Recognizing the Beauty of Almost Everything…

Posts tagged ‘Ara Arida’

Beauty Queens without Make-up: Ara Arida, Mariel De Leon or Pia Wurtzbach

Ara AridaMariel de Leon and Pia Wurtzbach were among the guests of Jonas Gaffud in his birthday party. He treated his guests to a day full of pampering as it was held in a spa. Of course, the  Binibining Pilipinas 2013 girls were snapped with-out make-up as they were getting ready for the spa party :) Who among these fresh-faced beauties looked even better “au naturale” ?

Photo Credits: Sir Jerry and Missosology

Photo Credits: Sir Jerry and Missosology

My vote goes to Mariel as she looks DIVINE here! She is still sporting that awkward smile that I hate but YES, she is way better than 2013. The “twins” are also conspicuously displayed, adding some spice to the photo. She is so ready for Binibining Pilipinas 2015 :)

How about you? Who’s your favorite/s here?


18 of A Million Reasons to be Thankful For

In life, there should be no shortage of things/people/events to be thankful for. For the opportunity to share my passion to the whole world is something that I am thankful for. For the Aces & Queens team headed by Jonas Gaffud, there are a million reasons to be thankful for and here are 18 of them :)

Photo Credits: Ellaine Moll’s FB Page

18 of the most beautiful ladies from Aces & Queens. This only proves that A&Q still has some of the most beautiful Filipinas :) Pia Wurtzbach is on fire! And Laura Lehman is slowly reaching her potential.

Team A&Q received a lot of bashing from Pinoy beauty pageant fans. Unimaginable words were hurled to their side. The biggest setback (I think) was loosing the Miss Universe Philippines title to a lady from another camp. Good thing that the team seems to be focusing on the things that they should be thankful for. They have 2 crowns with them and one runner-up post in Binibining Pilipinas 2014! And like a true Filipina beauty, I am pretty sure that the team is keeping all the lessons from this season and will only emerge stronger, better and ready for the next pageant season :)

To celebrate their success, Team A&Q had a Thanksgiving Party over the weekend. Here are some photos courtesy of the OPMB Worldwide Team and Jory Rivera.

Tres Marias: Mary Ann Ross Misa, Ara Arida & Pia Wurtzbach

Oh, Diana Arevalo…

Seriously, what happened to Yvethe Marie Santiago?!? Tsk Tsk

Still my greatest respect to Jonas Gaffud!

Congratulations Aces & Queens…

More Power!


Gabriela Isler’s Visit to the Philippines (In Photos)

The last time that a reigning Miss Universe was in the Philippines was when Miss Universe 1993 Dayanara Torres of Puerto Rico attended the Miss Universe 1994 here in Manila. Filipinos are known to be the best pageant fans and we sure know how to love our queens. Dayanara appeared in movies and television shows in the country. Just imagine the news, when it was announced that the reigning Miss Universe 2013 Gabriela Isler of Venezuela will be attending the coronation night of Binibining Pilipinas 2014. Fans got crazy and speculations floated around on the real reason behind the visit. BPCI prepared one of the biggest production ever. And fans who are based in other cities (like me) flocked to Manila to see The Queen LIVE :)

Gabriela’s schedule during her 5-day visit to the country was a bit hectic as she had to attend to several interviews, functions with BPCI and Binibini candidates, a visit to Yolanda-affected island in Palawan (which I will cover separately) and of course, attending the coronation night. Here are some beautiful photos for us to enjoy chronicling Gabriela’s stay in the country!

Photo Credits: Miss Universe

Gabriela is seen here with Paula Shugart (Miss Universe Organization President) and Mdm. Stella Araneta (Chairperson, BPCI). The photo was taken during the arrival press conference. By the way, I saw Paula Shugart in person and she was just radiant!

Gabriela posing for photographers in between interviews with members of the press. Ms. Joyce Burton of Adventures of a Beauty Queen shared the same sentiment – Gabriela looked way more beautiful in person than in photos!

Gabriela with the candidates of Binibining Pilipinas 2014. This was taken on her first night in the country when 18 candidates presented their national costume through a mini-fashion show. I can’t help but notice Yvethe Marie Santiago here!

Gabriela poses with the Chairman of ABS-CBN Corporation, the media giant partner of BPCI, Gabby Lopez

Such a rare moment… Three of the reigning queens in the world in one photo op! Gabriela is seen her with Bea Santiago (Miss International 2013) and Mutya Datul (Miss Supranational 2013). Joining in are Ara Arida & Venus Raj!

