CEBU CITY, Philippines – Their preparations will be put to test as they compete in this year’s Binibining Pilipinas pageant.
Cebuana beauties Samantha Ashley Lo, Ilene Astrid de Vera, and Gazini Christiana Ganados officially began their journey for the Binibining Pilipinas crown on Monday, March 18, after their names were listed as among the 40 official pageant candidates.
A total of six crowns are up for grab this year – the Binibining Pilipinas Universe, International, Grand International, Globe, Intercontinental, and Supranational – in the pageant that is run by the Binibining Pilipinas Charities Inc. (BPCI) founded by Stella Marquez Araneta.
“I am very excited to not just be a part of it but to finally showcase what I have been training for a year. I have talked to several of the other candidates and they seem like such a great group of girls. I cannot wait to get started,” Lo told Cebu Daily News Digital.
Lo, a nursing student at the University of Cebu (UC) Banilad, made her first pageant appearance in the Binibining Cebu 2017 where she represented Asturias town and took home the Binibining Cebu Tourism 2017 title.
She made the Cebuanos proud when she won Best Model of the World Philippines 2018 and represented the country in the Best Model of the World 2018 competition held in Istanbul, Turkey.
“After competing in Turkey, I realized that there is no specific beauty everyone is looking for. Everyone has a different perspective for beauty and with that said I remain always on my toes and nothing less than my best,” she said.
For de Vera, being part of Binibining Pilipinas is her “ultimate dream.”
“(I am) honestly looking for the slow-motion button in my life because I just want to enjoy each single moment of this journey. Now, I can finally say (that) once a Binibini, always a Binibini,” she said in a Facebook post.
The Binibini will be De Vera’s second appearance in a national pageant after she was crowned Mutya ng Pilipinas 2017. De Vera, a Mass Communications graduate at the University of the Philippines Cebu campus, also represented the country in the Miss Asia Pacific International 2017 held in Manila where she placed fourth runner-up.
Binibining Pilipinas 2019 will also be Ganados’ comeback in the national stage after she joined Miss World Philippines 2014.
“I am overwhelmed since I have been preparing for this day to come! (After) years of preparation and I am finally part of one of the most prestigious pageants in the country. I am grateful and honored,” she told CDN Digital.
Gandos described the Binibini’s screening process held on March 18 at the Kia Theather in Quezon City as a nerve-wracking experience.
“I was the last person called to complete the final list of 40 official candidates,” she recalled.
Ganados, Tourism Associate graduate at the University of San Jose Recoletos (USJ-R), was also crowned Miss Cesafi 2016 and won Miss Bohol 2017 first runner-up.
Last year, Cebu’s Eva Patalinjug took home the Binibining Pilipinas Grand International 2018 crown and represented the country in Miss Grand International 2018 held in Myanmar.
Other Binibining Pilipinas titleholders in Cebu are Binibining Pilipinas Grand International 2017 and Miss Grand International 2017 second runner-up Elizabeth Clenci, Binibining Pilipinas Supranational 2015 Rogelie Catacutan, and Binibining Pilipinas Intercontinental 2014 and Miss Intercontinental 2014 second runner-up Kris Tiffany Janson. /dcb