Creation by JP Cabigon

“STUNNING and comfortable.”

This was how Kymberly Maitland-Smith, owner of SOLTI Activewear, described how the Binibining Cebu 2018 candidates wore her creations during the pageant’s Swimwear Competition held at The Tent in Mandani Bay last September 26, Wednesday.

The 54 candidates rocked the stage wearing Maitland-Smith’s blue two-piece swimwear.

“They actually asked two-piece this year and so you could see a bit more on their figures,” she said.

Maitland-Smith also coordinated with the Binibining Cebu 2018 organizers and came up with blue as the official color of this year’s swimwear.

“The swimsuit was made for each girl. So I have to customize all the sizes. It was tough. It was really fun and it was really good,” she told the reporters.

Maitland-Smith made all the 54 swimwear in two weeks.

When asked for the inspiration behind the design, she answered, “Actually, well the trend right now is that kind of tough. It is a lot of different types of body types because that makes them comfortable with their shoulders and their necklines.”

She said she is into sustainable fashion and used upcycled textiles that were discarded by big manufacturers.

Aside from designing the official swimwear this year, Maitland-Smith was one of the judges during the pre-pageant eventy along with Cebuano actor Richard Yap, Dr. Cecilia R. Bernad, pageant blogger and coach Norman Tinio, and Miss Manila 2018 Kathleen Joy Paton.

The swimwear competition began with candidates wearing Maitland-Smith’s creation with raincoats and umbrella as part of their props.

Dancers from University of Cebu (UC) also served as back up dancers for the 54 candidates during the competition.

Kenneth Cobonpue, creative director for Binibining Cebu 2018, told the reporters that they wanted to make the Swimsuit Competition different.

Creation by Celine Borromeo

“We decided to make the rain part, gloomy kind of setting. When we see swimsuit, it is always (think) sunny,” he told the reporters.

The stage was also decorated with houses made of bamboo for a more Cebuano setting. A winding ramp was also created so that the audience will see the candidates from different angles.


Eighteen designers from the Fashion Association of Cebu’s Elite Talents (FACET) made the gowns for all the Binibining Cebu 2018 candidates.

These Cebuano designers are Hannah Noel, Jan Tiong, John Arellano, Clieza Mayol, Lian Laoandalo, Jeph Polancos, Stef Tirado, Roxanna Baroquillo, Shayne Remoreras, Matthia Tangoan, Diane Ty, Nino Benito, Eyla Orais, Celine Borromeo, JP Cabigon, Pearl Arandia, Paco Serafica, and Carol Escasinas.

Cobonpue said the designers used the colors of the rainbow as inspiration for the gowns.

After the pre-pageant competition, the top three designers for Long Gown Competition were announced. These were Borromeo, Ty, and Cabigon.

Borromeo designed the canary yellow gowns for Lou Dominique Piczon (Ronda), Ivy Esparcia (Samboan), and Mary Grace Castillo (San Fernando).

“It feels very rewarding after all the work that I put in. Those are really worth my time, my efforts, and my creative capabilities,” she said.

The sun is the inspiration for her creations, she said.

For her, Cebuanos are very bright just like the sun.

“Cebuanos are very welcoming, happy and positive. Hence, the color and all my the details with the lines, rays,” she said.

She said it was also challenging for her to create all three gowns in 10 days.

Creation by Diane Ty

“I faced limited time because I had to juggle other projects as well,” she added.

Ty said she did not expect to be one of the top three designers.

“I am so happy that I was chosen to be one of the best designers tonight,” she said.

Ty designed the navy blue gowns for Steffi Aberasturi (Mandaue City), Sheena Balansag (Medellin), and Kristine Gillamac (Minglanilla).

She said her designs were inspired by flowers and roots.

“Nisulod lang siya sa ako mind ato na time when I was thinking of a design. Maybe dili man siya ma predict nimo unsa maganahan ana. It depends unsa ako ma imagine,” she said.

She said it was challenging to create all three designs without her own seamstress.

Ty sewed the fabric, used her own machine and finished the three gowns in 10 days.

Cabigon made the royal gowns worn by Princess Donah Paraiso (San Francisco), Shaznay Corres (San Remigio), and Kemberly Gillamac (Santa Fe).

The pre-pageant was important in identifying the top 20 candidates which will be announced during the coronation night on October 19 at the Grand

Ballroom of the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino.

The criteria to determine the top 20 are Swimwear Competition (30 percent), Long Gown Competition (30 percent), Closed-door Interview (25 percent), and Organizers (15 percent).

TAGS: 2018, BINIBINING, candidates, gowns, rock, stage, stunning, swimsuit
Latest Stories
Most Read