The Modern Beauty Queens

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By: Lyka Mae P. Chiang

Out of the 40 candidates of Binibining Pilipinas 2017, six Filipina beauties stood out and have been crowned with their respective titles. Beauty pageant enthusiasts are interested to get to know more about them individually.

Let’s find out!

Chanel Olive Thomas
Binibining Pilipinas Supranational 2017


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Chanel is a Filipino-Australian beauty who won not only the Binibining Pilipinas Supranational 2017 but also brought home the Binibining Pilipinas Friendship Award. Yes, our supranational bet doesn’t only carry the facial features that are pleasing to the eye, but she also has a bubbly and easy going personality that got her a lot of good impression.

In her Q&A portion, Chanel was asked, “Many countries have already legalized same-sex marriage. Do you think the Philippines should follow? Why or why not?”

She answered, “As a Christian, I do believe that marriage is between a man and a woman. However, I do believe that everyone, every single person in the world deserves to be with whoever they want. And if they want to get married, that is fine.”

Aside from being a devout Christian who is very open to her faith, Chanel also has an advocacy that led her to join the Binibining Pilipinas beauty pageant and that is to empower and spread positivity to women and young girls. She believed that the pageant was an opportunity and a great platform which she could use to speak out her beliefs. Prior to this year’s pageant, she competed in Miss Philippines Earth 2015, where she was given the title Miss Philippine Air (first runner up).

Elizabeth Durado Clenci
Binibining Pilipinas Grand International 2017

ELIZAbeth clenci miss grand international

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Elizabeth grew up in Australia, albeit being half Romanian and half Filipino. She hails from Mandaue City, Cebu and has been a full-time session bassist for three years now. This is her second try at the pageant, as she moved back to the Philippines to join the Binibining Pilipinas in 2011 where she competed as one of the 15 semi-finalists.

During the Q&A portion, Elizabeth was asked, “If you are caught in a heavy, terribly frustrating traffic, what are the best ways to make your time productive?”

She responded, “If I’m caught in traffic, what I usually do is read or I sleep, ‘coz time is of essence, so I feel like when you’re stuck in traffic, you really need to make use of your time. So, I read or I sleep or I talk on the phone with a loved one.”

Nelda Ibe
Binibining Pilipinas Globe 2017


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Nelda is a 23-year old English Literature major from Tarlac State University. She is, however, currently working as a private licensed Cadet Pilot at Alpha Aviation Group in Clark Freeport Zone, Pampanga.

In her Q&A, she was asked, “Death penalty has been a big issue concerning the Philippines in the recent months. Are you for or against death penalty?”

She answered, “Well, I believe that we should not condemn life. We are sinner[s] but then, we have to give importance to the life that God has given us. So, my stand is, I am against of it. Because we should celebrate what God has given us, and that is life.”

Being in the pageant industry for years, she was named Miss World Philippines 2nd Princess in 2014 and became a part of Mutya ng Pilipinas 2013, where she represented her hometown Tarlac.

Katarina Rodriguez
Binibining Pilipinas Intercontinental 2017


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Katarina is known in the fashion set, as she was placed as one of the runners-up during the cycle 2 of Asia’s Next Top Model, long before she was crowned Binibining Pilipinas Intercontinental 2017.

Raised in Orlando, Florida, she moved to Manila in 2011 to try her luck in the Philippines. She then took up Philosophy and Business Management in De La Salle University (DLSU) and was part of the DLSU Women’s Track and Field Team.

During the pageant’s Q&A portion, Katarina was asked, “What is your definition of a winner?”

She responded, “My definition of a winner is somebody who understands that winning isn’t just because of the real way, it’s because of the responsibility that comes along when you win and how you execute the job after you win. I think a winner is somebody who knows how to inspire others, who is kind, and brave, and so ever curious.”

Mariel de Leon
Binibining Pilipinas International 2017


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Fruit to showbiz couple Christopher de Leon and Sandy Andolong, Mariel has been in the pageant scene for quite some time. In 2013, she made her debut in Binibining Pilipinas and got into the top 15 semi-finalists although failed to take home a crown. Aside from competing in pageants, Mariel is also a singer and is a member of the group The Opera Belles.

For her Q&A, she was asked, “What activity perceived to be male-oriented can you do as well, if not better, than males?”

Mariel responded, “Well I think I can box better than males. I believe I can do anything better than males because it isn’t about gender at all. It’s about your abilities, your strength, your weaknesses, and your confidence within yourself. With that, you can achieve anything.”

Way to break gender stereotypes—you go, girl!

Rachel Peters
Miss Universe Philippines 2017


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Rachel hails from Camarines Sur and is a former Miss World Philippines 2014 4th Princess. Aside from taking home the crown and title Miss Universe Philippines 2017, she also won the special awards: Miss Universe Photogenic, Best in Swimsuit, and She’s So Jag.

Rachel graduated with a degree in Bachelor of Business, Tourism and Events major from La Trobe University in Australia. She currently works as an event organizer and has worked with international artists such as Katy Perry and Christina Aguilera. 

The question for Rachel during the Q&A portion was, “This week, the Philippines hosted the ASEAN Summit. If you were invited to speak, what would have been your message to the leaders?”

For her response, she said, “I believe that one of the biggest problems that our country faces today is divisiveness in politics, in religion and also in culture. And I believe that it is something that is the same across the world. And that is something I would want to address. I believe that when people can learn to tolerate each other’s differences and respect each other’s opinions, then we will just be a stronger nation and world.”

After all the mixed heartbreaks and tears of joy from the winners and the rest of the Binibining Pilipinas candidates, it was definitely another historical night for the nation. It is only a solid proof and reminder of how much beauty this country holds, not only in the aspect of tourism but also of the people who live in it. And not too further from now, we will see ourselves cheering for Rachel as she makes her way to the top of the Miss Universe 2017.

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