteness and how their all-forehead cover bangs match.

Mary Loi Yves Ricalde, 22, was born in Batangas and is the group’s main vocalist. As early as three years old, her vocal power emerged and flourished, resulting to having the widest vocal range among the BINI members.

This chinita Batangueña has music in her veins. She was part of the school chorale, and knows how to read music sheets, play piano, ukulele, and compose songs. Maloi is also a consistent honor student and is active in extra-curricular activities. She was a swimmer, badminton varsity player, and majorette.

Just like any other idol, Maloi’s fashion sense is one to admire. She became known for slaying ‘fits’ with a coquette soft style infused with a modern accent as her aesthetic. With her ribbons, laces, cute dresses, doll shoes and Bayonetta glasses, she knows how to do it all in style.

Maloi has a goofy side mostly shown when she makes her own steps when doing TikTok dances, which makes her videos go viral. She is also known for being friendly and approachable. In an interview with Karen Davila, she is coined as the vain one among the eight for being too interested with her appearance, taking the most selfies or photos.

Stacey “Sassy Doggy”

Stacey is a dog dressed in a blonde wig, pink coat and sunglasses with a Hello Kitty shirt and stuffed toy. This is what fans characterize her for her love of pink and sassiness.

Lindtsey Stacey Aubrey Sevilleja, 20, is the Nueva Vizcayan main rapper and lead dancer of BINI.  Despite being one of the youngest, she has a mature and dedicated work ethic. She is an only child raised by a single mother.

With her elegance and eye-catching poise, it’s no surprise Stacey enjoys modeling and was a teen beauty queen. Her good fashion sense is inspired by her mother who designs costumes and gowns.

Stacey’s love of pink is evident in her performance costumes, and her “kikay” style reflects her sassiness; both aesthetically and personally. Despite being regarded as the most prayerful, tidy and organized of the group, behind that lies her quirky and funny personality that makes everyone giggle.

Sheena the “Dancing Machine Smurf”

Blooms think Vexy from “The Smurfs 2” looks like Sheena. Their personalities somehow match, as Vexy aims to annoy other Smurfs, just as how Sheena’s loudness can be annoying.

Sheena Mae Catacutan, 20, was born and raised in Isabela, and is the youngest and main dancer of the group. She started her career as an ex-housemate of “Pinoy Big Brother” Season 8. She, like Stacey, is raised by a single mother who served as her greatest inspiration in entering “Start Hunt Academy.”

As tough as she is after overcoming personal challenges, she remains the loudest and wittiest person that brightens up the lives of everyone, especially to her “ates” in BINI. Sheena is the one who laughs the hardest and often makes amusing comments and antics.

Prior to joining as a trainee for BINI, Sheena already was part of a dance troupe that she called family, where her love for dance was discovered and honed. As the main dancer, Sheena is frequently alluded to by fans as BINI’s dancing machine for her swaggy and precise dance moves.

In TikTok, her rendition of the “Salamin’” dance trend garnered 43.2 million views and 2.3 million likes. She also does dance covers, showcasing her versatility in dancing.

According to other members, Sheena is the “boy crazy” one for having many crushes, but they have clarified that they are not allowed to have boyfriends.

BINI’s journey has been far from easy. They started promoting themselves from scratch, even handing out flyers during the pandemic. Before, people just ignored and walked past them, but now that they have made it this far, they feel ecstatic. That’s why they did everything and worked hard to be acknowledged and achieve the recognition they deserve. Their sacrifices, especially during ABS-CBN’s shutdown, and the support from their management and director Lauren Dyogi, brought them to where they are today.

The group’s inspiration comes from their families and the financial burdens they strive to alleviate. Each member brings a unique story and perspective, contributing to the group’s dynamic.

This year, they launched BINIverse:The First Solo Concert, tickets of which sold out in less than a day. Indeed, the right time will undoubtedly come. These girls are some of the most inspirational and tenacious individuals whom the youth can emulate.

As BINI continues to rise in the P-Pop scene, their journey from humble beginnings to stardom serves as an inspiration to many. With Jhoanna leading the way and the nonchalant yet dedicated Gwen, Colet, and Mikha by her side, along with the vibrant Sheena, Aiah, Stacey, and Maloi, the future looks incredibly bright for them. — Neicol Elirey Rosel, CNU Interns (FREEMAN)

vuukle comment



  • Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with