Gorgeous, articulate and friendly are words that best describe the Binibining Pilipinas 2019 Queens.
In a fun chat with Manila Bulletin Entertainment team, Bb. Pilipinas-Universe Gazini Christiana Ganados, Bb. Pilipinas-International Bea Patricia Matanong, Bb. Pilipinas-Suprational Resham Ramirez Saeed, Bb. Pilipinas Grand International Samantha Ashley Lo, Bb. Pilipinas-Intercontinental Emma Mary Tiglao, Bb. Pilipinas Globe Leren Mae Bautista and Bb. Pilipinas 1st runner up Aya Abesamis unleashed their bubbly side in answering questions that range from their celebrity crushes to their favorite comfort food.
(Note: Bb. Pilipinas 2nd runner-up Samantha Bernardo was in Singapore at the time of interview. Finalist Vickie Rushton joined the interview as MB Reader’s Choice awardee.)
It’s been weeks since the Bb. Pilipinas coronation night. Has winning sunk in yet?
Gazini: “I still feel overwhelmed. This is a big platform to enact my advocacies.”
Resham: “It feels great. I’m ready for my next step, ready for whatever responsibility my crown brings. I’m excited and look forward to represent the Philippines on the international stage.”
Emma: “It took me five years to get a crown so, wow, I finally got the chance to represent my country.”
Leren: “What else can I say? Well, I feel very lucky. ”
What’s the first thing you did the morning after winning?
Vickie: “Kumain ng madami! I ate pizza, Korean food, French fries and milktea.”
Emma: “My first meal right after the pageant is spaghetti with chicken.”
Resham: “Also fried chicken (laughs).”
Gazini: “Ice cream was on top of my list.”
Samantha: “Well, the first thing I did was to spend some time with family.”
Leren: “You know what the sad thing is? I really wanted to eat a lot but when I got home, the only available food for me is siopao.”
Aya: “I badly needed sleep right after the competition. So I woke up, like, in the afternoon, bonded with my family and we ate tinolang manok.”
The Q and A is one of the most demanding portions in most pageant competitions. Many believe that in order to nail it, a beauty queen should be a wide-reader. Are you?
Resham: “Yeah, it’s really important to follow current news and follow different news platform. Also to do our own research as well to ensure that the news we’re reading is correct.”
Gazini: “I’d been following a lot of platforms and also social media to know what’s happening in society.”
Patricia: “So what I found really useful is to look for someone you can talk to about the issues. Because if you know your stand, then you hear other people’s stand on certain issues, you form ideas in your head.
“I also have flash cards as that’s how I studied for the bar exam. I have these little index cards where I write down topics and think about my stand on those.”
Samantha: “I start my day with the daily devotion, then I read the newspapers. I also read through social media, all the memes and jokes because these keep me grounded.”
Leren: “We must read the news to know what’s happening in the Philippines and also abroad. I also read through social media and converse with other people to know their opinions on certain topics.”
Have you studied how your predecessors carried themselves in their respective pageants? What would you like to emulate? Do differently?
Emma: “There’s real pressure because there are big shoes to fill. Karen Gallman is the first ever Miss Intercontinental of our country. I talked to her and messaged her. I asked what Miss Intercontinental is looking for. As to what I will do differently, perhaps I will focus more on my communication skills, and also knowing about the country where the pageant will happen, to study their culture.”
Resham: “I’m still putting together the things I intend to bring to the international level. I messaged Jehza Heular and she’s so kind. She actually gave me her number and offered her help.”
Gazini: “There’s no exact location of Miss Universe 2019 yet but Catriona Gray had already offered her help. She’s very approachable. I look forward to (getting) her guidance.”
Patricia: “Ahtisa Manalo has been helping me. She told me she has scrapbook of all the past winners of Miss International, the speeches and all, and she will share all those with me. Kylie Versoza also reached out to me and offered help.”
Samantha: “I also messaged Eva Patalinjug and I noticed she’s very cool, very girly. I want to emulate that femininity she has, that girly girly side because some say I’m a bit boyish.”
Leren: “I haven’t talked to the past Miss Philippines Globe yet. But I will seek their help in the coming months.”
What’s the best news you’ve read lately?
Vickie: “It’s all about Catriona po. And how she encourages me to join again in Bb. Pilipinas.”
Resham: “It’s about the upcoming Olympics in Japan.”
Gazini: “I’m happy with the pride parade news. It symbolized the civil rights for the LGBTQ community.”
Patricia: “It’s the news about protecting women against violence.”
Samantha: “Same with Gazini. I’m happy that my social media accounts are filled with so many rainbows.”
Leren: “As a nursing graduate, I’m particularly interested in the ongoing discussions about medical marijuana.”
Generation Z is known to prize authenticity. And Catriona was really good at that. How will you show your own authenticity in the coming months?
Aya: “I think, it’s all about bringing out the Filipino in me and the best version of me.”
Leren: “Mine is just to be yourself. I mean, I competed already in an international pageant and one thing I learned is to be just who you are. Be proud of where you came from and be proud of being Filipino.”
Samantha: “People think I’m a little shy because I don’t talk so much. I think this is a time where I can spread my wings and socialize more so people will get to know who I am.”
Patricia: “I always try to be authentic. It’s hard to pretend you’re someone else. In this competition, we are thinking about so many things and if we put on a façade, that’s gonna be extra. If you allow self to just be, you feel lightier.”
Gazini: “It’s about representing my own culture, our history. Also, putting my dreams into reality by always doing the best I can.”
Resham: “I’ve always believed authenticity is empowerment and being your authentic self means loving yourself. It’s about staying true to who you are. Having a crown is not a privilege, but also a responsibility. And part of that responsibility is to inspire other people by being true to yourself.”
Do you already have a name for your pasarelas?
Emma: “EMMA-zing walk.”
Resham: “I’m still working on my Inawod Walk, people should watch for it.”
Gazini: “Many call it the Phoenix Walk but I’m still finalizing it.”
Patricia: “In the beginning of the competition, I called it The Atty. Walk. But I think sometimes people also give names to that, so if they have suggestions, they can comment it on our Instagram (laughs).”
Samantha: “I got it from the initials of my name so it’s SLO-motion walk.”
Leren: “I call it Boiling Walk because in Laguna there are so many hot springs.”
Who are your celebrity crushes or idols?
Aya: “Chris Hemsworth.”
Leren: “Jericho Rosales.”
Samantha: “Also Jericho Rosales and Anne Curtis.”
Patricia: “Martine Cajucom.”
Gazini: “Chris Evans.”
Resham: “Anne Curtis.”
Emma: “Angel Locsin and Miranda Kerr.”
Vickie: “Heart Evangelista.”