Gabriela is enjoying the infamous sunset of Manila

Gabriela is all smiles in this photo with 4 of the most beautiful Filipinas who made history by consecutively placing in the Top 5 of their respective Miss Universe pageants – Venus Raj, Ara Arida, Shamcey Supsup Janine Tugonon. I must admit that Janine was my favorite on that night.

Judging duties… Gabriela poses with her boss – MUO President – Paula Shugart! Even Paula looked exquisite that evening. That neck piece was a true statement.

Latina represent… Mdm. Stella who hails from Colombia and Gabriela – a proud citizen of Venezuela – surely had a lot to talk to :)

I fell in love more with Gabriela when I saw her in person.

I hope that she enjoyed her stay in the Philippines!


Binibining Pilipinas 2014 (36th Update): Today is the BIG day!

Today is the biggest day in Philippine Beauty Pageant :) Tonight, we will meet the titleholders and crown takers of Binibining Pilipinas 2014! Tonight, 5 lives will change forever. Who among the 40 lovely candidates will reign supreme? I am very giddy with excitement and I can’t wait to see the new queens.

Photo Credits: RJ Nitura

Photo Credits: RJ Nitura

The stage is ready. The candidates are busy with their final rehearsals :) Gabriela Isler arrived last Thursday while Emin landed yesterday. All is set for the most beautiful night for the Philippines.

Looking back at this Binibini season, it is very apparent that BPCI and Madam Stella Araneta is aiming for the Miss Universe title this year. Miss International and Miss Supranational crowns were won last year. Miss Tourism is insignificant and Miss Intercontinental is just new. Even the general public surely feels the same way. A Filipina won the much coveted Miss World title last year as well :) I believe that it is high time that we win our third Miss Universe crown this year.

Photo Credits: RJ Nitura

Photo Credits: RJ Nitura

Who among 40 lovely candidates will win the Miss Universe Philippines title and will be on the league of these four respected Filipina beauty queens? Will she be able to surpass the achievement of these four and win the crown?

I can only pray that Kris Tiffany Janson (my top favorite for the title) will win the crown BUT I believe that there is no anointed one or even a favorite for the title. I think that the BPCI treats everything as an “open slate”. It is anybody’s ball game as of the moment!

To the candidates, I pray for courage.

To the production crew, I pray for resilience.

To the Organizer and the Judges, I pray for guidance.


See you later :)


A Beautiful Morning Greetings from your BBP2013 Queens!

What will you do if you wake up greeted by this beautiful sight?


Photo Credits: Fashion Pulis

I saw this photo on Fashion Pulis blog. Our 2013 Queens – Cindy Miranda, Ara Arida, Bea Santiago and Mutya Datul - look heavenly in this beach photo. Bea still has the best body among the reigning queens.

Who among the candidates of Binibining Pilipinas 2014 will inherit the crowns of Cindy, Ara, Bea and Mutya?

Good morning!


Throwback Thursday (01.23.14): Before Becoming Queens…

I haven’t had a Throwback Thursday post for sometime now so I decided to have one today! Since we are about to meet the official candidates of Binibining Pilipinas 2014 after the final screening later today (crossing my fingers), I would like to share with you the  photos of our reigning queens when they screened and applied for Binibining Pilipinas 2013. How time really flies as these photos were taken a year ago. Look at how they transformed into their winning form here :)

Ara Arida (Miss Universe Philippines)
and Pia Wurtzbach (Runner-up)

Photo Credits: Missosology

Bea Santiago (Bb. Pilipinas International)

Photo Credits: Road to BBP 2013

Mutya Datul (Bb. Pilipinas Supranational)

Photo Credits: Bong Tan & Missosology

Cindy Miranda (Bb. Pilipinas Tourism)

Photo Credits: Bong Tan & Missosology

To be very honest, it was really Mutya who made a very good first impression!

What do you think?


The Binibining Pilipinas Gold Report Card!


Mutya – Bea – Ara – Cindy
Photo Credits: Bb. Pilipinas FB Page

I am finally closing the Grand Slam beauty pageant season for 2013 after that long and boring finale of Miss International 2013 two days ago. Now that the season is over, let me start my end-of-year posts by evaluating the performance of Bb. Pilipinas 2013 (Binibining Pilipinas Gold) Queens

Miss Universe Philippines 2013: Ara Arida

Bb. Pilipinas International 2013: Bea Santiago

Bb. Pilipinas Supranational 2013: Mutya Datul

Bb. Pilipinas Tourism 2013: Cindy Miranda

Every Filipino pageant fan had high expectations as these four were crowned last April :) Who wouldn’t? The 2012 queens did an excellent job placing in all of their international pageants. The public eyes were on them as well as everyone was aware that it is the 50th year of BPCI and as dubbed, they should be “Golden”. As we all know by now, the Golden Queens did not disappoint. In fact, they did an excellent job :)


Photo Credits: Bb. Pilipinas FB Page

Mutya Datul
Miss Supranational 2013, Winner

The first to compete was my ultimate favorite during the national pageant. Though I was hoping that Mutya will represent the country in Miss Universe, I was happy that Mutya was given a chance to compete on an international pageant. As I expected, Mutya won the title and became the first Filipina and first Asian to win the award!


