The finals of Philippines’ most prestigious pageant is less than a month away and all eyes are focused on this year’s 40 candidates. This country has done really well in the international pageant scene in recent years and they really want to keep the streak going.
After reviewing the videos and photos of the all 40 contestants, here are our top favorites for the crowns. For the top 2 placements this year, Miss Universe Philippines and Bb. Pilipinas International, it will have to be between Michele Gumabao and Catriona Gray.
Michele Gumabao is a newby to the pageant arena and has no previous experience before joining this year’s Bb. Pilipinas. Because of this, there’s a certain innocence and unspoiled quality about her, which sets her apart from the typical pageant patty. She is the daughter of Filipino actor, Dennis Roldan, and grew up playing sports, with focus on volleyball. She has a very witty personality that reminds us so much of Pia Wurtzbach. We think that it doesn’t matter which title she gets, she is sure to make the Philippines proud.
On the other hand, Catriona Gray is a pageant veteran. She was crowned Miss World Philippines in 2016 and placed in the top 5 at the Miss World finals that year. She is half Australian and half Filipino and is one of this year’s tallest contestant, standing at 5’10” tall. If Catriona has an advantage over Michele, it would be the experience. She already competed internationally, she’s more polished and understands what it takes to win.
For the other four titles and two runner up spots at stake, we believe that the following women has the greatest chance amongst the rest.
Maria Andrea Abesamis has pageantry in her blood. She is the daughter of Bb. Pilipinas Universe 1984, Desiree Verdadero, who competed and placed 3rd runner up at Miss Universe that year. She works as a model and stands 5’7″ tall. She’s been rumored to wanting to join the pageant for several years now and this year, she finally did it. She is ready to continue her mom’s legacy but at the same time, make a name for herself.
Eva Psychee Patalinjug is from Cebu and and works as a registered nurse. She is not new to the pageant scene. In 2014, she joined Mutya ng Pilipinas and won the top crown of Mutya ng Pilipinas Asia Pacific International. Unfortunately, due to various reasons, she was not able to compete on the international stage. This year, she decided to join Bb. Pilipinas to hopefully grab one of the six titles at stake to finally fulfill her dream to represent the Philippines in an international competition.
Patrizia Garcia is a graduate of De La Salle University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Educational Psychology. She’s been a competitive swimmer for 5 years and works as a freelance model. The advocacy that’s close to her heart is social welfare of children with special needs. Patrizia is not new the pageant arena. In 2015, she competed at Miss Earth Philippines were she represented Pasig City.
Sandra Lemonon is a graduate of Fine Arts from Escola Portuguesa de Macao. Sandra is half French and half Filipino. Her father, Herve Lemonon, is the Executive Pastry Chef for Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Macau. She is fluent in four languages that includes English, Filipino, Portuguese and French. In 2016, she competed at Miss World Philippines, where she placed 4th princess to Catriona Gray, who is competing with her at Bb. Pilipinas this year.
Karen Gallman is half Australian and half Filipino. This is her second time to compete at Binibining Pilpinas. In 2012, when she was only 19, is when she competed in this pageant for the first time. She reached the top 12 and was chosen Miss Photogenic that year. After six years, she’s trying her luck again, hoping to grab one of the six titles at stake.
Vickie Marie Milagrosa Rushton is another pageant veteran in this year’s batch. In 2011, she competed and won the top title at Mutya ng Pilipinas. She was only 19 at that time. She eventually gained more exposure in the public eye when she became a housemate in Pinoy Big Brother: All In, where she finished in 4th place.
The grand finale of Binibining Pilipinas 2018 will be held on March 18, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao, Quezon City.
Photos courtesy of BPCI.