Captivating beauty: Get to know the top bets for Binibining Pilipinas 2018

There’s no denying that beauty pageants have become incredibly huge in the Philippines, so much so that the people’s excitement towards it can be comparable to a boxing match with Manny Pacquiao. It’s understandable, as the country is, in fact, home of the most beautiful women who have easily won international competitions over the past few years. The world is now looking at the Philippines as one of the top contenders to watch out for.

From hundreds of hopefuls, the number of aspiring beauty queens from different regions was trimmed to 40. We take a look at pageant website Missology, fashion expert Voltaire Tayag, and the online audiences’ best bets for the Binibining Pilipinas 2018 coronation night which will be held at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on March 18.

Missology is a leading beauty pageant website that covers and analyzes the Big5—Miss Universe, Miss World, Miss Earth, Miss International and Miss Supranational—as well as other relevant male and female pageants around the world. The site continuously announces its bets as events and pre-pageants go along until the big night. As of March 6, this is Missology’s hot picks:

Michele Gumabao

She’s known as a professional athlete (a co-captain of the De La Salle University women’s volleyball team, the Lady Spikers), court side reporter and TV personality. Michele is the daughter of former actor Dennis Roldan. After her stint as a housemate in “Pinoy Big Brother,” she went on a rigid training for the beauty pageant since she has no pageant experience whatsoever.

“It’s a whole new book, actually; it’s not only a chapter. This is a new journey for me. This is my first pageant! I’ve never joined anything, big or small, or something as grand as Binibining Pilipinas, not even school pageants. I’ve always been sports. Sports has been my life.”

Sandra Lemonon

She’s a former Miss World Philippines runner-up and a lot of pageant watchers are thinking that she’ll go home with the crown this time around. She was born in Macau and wants to share about her experiences being raised in a different country. “I grew up in three different cultures and I thought that it was ‘normal’ for everyone to accept diversity. Sadly, this is not the case. I have been through moments where I was judged because of my background and I do not want anyone to feel that pain, or feel like they always need to fit in.”

Catriona Gray

Catriona is a Miss-World Philippines titleholder and she’s widely known as a fashion and commercial model. She is one of the candidates with the most number of supporters, and several comments are saying she will be the next Miss Universe. “There is nothing more beautiful than a woman who is unapologetically herself; comfortable in her imperfect perfection. To me that is the true essence of beauty,” Catriona said in an interview.

Aya Abesamis

It seems like beauty runs in the family for Aya as she is the daughter of Desiree Verdadero, Miss Universe 1984 3rd Runner-up and niece of Miss World 2003 finalist Mafae Verdadero Yunon. She’s also a model and Secretary of PMAP (Professional Model Association of the Philippines).

Ma. Ahtisa Manalo

Ahtisa is no stranger to the pageant world as she started competing for Miss Teen Earth and Little Miss Earth Philippines at the young age of 16. At 20, she’s one of the youngest candidates but her confident stride and winning smile belies her age.

Muriel Orais

Another strong contender is Muriel, who’s also pretty experienced when it comes to modeling and beauty competitions. This Cebuana won Miss Philippines Water 2011 and Miss Olive-C Campus Model 2010. Another fun fact about Muriel is that she is the face of Philippine Airlines and is a Presidential Cabin crew member.

Yesterday pageant contributor for Rappler Voltaire Tayag revealed his top picks, some of whom overlapped with Missology’s bets above:

Karen Gallman

Karen is a Filipina-Australian who first competed in Bb. Pilipinas 2011. Voltaire writes, “Her beauty can take her far. If she is styled perfectly and finds that inner spark on pageant night, she might emerge with a higher place.”


Wynonah Buot

Wynonah is a Cebuana-born beauty who was raised in Saudi Arabia. She’s a self-made achiever who graduated top of her class and landed a coveted job in the company of one of Cebu’s most recognizable interior designers, Kenneth Cobonpue.

Voltaire writes, “I really like Wynonah and I know that she can ace the Q&A. If she reaches the interview portion, it will increase her chances of capturing a crown.”

Vickie Marie Rushton

Vickie’s claim to fame is being a former “Pinoy Big Brother” housemate, but its her beautiful face and genuine personality that captured the audiences during the pre-pageant shows.

“The great thing about her is she has a very charming presence that any pageant organizer would love to work with.”

Eva Psychee Patalinjug

Speaking of strong women achievers, Eva is going not just for one dream but three: being a nurse, a lawyer, and beauty queen. Aside from being a nurse, Eva is a commercial, print and runway model as well. Currently, she’s taking up Law at the University of San Carlos in Cebu. In an interview, she said, “I just want to be an inspiration to those who aspire to reach their goals and dreams in life. I want to tell them to never give up! Even if you fail a million times!”

Samantha Bernardo

This Palawan-native is another bet because of her elegance and effortless beauty. She has been a competitive Rhythmic Gymnast for nine years now and is also former President of Sining Palawan Dance Troupe that showcases Philippine tradition through folk dances here and abroad.

Anjame Magbitang

Voltaire writes, “Her statuesque figure and very Filipina morena features make her stand out among the very fair, bi-racial candidates.”

Anjame is from Hagonoy, Bulacan who’s a promising 21-year-old student. Her reason for joining the pageant? “Beauty contests give women of different cultures and ethnicities all over the world the opportunity to showcase not just their beauty, personality and potentials but also their intelligence in local, national and international settings. And if given a chance to win one of the crowns, I would use it as a symbol of faith and hope that a girl like me can be a beauty queen on my own merits.”

Jehza Huelar

This is Jehza’s third attempt to win the crown. She says one of her most unforgettable moments was when her basketball star boyfriend of three years, Peter June Simon of the Magnolia Hotshots, chose the remaining hours of 2017 to propose. The sweet video proposal went viral online.

Photo credit: Official Binibining Pilipinas 2018, Instagram

About Dianne Pineda 394 Articles
Magazine and online writer based in South Korea. Nerdy news writer by day, Korean pop culture writer by night.

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