Photo Credits: Bb. Pilipinas FB Page

Cindy Miranda
Miss Tourism Queen International 2013, Semifinalist

Cindy was next to compete and had to travel to China for the competition. I think that the pageant was a total disaster with the lack of updates and poor production quality. Despite all the shortcomings, Cindy managed to snatch a semifinalist position :) I still stand by my opinion for BPCI to stop sending candidates to MTQI.


Photo Credits: Bb. Pilipinas FB Page

Ara Arida
Miss Universe 2013, 3rd Runner-up

I must admit that it was Ara who carried “the bulk” of the pressure among the four queens. After the three consecutive Miss Universe Top 5 placements and with Janine Tugonon‘s 1st runner-up showing last year, Filipinos were expecting no less than the Miss Universe crown. I have to commend Ara for surviving this and maintaining the Top 5 trend after landing the 3rd runner-up title last month. She also impressed everyone with the strongest answer during the final Q&A of the pageant.


Photo Credit: Bb. Pilipinas FB Page

Bea Santiago
Miss International 201, Winner

 Just 2 days ago and barely a week before Christmas, Bea won the 5th Miss International title for the country. She was my bet since Day 1 and I had full trust on Bea’s skills :) She did not disappoint by closing the year with another crown and title for the country!

This means that the Bb. Pilipinas Gold (Bb. Pilipinas 2013) Queens gave

2 Crowns
1 Top 5
1 Semifinalist

this year!!!

An excellent job to all four queens!!!

If I am not mistaken, this is the first time that Binibining Pilipinas has two international titles on a single year! I just can’t imagine the expectations for the Binibining Pilipinas 2014 queens! Yikes…


Binibining Pilipinas 2014 (2nd Update): Cebu, Represent!

Binibining Pilipinas 2014 is definitely the most exciting national pageant next year in the Philippines. Yep, I said it! And I am not dissing on Miss Philippines Earth 2014 or Miss World Philippines 2014. It’s just that with the success of Ara Arida and Mutya Datul (and hopefully with Bea Santiago), I am sure that the pageant will attract top-notch candidates. I am expecting only the best from Binibining Pilipinas 2014.

As we eagerly await for the start of the pageant, I will share to you some of the ladies that I really hope to see as candidates in the pageant. It is almost Christmas anyway so let me include them in my wishlist for the Holidays :D

Let me start by sharing with you the gorgeous Cebuanas who I hope will screen next year. I shared before the rumors that Namrata Neesha Murjani and Kris Tiffany Janson are “possibly” joining next year. Let me add another two gorgeous ladies who can very well represent Cebu City/Cebu in Binibining Pilipinas 2014:

Sharon Grace Angel


Photo Credits: Adventures of a Beauty Queen & Mutya ng Pilipinas

Sharon landed a runner-up position in Mutya ng Pilipinas 2010 which if i’m not mistaken was her first national pageant. Her body, as seen in the Mutya swimsuit photo above, was not ready then. Now that she already finished her studies, I am hoping that she has enough time to work on her body and head to Manila for the screening. She stands at 5’9″ which is just perfect in going head-to-head with the rumored glamazons next year.

Apriel Smith


Photo Credits:

Oh Apriel! I’ve seen this 5’9″ Yaritza Reyes dead-ringer beauty a lot of times already and I can only hope that she soon grace the stage of Binibining Pilipinas. She is no neophyte in pageants with Sinulog Festival Queen and Miss Mandaue experience on her belt. She is much more active in the modelling scene though. With the proper styling and make-up, she can rock the Binibining Pilipinas stage! An open request for the Philippine Beauty Queen Maker – Jonas Gaffud, please train Ms. Smith because I am 100% sure that your partnership will flourish!

I am crossing my fingers for these two!


Ara Arida in Miss Universe Facebook Page


Photo Credits: MU FB Page

Ara Arida received a well-deserved shout out from the Official Miss Universe Facebook Page. The photo was taken from the fashion show organized by Philippine Daily Inquirer for the benefit of Super Typhoon Yolanda survivors.

Congratulations Ara!


Binibining Pilipinas 2014 (1st Update): Will they Show-Up on the Screening?

