These Bb. Pilipinas beauties are ready to conquer

MANILA, Philippines – The fourth quarter of every year has become international pageant season. The biggest, most prestigious beauty pageants hold their annual events between October to December.

This is the NBA or Superbowl season equivalent for pageant afficionados all over the world. Much like athletes, the beauty queens intesify their training and hone their mental game in the months approaching their competition.

Think of it as the Olympics of Beauty Pageants, where Team Philippines has star athletes competing in every event. In this arena, the Philippines can proudly call itself a powerhouse country.

The first two queens to compete in their international pageants are volleyball player superstar, Michele Gumabao, Bb. Pilipinas Globe 2018 and registered nurse, Eva Psychee Patalinjug.

During the Official Bb. Pilipinas Send-off held last September 19 at the Novotel Araneta Center, Cubao, Binibining Pilipinas Charities Inc. granted this interview with Michelle and Eva.

SEND-OFF. Eva and Michele get a send-off from the press and their pageant sisters.

SEND-OFF. Eva and Michele get a send-off from the press and their pageant sisters.

Michele Gumabao, Bb. Pilipinas Globe 2018

MIchelle hopes to capture our second Miss Globe crown in Tirana, Albania on October 21. Ann Colis won our country’s first Miss Globe title in 2015. Last year, we came very close with Nelda Ibe placing 1st Runner-up.

Question: You have been training for months, from national costume and gown selection to the mental/physical preparations, what do you think is your edge now over the other candidates?

Michele: My experiences will be my greatest advantage. Whatever I’ve been through in the past will help me connect to peope, will help me inspire people and it will help me stand by my advocacy. To be able to represent the Philippines the best way I can. Whatever happened in the past, our trainings in Bb. Pilipinas will really help me be the best beauty queen that they will see.

Q: During your pageant, there will be moments where it can get difficult mentally and physically tiring. At these times, who will be the first one you will call to help you get through it?

M: Of course, the first people that I will be will be my Mom. She’s my number one prayer warrior, she and my Dad. And I always need that sense of peace. I always need that sense of home they always bring even if it’s just over the phone. They will always put in me a sense of calm no matter what is happening around me. That faith that they’ve instilled in me for God will always be my number one arsenal whenever I compete and in anything that I do.

Q: For sure, there will be amazing buffets during your competition. Do you plan on having any cheat days during your pageant?

M: (laughs) Yay! Well if I deserve it, I’m going to have a cheat day. If I don’t, then I won’t. I don’t know how much physical activity we’re gonna do there. I’m very used to physical activity. Ako naman kasi, if I don’t work out, I don’t get hungry as well. I know my priorities and I wanna look good. So if I have to stay away from the buffet in preparing for the swimsuit competition, then I will. It’s only two weeks and I will do anything to win the crown and do my best.

Q: After you were crowned, you continued to play volleyball professionally. How did you manage to reconcile athletic training versus pageant training for your body considering that the physical demands from both disciplines are quite different.

M: It was quite challenging because I had to change my work out, I had to change my diet, I had to change my lifestyle. It’s a seesaw between volleyball and pageantry for me. I finally found a comprise. It’s really just eating a healthy balanced diet. That’s what we all struggle with and that’s what I’ve been maintaining. An active lifestyle, a healthy balance diet so that I’m fit to play volleyball and I’m also fit to walk on stage whatever I’m wearing.

Q: What makes you stand out as a Filipina candidate?

M: As a Filipina, it’s our compassion that is instilled in us by our mothers, by our parents, and by society. We’re a country, a culture that is very service oriented. You know, they always say the the best smile is the Filipino smile and that comes from our heart. Because we are a very compassionate country, we’re a very compassionate people and that radiates to other people. Hopefully, I will bring that compassion in my competition.

Eva Psychee Patalinjug, Bb. Pilipinas Grand International 2018

Eva hopes to be the first Filipina to win the Miss Grand International crown.

The Philippines has done very well in this pageant with consistent runner-up placements but it has yet to win title. Eva is set to compete for MGI 2018 on October 25, 2018 in Myanmar.

Last year’s representative Elizabeth Clenci, who ended up 2nd Runner-up in Miss Grand International 2017, offered this message to Eva: “Work hard. Be brave. Don’t forget to enjoy your time. Trust in yourself and know you’ve worked hard for this moment. The next few weeks will be a journey you will remember for the rest of your life. So embrace it! Make lifelong friends and learn about yourself. You have the support of the Philippines behind you! Break a leg and hopefully see you in Myanmar”

Q: You have been training for months, from national costume and gown selection to the mental/physical preparations, what do you think is your edge now over the other candidates and what makes you stand out?

Eva: My edge is that I am a Filipina. I bring with me the hopes and dreams of all the Filipinos. And I really find a way to shine. That is my edge.

Q: During your pageant, there will be moments where it can get difficult mentally and physically tiring. At these times, who will be the first one you will call to help you get through it?

E: Yes, even during Binibini. My family, of course, and my loved ones.

Q: For sure, there will be amazing buffets during your competition. Do you plan on having any cheat days during your pageant?

E: (laughs) I’ll control myself. No! Focus! (giggles). But of course I won’t deprive myself. I will eat but not to the point that I’ll binge.

Q: All previous Bb. Pilipinas Grand International titleholders did very well in MGI and came close to winning the title. What are you planning to do differently in order to secure that elusive MGI crown?

E: I’ve been talking to my predecessors especially to (Liz) Clenci and Nicole (Cordoves). They’ve done very well, so I won’t do anything differently. But I will be myself, I’ll do my best. We have different styles kasi. Maybe it will work for them, maybe it will not for me. But what I know for sure is I will my give all talaga when it comes to the competition already.

Their fellow queens – Miss Universe Philippines 2018, Catriona Gray, Bb. Pilipinas International 2018, Ahtisa Manalo, Bb. Pilipinas Intercontinental 2018, Karen Gallman, and Bb. Pilipinas Supranational 2018, Jehza Huelar were all present at the event to show their love and support.

SUPPORT. Karen Gallman, Ahtisa Manalo, Catriona Gray, and Jehza Huelar show their support for Michele and Eva.

SUPPORT. Karen Gallman, Ahtisa Manalo, Catriona Gray, and Jehza Huelar show their support for Michele and Eva.

Catriona addressed both Michelle and Eva saying: “We have have gotten to know each other over a crazy journey that is Bb. Pilipinas. I feel so blessed that we have seen you blossom and we can call each other sisters. That we share this bond that is so special. I have so much faith in you both that you’re going to be excellent whether it is in your pageant and whatever you continue to pursue after afterwards. Through it all please know that we will be here for you for anything. For late night chats to food dates. Laban lang! I know you’ll make the Philippines proud.”

The 2018 pageant season is another very promising year for BPCI.

It’s only a matter of months that we wil soon find out if our representives will come home victorious bringing much honor and pride to an entire country.

This article originally appeared in Rappler.

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