What better way to celebrate 50 years of Binibining Pilipinas than by having 50 beautiful ladies vie for this year’s titles?
And what better way to introduce them to the public than by holding a Carnivale-inspired Parade of Beauties?
Adding even more degrees to an already hot day on April 6, the candidates of the 2013 Binibining Pilipinas pageant sizzled in their golden two-piece suits, as they went down the streets of Araneta Center in top-down Mazda Miatas.
Hundreds of Manileños, spending their day at the Quezon City commercial complex, waited along the parade route and tried their best to get close-up views of the ladies, who bested hundreds of other hopefuls for the chance of becoming the only “Golden Binibini.”
The parade was led by the reigning queens of Binibining Pilipinas 2012.
Miss Universe 1st Runner-Up Janine Tugonon, Bb. Pilipinas Tourism Katrina Dimaranan, and Bb. Pilipinas International Nicole Schmitz all went down the parade in giant, colorful floats; while Elaine Kay Moll, Miss Supranational 3rd runner-up, joined the parade in an orange Corvette.
Elaine, who PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) got to chat with before the parade started at the south parking garage of the Araneta Center, briefly shared what she thought of this year's candidates.
"They are all deserving, lahat sila magaganda. Sobrang mahihirapan ang judges this year kasi ang daming magaganda talaga."
She reiterated how this batch of candidates exemplifies Filipina beauty, "like, different kinds of beauty! May exotic, may mestiza… grabe mahirapan ang judges talaga."
Has she started identifying any frontrunners? "Actually, this year ang dami nila na favorite.
“I think it depends na lang talaga sa pageant or coronation night," she says, refusing to name her favorites until pageant night comes around on April 14 at the Smart-Araneta Center Coliseum.
She repeated— just as the first batch of candidates were getting ready to leave the starting point, big and tall headpieces placed firmly on their heads— “Parang ang hirap pumili!"
PARADE OF BEAUTIES. The first ten candidates went down the parade wearing green feathers on their golden headpieces.
At parade's end, when each candidate had to come up to the podium and introduce themselves, candidates #2 (Ma. Bencelle Bianzon, the 23-year-old former student leader), #4 (Nicole Donesa, an 18-year-old singer at Fil-Am events in the United States), #6 (Yvette Mildenberger, a 19-year-old half-Filipina and half-German from Legaspi City), and #7 (Kristel Gonzales, a 24-year-old aspiring law student at the Ateneo) stood out and received the loudest cheers from fans.
For the duration of the parade— which took them around Araneta Center, going through Shopwise and other streets, and ending up at the Gateway Pavillion— each of the ladies had to stand in five-inch-heels aboard a top-down sports car.
To amp up the sexy factor whilst keeping things a little wholesome, the girls’ two-piece suits were laden with strings of gold sequins, and also wore feathered embellishments on their arms and ankles.
The second group of ten, separated from the first ten by a troupe of drummers from one of the event sponsors, wore red feathers on their headpieces.
In this batch, numbers #12 (Camille Nazar, the Math-loving aspiring teacher), #13 (Charmaine Elima, a local beauty titlist from Binangonan, Rizal), #14 (Rose Pujanes, the erstwhile shy and quiet Batangueña), #15 (Pia Wurtzbach, Star Magic talent and popular crowd favorite), #16 (Cindy Miranda, former PBB housemate), #19 (Hannah Ruth Sison, the 24-year-old art teacher) and #20 (Bea Rose Santiago, a Canadian-bred but Masbate-born beauty) received huge cheers and applause from the crowd.
Meanwhile, bright blue was the chosen color for the headpieces worn by candidates 21-30. Five of them left a mark with the growing crowd outside Gateway Pavillion.
At this point it was already past sunset, but the heat was still on for the noteworthy faces of this batch: #24 (Cassandra Naida, the smart and beautiful AB Psychology graduate), #25 (Merry Joyce Respicio, the 18-year-old Bulaceña model), #27 (Vania Valiry Vispo, a 5'11" basketball-loving beauty), #28 (Mercegrace Racquel, the 19-year-old blogger from Nueva Ecija) and #29 (Pauline Quintas, model and aspiring flight attendant).
As candidates 31-40 went down the route, yellow feathers dominated their golden-based headpieces.
Among this batch, quite a number received a lot of support and encouragement and cheers, especially for candidate #39 (Mutya Datul, an Isabela-raised beauty) who also made waves along with numbers #31 (Mariel de Leon, daughter of actors Christopher de Leon and Sandy Andolong), #33 (Parul Shah, the dusky colored half-Indian Baguio girl), and #36 (Angel May Villafuerte, the Shamcey Supsup look-alike from Naga City).
As the last batch of beauties rolled in, electric pink feathers bursting on top of their heads, the crowd's excitement continued to rise.
Among this batch, candidates #41 (Ariella Arida, the sporty model from UP), #46 (Amanda Noelle Navasero, a photo-loving Broadway fan), and #50 (Cristina Ann Pascual, the striking Accountancy grad) received the largest crowd support and wildest cheers.
Absent from the parade was number 43, Rhea Nakpil, a TV talent search alum and current TV5 rising star.
It was at the Gateway Pavillion where all the candidates converged and were finally seen in one place, having left behind the Miatas they used during the parade.
Here, they performed a dance number with confetti blasts bursting once in a while for added effect.
Afterwards, selected press and members of the media made their way to the Gateway Suites where they had dinner and enjoyed mingling with the Binibining Pilipinas candidates.