We still have two major international beauty pageants – Miss Earth 2013 and Miss International 2013 – left before we bid 2013 goodbye, but any news about Binibining Pilipinas 2014 will surely be well received by loyal fans. And with the successes of Mutya Datul, Cindy Miranda and Ara Arida, I am sure that everyone (that includes myself) is excited to meet the official candidates of Binibining Pilipinas 2014 and is prepared to meet our new set of queens.

Today, let me fuel your excitement by sharing with you some “information” that I learned why I was in Manila last week. As per my reliable sources, these are the ladies who are rumored to join Binibining Pilipinas 2014. Again, these are just rumors and might not be totally true! I would love to hear confirmation or denial directly from these ladies :D

Namrata Neesha Murjani


Photo Credits: Cebu Social

I was surprised hearing this news! I knew that her dream is to be a Miss Universe but I was not expecting that she will be joining the national pageant this soon. This 20-year old proud Cebuana is the reigning Miss Cebu and is expected to crown her successor by January next year. Based on my reliable source, Neesha is currently on training under the watchful eye of Jonas Gaffud and is expected to join the 2014 roster of beauties of Aces & Queens.

I have mixed feelings with Neesha. I would love to see her trying out for Binibini in the future BUT I hope to see her by 2015 or 2016.  The last time I saw her was last March when I visited her school for a Job Fair. I find her a bit short and was not noticeable given that she was already Miss Cebu that time. She was with her classmates and they were giggling the whole time, like what you expect from college students. I am sure that they were just having fun and there was nothing wrong with it. For a national pageant winner (and a potential international pageant contender) though, a certain level of maturity is needed to handle the intense pressure of an international competition. It is also expected for a contestant to gain that ladylike aura and personality.

I trust Neesha that she will be using her experiences as Miss Cebu to help her prepare for the bigger stage. This is what I admire about Neesha – her drive and the “hunger” for the title. She keeps on talking about her dream to be a Miss Universe and it seems that she is on her way to fulfilling it. In any day, I will prefer someone with a very workable beauty who is very interested in joining the pageant than someone who is ready for an international competition but was only forced to join by a certain handler. And with the exceptional eyes of Jonas Gaffud, I am sure that Neesha will bloom into an exquisite lady. I advise her not to rush things and join by 2015 or 2016 :) Continue the training and always set the sight on to the Miss Universe crown.

Aya Abesamis


Photo Credits: Cosmopolitan Philippines

This will be the very first national pageant for this 21-year old model. She has been active in the Philippine modelling scene for about 5 years already and is a member of the Professional Models Association of the Philippines (PMAP). However, Filipino pageant followers might know her as the only daughter of Miss Universe 1984 2nd Runner-up Desiree Verdadero.

I am not sure if Aya is associated with a certain camp but my source confirmed that she is keen on joining Binibining Pilipinas 2014. I find her beauty and body type too model-ish which does not necessarily translate into success in beauty pageants. This photos was taken last year though so I will not close my doors on Aya as I am a big believer of beauty queen packaging. If Aya can package herself into an exotic beauty queen then she might just see herself with a crown. She stands 5’9″ so she has enough fire power to start her beauty queen journey!

Kris Tiffany Janson

Photo Credits: Dan Douglas Ong

I am giggling with excitement as I share with you the “info” I received from a very reliable source that Kris Tiffany Janson is finally joining a national pageant and is rumored to be training under Rodgil Flores and will be part of the Kagandahang Flores line-up for Binibining Pilipinas 2014. Kris won the Miss Cebu 2009 title!

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you are probably aware that I am a big fan of Kris. This was a bittersweet news for me. I am happy that she is finally giving the national beauty pageant scene a try. I’ve been crossing my fingers for her to screen for sometime now and it seems that it’s about to happen soon. However, if I have my way, I want to see here compete for Miss World Philippines as her beauty is a big hit on the Miss World stage. At the end of the day, I am sure to cheer for Kris and will be supporting her decision :) I really can’t wait!

Pia Wurtzbach


Photo Credits: Binibining Pilipinas

This is probably an old news for you. Pia Wurtzbach – a runner-up at Bb. Pilipinas 2013 – mentioned a lot of times before her intention in joining Binibining Pilipinas again. As per my source, Pia is already in the middle of her training as she is keen on joining Binibining Pilipinas 2014. It seems (still needs to be confirmed) that she already received a green light from BPCI for her to join next year’s pageant.

Pia was a gracious runner-up all year round. She was present and supportive in all major activities of BPCI. If she will really join next year, I am crossing my fingers that she ends up with a crown. She deserves it!

I am actually excited to know more candidates who will most likely screen for Binibining Pilipinas 2014. This will be EPIC :)


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